Guide: How to Manage Sales Activities in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales During an Account Manager's Absence

Jacek Szafader Jacek Szafader October 11, 2023

In this guide, we will discuss strategies for managing sales activities in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales when the responsible Account Manager is absent. We will present two scenarios and highlight the differences between them.

Scenario 1: Collaboration and Transparency

Scenario Assumptions:

  • All Account Managers can view each other’s sales opportunities.
  • The company does not conduct secret or confidential operations.

If the Account Manager’s absence is planned, it is considered a best practice for them to hand over their responsibilities to a designated colleague.

In Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales, the Account Manager should assign (using the Assign option) the sales opportunity to the selected colleague. This ensures that all activities, such as tasks and other related elements, are reassigned to the person taking over the responsibilities. Once the Account Manager returns, the responsibilities can be reassigned back to them.

However, there is an exception to this rule that often proves problematic in client relations. This exception occurs when a client responds to an email from the Account Manager during their absence. In such cases, the activity related to the email gets assigned to the record of the sales opportunity managed by the substitute Account Manager, but the actual Timeline entry for the email does not. The substitute Account Manager might be unaware of this email and, consequently, of the client’s urgent needs.

To address this issue, the original Account Manager should use the Dynamics for Outlook add-in, which allows for saving emails directly to the CRM. This ensures that the client’s email is accessible in the specific record, even if it was sent directly to the original Account Manager. The substitute Account Manager can then review the record’s history and stay informed about important communications.

We discourage the use of email notifications for new emails as they can often be intrusive and ineffective. In today’s world, we already receive many notifications, and managing the absence of an Account Manager can be challenging to implement.
Instead, it’s sufficient to set up an autoresponder informing clients of your absence and indicating the substitute person. If a client is concerned about the lack of response, they can contact the substitute Account Manager, who can easily review the history in the CRM.
The second layer of security is common sense. Even without an autoresponder or a designated substitute, a concerned client can contact the company, which will find an appropriate Account Manager to address the issue.
It’s worth emphasizing that too many notifications can be intrusive, so we recommend limiting them to the necessary minimum.

In summary of scenario 1, the company should implement the following procedure:

  • The Account Manager planning an absence should set up an autoresponder with information about the substitute or authorized person.
  • The Account Manager assigning records to another person should discuss these matters with them, as is customary.
  • The substitute should regularly check the “Activities” section, filter activities by type (e.g., email) and the original Account Manager’s name, and sort them by modification date.
  • When a client calls, the substitute can quickly locate the client’s record and address their issue.

Scenario 2: Mutually restricted access to information and opportunities

Scenario assumptions:

  • Account Managers cannot see each other’s sales opportunities.

The company’s activities and individual sales opportunities are subject to confidentiality clauses. Scenario 2 does not differ significantly from the first one; however, in this case, assignment (using the Assign option) is mandatory for the substitute Account Manager to access the record.

In larger organizations, a problem may arise when a client calls in search of the right person to assist them, and the primary Account Manager has not set up an autoresponder. However, this issue depends on organizational culture, established procedures, and a conscious approach to using tools.

Scenario 2 can also occur in team-based variations. It is possible to share a record with multiple customer contact teams, each with different access rights to the same record. For example, one team may have read-only access to the account, while another may have read, write, and share permissions on the same account.

In both scenarios, there is a need for strict control of data access and proper assignment of individuals to records to ensure smooth customer service and maintain the confidentiality of company operations.


How do these scenarios apply to B2C companies? Essentially, they are very similar. If a company uses individual email addresses for its sales representatives, the differences mainly arise from differences in the scale of operations. However, if the company uses a single shared email address, a more appropriate solution may be Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service rather than Dynamics 365 Sales. Customer Service offers tools for managing tickets and customer service queues, which are more useful in such cases.