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Seven Steps to a successful trial of Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE

seven Steps pebbles

If you are planning on exploring whether Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE is the right CRM solution for you, you are in the right place.

Without doubt, a trial of any software is an essential step towards gaining confidence that it is a possible solution for you.  But there are good ways and less good ways to carry out that trial.  We see so many trials that deliver very little.  Yet, with a little planning you can get a very good idea of just how Microsoft Dynamics 365 will solve problems for you - how it will speed up your repetive processes, how it will give you that all-round 360 view of customers and how it will deliver you the metrics from across your business.

However, many people find that once they have set up a trial, it is more complicated.  They have managed to navigate through the trial creation process, but still there is more to it than they had realised.

Follow these seven simple steps to ensure your trial is successful.

Step1 cr

Set your objectives




The "easiest" way for your trial to be a waste of time is creating the 30 day free trial on day 1 and then waiting till day 29 and then doing a quick click here and there randomly in the interface. This experience is unlikely to answer any questions for you about what CRM – Dynamics 365 or otherwise - can do for your business.  However, it may very easily leave you confused.

Decide what you want to achieve from your trial, what business problems you hope that Dynamics 365 will solve for you.

Step2 cr

Form your Team


Gather together people who know about:

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Service and Customer Support

Remember to include both end users, senior people, CRM influencers including your technology team, and your decision makers. Without all of those people you will likely end up with a biased outcome  from your trial.


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Remember to include decision makers and your CRM influencers

There was a time when Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, was the exclusive domain of the sales team. Salespeople were the liaison between the customer and the business. Those days have come to an end—to meet customers' expectations today requires input from across the company.

Step3 cr



Identify the areas of your organisation that you would like to improve



Remember to include teams outside of your
own department or group




Areas with high levels of data entry

data entry


repetitive work



Parts of the business that are repetitive


   single point of failure



Areas which are dependent on a single staff member

Step4 cr 

Create users with different roles within your organisation


If you only see Microsoft Dynamics 365 from the perspective of a System Administrator, who can see all the data and access all the functionality, you will get a very jaundiced view. 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 has a robust and comprehensive security model that gives each different group of users the access that it needs. It comes with several roles already set up and you should assign these to your team members.






Call Centre

Call Centre





Field Engineer

Field engineer
project management



Project Manager




Sales Manager

sales person



Human Resources (HR)

field sales  



Sales Person




Customer Care

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Technology or IT support



Step5 cr



Map out some of your key processes, so you know what steps you take when looking after your customers






Ensure that your processes look at both the data entry and the data outputs – reports, documents and dashboards 







business process



Map the processes as a flow chart – not just as a set of instructions






Include the rarely required processes as well as your everyday processes


Step6 cr



Add some of your data




Having data that your users a familiar with will make them more able to relate to the new environment

  lightbul moment sm



Bring in your data from your existing spreadsheets and other applications such as accounts and your marketing tools

spreadsheet data  
Paper form cr



Think about the data that your users currently must collect on paper. Show them how CRM can help manage this data



Step7 cr



Take your Dynamics 365 demo for a Spin



Get to this point before your trial is half way over. This means that you have plenty of time to reveal the new system to various users






Show your system to the users, focussing on the processes that you collected and using the familiar data


  data entry2


Reveal the simplicity of data entry.

Explain how the system can prompt you for missing data, indicate that duplicates can be prevented and data can be pulled from elsewhere in the system - all ways to make your users' life easier.




Demonstrate the ease of real time dashboards and reports




Focus on the ease of team work, sharing of data between people and the abilities to work with people in the same and other teams to solve customer issues.


If you would like to understand a little more about the standard (out of the box) functionality in Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE so you have a head start in demonstrating its use to your team members, take a look at our Guide Me Guru.

Guide Me Guru is the ultimate beginner's walk through to Microsoft Dynamics 365.  Guide Me Guru walks you through how sales, marketing, service and reporting work before you, or your consultant or developer or partner make any changes at all.  This shows you how much benefit you can get from Microsoft Dynamics 365 before you spend anything on customisation or configuration.


Published by Gill Walker

Who is Gill Walker?

Gill Walker is many things:

  • She is an author who loves spreading knowledge of CRM and specifically Microsoft Dynamics 365 via articles such as this;
  • She is an expert consultant who has been helping her clients with their Microsoft Dynamics 365 (and previously Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft CRM) challenges since 2002;
  • She is a professional trainer who shares her wide knowledge of Microsoft Dynamics 365 with her training delegates – so they can implement and manage their Microsoft Dynamics 365 more easily and effectively;
  • She is a speaker who shares her knowledge of varied CRM topics with her audiences;
  • She is a troubleshooter – who helps organisations with their sticky problems.

Please feel free to contact her via linked in (https://www.linkedin.com/in/crmconsultant/) or email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

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Phone: +61(2) 8212 3480

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Opsis is an expert Microsoft Dynamics 365 consulting company. Our focus is your Microsoft Dynamics 365 success - not licence sales or billable hours. As Principal Consultant, Gill oversees all business operations and strategic planning and execution, yet she still believes in offering personal attention to each and every client, so as to understand their needs and offer tailored solutions.  We are based in Sydney, with clients in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and across Australia.  We offer Microsoft Dynamics 365 strategy, Microsoft Dynamics 365 scoping, Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementation, Microsoft Dynamics 365 technical support, Microsoft Dynamics 365 advice and guidance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 training and mentoring.