CRM 2011 – The WOW effect

Gayan Perera, 10 January 2011

The enhancements and improvements that are part of CRM 2011 are impressive! In less than a day you can have a fully working prototype (with smoke and mirrors of course) that’ll knock the socks off your potential customer.

Here are few tips and tricks to wow your customers.

Customize the masthead image

CRM 2011 – The WOW effect

Customers like to see their brand recognized, by putting their logo in place of the Dynamics CRM logo makes them feel comfortable, gives them a sense of ownership.

Trim and rename items on the sitemap

This is very important, out of the box CRM 2011 comes with a full left hand side menu. For someone who’s never seen Dynamics CRM it will make it look too complex.

We remove everything except Workplace and Settings and trim the workplace items down to only what’s required.

Dashboards – you’re demoing to management

CRM 2011 – The WOW effect

Everyone likes pretty pictures, especially if they show the health of the business without having to crunch numbers. Make sure you do your research and find out your targets goals and reflect that in your dashboards, displaying generic charts are just as bad as having no graphs.

Customize the screens

CRM 2011 – The WOW effect

Out of the box forms are great but are generally not suitable for a demo. If you know your target doesn’t care about Quotes, Orders, Invoices, remove the sales section completely from the form. CRM 2011 can do this with few clicks.

Perceived simplicity

Dynamics CRM does its best to keep the click count low, but sometimes it needs a helping hand, for example, if you’re demoing to a potential call centre, you can put a shortcut to the desktop of a phone call activity rather than demoing “File -> New Activity -> Phone Call”, or you could simulate a phone call coming in and popping a record via a screen pop tool.

Sample data

CRM 2011 – The WOW effect*

As a general rule we make sure we have at least 50 records of each entity we demo, this makes the system look complete and again gives the impression to the viewers that the software is built and working the way they want.


If you’re going into replace an existing system make sure to research that piece of software and try to keep fields, sections, forms similar. For example, if a few field labels are red in that software, do the same in CRM, this makes the viewer feel like they already know how to use the system.

Those are just a few ideas, if you have some cool ideas that you use to convert customers to Dynamics CRM, comment on this post below, we’d love to hear your ideas!

* Image from