Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Business Process Flow – Sales Stage Values and Pipeline

The Business Process Flow in Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows so much great functionality, but there are some important pieces to remember when making changes, creating a new BPF, and working with your Pipeline.

One part of this is the “Stage Category” in CRM.


Sales Stage Values CRM

Above you’ll see our Business Process Flow, and below you’ll see the Stage Category option set. This option set is what drives the Pipeline Phase to make up any sales Pipeline charts you may be using.

Sales Stage Values CRM1


Sales Stage Values CRM2


Let’s note here that the Value for the stage is irrelevant. What matters for the order of the Pipeline Phases is the order, top to bottom, in the Options. You’d also note that “Research and Resolve” show in the Stage Category, which doesn’t apply to Opportunities, and will not show in our pipeline.

There are many intricacies of the Business Process Flow- but one that can really make things sticky is when importing a BPF from Sandbox to Production with existing Opportunities. For example, we may have the exact same Stages, but every time Sandbox’s BPF is moved to production, the numbering from 1-Qualify, 2-Discovery, 3- Propose, may get incrementally higher, and while there are Opportunities already that fall in the Pipeline, you can end up with a stickier and stickier pipeline.

Below we ended up with a Pipeline with the same name Stage Categories, but the pipeline numbering is askew.  Moving around stages or editing Stage Categories without taking existing Opportunities into account can result in duplication and an ugly pipeline.

Sales Stage Values CRM3

Note the “15-Qualify” key.

To correct this, you can open up your Opportunity, move it to the next stage in the Business Process flow, then move back to the one you’d like it to fall under.

This is something we’d call less than desirable about the Pipeline and Sales Stages, but good information to have in the meantime.

If you have any questions or immediate Dynamics CRM needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

By Jessica Carsten, Applications Consultant, with xRM3, a Microsoft Partner specializing in Dynamics CRM consulting, implementation, integration, and administrative services. Based in San Diego County Southern California.