Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 for Dummies {-

Microsoft
Dynamics™ CRM 4
FOR
DUMmIES
‰
by Joel Scott, David Lee, and Scott Weiss
Microsoft
Dynamics™ CRM 4
FOR
DUMmIES
‰
Microsoft
Dynamics™ CRM 4
FOR
DUMmIES
‰
by Joel Scott, David Lee, and Scott Weiss
Microsoft Dynamics™ CRM 4 For Dummies®
Published by
Wiley Publishing, Inc.
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About the Authors
Joel Scott is the president of the Computer Control Corporation, which
began focusing on CRM software in 1989. Since the early 1990s, Computer
Control has been an elite dealer of GoldMine software, winning many sales
and business process awards. Mr. Scott has also written the entire series of
GoldMine For Dummies books.
With the release of Microsoft CRM 1, Computer Control Corporation made
the decision to expand its product line and expertise to Microsoft CRM as
well. Mr. Scott has been the lead author for the Microsoft CRM For Dummies
series. This is now the third book in the series.
In 2007, the Computer Control Corporation merged with a friendly competitor, Core Solutions, Inc. Mr. Scott now handles GoldMine and Microsoft CRM
sales and design work for Core Solutions, as well as focusing on client retention consulting, writing, and speaking engagements. Mr. Scott can be reached
at joels@ccc24k.com.
David Lee is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the University of
Northern Virginia, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of Myers University, on
the Board of Advisors to ECPI, and was also adjunct faculty for George Mason
University.
He founded Vertical Marketing, Inc., as a home-based business in 1985 and
has grown it to a force in the CRM industry, with offices in four cities worldwide. It has won numerous industry awards and certifications and has completed more than 1,000 CRM projects using dozens of CRM applications.
Dr. Lee is a recognized speaker and thought leader in the customer relationship management (CRM) industry. He is a regular contributor to several CRM
publications and writes a CRM column for MSDynamicsWorld. He is certified
in many of the primary mid-market CRM systems.
Before founding Vertical Marketing, Dr. Lee served as Marketing & Support
Manager, Vice President of Marketing, Vice President of Sales, and President
in such organizations as Rand Teleprocessing, Barrister Microsystems, and
Market Wise Inc., and as an officer in the U.S. Army. He is also a karate black
belt and a competition-level dancer.
Mr. Lee can be contacted at dlee@vermar.com.
Scott Weiss is president and CEO of Core Solutions, Inc., a CRM consulting
firm specializing in Microsoft CRM, SalesLogix, and GoldMine. He is a graduate
of Rutgers University and earned a MBA from Boston University. With over 20
years marketing and sales expertise, Mr. Weiss is authoring his first For
Dummies book.
Mr. Weiss founded Core Solutions in 2000. With offices in Newton, Massachusetts,
and Rocky Hill, Connecticut, Core Solutions has provided CRM solutions to
hundreds of clients. Mr. Weiss hosted a weekly radio show “Winning Business”
from 2005–2006. He has guest lectured to graduate business students on
entrepreneurship.
Prior to founding Core Solutions, Mr. Weiss spent several years in sales and
marketing management in the medical diagnostics industry. He lectured on
international marketing for the Massachusetts Port Authority.
Mr. Weiss can be reached at sweiss@consultcore.com.
Authors’ Acknowledgments
Joel Scott: No one writes a book alone. Perhaps it’s possible for a work of
fiction. I plan to find that out shortly. But even then, a collection of editors
and technicians all have some say in the appearance of the work. Bob Woerner
and Chris Morris, our editors at Wiley, have consistently been there for us
working hard and responding quickly.
I also need to thank my co-authors, Dave Lee and Scott Weiss. Our early
brainstorming sessions about this book and continuing communications
made this writing easier.
I also want to thank everyone at home for taking up the slack while I was so
often sitting in my room moaning and groaning over words I had written and
rewritten so many times.
David Lee: I would like to thank two of my senior engineers, Benjamin
Mwendwa and Patrick Pawlowski, for their help and support in this effort.
They spent many hours reviewing and checking the facts, capturing pictures
of the screens, and doing technical reviews. Without their help I could not
have written this book and still run my company, Vertical Marketing.
I also need to thank my friend, partner, competitor, and co-author, Joel Scott.
He risked a friendship spanning more than a decade by asking me to coauthor our first Microsoft CRM For Dummies book. Now, after our second
round of late nights and deadlines, I still like the guy.
I could not leave out Scott Weiss, the newest member of our little team of coauthors. By taking on one third of the chapters, he cut my workload by 50
percent.
Finally, I would like to thank you, the reader, for your interest in Microsoft
CRM. CRM is my passion (I am a pretty dull guy), and it is people like you
who allow me to do the work that I love.
Scott Weiss: First and foremost I want to thank my wife, Rachel, and my three
children, Zach, Ethan, and Stephanie, for their support and understanding during
the writing process. Without them, I never would have completed my work.
I’d also like to thank Umang Vasa of Microsoft, who has been a valuable resource
throughout this process. I’d also like to thank the entire Wiley team and, in
particular, Chris Morris, senior project editor; Heidi Unger, copy editor; and
Bob Woerner, senior acquisitions editor, for their expertise and easygoing
style. I’d also like to thank our technical editor, John Straumann, for his help
and insights.
Lastly, thank you to Joel Scott and David Lee for adding me to the team of
authors. Their guidance and patience were and are very much appreciated.
Publisher’s Acknowledgments
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Contents at a Glance
Introduction .................................................................1
Part I: Microsoft CRM Basics.........................................7
Chapter 1: Taking a First Look at Microsoft CRM 4........................................................9
Chapter 2: Using the Outlook Client — Or Not.............................................................21
Chapter 3: Navigating the Microsoft CRM System .......................................................29
Part II: Setting Things Up ...........................................45
Chapter 4: Personalizing Your System...........................................................................47
Chapter 5: Managing Territories.....................................................................................63
Chapter 6: Managing Business Units and Teams..........................................................69
Chapter 7: Using the Product Catalog ...........................................................................75
Chapter 8: Understanding Security and Access Rights ...............................................89
Chapter 9: Implementing Business Rules and Workflow...........................................101
Chapter 10: Creating and Running Reports ................................................................117
Part III: Managing Sales ...........................................135
Chapter 11: Setting Sales Quotas and Dealing with Forecasts .................................137
Chapter 12: Handling Leads and Opportunities .........................................................149
Chapter 13: Working with Accounts and Contacts ....................................................165
Chapter 14: Creating and Managing Activities............................................................179
Chapter 15: Using Notes and Attachments .................................................................191
Chapter 16: Generating Quotes, Orders, and Invoices ..............................................197
Chapter 17: Setting Up Sales Literature and Dealing with Competitors..................207
Chapter 18: Implementing Sales Processes.................................................................215
Part IV: Making the Most of Marketing ......................221
Chapter 19: Targeting Accounts and Contacts ...........................................................223
Chapter 20: Managing Campaigns ................................................................................243
Chapter 21: Integrating Your Web Site.........................................................................267
Part V: Taking Care of Your Customers .......................275
Chapter 22: Working with Cases...................................................................................277
Chapter 23: Managing Your Subjects ...........................................................................295
Chapter 24: Creating and Using the Knowledge Base................................................311
Chapter 25: Managing Queues ......................................................................................323
Chapter 26: Working with Contracts............................................................................333
Part VI: The Part of Tens ...........................................347
Chapter 27: The Top 10 (or So) Add-on Products for Microsoft CRM 4 ..................349
Chapter 28: Ten Ways to Get Help................................................................................355
Appendix A: Converting to Microsoft CRM.................................................................365
Appendix B: Managing Your Data.................................................................................373
Index .......................................................................389
Table of Contents
Introduction..................................................................1
How CRM Fits in the Market ...........................................................................1
How to Use This Book .....................................................................................2
Foolish Assumptions .......................................................................................2
How This Book Is Organized...........................................................................3
Part I: Microsoft CRM Basics.................................................................3
Part II: Setting Things Up.......................................................................3
Part III: Managing Sales..........................................................................3
Part IV: Making the Most of Marketing ................................................4
Part V: Taking Care of Your Customers ...............................................4
Part VI: The Part of Tens .......................................................................4
Icons Used in This Book..................................................................................5
Where to Go from Here....................................................................................5
Part I: Microsoft CRM Basics .........................................7
Chapter 1: Taking a First Look at Microsoft CRM 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Tracking Your Contacts .................................................................................10
Communicating with the Outside World.....................................................10
Integrating with Accounting .........................................................................11
Why integrate?......................................................................................11
Other accounting systems ..................................................................12
Setting Up Business Processes.....................................................................12
Coordinating Microsoft CRM with Your Success Plan...............................13
Defining your goals ..............................................................................14
Implementing a pilot program ............................................................15
Live versus On-Premise.................................................................................15
Security..................................................................................................16
Access ....................................................................................................16
Total cost of ownership .......................................................................17
Being Mobile ...................................................................................................18
Server Editions ...............................................................................................18
Workgroup.............................................................................................18
Professional...........................................................................................19
Enterprise..............................................................................................19
Migrating from one version to another .............................................19
Using Microsoft CRM Successfully...............................................................20
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Chapter 2: Using the Outlook Client — Or Not . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
The Microsoft CRM Online Outlook Client .................................................22
The Microsoft CRM Offline Outlook Client .................................................25
The Microsoft CRM Web Client ....................................................................26
What’s New in Microsoft CRM 4 Outlook Client.........................................26
Chapter 3: Navigating the Microsoft CRM System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
Whirlwind Tour of the Screen.......................................................................29
Navigation pane....................................................................................30
Status bar ..............................................................................................31
Window ..................................................................................................31
First Things First — Signing On....................................................................33
The Workplace Is Your Starting Point..........................................................34
Navigating at the application level.....................................................34
Navigating at the record level.............................................................35
Your first navigation lessons...............................................................36
Filtering and Searching for Records ............................................................38
Filtering records ...................................................................................39
Searching with the magnifying glass icon .........................................40
Searching with the Form Assistant ....................................................40
Searching with the Advanced Find feature .......................................41
Using the Resource Center ...........................................................................44
Part II: Setting Things Up ............................................45
Chapter 4: Personalizing Your System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47
Tailoring the System to Suit Your Needs.....................................................47
General tab: Customizing a variety of user preferences .................48
Workplace tab: Simplifying your navigation pane............................51
Activities tab: Displaying appointments and
setting your work hours ..................................................................52
Formats tab: Adapting CRM to your part of the world....................53
E-mail Templates tab: Speed the process of handling e-mails........54
E-mail tab: Routing your CRM messages ...........................................55
Privacy tab: Indicating when to report errors to Microsoft............56
Language tab: Choosing the language you see onscreen................57
Establishing Your User Profile......................................................................57
Providing general information about yourself .................................59
Joining teams to share records ..........................................................60
Viewing security roles..........................................................................60
Announcing which hours you’ll be working .....................................60
Monitoring workflows..........................................................................61
Table of Contents
Chapter 5: Managing Territories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63
Setting Up Sales Territories ..........................................................................64
Managing Territories .....................................................................................67
Chapter 6: Managing Business Units and Teams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .69
Managing Business Units ..............................................................................69
Managing Teams.............................................................................................71
Creating teams ......................................................................................72
Assigning users to teams.....................................................................73
Chapter 7: Using the Product Catalog . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .75
Overview of the Product Catalog .................................................................75
Getting to the Product Catalog Window......................................................76
Creating a Discount List ................................................................................77
Creating a Unit Group ....................................................................................80
Creating a Price List.......................................................................................82
Adding Products.............................................................................................85
Chapter 8: Understanding Security and Access Rights . . . . . . . . . . . .89
Security Overview..........................................................................................90
Setting Restrictions with User Privileges....................................................91
Further Defining Permissions with Access Levels.....................................91
Looking at Predefined Roles .........................................................................92
Assigning Roles ..............................................................................................94
Sharing Information with Others on Your Team ........................................95
Defining a team .....................................................................................95
Sharing and assigning ..........................................................................95
Unsharing ..............................................................................................95
Sharing and Not Sharing Data.......................................................................96
Sharing records.....................................................................................96
Sharing multiple records .....................................................................98
Unsharing records................................................................................98
Assigning records .................................................................................99
Streamlining the assignment of permissions..................................100
Chapter 9: Implementing Business Rules and Workflow . . . . . . . . .101
Workflow Components ................................................................................102
Limitations of Workflow ..............................................................................102
Creating Workflow Rules .............................................................................103
Testing a new rule ..............................................................................108
Creating On-Demand (manual) rules ...............................................109
Creating follow-up rules ....................................................................110
Testing a manual rule.........................................................................112
Monitoring Your Workflow..........................................................................112
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Workflow Glossary .......................................................................................114
Events ..................................................................................................114
Conditions ...........................................................................................114
Actions.................................................................................................115
To workflow infinity and beyond......................................................116
Chapter 10: Creating and Running Reports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117
Adding Report Categories...........................................................................117
Navigating the Report Area.........................................................................118
Using Viewing Options ................................................................................123
Exporting and Printing Your Report ..........................................................124
Accessing the Report Wizard .....................................................................125
Report Settings .............................................................................................129
Editing Reports.............................................................................................131
Creating Excel Reports ................................................................................132
Part III: Managing Sales............................................135
Chapter 11: Setting Sales Quotas and Dealing with Forecasts . . . .137
How a Manager Sets Up Quotas .................................................................137
Fiscal year settings.............................................................................138
Setting up a salesperson’s quota......................................................139
Entering Sales Forecasts .............................................................................141
Updating Your Forecasts .............................................................................144
Examining the Forecasts .............................................................................145
Printing a report .................................................................................145
Using Excel to examine forecast data ..............................................146
Chapter 12: Handling Leads and Opportunities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .149
Processing Leads from Suspects................................................................150
Getting to the Leads window ............................................................150
Creating a lead manually ...................................................................150
Modifying a lead .................................................................................152
Giving up on a lead.............................................................................153
Resurrecting a lead ............................................................................154
Turning a Lead into an Opportunity..........................................................155
Handling Opportunities...............................................................................156
Creating and modifying opportunities.............................................156
Assigning and sharing opportunities...............................................159
Relating opportunities to activities or other records....................161
Managing stages and relationships..................................................162
Closing, reopening, and deleting opportunities .............................162
Chapter 13: Working with Accounts and Contacts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .165
Adding and Editing Contacts ......................................................................166
Table of Contents
Adding and Editing Accounts and Subaccounts ......................................166
Exploring account records and their four sections .......................167
Setting up subaccounts .....................................................................171
Finding and Viewing Account Information................................................172
Finding an account by name .............................................................172
Using Advanced Find to perform a more sophisticated search ...173
Assigning and Sharing Accounts................................................................175
Assigning accounts to users .............................................................175
Sharing accounts ................................................................................176
Chapter 14: Creating and Managing Activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .179
No Outlook Here...........................................................................................180
Viewing Your Calendar ................................................................................181
Viewing Your Activities ...............................................................................182
Creating an Appointment for Yourself from the Activities Screen.........184
Scheduling for Other People.......................................................................186
Assigning an Activity to Someone..............................................................186
Completing an Activity ................................................................................188
Chapter 15: Using Notes and Attachments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .191
Creating Notes ..............................................................................................191
Creating Attachments..................................................................................193
Deleting a Note or an Attachment..............................................................195
Chapter 16: Generating Quotes, Orders, and Invoices . . . . . . . . . . . .197
Creating and Activating Quotes .................................................................198
Creating a quote .................................................................................198
Activating a quote ..............................................................................202
Associating Opportunities and Quotes .....................................................203
Printing a Quote ...........................................................................................203
Converting a Quote to an Order.................................................................204
Generating Invoices from Orders...............................................................205
Chapter 17: Setting Up Sales Literature and
Dealing with Competitors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .207
Adding Literature .........................................................................................207
Modifying Literature ....................................................................................211
Relating Literature to Competitors............................................................212
Adding and Tracking Competitors.............................................................213
Chapter 18: Implementing Sales Processes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .215
The General Principles ................................................................................216
Alerts....................................................................................................216
Escalation ............................................................................................217
Feedback and analysis.......................................................................218
Planning Your Sales Stages .........................................................................218
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Part IV: Making the Most of Marketing .......................221
Chapter 19: Targeting Accounts and Contacts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .223
Targeting the Right People..........................................................................224
Developing and Saving Marketing Lists ....................................................227
Creating marketing lists.....................................................................228
Adding members to the marketing list ............................................229
Populating a marketing list using Advanced Find..........................233
Editing a Marketing List...............................................................................235
Removing Records from a Marketing List.................................................236
Merging Mail from Marketing Lists ............................................................239
Chapter 20: Managing Campaigns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .243
Developing Your Campaign.........................................................................244
Creating Campaigns .....................................................................................245
Planning Tasks ..............................................................................................248
Defining Campaign Activities......................................................................250
Distributing Campaign Activities ...............................................................255
Recording Campaign Responses ................................................................260
Relating Campaigns to Each Other ............................................................262
Working with Quick Campaigns .................................................................263
Chapter 21: Integrating Your Web Site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .267
Sending E-Mail to a Queue ..........................................................................267
Creating Records with Programming.........................................................271
Creating a Web Portal ..................................................................................271
Part V: Taking Care of Your Customers ........................275
Chapter 22: Working with Cases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .277
Case Management Overview ......................................................................278
Working in the Cases Window ....................................................................279
Creating Cases ..............................................................................................281
Filling in the General tab ...................................................................282
Filling in the Notes and Article tab ..................................................285
Assigning and Accepting Cases..................................................................288
Tending to Cases ..........................................................................................291
Resolving a case .................................................................................292
Reactivating a case.............................................................................294
Chapter 23: Managing Your Subjects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .295
Tips for Defining Your Subjects..................................................................296
Accessing the Subjects Window.................................................................297
Adding a Subject ..........................................................................................298
Editing a Subject...........................................................................................300
Table of Contents
Removing a Subject......................................................................................301
Relating Subjects to Other Entities............................................................301
Relating subjects to cases .................................................................302
Putting the case link to work ............................................................303
Relating a subject to a knowledge base article ..............................305
Putting the article link to work.........................................................308
Relating a subject to the product catalog .......................................308
Relating a subject to sales literature ...............................................310
Chapter 24: Creating and Using the Knowledge Base . . . . . . . . . . . .311
Organizing Information for Your Knowledge Base...................................311
Creating Article Templates .........................................................................312
Creating a Knowledge Base Article............................................................314
Submitting a draft article...................................................................317
Approving an article ..........................................................................318
Searching the Knowledge Base ..................................................................320
Chapter 25: Managing Queues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .323
Queue Overview...........................................................................................324
Looking at Personal and Public Queues....................................................325
Creating a Queue ..........................................................................................326
Working with Cases and Activities Assigned to Queues .........................328
Assigning an activity to a queue.......................................................329
Accepting Queue Assignments...................................................................331
Chapter 26: Working with Contracts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .333
Creating a Contract Template.....................................................................334
Understanding Contract Status ..................................................................336
Creating a Contract ......................................................................................337
Adding Contract Lines to a New Contract ................................................341
Renewing a Contract....................................................................................344
Creating a Case and Linking It to a Contract ............................................344
Part VI: The Part of Tens ............................................347
Chapter 27: The Top 10 (Or So) Add-on Products
for Microsoft CRM 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .349
Checking Spelling with Google Toolbar.....................................................350
Automating Processes and Generating Alerts..........................................351
Increasing Your Productivity with c360 ....................................................352
Increasing Your Productivity with Axonom’s Powertrak ........................353
Migrating and Manipulating Your Data......................................................353
Accessing Instant Advice, Tips, and Tricks ..............................................354
Displaying Data in Graphical Formats .......................................................354
Upgrading Your Service Area......................................................................354
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Chapter 28: Ten Ways to Get Help . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .355
Using Microsoft CRM’s Built-in Help..........................................................356
Reading the Blog ..........................................................................................357
Accessing the Resource Center..................................................................357
Getting the Straight Story from Newsgroups or Forums ........................358
Finding an Expert .........................................................................................361
Using Technical Sites for Developers ........................................................362
Investing in Training ....................................................................................362
Selecting Microsoft Packaged Service and Support ................................363
Getting in Touch with Us.............................................................................364
Accessing General CRM Resources Online ...............................................364
Appendix A: Converting to Microsoft CRM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .365
Developing a Process for the Conversion.................................................366
Evaluating the Current System...................................................................366
Defining Expectations..................................................................................367
A Word on Reports.......................................................................................368
Designing the System...................................................................................369
Implementing the Design ............................................................................370
Testing the System.......................................................................................370
Cleaning the Data .........................................................................................370
Migrating the Data........................................................................................371
Training the Staff ..........................................................................................372
Appendix B: Managing Your Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .373
Tips for Creating Duplicate Detection Rules ............................................373
To Dot or Not to Dot, That Is the Question...............................................374
Defining Duplicate Detection Rules ...........................................................375
Creating a Duplicate Detection Rule..........................................................376
Editing a Duplicate Detection Rule ............................................................378
Putting the Rule to Work .............................................................................379
Importing and Exporting .............................................................................380
Creating data maps ............................................................................381
Editing data maps...............................................................................384
Importing records ..............................................................................384
Exporting and re-importing data ......................................................386
Index........................................................................389
Introduction
T
his book is about Microsoft Dynamics CRM version 4, which we refer to
as simply Microsoft CRM or just CRM. We assume that Microsoft CRM
just showed up on your desktop computer or notebook. Chances are, you
already have some experience with one or more of the popular predecessors
to CRM — ACT, GoldMine, SalesLogix, or an earlier release of Microsoft CRM.
Maybe you thought your Outlook was actually a CRM system. (It isn’t.) Or
maybe you’ve never had any kind of CRM system — and never wanted one
either. In any event, now you have to get yourself up and running with this new
software. If you relate to any of this, Microsoft CRM 4 For Dummies is for you.
If you’re a technical type looking for help with installation, integration, or
serious customization, you’ll need more than just this book. You’ll need some
technical references, an experienced dealer, and some time.
If nothing else, Microsoft CRM is an organizational tool. Whether you’re in
sales, marketing, customer service, or management, this software will provide a significant return on your investment — whether that investment is
money or time. Beyond that, if you’ve fallen in love with Microsoft Outlook
and refuse to relinquish it, relax. Not only can you still use Outlook, it’s one of
the primary means by which you’ll communicate with Microsoft CRM.
How CRM Fits in the Market
Microsoft came to the CRM market seemingly a little late but with a system
built on a platform called .NET. With CRM, you work in networked mode or in
offline mode. Networked mode doesn’t require a direct connection to your
office file server. In fact, with .NET technology, networked actually means
connected to the server through the Internet. Offline mode also takes great
advantage of the Internet but enables you to work while disconnected by
using a tool that Outlook users will find familiar.
And, now, Microsoft has an answer for all those users clamoring for a hosted
version of its software. With the release of version 4, Microsoft is also offering
CRM Live — a hosted version of essentially the same software you can purchase and install on your own servers.
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Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 For Dummies
If you have an IT department that’s comfortable with the care and feeding of
servers and have Internet connectivity with good firewalls and security, you
should consider installing and using CRM. Otherwise, you can have CRM
hosted. The third-party hosting company or Microsoft maintains the equipment and software in return for a monthly check.
How to Use This Book
Microsoft CRM is divided into six major sections: Workplace, Sales, Marketing,
Service, Settings, and the new Resource Center. This book loosely follows
these themes. We describe navigating the workplace and CRM in general in
Chapter 3. In Part II, you find out all about setting up the system. Then we
jump into sales topics, a little marketing, and some customer service.
You should be able to comfortably read the book from start to finish, but for
those of you so caffeinated you can’t sit still that long (don’t laugh; you know
who you are), each chapter can stand on its own as reference material. Either
way, you have a comprehensive guide to Microsoft CRM.
You’ll get the most benefit from this book by sitting in front of your computer
with CRM on the screen. It’s easy to convince yourself that you’ve got it by
just reading, but there’s no substitute for trying the steps yourself. Experimenting with sample data is sometimes just the ticket to an epiphany.
Foolish Assumptions
We assume you have some basic computer and Windows skills. If you aren’t
comfortable with Windows, you need to get yourself up to speed in this area.
Find a local class or seminar, or get one of the For Dummies books on Windows.
Regarding CRM, however, we assume you just returned from a long mission
to Mars and need to start using CRM tomorrow.
We also assume you have a basic understanding of database concepts. If
you’re comfortable with fields, records, files, folders, and how they relate to
each other, you’ll be fine. If you’re familiar with attributes, entities, instances,
and objects, even better. If this is already sounding bad, you can seek help at
most community colleges or local computer training facilities.
If you’re going to be your own CRM administrator (backing up files and
assigning usernames, passwords, and access rights), you need to understand
Introduction
records, files, folders, security, operating systems, and networks. If you just
want to be a good day-to-day user of CRM, make sure that you understand
what a file is and how to locate one using Explorer.
How This Book Is Organized
Some people just have a knack for organization. Our office manager is highly
organized, although her desk looks like a tornado swept through it. However,
she assures us that she knows exactly where everything should be. (And we
take no responsibility for her actions if you touch anything.) Anyway, we
digress. Organization — without it, this book would be a jumbled mess. To
cure that, we’ve organized the book into six parts, each with at least three
chapters. Again, you can read the book from cover to cover (who has that
kind of time?), or you can refer to it section by section. Each part (and chapter) can definitely stand on its own, but we recommend that you at least skim
through the basics and the table of contents before getting started.
Part I: Microsoft CRM Basics
Just the facts! Part I gives you an overview of what Microsoft CRM is all
about and provides a tour of the main windows. We also show you how to
use Microsoft CRM offline.
Part II: Setting Things Up
In Part II, we begin with a discussion of how to personalize your workplace
and the software. The workplace is command central in Microsoft CRM. From
the workplace, you can access the day-to-day stuff, such as your calendar,
assigned activities, and service scheduling. You can also set up business
units, security, sales processes, and business rules. Setting up workflow and
reports are the topics of Chapters 9 and 10 respectively.
Part III: Managing Sales
In Part III, we explain how to create accounts and contacts in your database
and how to locate existing records. We also show you how to create and
manage activities as well as leads, opportunities, and territories. You find
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Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 For Dummies
how-to information on notes and attachments. Then we get into the nittygritty and discuss some of the more complex functions of Microsoft CRM,
such as quotes, orders, and invoices (some of which benefit from integration
with an accounting system). In addition, we talk about sales literature and
how to track competitors.
Part IV: Making the Most of Marketing
Microsoft CRM 4 explodes with all kinds of capability in the marketing arena.
Combining the new Advanced Find function with quick campaigns and a
sophisticated campaign management system, Microsoft CRM enables you to
do more than just send out e-mails and letters. You’ll be able to follow the
progress of the campaign, create and delegate tasks, keep track of actual
costs compared to the campaign budget, and easily catalog and maintain the
responses.
Part V: Taking Care of Your Customers
Customer service is a big issue, no matter how big your company. In this
part, we show you how to track and manage customer service issues using
cases and the special Service Calendar. We talk about workflow and your
business processes and how Microsoft CRM can easily handle incoming service calls and e-mail and their responses using queues. We discuss contracts
and tiered levels of customer service and how to organize this division to
handle service issues efficiently and quickly.
Part VI: The Part of Tens
As new as Microsoft CRM is, third-party developers have brought many complementary products to the market. We discuss the best and most useful
we’ve found. And, just in case you still need assistance, we also discuss ten
ways to get help.
Additionally, two appendixes at the end of the book assist you with converting to Microsoft CXRM 4 and with managing your data.
Introduction
Icons Used in This Book
You don’t want to skip the helpful reminders noted by this icon.
This icon lets you know that some particularly geeky, technical information is
coming up. You can look past this if you want.
This icon points you to a trick that will save you time and effort.
Look to this icon to find out what to avoid if you don’t want your database to
blow up or cause you other types of anguish.
Where to Go from Here
If you’re a first-time user, we suggest you begin with Chapters 1–3 to get a
solid introduction to the basics of living with Microsoft CRM. Then check
out Part III, IV, or V, depending on whether you’re in sales, marketing, or customer service, respectively. If you’re charged with setting up CRM for your
company, you would do well to read Part I and then Part II. If you have questions or comments and want to contact us directly, please send us an e-mail
at dummy@ccc24k.com.
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6
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 For Dummies
Part I
Microsoft CRM
Basics
M
In this part . . .
icrosoft Dynamics CRM 4 is technically an update
to version 3, but it’s really a quantum leap beyond
what first came out almost three years ago. In addition to
smoothing out a few rough edges, Microsoft has added a
Live — which, to most of us, means hosted — version
of CRM. There are also three levels of server software,
appropriate for small, mid-level, and enterprise-type
organizations.
Microsoft CRM integrates with Outlook and the Web and
is now much easier to use. If you’re one of the 92 million
Outlook users, Microsoft CRM is the comfortable, organizational upgrade you’re looking for.
In this first part, you find a general discussion of the features and benefits of Microsoft CRM and how best to navigate through the screens, even if you’re navigationally
challenged. You can even set up internal announcements;
this is discussed in Chapter 3.
Chapter 1
Taking a First Look at
Microsoft CRM 4
In This Chapter
Keeping track of contacts
Integrating CRM with an accounting system
Exploring the differences between Live and On-Premise
Being mobile
Using Standard, Professional, and Enterprise
Migrating from one version to another
Figuring out whether CRM is for you
Following a plan for a successful implementation
P
ersonal information managers (PIM) and contact management systems
(CMS) were introduced in the mid-1980s. Both PIM and CMS enabled
you to organize the names, addresses, and phone numbers for all of your
business contacts. PIMs were superseded by sales force automation (SFA)
systems in the late 1980s. Products such as ACT and GoldMine initially combined scheduling functions with contact management. By the mid-1990s,
these systems evolved into simple customer relationship management (CRM)
systems, attempting to involve not just salespeople but also customer service and management.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 (that’s the official name) is the next generation of
CRM systems. Microsoft CRM is based on .NET (pronounced dot-net) technology, pioneered by Microsoft. Not only does Microsoft CRM have functionality
for sales, customer service, and now marketing, it takes great advantage of
the Internet, or more specifically, Web services. This Web service focus is
what defines the .NET strategy. In a nutshell, Web services enable applications to be easily integrated, rapidly configured to meet your business needs,
and extended to both internal and external users.
10
Part I: Microsoft CRM Basics
Tracking Your Contacts
Microsoft CRM has a record type or entity called a contact. A contact, in this
sense, is a person. It’s a concept taken from Microsoft Outlook. In fact, contact records from Outlook are directly transferable into contact records in
Microsoft CRM.
Microsoft CRM calls company records accounts. Companies (accounts) and
the people who work at each of them (contacts) can be related to one
another within the system.
A contact is a person and an account is a company. A customer is either a
person or a company.
We often hear company executives say that their most important corporate
asset is their database of prospects and clients. We couldn’t agree more.
Neglecting, for the moment, all the powerful tools within CRM, the most basic
thing is what pays off the quickest. And that quick payoff results from having
one central, organized, accessible, repository for all the information relating
to your customers and prospects. Even if you never create any workflow
rules, never connect the system to a Web site, or never automate your quotation system, you’ll be miles ahead just by organizing your data into one
coherent database.
You want to store other kinds of information in Microsoft CRM, too. The system
is going to be your universal reference tool — your Rolodex, your personnel
directory, and your Yellow Pages all in one place. You also want to have records
for vendors, employees, and competitors.
In addition, Microsoft CRM holds important information that will help you
manage and make better-informed decisions about your business. That information includes opportunities to track your sales cycles, cases to track customer service issues, and campaigns to track the results of your marketing
campaigns.
Communicating with the Outside World
Far and away, the primary reason that companies lose accounts is that the
customer thinks no one is paying attention. Microsoft CRM gives you the
tools to counteract this perception, which, with regard to your firm, is certainly a wrong one. Right?
Chapter 1: Taking a First Look at Microsoft CRM 4
A handful of ways exist to communicate with customers, and CRM handles
most of them:
Scheduling calls and appointments: Of course, you’ll schedule all of
your calls and appointments using CRM through Outlook.
Faxing: This is built into Microsoft CRM Small Business Edition.
E-mailing: Outlook is the champion of all e-mail systems. It’s practically
the de facto standard. Whether you’re operating in online or offline
mode, you have the ability to integrate your e-mail with the CRM system.
This includes the ability to create e-mail templates and e-mail merge
documents to rapidly communicate with your customers.
Printing: You can merge and print letters as long as you have Microsoft
Word (which, as part of the Microsoft family of products, is well-integrated
with CRM).
Integrating with Accounting
In the early years of CRM systems, many companies were reluctant to allow
their salespeople access to accounting information. Fortunately, the pendulum has swung back, with the best thinkers realizing that it’s helpful for salespeople to have more knowledge, not less. Microsoft has developed links to a
line of applications it owns called Dynamics (of which Microsoft Dynamics
CRM is a part). These links include the ability to share customer, product,
invoice, and billing information.
Links to other accounting packages, such as those from Intuit and Sage SAP,
are provided by third-party developers.
Why integrate?
Surely no sales manager wants his or her people spending their time trying to
close another deal with an existing customer when that customer hasn’t paid
for the previous six orders stretching over the last eight months. Nor would a
discerning sales manager want a salesperson quoting a deal that would put
customers over their existing credit limit without taking the credit situation
into account. By integrating Microsoft CRM with your accounting system,
your users and sales managers have the information they need to avoid these
situations.
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Part I: Microsoft CRM Basics
Conversely, before a credit manager calls an existing client in an effort to collect a past-due payment, it may be important for the manager to understand
that the sales department is on the verge of closing a megadeal with that very
same client. Although the credit department would certainly want to collect
that money, understanding the current sales situation may affect how the
credit manager’s conversation is conducted.
Other accounting systems
Most competitors claim to have integration with one or more accounting packages. Most of the time, a third party does this integration, and that situation
has some major disadvantages. If you’re relying on three separate companies —
your CRM vendor, your accounting vendor, and a third-party developer — to
coordinate your front-office and back-office operations, you could be in trouble.
One of the ongoing problems occurs when your CRM vendor or your accounting vendor upgrades. That upgrade immediately requires an upgrade to at
least one of the other packages. Microsoft has gone a long way toward solving
this dilemma because it controls both ends and the middle. Look for integration that is much better coordinated than what has been available in the past.
Setting Up Business Processes
One of the most powerful features in Microsoft CRM is workflow rules. These
rules provide a way to automate many routine functions in your organization,
such as following up with standard letters after an appointment or alerting
members of your team to account-related deadlines.
If you prefer to have Microsoft CRM work for you, rather than you work for it,
you should consider implementing workflow rules after you get past the initial effort of organizing all your data.
Every business has processes. Sometimes they aren’t well documented, so
they aren’t obvious. An example of a process is how your company handles
leads from prospective customers.
While designing and customizing your soon-to-be CRM system, you should
also analyze (and improve) all of your processes.
Good process development has several basic principles:
Assigning tasks: The first principle is properly assigning responsibility.
Each task that needs to be accomplished should have one primary
person assigned to it, not a team of people.
Chapter 1: Taking a First Look at Microsoft CRM 4
Feedback: Every step of every task should be confirmed. Amazon.com
has this procedure down pat. If you aren’t sure about proper feedback,
order a book from Amazon. Almost any For Dummies book will do. When
you place the order, you get an order confirmation. When the book is
shipped, you get a shipping confirmation. And you may very well get
some after-the-fact follow-up. (All in an effort, of course, to sell you more
books). Their process is well done, and you may want to pattern your
processes after theirs.
Escalation: Just because a phone call is assigned, don’t assume that it
will be completed. Plan your processes under the assumption that, even
with the best of intentions, things fall through the cracks. Give each
team member a reasonable amount of time to accomplish a task. If the
task isn’t completed, make sure that the next person on your organization chart is notified. Continue escalating and notifying until something
is done about the situation.
Reporting and measuring: It isn’t a real process unless you can measure
it and then improve it. Design into each process an appropriate report
that allows the necessary analysis that leads to continual improvement.
A good way to begin designing a process is to mock up the reports first.
These reports help determine what data is necessary for proper tracking.
With workflow rules, you can program the business process you design.
Workflow rules can access any of the data files in Microsoft CRM and create
activities for your users or send out correspondence through fax or e-mail.
These rules can notify you of overdue activities and can escalate important
issues.
Implementing business processes within the scope of workflow rules is the
heart and mind of a good CRM system and is also probably the most underutilized area of CRM. Too often, companies relax after their data is properly
imported and their users have received a little training. Properly implemented workflow rules will pay you back for your investment many times
over. Do not neglect this powerful feature!
Coordinating Microsoft CRM
with Your Success Plan
A disappointing number of CRM projects don’t live up to their expectations.
The first issue to consider is the one of expectations. The second issue
involves planning.
If all your expectations are built on what you heard from your salesperson or
what you read in the promotional materials, you may be in for an unpleasant
surprise. And, of course, the old axiom applies: If you fail to plan, you plan to
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Part I: Microsoft CRM Basics
fail. Microsoft has released a comprehensive CRM planning guide. It’s available
on their Web site at www.microsoft.com/downloads/thankyou.aspx?
familyId=1ceb5e01-de9f-48c0-8ce2-51633ebf4714&displayLang=en,
or at www.consultcore.com/dummies.htm
Defining your goals
You may be tempted to wing it. Maybe someone promised the sales staff that
a system would be in place before the next annual sales meeting, and that
was 11 months ago. If you’re thinking you have a month to buy the software
and get it implemented, forget about it. You should do your project in bitesized chunks, with measurable goals at each step.
The first step in a project with the complexity of a Microsoft CRM implementation is to do a needs analysis. Most of the more sophisticated dealers do
this for you, although you should expect to pay for it. Some dealers offer a
free needs analysis. Remember, you always get what you pay for.
A true needs analysis involves interviewing representatives from each
department that will be using the system. It involves collecting a considerable amount of information on what is being done at your company today
and how you want that to change. It involves determining what software may
meet your requirements and doesn’t presume that it’s necessarily Microsoft
CRM or any other system. A needs analysis includes detailed pricing, schedules, and the assignment of responsibilities.
We think a good needs analysis (or at least a detailed, written plan) is an
essential ingredient to a successful implementation.
Making Microsoft CRM part of
your client-retention program
Out of the box, Microsoft CRM comes prepared
to assist you with closing business with new
customers. It has records for leads that are
expected to grow into opportunities. It has fields
in the account and contact records that are
meant to assist you in organizing your efforts to
make a deal.
With a little forethought and customizing, you
can use Microsoft CRM to ensure that you keep
the customers you already have. CRM vendors
have put little emphasis on customer retention,
but it is relatively simple and will provide that
return on your investment that everyone looks
forward to generating.
Chapter 1: Taking a First Look at Microsoft CRM 4
Microsoft provides some documents that you can refer to if you decide to go
it alone. Look in the Planning Guide for basic planning documents to make
sure you get the most out of your system. The Planning Guide can be downloaded for free from www.consultcore.com/dummies.htm
Implementing a pilot program
Everyone is conservative by nature when thinking about spending money. So
a pilot program is often a useful way to make sure the project will be successful. Typically, a pilot program involves a select group of users, not the entire
company. If you’re going to go this route, make it a representative sample,
not just the brightest or most enthusiastic people and not just people in one
small department.
Many projects never get beyond the pilot stage because a hundred or a
thousand steps are needed to implement any project like this successfully.
Invariably, as the pilot project struggles to the finish line, you find two or
three nagging items that have not been conquered. And these unresolved
items are what everyone is suddenly focused on. In some people’s minds,
these unfinished items remain a good reason to declare failure or to refuse to
move on to the full rollout.
Before beginning the pilot, you must define what determines success. Write
these conditions down and make them known to all. If they’re met, trigger full
rollout automatically.
Live versus On-Premise
Probably the most significant development in version 4 is the appearance of
the Live version of Microsoft CRM. Live actually just means hosted or is sometimes also referred to as software as a service (or SaaS). All of this terminology comes down to one thing: with Live, you don’t buy it, you rent it. The
On-Premise version is the more traditional, “you buy it, you install it, you
own it” variety.
With Microsoft CRM Live, you don’t own the software. Instead, you temporarily (as long as you keep paying) own the right to use the software on someone
else’s server, either a third-party hosting company’s server or Microsoft’s itself.
Everything seems to come full circle. In the beginning of the computer era,
software ran on big, mainframe servers, and we all shared time on them. Then,
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Part I: Microsoft CRM Basics
in the early ’80s, the IBM PC revolutionized how we all computed. Suddenly, we
were all one-on-one with our own computers. And that gave most of us a feeling of control over what we were doing. There was no longer any pleading with
a computer operator to please, please load the tape that has the data we need.
Operating systems and software became so complicated by the late ’90s that
there was a movement toward leaving the management of servers and software to hosting companies. In the CRM field, this movement was lead by
Salesforce.com, the pioneer in hosted CRM. Microsoft’s response to the growing enthusiasm for hosted systems is CRM Live. The landscape is a bit more
crowded now, however, with entries from Entellium and from Kyliptix.
There are several concerns among people considering whether to adopt a
hosted version or an On-Premise version, including:
Security
Access
Total cost of ownership
These are discussed in greater detail in the next few sections.
Security
Many people had an initial unease about having some unknown person or entity
managing their most critical data — namely, their customer lists. This author
was among those with that skepticism. But we need to look at the reality.
Most organizations, especially smaller ones, don’t have the sophisticated
kind of data centers that hosting companies possess. Good hosting companies do daily backups, have server redundancy, have multiple hosting sites in
case of natural disaster, and have disaster recovery plans. The good ones
always keep their operating systems current and update the application software you’re using with the most current patches.
If your organization doesn’t have the resources to do all of this, your skepticism should be tempered by the realization that your data is probably more
secure with a professional hosting company than it is being managed by the
boss’s brother-in-law who comes in one evening a week.
Access
Another issue with hosted systems is actually getting to the data. If you don’t
have Internet access you can’t log into the system. Yes, there is an offline
Chapter 1: Taking a First Look at Microsoft CRM 4
version of CRM, which is discussed below. However, many people believe it’s
critical for them to work with their data even when no Internet is available.
Let’s be honest with ourselves here. There are very few places most of us go
without access to the Internet. Okay, airplanes, at least so far, although several major airlines have recently announced plans to provide in-flight Internet
access.
Typically, whether you’re at home, in a hotel room, at a customer site, or at
the local coffee shop or burger joint, some kind of Internet access is almost
always available. This argument about needing consistent access is becoming
less and less tenable.
Total cost of ownership
How do the costs between owning and renting compare? Typically, CRM systems, and software in general, has a life expectancy of three to seven years.
How long you use a particular piece of software has a profound effect on its
cost of ownership and how well renting compares to buying.
In general, if you’re going to use the software for only a short time (24-36
months or less) renting is almost always the more cost-effective approach.
However, there are many factors. We have designed a spreadsheet you can
use to analyze your situation. The spreadsheet allows you to enter your own
numbers and then displays a graphic illustrating the five-year comparative
costs of hosted vs On-Premise software. You can download the spreadsheet
for your own use at www.consultcore.com/dummies.htm. Figure 1-1 illustrates a typical scenario. In the figure, we used $59 per month per user as the
hosted cost and a little over $1,000 per license for the purchase option.
TCO Comparison between On-Premise,
and Hosted Systems
Dollars
150,000
Figure 1-1:
The total
cost for a
25-user
hosted
system
versus that
same
system OnPremise.
On-Premise
100,000
50,000
Hosted
0
1
8
15 22 29 36 43 50 57
Months
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Part I: Microsoft CRM Basics
Being Mobile
So, what do you do when you’re on an airplane from New York to
Johannesburg for 16 hours without Internet access? Well, we suggest you
read a book or watch a movie, but if you really need to be productive, you
can be. Microsoft CRM provides offline access to your CRM data.
You can select the data you need to take with you on the road and download
it to your laptop via Outlook. While disconnected, you can review and update
data related to your accounts. When your feet are back on the ground and
you have Internet access, you can synchronize your data with the Microsoft
CRM server.
Microsoft CRM Mobile — as of this writing (spring 2008) the CRM Mobile
functionality that allowed you access via various handheld devices, such as
BlackBerries and Treos, hasn’t yet been released for version 4. If you want to
operate remotely with a handheld device, keep your eye out for Microsoft’s
release, which is imminent, or you can search out a third-party product.
Server Editions
Every server running Microsoft CRM 4 requires a server license. Three levels
of licenses are available:
Workgroup
Professional
Enterprise
These are discussed more fully in the next few sections. There ought to be
a convenient and cost-effective path to upgrade from one level to the next.
There doesn’t seem to be, so your initial purchase decision needs to be well
considered.
Workgroup
The Workgroup Server license is intended for the smallest organizations. You
get five user licenses, and that’s it. You can’t expanded it beyond five. This is
a competitive and cost-effective approach if you’re certain you won’t ever
grow beyond this number. If you do outgrow the Workgroup Server license,
you’ll need to buy either a Professional or an Enterprise license.
Chapter 1: Taking a First Look at Microsoft CRM 4
Workgroup Server runs on Windows Server 2003 and Windows Small Business
Server 2003.
Professional
If you “go Professional,” you’re limited only by the number of user licenses
you purchase — and you can always buy more as you grow. The Professional
license supports single tenancy, which means you can install only one copy of
the software on one server. Although that may sound like the right ticket, the
Enterprise license provides a lot more flexibility and power.
Professional runs on Windows Server 2003 and Windows Small Business
Server 2003.
Enterprise
The whole “multi” family comes into play when you own the Enterprise Server
license. This applies to multi-tenancy, multi-currency, and multi-language.
Even if you have no intention of being a hosting center for other companies,
you can have a complete test bed with the Enterprise license. That means
you could have a development version, a test version, and a production of
CRM. That’s a good thing!
If you operate in several countries, you can take advantage of multiple currencies and multiple languages. John in New York can work in English and
enter forecasts in dollars while Miguel in Buenos Aires can work in Spanish
and enter his forecasts in pesos.
Migrating from one version to another
As of this writing, Microsoft just doesn’t have a good plan for migrating from
one version to another. For example, if you outgrow the Professional Server
and now want the Enterprise Server, you need to buy and install Enterprise
Server without any credit for the fact that you already own most of it. So, you
and your CRM analyst need to do the best possible job of planning for future
growth.
We haven’t seen a good migration plan from the Live version to On-Premise
either. All in due time, probably. We almost always recommend the Enterprise
Server. You won’t be likely to outgrow that one!
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Part I: Microsoft CRM Basics
Using Microsoft CRM Successfully
The difference between a successful implementation and a flop is often the
investment of a little more time, thought, money, and commitment. Microsoft
CRM won’t let you down as long as you do the following:
Have a needs analysis completed by a competent dealer. Spend the
money. It’s well worth it.
Make sure that every user finds an advantage to using the system.
Otherwise, you won’t get good acceptance or consistent use, which will
inevitably lead to the collapse of the system. You have to sell your team
on it. Solicit ideas from team members. Have each of them invest in the
effort.
Plan your technology infrastructure. Microsoft CRM demands a series
of servers (or at least a Small Business server) and good network connectivity. You may need to update your operating systems and install
SQL and Exchange servers.
Organize your existing data. You probably have your data in more
places and formats than you realize. Take a survey of all your users so
you know the location of all the data. Plan to eliminate unnecessary
records and collect as much missing information as possible.
Install your Microsoft CRM software and customize it with regard to
any additional fields and reports you need.
Set up your organizational structure with business units, roles, and
teams.
Import all the data and train your users almost simultaneously. As
soon as training is complete, you want your users to have immediate
access to their own data so they can start using it before they forget
what they learned in class.
Don’t take your eyes off of your data. As soon as you turn your back
on the data, it will turn into garbage. Put someone in charge of data
integrity.
Plan to continually improve the system. The system will never be finished and will never be perfect. It’s a process that evolves and changes
as your organization changes. Don’t lose sight of where you came from.
Chapter 2
Using the Outlook Client — Or Not
In This Chapter
The Microsoft CRM Online Outlook Client
The Microsoft CRM Offline Outlook Client
The Microsoft CRM Web Client
What’s New in the Microsoft CRM4.0 Outlook Client
M
icrosoft CRM is all about choices. It is very empowering, but it can
also get confusing. It can be used in two ways: through the Web or
through Outlook (offline or online).
In this chapter, we look at the various ways to access Microsoft CRM.
Microsoft calls these clients. The three clients in which you can access
Microsoft CRM are:
The online Outlook client: Access MS CRM within Outlook. The CRM
data is read over the internet on the corporate server.
The offline Outlook client: Access MS CRM within Outlook without an
Internet connection. When you are back online, you will automatically
synchronize with the corporate server.
The Web client: Access MS CRM with Internet Explorer 6.0 and higher.
We use the Microsoft CRM Web client in the figures throughout this book.
Except as described in this chapter, the other clients look and feel about the
same. Most people use either the Outlook clients or the Web client, but you
don’t really have to make a permanent choice: You can log into one in this
session and into another in your next session.
In Microsoft CRM 3, the functionality of the Outlook client was significantly less
than that of the Web client. In version 4, that gap has narrowed considerably.
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Part I: Microsoft CRM Basics
The Microsoft CRM Online Outlook Client
The Outlook client requires that you have software on your computer. This
is the first difference between the Outlook client and the Web client, which
requires no Microsoft Outlook 2003 / 2007, and Internet Explorer 6.0 sp1 or
higher software on your computer. The significance is that when you have
any client software on your computer, you need to do a small amount of
maintenance. You’ll need to be sure that you’re on the same version of the
software as that of your server. Microsoft Outlook 2003 / 2007 is part of the
Microsoft Office suite and is purchased independently from CRM. MS CRM
comes with integration software that enables MS Outlook to communicate
with it. Before installing MS CRM Outlook software, the client must have
Outlook and Internet Explorer 6.0 sp1 or higher installed.
The “online” part means that you’re using Outlook online. (That is, you must
have Internet access.) When you interact with Microsoft CRM using the
online Outlook client, you’re updating the main database directly.
One of the differences between the Outlook client and the Web client is that
the Outlook client offers you the option of simultaneously updating your
Outlook data when you update your CRM data.
When you open Outlook with CRM installed, you see some new items on the
Outlook toolbar (Figure 2-1), in the Shortcuts pane (Figure 2-2), and in the
CRM folder (Figure 2-3). As you click on these new tools, you’ll see that the
associated Microsoft CRM objects appear in the main Outlook screen. These
Microsoft CRM objects look and work like their counterparts in the Web
client and in the offline Outlook client.
The CRM Outlook software is a single application that works in two different
modes: Online and Offline. Offline simply means you are caching your data
locally because you have no internet connection. When you do have a connection, you will be automatically synchronized with the server. An option to
go Online/Offline is an option in the toolbar.
Figure 2-1:
The
Microsoft
CRM
toolbar.
The Microsoft CRM toolbar is a set of six horizontal icon/text combinations
that appear below Outlook’s normal menu and e-mail options toolbar. This
Chapter 2: Using the Outlook Client — Or Not
custom toolbar lets you create record types and activities that coexist in
Microsoft CRM and in Outlook. It includes the following tools:
CRM: This screen shows you which version of CRM you are on.
New Activity: Lets you schedule an appointment that appears in both
Microsoft CRM and in Outlook. You can link the appointment to an
account, contact, or opportunity in Microsoft CRM.
New Record: Lets you add a new contact record, which appears in both
Microsoft CRM and in Outlook.
Track in CRM: Lets you convert selected e-mail messages into Microsoft
CRM activities. In this way, you can store and view the e-mail messages
on the Activities tab associated with a specific account, contact, or
opportunity.
Set Regarding: Let’s you set a parent record, in CRM, for the new activity created.
Advanced Find: Let’s you search on multiple fields to find records.
The CRM Outlook Shortcuts contains six folders: Marketing, Resource Center,
Sales, Service, Settings, and Workplace. (See Figure 2-2.)
Marketing: This folder allows you to create and manage leads, campaigns, and sales literature.
Resource Center: This folder contains information for the new user,
including best practices and training material.
Sales: This folder allows you to create and manage accounts, contacts,
leads, and opportunities.
Service: This folder allows you to create and manage cases and contracts. This is also where the knowledge base is configured.
Settings: This folder contains administrative tasks. Here you can manage
announcements, set up users and security, configure e-mail options and
rules, and configure your system settings.
Workplace: This folder allows you to create and manage your calendar,
personal work items, and knowledge base, and it reports all in one area.
You can also work with your accounts and contacts in this area.
Figure 2-2:
The Outlook
Shortcuts
pane.
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Part I: Microsoft CRM Basics
The CRM menu offers the following options (see Figure 2-3):
New Activity: Lets you schedule an appointment that appears in both
Microsoft CRM and in Outlook. You can link the appointment to an
account, contact, or opportunity in Microsoft CRM.
New Record: Lets you add a new contact record that appears in both
Microsoft CRM and in Outlook.
Go To: An option that allows you to select one of the six shortcuts:
Marketing, Resource Center, Sales, Service, Settings, and Workplace.
Advanced Find: Lets you search in multiple fields to find records.
Synchronize with CRM: This option synchronizes your local data with
Microsoft Outlook.
Go Online / Offline: Allows you to take your CRM data locally (Go
Offline) so that you have full access to CRM functionality when disconnected from the internet. Go Online synchronizes your local data with
the server database and then continues to use the server database
until you go offline. This option is extremely handy if you are on the
road often.
Import Data: Allows you to import records into CRM from an external
file.
Duplicate Detection: Allows you to define rules that constitute duplicate
records and define how to merge them together.
Options: Allows you to set your personal settings, such as default
records per page, which items to synchronize (contacts, appointments,
and so on), configure your Workplace, set formats (currency, time display, date display, and so on), and your base language.
Modify Local Data Groups: Allows you to create groups of records,
based on field values, to synchronize with Outlook.
Change Organization: This option allows you to uninstall Outlook CRM
software or re-configure it to point to a different server database. (For
example, if you have the software installed but move to a different
company.)
Disable Toolbar: Because most of the options listed here are accessible
via the shortcuts or CRM Toolbar, you may wish to simply disable this
toolbar.
Check For Updates: This option checks the Microsoft Web site for any
updates to the software.
Chapter 2: Using the Outlook Client — Or Not
Figure 2-3:
The CRM
Menu.
The Microsoft CRM Offline Outlook Client
The Microsoft CRM offline Outlook client looks and works like the online
Outlook client. The difference is that you’re offline, so the offline client must
store its data right on your laptop computer. The advantage of the offline
Outlook client is that you can use your computer on airplanes, at client sites,
or anywhere else where you don’t have Internet access.
The disadvantage of the offline Outlook client is that the data isn’t written
directly to your server database. Instead, it’s written to a local database that
you later synchronize with the server database when you’re back online. You
don’t see changes to the server database — and online users don’t see
changes to your database — until you synchronize your data.
In addition, synchronization can cause data conflicts. This isn’t a Microsoft
CRM problem: All synchronizing databases have data conflicts, and they all
need conflict resolution rules. This all sounds very academic, so let’s look at
a simple example:
Suppose you’re offline and you edit David Lee’s telephone number to
703-367-9571. Before you synchronize, someone at the main office edits that
same number to 703-367-9572. There is now a potential data conflict. Only
one of you will “win.”
Microsoft CRM uses the following conflict resolution rule: The person who is
synchronizing the data “wins.” That means that changes in the laptop database overwrite changes on the server when you log back on. That also means
that if you use the offline Outlook client, you should synchronize your data as
soon as possible after you make changes.
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Part I: Microsoft CRM Basics
When you sync from the server to your laptop, there should be no data conflicts because you presumably haven’t made any changes in your offline
client since the last time you went online.
Note that Microsoft CRM 4 has a new diagnostic tool that identifies records
that cause problems with synchronization. See the section, “What’s New in
Microsoft CRM 4.0 Outlook Client,” later in this chapter, for details.
As noted in the Online Outlook Client section, you launch the synchronization from the Microsoft CRM toolbar. Select the Go Offline option (assuming
that you’re online at the time). This lets you synchronize your current CRM
data with your local computer or, if you’re offline and are going online, send
all changed data from your local computer to the CRM server (Go Online).
The Microsoft CRM Web Client
The Web client is the access method used in the examples throughout this
book, so we don’t go into much detail here.
With Web access, you don’t need any software on your computer. You can
actually access your system from the lobby or business center computer in
a hotel.
You must do all setup and configuration tasks through the Web client.
However, as we mentioned earlier, you can use any of the clients during any
session. You don’t need to make a permanent selection of which client to use.
What’s New in Microsoft CRM 4
Outlook Client
Microsoft CRM 4 improves on version 3 by adding a number of new enhancements and features. These improvements, guided by customer evaluation,
are focused on end-user benefits, support for global organizations (in the
form of multi-language packs and currencies), and increased application scalability (running multiple instances of CRM 4 on the same physical machine).
Because you will not likely be working with CRM 4 in the back-end, the following enhancements are focused on regular usage of CRM.
Chapter 2: Using the Outlook Client — Or Not
The Diagnostic Tool: This is a standard part of the Outlook client.
In Windows, navigate to Start➪All Programs➪Microsoft Dynamics
CRM 4.0➪Diagnostics, to invoke the tool.
The Diagnostic Tool can identify records that cause problems with synchronization, and it can identify and resolve CRM add-ins that have been
disabled. It can analyze your log files and report to your support desk so
that your support people can provide you with better support. It can
check for updates and disable your system if you don’t have a mandatory update installed.
User interface enhancements: These enhancements include the
following:
• Promote up to 20 contact or appointment records at a time from
Outlook to Microsoft CRM. This saves time by allowing the enduser to highlight 20 contacts in Outlook and click on a single
button to send them to MS CRM.
• Synchronize tasks (available in version 3) as well as telephone
calls, letters, and faxes (all new in version 4).
• Set the Regarding feature for e-mail messages. (This links the
e-mail from Outlook to the parent account in MS CRM.)
You do this by clicking Track in CRM on the toolbar. After saving
the record, click View in CRM. If you’re using Outlook 2003, click
Regarding. If you’re using Outlook 2007, click Set Parent or Set
Regarding. Then click Save and Close.
• In Microsoft CRM 4, you can enter data into Outlook or into the
CRM windows, which means that you can now enter data into a
custom CRM data field.
• Auto Resolution for lookup fields: When you’re searching for a
value, you can get a list of all records meeting your search criteria.
• Converting activities: Convert an activity to an opportunity (available in 3.0) or to a lead, an opportunity, or a case. On the Actions
toolbar, click Convert Activity and then select from the options.
• Mail merge: In version 3, mail merge worked only from the Outlook
client. In 4, it works from the Web client as well.
Reporting services enhancements: These enhancements include the
following:
• Report Wizard: This allows you to create reports using an easy to
follow graphical display on demand. (In version 3, it was not possible to create reports within CRM.) This Report wizard allows you
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Part I: Microsoft CRM Basics
to group data; summarize data (totals and subtotals); present data
in tables, graphs, and charts; and print without exporting to Excel.
• Export to Excel: This was available in version 3. The new features
include exporting data from related entities and editing queries
after you create your spreadsheet.
Offline synchronization improvements: These improvements include
the following:
• Background synchronization: Instead of clicking Go Offline and
waiting while synchronization runs, you can synchronize continuously in the background. (Note that this puts an extra load on your
server.)
You can set this by doing the following: From the Outlook client on
the CRM menu, click Options, then click the Synchronization tab,
and select Synchronize Local Data Every X Minutes. It defaults to
every 15 minutes. The smaller you make the time interval, the
greater the extra load on your server.
• Changes to default synchronization settings: These are intended to
reduce the load on the server. You can still change the settings if
you like.
• Contacts aren’t synchronized: These include only your Outlook
clients, not all of the contacts in Microsoft CRM.
• Only records owned by the user are synchronized.
• Address book synchronizes every 24 hours: You can change this by
clicking Set Personal Options and then Synchronization. From the
resulting screen you can change all of your sync settings.
Chapter 3
Navigating the Microsoft
CRM System
In This Chapter
Touring the screen
Logging on
Getting around in CRM
Filtering records
Finding records
Using the Resource Center
I
n this chapter, we explain the main features of the most commonly used
screens — like the workplace — and provide you with the skills to get from
one screen to another without getting lost. The workplace, by the way, is the
central repository for everything that you have going on in your life as far as
CRM knows.
Whirlwind Tour of the Screen
The workplace is the first thing you see when you start Microsoft CRM, so that’s
where we begin our discussion of what’s what on the screen. Figure 3-1 shows
a typical workplace screen.
Many elements in CRM are context sensitive, which means that what they contain differs depending on what part of the program you’re viewing, what access
rights you have, or both. In addition, you can change your personal settings (as
we describe in Chapter 4). Those personal settings may further influence what
you see on each screen. And, one more caveat: Microsoft CRM is highly customizable. If someone in your organization or your CRM dealer has already
customized your system, your screens may not be exactly the same as those
that came out of the box. (For this book, we used all out-of-the-box screens.)
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Part I: Microsoft CRM Basics
Toolbar
Menu bar
Window
Figure 3-1:
A typical
workplace
with the
navigation
pane on the
left and the
Activities
window on
the right.
Navigation pane Navigation buttons
If you’ve used Microsoft products before, you’ll find that some of these
elements are familiar.
Navigation pane
The navigation pane is the column on the left side of the screen. As mentioned, many screen elements are context sensitive, but no area is more so
than the navigation pane. The navigation pane is split into two major
areas.Which button you click at the bottom — Workplace, Sales, Marketing,
Service, Settings, and Resource Center — determines what you see at the top.
Click Sales, for example, and you might see a screen like the one in Figure 3-2.
No matter which module you’re working in, the navigation pane is always
available, and you can use it to get back to the workplace at any time. For
those people just getting started with a CRM application or those coming
from a simpler system, it’s easy to get lost in what may seem to be a myriad
of similar screens. The Workplace button in the navigation pane is always
there for you, like a trail of bread crumbs leading you home.
Chapter 3: Navigating the Microsoft CRM System
Figure 3-2:
Clicking the
Sales button
displays a
list of your
current
leads.
If you’re suddenly lost while entering information, remember that Microsoft
CRM doesn’t automatically save data for you. So click the Save button (the
disk icon) on the toolbar before returning to the workplace.
Status bar
At the very bottom of the screen is the status bar with several indicators.
The Done indicator tells you that CRM has finished retrieving the information
you requested. If CRM hasn’t finished, you see an indication of what’s currently loading. If you see a pop-up icon in the status bar, hover your mouse
over it, and it will tell you whether pop-ups are blocked. The final indicator
shows your current Internet security properties. The possibilities are
Internet, Local Intranet, Trusted Sites, and Restricted Sites.
Window
The largest part of the screen is what we simply call the window (labeled in
Figure 3-1). What you see here depends first on which navigation button
you’ve clicked (Workplace, Sales, Marketing, Service, Settings, or Resource
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Part I: Microsoft CRM Basics
Center) and second on what you’ve clicked in the upper part of the navigation pane. For example, in Figure 3-3, we’ve clicked Workplace and then
Accounts (under Customers).
At the top of the window is the name of the area you’re currently working in.
Directly below the title of the window, you see the Look For field and its Find
button, as well as the View menu. You use these elements to filter records. We
talk more about filtering records later in this chapter in the “Filtering and
Searching for Records” section.
Next up is a row of toolbar buttons, such as the New button and a printer
icon. The toolbar in Figure 3-3 also shows two buttons with drop-down
menus, Create Quick Campaign and More Actions. Click the down-pointing
arrow, and a list of options appears. Quick Campaigns are part of marketing
and are discussed in Chapters 19 and 20.
Window’s toolbar
Window’s title
Column headings
Figure 3-3:
The
Accounts
window.
Click to preview record.
Window
Record
Chapter 3: Navigating the Microsoft CRM System
Records are displayed in the main display area of the window. You can view
any record that appears here by simply double-clicking it. To preview additional details about a record displayed in the window, click the arrow to the
left of the record name. A small window, called the preview, appears in the
lower part of the screen with more fields than CRM shows in the listing in the
main window. However, you can’t edit a record in the preview window.
At the top of the record list, you see the column headers. Click a column
header to sort the records into ascending or descending order. To change the
sort order for a particular column, click the column header again.
To select one record for some type of action, such as sending an e-mail, highlight the record. You can select all the records on a page by clicking the top
check box (the one that is a column header).
Selecting all the records in the manner just described selects only those
records displayed in that particular window, one screen at a time.
Many windows, particularly those with a list view such as the Accounts
window, have a refresh button just to the right of the column headers. If
you’ve modified a record but there’s no evidence of that change in the
window, click the refresh button.
Several elements appear at the bottom of the window. The first is the scroll
bar. Next, you see a row indicating how may records appear in the window
and how many of those records are selected. The current page number is on
the far right. When a list has more than one page, the arrows surrounding the
page number are no longer dimmed, and you can use them to move from one
page to another.
The final element (in the list view) is the CRM alphabet bar. Click a letter in
the alphabet bar, and you see only records beginning with that letter. This is
a quick way to sort and find records.
First Things First — Signing On
Now that we’ve described some of the basic screen terminology, it’s time to
talk about navigating through the CRM system. But before you can navigate
to and through Microsoft CRM, you have to sign on. Although that sounds
like a simple thing, you might encounter a gotcha or two.
Microsoft CRM doesn’t require a separate login for the program, like other CRM
systems you may have used. It’s integrated with Microsoft Active Directory,
which means that it gets your login information from your computer. However,
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Part I: Microsoft CRM Basics
before you can access CRM, your administrator must set you up in the
system with at least one security role. Your role in the organization and your
access rights determine, to a large part, what sections of the system you can
get to and what you can do when you’re there. For more on roles and access
rights, see Chapter 8.
If your browser has a pop-up blocker enabled, this may prevent you from even
getting into Microsoft CRM. From the Internet Explorer main toolbar, go to
Tools➪Pop-up Blocker➪Turn Off Pop-up Blocker. However, this may not be
enough if you have other pop-up blockers enabled. For example, if you use
Yahoo!, it has its own pop-up blocker (on its main toolbar) that you must also
disable. You may also need to add the MSCRM URL as a trusted site in your
browser.
The Workplace Is Your Starting Point
The mysteries of Internet connectivity and pop-up blockersare one thing to
conquer. The next is actually getting CRM to appear on your screen. There
are two common ways to access CRM – either directly via Outlook or via your
web browser. I have the URL for my CRM system as one of my favorites in my
browser. After you enter your username and password and click OK, CRM
automatically brings you to your workplace. Ta da!
If you’re working directly on your LAN, you might not get prompted for a
username or password because your IT dept may have automated this step
for you.
The workplace isn’t only the first place you see after signing on, it’s the place
you should always go back to if you find yourself adrift in a sea of screens.
Just click the Workplace button in the bottom portion of the navigation pane
to go back to the workplace.
The CRM program contains six modules: Workplace, Sales, Marketing,
Service, Settings, and Resource Center. The three application modules —
Sales, Marketing, and Service — can contain many individual records, such as
an account (a company your business works with), a contact (an individual
your business works with), or a case (a record relating to a service issue). In
this section, we discuss how to get to the application modules and, from
there, how to get to individual records.
Navigating at the application level
You can navigate to the three application modules from the workplace in two
ways: the navigation pane or the Go To menu (on the menu bar). Our choice is
Chapter 3: Navigating the Microsoft CRM System
to use the navigation pane, which contains buttons for all six modules
(including the workplace). If you instead choose the Go To menu, you are
presented with a drop-down list of the same six choices available in the
navigation pane.
The Settings module is one you’ll visit infrequently, when you want to change
a personal setting on your system. That leaves the three application modules:
Sales, Marketing, and Service, plus the Resource Center. Depending on your
role in your organization, you’ll probably spend most of your day in just one
of these modules.
At the application level, the windows you see are similar to those of the workplace, but they do have a few differences. Figure 3-4 shows a sample
Sales/Opportunities list view.
Figure 3-4:
Everyone I
should be in
touch with
all the time.
Navigating at the record level
From the application level, you can drill down to the record level, where the
meat of your data actually lives. To access the record level, you simply
double-click a record in the particular window’s listing. Figure 3-5 shows a
typical contact record. The record level shows detailed information about
each subarea (Contacts, Leads, Opportunities, Accounts, and the like).
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Part I: Microsoft CRM Basics
Figure 3-5:
A typical
contact
record.
Your first navigation lessons
Navigating through the Activities window is typical of more general navigation through CRM. You almost always need to create and edit appointments
(which are a type of activity), so we use appointments as an example here.
You can create (also called schedule) an activity in many ways, but the fastest
and easiest way is to use the workplace:
1. At the bottom of the navigation pane, click the Workplace button.
2. At the top of the navigation pane, click Activities.
The Activities window appears.
3. On the Activities window’s toolbar, click the New button.
The New Activity dialog box appears.
4. Double-click the icon for the activity you want to create.
You’re creating an appointment, so you double-click Appointment. A
window appears for entering the relevant information, as shown in
Figure 3-6.
5. Enter text in all the necessary fields.
For an appointment, enter the subject (why you’re making the appointment),
the account or contact with whom you’re scheduling the appointment, and
all scheduling information. For more detailed information on how to fill
out these fields, skip ahead to Chapter 14.
Chapter 3: Navigating the Microsoft CRM System
Figure 3-6:
Scheduling
an appointment.
6. CRM doesn’t save anything until you tell it to, so click the Save and
Close button (below the menu bar).
You return to the workplace.
Now that you’ve created an appointment, you can practice changing one.
This should be even easier. We’ll start from the Activities window:
1. In the Activities window, find and then click the activity you want to edit.
The activity opens, enabling you to review and change it. If you were
changing an appointment, you’d see a screen similar to Figure 3-6.
2. To change a field, highlight it and make your edits.
For example, you might want to change the scheduled time for an
appointment.
3. Before leaving the window, make sure you click the Save and Close
button.
You return to the workplace.
Now that you’ve worked on creating, viewing, and editing an appointment,
take a moment to check out another area of CRM: announcements. From the
workplace, click Announcements (under My Work) in the upper part of the
navigation pane. In the Announcements window, members of your team can
post messages to everyone about company-wide events or issues. For example,
you might use an announcement to send reminders about an upcoming price
change or a revised holiday schedule.
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Part I: Microsoft CRM Basics
Figure 3-7 shows some typical announcement postings. Clicking the link in
the Announcements window brings you directly to that posting. The posting
can include a link to a Web site containing additional information, if the person
posting the announcement decides to include it.
If an announcement is too long, or if several active announcements are displayed, a scroll bar appears at the right side of the window so you can review
all the posted material.
Figure 3-7:
A typical
company
announcement
window.
Filtering and Searching for Records
Since the dawn of mankind, humans have organized things. Of course, if you
organize things, you have to filter and search through them at some point. It
could be argued that you have to filter and search before you can organize,
but that’s sort of like trying to determine which came first, the chicken or the
egg. Well, Microsoft CRM doesn’t answer that question, but the program does
offer you an advanced, user-intuitive filter and search capability.
Chapter 3: Navigating the Microsoft CRM System
Filtering records
Now how is filtering different from searching? Basically, a filter is a type of search,
in that you give the program search criteria and the filter function hunts down all
the records that meet your search definition. You can apply this filtering to a list
of contacts or leads (people you’d like to sell your product to), to documents in
the knowledge base (a database of documents), to service activities (customer
issues), and more. You can use the function to find one record or a thousand
records.
In almost every workspace in Microsoft CRM, you’ll see a Search for Records
field below the window’s title and a View field to the right, as shown in Figure 3-8.
Figure 3-8:
If you View
this figure,
you’ll see
what you’re
Looking For.
You use the Search for Records field to enter information free form. If you’re
looking for an article on brakes, for example, you can type brakes in the
Search for Records field. If you’re looking for the guy who just called you at
the help desk (and got cut off) but all you remember is his first name, Rico,
you can type that first name in the Search for Records field. You might also
notice a magnifying glass icon at the right side of the Search for Records field.
Keep reading because we tell you how to use that icon in the next section.
Right next to the Search for Records field is the View field. Basically, this tells
the program where to search for and what to search while hunting for the
text you entered in the Search for Records field.
Here’s where the filter function shows its teeth. The options you find in the
View field drop-down box depend on what section of Microsoft CRM you’re
working in. For example, if you’re in Workplace, under Contacts, the options
are geared towards contacts, such as Active Contacts, My Active Contacts,
and Inactive Contacts. If you’re in Marketing, in the Campaigns workspace,
you get options such as My Campaigns and Launched Campaigns.
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Part I: Microsoft CRM Basics
Searching with the magnifying glass icon
Throughout Microsoft CRM, you’ll find a magnifying-glass icon to the right of
many fields. Whenever you see the magnifying glass, there’s a Look Up Records
dialog box waiting for you. Using this look-up feature, you can search almost
anything.
Just click the magnifying glass. Like the filter function, the options you see in
the Look Up dialog box depend on the field the icon is next to. Figure 3-9 is
the one you’ll see most often because it lends itself to most searches performed in Microsoft CRM. The drop-down list offered in the Type field can
have as few as two options to search in (say, Accounts and Contacts) or as
many as eleven, depending on the type of record you’re looking for.
Figure 3-9:
The most
common
Type dialog
window.
This one
comes from
the Activity
scheduling
window.
Searching with the Form Assistant
The Form Assistant is basically a wizard guiding you through the entry of
fields on forms. You can access and complete every field with a magnifying
glass using the Form Assistant, which is a window that appears on the right
side of virtually every form There is a skinny panel on the right side of the form
which you expand to access the Form Assistant, or you use CTRL-SHIFT-F. See
Figure 3-10.
Chapter 3: Navigating the Microsoft CRM System
Keep in mind that what the Form Assistant shows depends on the field you
want to complete.
Figure 3-10:
Your friendly
neighborhood Form
Assistant.
Searching with the Advanced Find feature
Almost all CRM software programs have some sort of advanced search feature, but they rarely measure up to the workhorse built into Microsoft CRM.
You can search for almost anything, from addresses to queues to roles to
views. The other cool thing is that you can access Advanced Find throughout
the program (in the main menu bar).
In this section, we look at using the Advanced Find feature locate selected
accounts. In this example, we search for accounts in NY or in NJ. (You can
find even more ways to use Advanced Find in Chapter 16.) Follow these steps:
1. Click the Advanced Find button on the main menu bar, or choose
Tools➪Advanced Find on the menu bar.
Your location in the program doesn’t matter. You can access Advanced
Find from Marketing, Sales, Service, the Resource Center — even Settings.
The Advanced Find dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 3-11, so you
can define the values of your search.
2. Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the Look For field to select
the area or item you want to search.
The list has 49 items (or more if you have customized field views).
Browse through them to see the available options. The options in the
Use Saved View field depend on the category you select in the Look For
field. Experiment by selecting various options in the Look For field and
then seeing your options in the Use Saved View field.
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Part I: Microsoft CRM Basics
Figure 3-11:
With
Advanced
Find, your
search
options are
almost
limitless.
3. (Optional) Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the Use Saved
View field to select the area or item you want to search.
If you don’t see any saved searches that suit your needs, skip that field
and continue on with the next step.
4. Choose your search criteria.
a. Move your cursor to the word Select below the window’s toolbar in
the Advanced Find window.
A field appears with a drop-down menu.
b. Click the field to open the drop-down box.
c. Select a field from the drop-down menu.
For example, if you select the State/Province field, this tells
Microsoft CRM the search you’re about to conduct looks first in
the State/Province field.
Note that after you make the State/Province selection, the word Equals
appears next to it. To the right of Equals is the phrase Enter Value. The
options in this third lookup file depend on the choices made earlier.
5. Choose the modifier.
a. Hover your cursor over the word Equals to display the field.
This should default to Equals, but always check before continuing.
We want Equals in this case, but you can also choose from Does
Not Equal, Contains, Does Not Contain, and so on.
b. Click in the field to open the drop-down box and select the option you
need.
6. Enter the value for your search.
a. Move your cursor over the words Enter Value and click in the field
that appears.
Chapter 3: Navigating the Microsoft CRM System
Again, these options depend on choices made in the previous
steps.
b. To follow along with the example, enter NY in the field.
By using the Group function you can select multiple values. In the
example shown in Figure 3-12, we search for Accounts in either NY
or in NJ. These must be grouped with the “Or” function because no
Account can possibly be in both States. Whether you are connecting values with ANDs or ORs, you have to specifically add a step
each time.
7. Click Save.
A window pops up, asking for a title of your search.
8. Enter a name for your search and click OK.
This convenient feature saves your search for future use.
Click the arrow by the Use Saved View field to see all saved searches.
Searches in System Views are available to everyone. Those in My Views
(including the one you just saved) are available to you.
9. In the Advanced Find window, click Find (in the lower-right corner) to
activate the search.
A new window appears showing you a list of all accounts meeting your
search criteria, as shown in Figure 3-12.
Figure 3-12:
Another
successful
search
using
Advanced
Find!
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Part I: Microsoft CRM Basics
Don’t see what you want? Or worse, your search results returned a gazillion
more hits than you thought it would? You can always click Back to Query to
return to your search criteria for further definition.
Using the Resource Center
The Resource Center is a new goodie in version 4. The link to it is prominently displayed at the bottom of the navigation pane. A typical Resource
Center window is shown in Figure 3-13.
Within the Resource Center, you find links to all sorts of help, white papers,
and community forums. You have access to a variety of problem-solving content, including current blog posts, newsgroup answers, and articles. You can
find more detailed information on the Resource Center in Chapter 28.
Figure 3-13:
A typical
Resource
Center
display.
Part II
Setting Things Up
I
In this part . . .
n Part II, you discover how to make the software fit you
and your organization. You read about personalizing
the system around your work habits and schedule. You
find out about security and access rights, territories,
roles, and business units.
If your organization is divided into departments (that is,
business units), you find out how to emulate that structure in CRM. We discuss territories, which are usually the
province of the sales manager, in this part as well.
If you’re going to do quotes in CRM, setting up a product
catalog is almost a necessity; you find that information in
this part also.
Because workflow is a key component to automating the
system around your company’s business processes,
Chapter 9 discusses designing and then implementing
workflow.
With Microsoft CRM, you can use built-in reports or create
your own. In Chapter 10, you find out how to run those
reports and how to develop template documents.
Chapter 4
Personalizing Your System
In This Chapter
Accessing your personal settings
Choosing your default start page, currency, and time zone
Setting up your workplace screen and choosing e-mail and language preferences
Understanding your user profile options
Establishing roles, teams, and office hours
O
ne of the first things you should do is set your personal options to control the way Microsoft CRM displays information. You can use these personal settings to streamline the system so it best suits your function in the
organization and your style. For example, you can determine which window
appears when you start Microsoft CRM each day. If your role is strictly in customer service, you might want the system to go directly to the list of your cases.
In this chapter, we discuss the choices you have and how to set them. It’s
unlikely that you’ll need to change every option, but it’s good to know what’s
available.
Customization is important, and the process shouldn’t take long. A little
attention to customization now will enable you to work more efficiently as
you become familiar with the system.
Tailoring the System to Suit Your Needs
You can streamline your use of CRM by setting your regular workday hours,
how you want your scheduled activities to appear, the starting point for the
system each morning, and many other options. Options like these are called
your personal settings. Basically, you’re telling Microsoft CRM how you like to
operate.
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Part II: Setting Things Up
To access your personal settings from the Web Client, follow these two steps:
1. At the bottom of the navigation pane, click the Workplace button.
An option to Personalize Workplace appears in blue just above the
Workplace button.
2. Click the Personalize Workplace option.
The Set Personal Options window appears, with the Workplace tab displayed by default, as shown in Figure 4-1.
Figure 4-1:
The Set
Personal
Options
window,
showing the
Workplace
tab.
CRM provides you with eight tabs, each of which affects various default settings and how information is displayed. Most of these settings do not affect
anyone other than you, so you should set them to please yourself. All dates in
MSCRM are converted to Universal Time when entered into the database;
make sure your time zone is set correctly if you share data with other users
in different time zones.
In the sections that follow, we cover adjusting the options on these tabs. After
you make changes on any of them, make sure to click OK to save your changes.
To see the results of any changes you make, log out and then back in.
General tab: Customizing a
variety of user preferences
Click the General tab (called Miscellaneous in prior versions of Microsoft CRM)
contains settings for what you want the system to display upon startup, how
Chapter 4: Personalizing Your System
many records you want to see at one time, how you want the Find function to
work, which time zone you work in, which currency you use, and whether you’d
like to display CRM in high contrast. The General tab is shown in Figure 4-2.
The first group of options on the General tab pertains to your default start
page. The Default Pane drop-down list offers you these six choices:
Workplace: This folder allows you to create and manage your calendar,
personal work items, knowledge base, and reports all in one area. You
can also work with your accounts and contacts in this area.
Sales: This folder allows you to create and manage accounts, contacts,
leads, and opportunities.
Marketing: This folder allows you to create and manage leads, campaigns, and sales literature.
Service: This folder allows you to create and manage cases and contracts. This is also where the knowledge base is configured.
Settings: This folder contains administrative tasks. Here you can manage
announcements, setup users and security, configure e-mail options and
rules, and configure your system settings. You can probably eliminate
this option as a reasonable choice. Selecting Settings means that every
morning when you sign on, CRM automatically starts up by allowing you
to change your Settings. This isn’t something you’re likely to do regularly. In fact, you’ll probably set it and forget it.
Resource Center: This folder contains information to the new user
including best practices and training material.
Figure 4-2:
You can tell
the system
how you
want to
operate,
rather than
have it be
in charge
of you.
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Part II: Setting Things Up
Note that the selections you see in the Default Tab option change depending
on your selection in the Default Pane option. For example, if you select
Settings as your default pane, you will see options for administrative tasks
such as user security, announcements and email rules. If you select Service
as your default pane, options for cases, contracts, and knowledge base
appear as selections in the default tab.
If your job function is primarily in sales, marketing, or customer service, it
might seem logical to select one of those choices as a starting point for your
day. This might work for you. However, we prefer to come in each morning
and see what’s on our agenda. This is best accomplished by setting the
Default Pane option to Workplace and the Default Tab option to Activities or
to Calendar.
To set your default start screen, follow these steps:
1. Set the Default Pane option as desired.
To do so, click the down arrow to the right of the field and then make a
selection. The options in the Default Tab option will change, but you
won’t be able to see that until you position your mouse in that field.
2. Set the Default Tab option as desired.
3. Click the OK button (at the bottom of the window).
Your new options are saved, but you won’t see the effect of this until the
next time you log into CRM.
Now on to the next option on the General tab — Records Per Page. Depending
on the size and resolution of the screen you’re using, you may want to change
the number of records that appear in each list. The smaller your screen or
the lower your resolution, the fewer lines you may want displayed at any one
time. On the other hand, if you have a large number of records and prefer just
scrolling up and down, set the number of records shown to a large number,
perhaps 100 or more. The default is 50 records per page; we usually set ours
a little higher.
Advanced Find Mode allows you to create more complex searches and save
search criteria for future use. You can take best advantage of this feature by
selecting the Detailed option. If you select the Simple mode instead, you can
use predefined searches but cannot create new ones yourself. Even if you
have no intention of creating Advanced Find searches right now, don’t limit
yourself by selecting Simple.
The Time Zone drop-down list contains time zones from all over the world.
Choose yours. The goal of setting your time zone is to coordinate your activities with other members of your team who may be dispersed throughout the
world. This assists in coordinating conference calls among team members.
Chapter 4: Personalizing Your System
For example, suppose you are in New York and set up a conference call with a
team member in Sydney, Australia. If you schedule your call for 4 p.m. Monday,
the call shows up on your Australian counterpart’s activity list for 8 a.m.
Tuesday (her time) — if she’s selected her correct time zone as well, that is.
The Currency box allows you to select the currency you’ll use when working
with Quotes, Invoices, Orders, and Opportunities.
The Enable High Contrast option improves the display of buttons and icons
in your system. Select this option if you have it selected in your operating
system or Web browser (such as Internet Explorer). (Selecting this option
will automatically reload your page.)
Workplace tab: Simplifying
your navigation pane
You use the Workplace tab in the Set Personal Options window (refer to
Figure 4-1) to define your role in your organization and to tailor the workplace. (As you may recall, a workplace is a page that allows you to create
and manage your calendar, personal work items, knowledge base, reports,
accounts, and contacts all in one area to show any combination of sales, marketing, service, and scheduling information.) When you select the Marketing
option, for example, marketing lists, campaigns, and quick campaigns become
available to you in the navigation pane. This list of options may look different
depending on how your system administrator or implementation partner
defined the options when setting CRM up.
Simply click to add the check mark from each of the four options in turn. As
you do so, more areas are displayed in the Preview panel on the left of the
check boxes you are clicking on. When all four workplace areas are turned
on, the maximum areas are available.
We recommend that you select just the one or two roles you usually play in
your organization. Selecting more won’t damage anything but will clutter the
screen with functions you don’t need. Our advice? If you’re in sales, select
Sales or Sales plus Marketing. If you’re in customer service, select Service or
Service plus Scheduling. If you’re in Marketing, don’t clutter up your workplace with Service schedules but do select the other three. Remember that
the workplace simply consolidates information from different areas as mentioned earlier. If, for example, you selected only Sales to be displayed in your
workplace but later needed access to Service information, you can simply
click on the Service short-cut in the left navigation pane. (For more on this,
please refer to Chapter 3.)
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Part II: Setting Things Up
Activities tab: Displaying appointments
and setting your work hours
Activities is the third tab in the Set Personal Options window. This is where
you to specify your default calendar view and the hours that you’re typically
in the office, as shown in Figure 4-3.
A good choice for the Default Calendar view is Weekly, which is shown in
Figure 4-4. The calendar view, whether daily, weekly, or monthly, displays
only appointments and none of the other activities, such as scheduled phone
calls or tasks. If you want to use any of the calendar views and you want a
realistic picture of what’s on your schedule, make everything an appointment. Please note that these options affect what you see in the graphical calendar (calendar view). We think a better option is to use the Activities view,
which shows all types of scheduled activities including appointments and
phone calls. (Please refer to Chapter 2 for more on using Outlook Client and
synchronizing MS Outlook with CRM.)
Figure 4-3:
The
Activities
options.
Chapter 4: Personalizing Your System
Figure 4-4:
The weekly
calendar
view.
The second set of options (Set Your Default Work Hours) enables you to specify your typical workday hours. Although a Start Time of 2 p.m. and an End
Time of 3 p.m. sounds appealing, you should set this more realistically as it
affects your calendar as well as scheduling. By default, your workplace calendar displays the hours you’ve selected as your regular work schedule. This is
also what everyone using the system sees as your official work hours. Enter
them wisely; other users of the system will schedule your calls, appointments,
and so on, within that range of hours. If you (or others) happen to schedule an
appointment outside those normal hours, it will still appear on your calendar.
Formats tab: Adapting CRM
to your part of the world
The Formats tab (see Figure 4-5) enables you to select from a pre-defined list
the manner in which CRM displays numbers, currency, time, and dates. For
example, if you choose the English (United States) option from the Current
Format drop-down list, when you log into CRM you see numbers 123,456,789.00,
currency with a dollar sign preceding it, time 8:30 AM, the short date in the
mm/dd/yyyy format, and the long date with the day of the week preceding the
day, month, and year.
You can additionally extend the pre-defined list by clicking the Customize
button and adjusting the options in the window that appears.
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Part II: Setting Things Up
Figure 4-5:
The Formats
options.
E-mail Templates tab: Speed the
process of handling e-mails
The E-mail Templates tab enables you to create and customize templates (predefined e-mails, e-mail body, subject, and so on) for almost every type of record
(account, contact, opportunities, and so on) in the database, assuming your
security level allows this. (We describe security and access rights in Chapter 8.)
The ones you create in this section are available only to you. To create templates for the entire organization, use the Settings tab of Microsoft CRM.
This important feature enables you to create a powerful array of standard
documents that you can use, for example, as automatic responses (see
Chapter 9 for more on working with workflows) to inquiries about your products or services. This is a great way to expedite your response to sales
inquiries. Unlike fine wine, leads never improve with age. From a list of templates you create, you can choose any template and create a bulk e-mail, also
known as a direct e-mail or an e-mail blast. Bulk e-mail is a way to send multiple e-mails at one time easily and automatically. Some people associate this
with spam. As long as you’re legitimately responding to someone’s inquiry or
have received permission to send electronic communications (also called optin mail), it is not spam and may be an effective way to handle many routine
business activities, including newsletters and special announcements.
It is probably to your professional advantage to include a way for your e-mail
recipients to opt out of receiving e-mail from you. For more information, read
the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 at www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/
canspam.shtm.
Chapter 4: Personalizing Your System
See Figure 4-6 for an example of e-mail template titles. From the E-mail
Templates tab, you can apply any of the templates to an email, or you can
create new templates by clicking the New button and following the instructions in Chapter 12.
Figure 4-6:
Seasoning
your e-mail
templates
to taste.
E-mail tab: Routing your CRM messages
The E-mail tab (see Figure 4-7) allows you to better control the onslaught of
incoming e-mail by letting you choose which type of e-mails are automatically
tracked in CRM. Your options are All Emails, Emails in Response to Those You
Sent Out or All Emails from Your Accounts, Contacts, and Leads in Your CRM
System. Microsoft has incorporated a token-based system into the system
which allows it to know if the e-mail should be copied to CRM or not.
From the Track drop-down list, if you select All E-mail Messages, all e-mail
that would normally go to your Outlook inbox goes also to Microsoft CRM
4.0. If you select E-mail Messages in Response to CRM E-Mail, only those messages sent in response to e-mails sent from Microsoft CRM are brought into
Microsoft CRM automatically. If you select E-mail Messages from CRM Leads,
Contacts, and Accounts, only e-mails from leads of customers are will be
saved in CRM.
Each method has its strengths and weaknesses. As a general rule, if you use
the Outlook Client for Microsoft CRM, you should have Microsoft CRM automatically capture e-mails with the tokens. If you typically use Internet
Explorer to access Microsoft CRM, select All E-mail.
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Part II: Setting Things Up
Figure 4-7:
Select
which
e-mails to
track.
Privacy tab: Indicating when
to report errors to Microsoft
Users of Windows XP will immediately recognize the options presented here
(see Figure 4-8). As with Windows, when MS CRM encounters an error, it can
send a detailed report to Microsoft. You can tell MS CRM to do so in three
ways: automatically, only with your permission, or never send a report. A
good practice would be to have an administrator set this option up as most
end-users aren’t sure what to do when they see this prompt.
Figure 4-8:
Handle
those error
messages.
Chapter 4: Personalizing Your System
Language tab: Choosing the
language you see onscreen
The last tab, Languages, allows you to select the language in which the main
interface and help files are presented. (See Figure 4-9.)
Figure 4-9:
Select your
language.
Establishing Your User Profile
Setting your user profile means telling the system (see the tip below) who
you are and your role in the organization.
Your user profile coordinates you with your organization, so it’s critical that
your profile is set up before you and the other users really start using the
system. The settings can always be changed as you go along and as your
roles change.
Depending on the rights you have to the system, you may need to approach
your system administrator to change your user profile.
Even if you don’t have the rights to tinker with these settings, you should
know what options are available so you can at least provide input to the
system administrator.
Your user profile enables you to record information about yourself and your
relationship to your company, such as your title, the teams you work on,
your roles in the organization, and the times you’re generally available. Your
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Part II: Setting Things Up
user profile settings enable you to participate in one or more team activities
(a team is a group of users which work together on specific records) and to
have a specific role in those activities. (Please review Chapter 6, “Managing
Business Units and Teams,” for more information on teams and roles.)
Anyone can view anyone else’s user profile in both the web and outlook
clients, but administrative rights may be required to make changes.
To navigate to the user profile area, follow these steps:
1. At the bottom of the navigation pane, click the Settings button.
A window with 10 choices appears.
2. Select Users.
The Users window appears.
3. Double-click the user (you) whose profile needs to be reviewed or
changed.
A window similar to the one in Figure 4-10 appears.
Figure 4-10:
Your user
profile
information.
Chapter 4: Personalizing Your System
Your user profile may be displayed as read-only if your security settings don’t
allow you to edit it. If this is the case, your system administrator has to make
any necessary changes for you.
Your user profile contains seven categories, each of which is displayed in the
upper part of the navigation pane. These seven categories are divided into
two groups: Details and Service. The Details group applies to everyone; the
Service group applies specifically to customer service personnel. We discuss
Service groups in detail in Chapter 22.
Under the Details group are the Information, Teams, Roles, Quotas, and
WorkFlows categories. You should go through each category sequentially to
view how your record is set up and determine whether any changes are
required. Each of these categories defines a different aspect of your role in
the organization, as we discuss in the sections that follow.
Providing general information
about yourself
When you click Information in the navigation pane, you see the User window,
with two tabs: General and Addresses. (Refer to Figure 4-10.) The fields
labeled in red are required; everything else is optional but recommended.
Most of
the fields on the General tab are self-explanatory, but these deserve further
explanation:
Domain Logon Name: The server or entire set of resources running your
CRM system.
Business Unit: The organization to which you directly report.
Manager: Your manager’s name. (This field may be important if your
system is designed to automatically escalate issues from one level of
management to another.)
Territory: Particularly in sales, efforts are usually divided into regions
or territories. Each salesperson is usually associated with one territory.
The Addresses tab allows for two separate addresses. Everyone in your company should use these the same way. We recommend that you use the office
address as the Mailing Address and your home address as the Other Address.
It could just as well be the other way around, but everyone in your company
needs to conform to the same method. This is because of the way they are
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Part II: Setting Things Up
stored in the database. Inconsistent entry makes it difficult for automating
certain tasks such as mailings to employees.
Joining teams to share records
You use Teams, the next selection in the navigation pane, to group users who
have the same basic role or who might need to share records.
Each user can be assigned to one or more teams. For example, you may be
involved in your company’s consulting efforts and also have some sales
responsibilities. By assigning yourself to both the consulting team and the
sales team, you assure yourself of being included in correspondence and
meetings for those two groups. All the teams in a particular organization are
displayed on the left. On the right are the teams to which the user is
assigned.
Viewing security roles
Roles is the third selection in the navigation pane. Click the Roles option in
the navigation pane to display the Roles window. Highlight the specific role
you want to see and then click Manage Roles from the window’s toolbar.
Microsoft CRM comes with a number of well-defined access rights, each associated with different roles that people perform in a company. For example,
there’s a well-defined set of access rights for an individual salesperson and a
different set for the manager of customer service. You should have at least
one role and could have several. These assignments are normally part of the
initial configuration of the system and are usually the responsibility of your
administrator.
Announcing which hours you’ll be working
This is where each user’s standard schedule is housed. You establish the typical work week and then add specific time off. If your organization runs more
than one shift, the Work Hours area is where you indicate which shift each
person is working. You can use this area also to indicate you’re working or
on vacation.
To view or edit your work hours, follow these steps:
Chapter 4: Personalizing Your System
1. At the bottom of the navigation pane, click the Settings button.
2. Select Users.
The Users window appears.
3. Select the user whose work hours you want to view by highlighting
that user and clicking Work Hours from the navigation pane.
The window shown in Figure 4-11 appears.
4. In the top-left area, click the Set Up button.
This button is the key to managing each user’s work hours. Three
options appear, enabling you to set a new weekly schedule, set a unique
schedule for one day at a time, or schedule time off. Each option displays a simple entry screen.
5. Choose an option, fill in the entry screen, and then click OK.
Monitoring workflows
The final category under Details is Workflows. The Workflows screen allows
you to monitor processes defined in your system. (These processes are
simply workflow jobs, such as automated follow-up calls for every new leads,
which are scheduled, running, or completed in the system.) We discuss workflows in detail in Chapter 9.
Figure 4-11:
Sometimes
at work;
sometimes
not.
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Part II: Setting Things Up
Chapter 5
Managing Territories
In This Chapter
Defining your territories
Managing your territories
T
erritories, teams, and business units are three organizational concepts
that are so closely linked that you need to understand all three before
deciding how to handle any one of them.
Territories are customer records managed and maintained by one or more
people in an organization. A team is a group of users who work together on
specific records. As one can imagine, some records might contain sensitive
information and some may contain information that may be viewed by others
but not edited. For example, Person A reports to a Manager A who reports to
Region Manager A. Region Manager A has full access to all his own records as
well as those accounts managed by his subordinates. The subordinates in
turn cannot edit accounts that are outside their territories or managed directly
by a supervisor. A business unit, then, is where an administrator creates and
manages security settings that dictate who can access what information.
Typically, you establish territories to manage sales in bite-sized chunks. You
probably want to develop a sales quota for your company in each territory
and then check forecasted sales and closed sales against the quotas you’ve
set. (We talk more about assigning quotas and forecasting sales in Chapter
11.) You may also want to use territories as a way to ensure that customers
are equitably distributed among salespeople. By using Microsoft CRM, you
can measure equitable distribution by geography, the number of customers,
account revenue, or some combination of all three factors.
Territories come into play when assigning accounts and when reporting on
them. In this chapter, we explain how to set up territories, business units,
and teams.
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Part II: Setting Things Up
Setting Up Sales Territories
Every account record has one field called Territory. After you define your
territories, you assign the proper territory to each account record. You can
do this by manually selecting a territory for each account record from a dropdown list that your database administrator sets up, or you can use workflow
rules to automatically assign an account to a territory based on state,
province, zip or postal code, or some combination of these.
Don’t use telephone area codes for territory definitions. Area codes change
too often and, in the U.S., aren’t geographically consistent. On top of that,
with many people using cell phones or Internet phones, it’s hard to relate
phone numbers to geography.
Implementing workflow rules is a powerful way to have Microsoft CRM do a
tremendous amount of work for you. For example, an administrator can
create a workflow rule that automatically attaches to every new record; the
rule checks the physical location of that account or contact and assigns it to
a territory. Setting up such rules is appropriate for this or any kind of procedure that’s well defined and frequently repeated. See Chapter 9 for a discussion of workflow rules.
An administrator can assign each user to a single territory and designate the
user as either a territory user (a member of a team) or as the territory manager.
The task of setting up and managing territories is usually reserved for people
with administrative rights. If you don’t already have territories defined, this is
a good time to do so. Follow these steps:
1. At the bottom of the navigation pane, click the Settings button. (If you
are using Outlook Client, click on Settings under the Microsoft
Dynamics CRM folder in Outlooks navigation pane.)
2. Click Business Management in the navigation pane.
The Settings window with its 11 options appears. The options are as
follows:
• Fiscal Year Settings: This is where you configure your company’s
settings for its fiscal year and options on how they are displayed.
• Facilities/Equipment: This is where you manage people and the
services you provide for your clients. In example, you can schedule a technician to go onsite and fix a printer. The technician may
need certain equipment for this job.
• Resource Groups: A resource group is simply a team of people who
provide services for clients. This is where you would create and
manage them.
Chapter 5: Managing Territories
• Services: Services are jobs scheduled for a customer. These
appear as calendar activities for the users who are scheduled to
perform the tasks.
• Subjects: This is where you create and manage various areas on
knowledge in a hierarchy. An example would be a company knowledge base.
• Relationship Roles: This is where you create and manage a correlation between the records in your system. For example, you may
wish to create relationships between distributor and seller accounts.
• Business Closures: This is where you define the days in the year
that the company will remain closed.
• Queues: These are scheduled activities that need attention or need
to be closed.
• Sales Territories: This is where you create and manage territories.
(Sales territories are discussed later in this chapter.)
• Sites: A site is a physical location of a business. This is where you
would manage, per site, services you provide.
• Currencies: Currencies help determine the price of products you
track in your system. (Products are discussed in Chapter 7.) They
are also used to determine the price for various transactions, such
as purchase orders.
3. Select Sales Territories.
The Sales Territories window shown in Figure 5-1 appears. This is a typical view displaying the territories already in your system, presumably
put there by your system administrator or by a sales manager.
Figure 5-1:
The
territories in
your system.
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Part II: Setting Things Up
4. On the Sales Territories window’s toolbar, click the New button to add
a new territory.
The Territory: New window opens.
5. Fill in the General tab as follows:
a. In the Territory Name field, enter a unique territory name.
b. To the right of the Manager field, select a territory manager for that
territory from the drop-down list.
c. If your territory name isn’t self-explanatory, be sure to enter a
description.
For example, if the Territory Name is New England, you should list
the individual states in the Description field. See Figure 5-2.
6. At the top of the screen, click Save (the disk icon).
Note that the Members option in the navigation pane is available. The
users assigned to a territory are called members of that territory. After
you set up a territory, you can add users to that territory.
7. Add a user (member) to the territory as follows:
a. In the navigation pane of the territory, click the Members button.
b. On the window’s toolbar, click the Add Members button.
Figure 5-2:
Enter and
define the
territory.
Chapter 5: Managing Territories
You see a list of available users in the Look Up Records window.
Because an administrator can assign an individual user to only one
territory, the available users display in Figure 5-3 shows only unassigned users.
c. From the available users, select one or more users (that is, members)
for a territory.
Figure 5-3:
Display of
available
users for
territory
assignment.
8. After you finish adding users to a territory, click the Save and Close
button.
You return to the Sales Territories window.
Sometimes you may think that you need to assign someone to more than one
territory. For example, if the Mid-Atlantic manager leaves, you may need to
have the New England manager temporarily take over both territories. You
do this by defining a new territory that encompasses both the New England
and the Mid-Atlantic regions.
Managing Territories
If you plan to assign accounts to territories, you need to ensure that the
Territory field for every account is filled in. You can do this by establishing
workflow rules that automatically assign territories based on the City or
State fields.
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Part II: Setting Things Up
You can ensure that every account is assigned to a territory in these ways:
Make the Territory field a Business-Recommended field. (Creating
Business Recommended fields is a system administrator function.) This
designation turns the field label blue, indicating to the user that entering
data in this field is important. The business recommended designation
does not force the entry of data.
Make the Territory field a Business-Required field. (This is also a
system administrator function.) With this designation, which turns the
field label red, no one can save the record unless the field is filled in.
Send missing data alerts by using a third-party alert system, such as
KnowledgeSync (which we discuss in Chapter 27). An alert system sends
a pop-up alarm or report to a user or manager when a new record is
saved without critical data. Since KnowledgeSync is not part of MS CRM
but an add-on tool, we will not cover how to set it up.
After you do everything possible to make sure every account is assigned to a
territory, you’d think you’d be done with it. But, things change. Salespeople
leave or are reassigned. New salespeople appear. Territories are merged. It
isn’t enough to just assign a salesperson to a territory. You must be vigilant
to ensure that the assignments still make sense.
When customers are assigned to a territory or reassigned, someone should
notify the account manager. In a perfect world, you would also notify the
customers that they have a new account manager.
Although notifying account managers when you assign accounts to them
seems obvious, the software has no built-in function to make this happen
automatically. If a salesperson already has several hundred accounts, he or
she may not notice for a long time when a half dozen new accounts are added
to the list.
Workflow rules (discussed in Chapter 9) are an effective way to provide this
notification. Failing that, you can resort to the old-fashioned method of either
telling the salesperson or printing a report of existing customers and highlighting the new ones with a yellow marker.
The second notification needs to go to the client. Whenever an account manager changes, it’s critical to inform all affected customers. With the appropriate workflow rules, you can accomplish this by an e-mail, a fax, a template
letter, a scheduled phone call, or a visit.
Chapter 6
Managing Business
Units and Teams
In This Chapter
Managing your business units
Creating your teams
Assigning users to teams
T
he combination of business units and teams allows extreme flexibility in
organizing your CRM implementation. At first it can be confusing: “Is marketing a business unit or a team?” However, this chapter provides you with a
better understanding of how to use each organizational structure.
The essential difference between the two is that business units are hierarchal, potentially consisting of parent and children business units, while
teams can cut across this hierarchy. As an example, let’s assume that you
have some standard business units: Sales, Marketing, Product Development,
and Service. Let’s also assume that you are starting development of a new
product: X. You might create a team, Product X, that includes members from
each of the business units. In this manner, teams offer you greater flexibility
than you could get by simply having business units.
In this chapter, you see how to create and configure both business units and
teams.
Managing Business Units
A business unit is analogous to a division or a profit center in a company. But
the concept of business units in Microsoft CRM allows more flexibility than
the simple concept of divisions in a company. Rather, business units are more
like organizational charts. They also play a large role in the security model of
Microsoft CRM.
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Part II: Setting Things Up
For example, suppose a software dealership has three main business units:
software, hardware/networking, and professional services. One or more of
these units might have subunits. Maybe the software business unit is further
divided into three brands of software. Each of those three is also a business
unit. The security division might be divided into the firewall, the spyware,
and the antispam units.
To set up business units, follow these steps in either the Outlook or Web client:
1. At the bottom left of the navigation pane, click the Settings button.
2. Click Administration in the upper right of the navigation pane.
3. Click Business Units on the right.
The screen shown in Figure 6-1 appears.
4. On the Business Units window’s toolbar, click the New button.
The Business Unit: New window appears, as shown in Figure 6-2.
5. Give your new business unit a name and change the Parent Business
field if necessary.
Notice that the default Organization business unit is automatically
selected as the Parent Business. This top business unit is created when
you install CRM and every new business unit must be a child of that
Business Unit or of some other Business Unit. You can select a different
Parent Business Unit by clicking the lookup (magnifying glass icon).
Figure 6-1:
Business
units for
a typical
company.
Chapter 6: Managing Business Units and Teams
Figure 6-2:
Adding
a new
Business
Unit.
6. After filling in the relevant fields (by default Name is the only
required field), click Save and Close.
Notice that The system returns to the Business Units window, where you
see your new business unit.
After you create a business unit and link it to its parent unit (and maybe even
give it some children), you can reorganize your business units at any time by
changing the parent business unit of your business units.
After you create your business units, you can assign teams of users to them.
That’s the topic of the next section.
Managing Teams
You might have a team of people who work together to service customers in
a particular territory. Perhaps you have a separate team for each territory.
Or you may have teams that are made up of users with similar skill sets. For
example, you might have a sales team, a marketing team, and a technical support team. In this case, you’d want to assign your teams to business units.
Unlike territory assignments, in which each user can be in only one territory,
each user can be a member of many teams. In all likelihood, this will be the
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Part II: Setting Things Up
case, with a typical user being a member of, say, the sales team, the process
brainstorming team, and the summer-picnic planning team.
The concept of sharing is also important to teams. Although you can’t assign
an account to a team, you can share an account with a team. In this section,
we describe creating teams and assigning members to teams. See Chapter 8
for more on Assigning and Sharing records.
Creating teams
After you create a business unit, you can create and assign teams to that unit.
To create a team and assign it to a business unit, follow these steps using
either the Web or Outlook client:
1. At the bottom of the navigation pane, click the Settings button.
2. Click Administration in the navigation pane.
3. Select Business Units.
4. Double-click the business unit to which you want to assign one or
more teams.
The Business Units window appears.
5. In the upper part of the navigation pane, select Teams.
6. On the window’s toolbar, click the New Team button.
The screen shown in Figure 6-3 appears.
Figure 6-3:
Creating a
new team
for an
existing
business
unit.
Chapter 6: Managing Business Units and Teams
7. Fill in the Team Name field.
The business unit you selected in Step 4 is automatically filled in for you,
although you can change this association by clicking the magnifying
glass to the right of the Business Unit field.
8. Click Save and Close.
The system returns to the listing for that particular business unit.
If you create a team without assigning it to a specific business unit, by default
it’s assigned to the overall parent unit. After a team is assigned to any business unit, you can’t reassign it to another business unit. However, you can
disable the team and start fresh with a new team.
Assigning users to teams
When you initially create a team, it has no members. But after the team is created, it’s easy to add or later remove members.
To add one or more members to a team, follow these steps:
1. Double-click the team you created.
2. At the top of the navigation pane, select Members.
3. On the window’s toolbar, click the Add Members button and then
click the Find button.
The Look Up Records dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 6-4.
Figure 6-4:
Add some
members to
your new
team.
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Part II: Setting Things Up
4. In the left panel, double-click each member that you want to add to
your team.
5. When you’ve finished assembling the team, click OK at the bottom of
the window.
The system returns to that team’s listing.
In this chapter, you’ve seen how to define and create territories, business
units, and teams. You can assign each user to only one territory, but each
user may be a member of several teams and business units. By assigning
users to teams, you can easily share and shift responsibilities between teams.
Chapter 7
Using the Product Catalog
In This Chapter
Understanding the product catalog
Getting to the Product Catalog screen
Setting up a discount list
Creating unit groups
Formulating your price lists
Adding products to the catalog
P
roduct catalogs, whether they’re paper or virtual, are a great invention.
And product catalogs aren’t just for consumers! They also make excellent reference tools for your sales and customer service staff.
With Microsoft CRM, your company can create a brawny, capable, allinclusive computer-based product catalog. That way, you can quickly and
easily find all the items and services you sell (nix thumbing through pages).
This chapter shows you how to set up this valuable resource.
Overview of the Product Catalog
Within a product catalog, you can create pricing schedules and assign them to
your customers as default schedules. This way, Bob’s Big Discount Warehouse
gets the wholesale pricing schedule, and the National Organization for Toasters
gets nonprofit pricing. Using these assigned pricing schedules and the quote
generation feature of Microsoft CRM (refer to Chapter 16), your salespeople
can generate accurate quotes quickly. Quotes beget orders and orders beget
invoices and invoices beget bucks (most of the time).
You can create a number of pricing schedules, for any reason. These schedules can be as simple as retail, wholesale, and nonprofit pricing or as complex as seasonal pricing or tiered membership pricing. Chapter 16 details
how to create and use the pricing schedule to your company’s advantage.
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The product catalog can link to opportunities, competitors, and product literature. In fact, the product catalog has its tentacles into virtually every aspect
of the system.
If you’re integrating with one of Microsoft Dynamics’ back-office accounting
systems, you can set up the product catalog in the accounting system and
link to it rather than set up the catalog in Microsoft CRM. If you’re integrating
with an accounting system other than Dynamics, you can upload that
system’s product list directly into the CRM product catalog. When integrating
with these systems, any data from the accounting side normally overrides
what you entered previously in the CRM product catalog.
If you use an accounting application other than one from the Microsoft
Dynamics family, there are solutions for you, too. See Chapter 27 for some
add-ons that simplify this work.
It’s a good idea to read this entire chapter before you build your product catalog. This will give you an overview and allow you to do some planning.
When you’re ready to start building your product catalog, we recommend
that you use the order suggested by Microsoft, which we follow too:
Discount lists
Unit groups
Price lists
Products
To start your planning, categorize your products and services and organize
and simplify your pricing schedules. This is also a good time to check and
update your inventory lists. Take out products you haven’t sold since
President Nixon was in office. And while you’re at it, update your pricing.
Remember, the cost of living has increased considerably since you founded
the company (36 cents for a gallon for gas, anyone?).
Getting to the Product Catalog Window
You create a product catalog in the Product Catalog window of Microsoft CRM.
You don’t have to venture out of this section while creating your catalog —
although we recommend venturing out of your cubicle for a leg stretch once
in a while.
Chapter 7: Using the Product Catalog
Now that you’ve stretched your legs and shared the latest rumor, it’s time to
get to work. Start by going to the Product Catalog window, as follows:
1. At the bottom of the navigation pane, click Settings.
The Settings section expands in the top left with the Administration section highlighted.
2. Click the Product Catalog section in the upper left.
The four components of the product catalog appear in the Product
Catalog window.
As mentioned, we recommend that you create your product catalog in the
order that Microsoft indicates. So that’s what you do next.
Creating a Discount List
Discount lists control how prices change based on the quantity of the product
or service being purchased. You can set your discounts in two ways:
By percentage
By reduction according to a set dollar amount
For example, a seasonal sale in which you offer a 10 percent discount on all
purchases calls for a percent discount list. Offering $5 off for every touchdown the high school team makes during the weekend game is a set dollar
amount discount.
To set up a discount list, you first need to get to the Product Catalog window,
as explained in the preceding section. Then follow these steps:
1. In the Product Catalog window, click Discount Lists.
All existing discount lists are displayed, as shown in Figure 7-1.
2. On the Discount Lists window’s toolbar, click the New button.
The Create Discount List window appears.
3. In the Name field, enter a title for your new discount list.
We recommend a unique and self-explanatory title so that others will
be able to identify the list. In our example, we entered Summer Special
Discount.
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Part II: Setting Things Up
Figure 7-1:
Start
building
your
discounts
lists here.
4. Choose the type of discount that you want to offer your customers.
The Percentage option is based on a percentage of the regular price. The
Amount option is based on a set dollar amount deducted from the regular price. To follow along with our example, select Percentage.
5. Click OK.
The Information window for your new discount list appears. (The navigation pane has three options: Information, Discounts, and Workflows.
The Information display is the default display.) Note the top of the
window; whatever you named your discount list appears here.
At this point, you can continue with creating the discount list, or you
can exit the discount list by clicking Save and Close.
6. Enter some descriptive information for the discount list in the description box.
For example, you can add a note about the limitations of the discount
(such as limit 4).
7. In the navigation pane, select Discounts.
The Discount section of your discount list appears, as shown in Figure 7-2.
This is where you begin entering the details for this discount.
8. Now to make your discounts, click the New Discount button on the
toolbar.
Chapter 7: Using the Product Catalog
Figure 7-2:
The
discount
workspace
of your
discount list.
9. In the Discount: New window that appears, enter the following information for your discount:
a. The beginning and ending quantity: The program calls these Begin
Quantity and End Quantity.
b. Your discount amount: If you chose Percentage in Step 4, this line
says Percentage. If you chose Amount in Step 5, this line says
Amount ($). When entering the amount, don’t enter the symbol
(% or $).
10. Click the Save and Close button to return to your discount list.
11. To enter another line item, go back to Step 8.
You can enter as many line items as you want to establish the necessary
price breaks for this discount list. For example, if you want to offer price
breaks for quantity purchases, you might create a line item for a discount for 1–10 items purchased and another one to assign a price for
11–20 items.
12. To save this list, click Save and Close in the Discount List window.
Make sure that you don’t overlap quantity ranges. For example, suppose your
first discount covers the first nine items sold, and you have a larger discount
for ten items and above. You enter 1–9 for the first discount and 10–99 for the
second discount. But what if you sell time and break it down in 15-minute
increments? The undefined quantity between 9 and 10 could be an issue. We
suggest that you break down time increments into decimals when entering
quantities for time.
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Part II: Setting Things Up
Creating a Unit Group
A base unit is the smallest or most common means of tracking an item sold.
Typical base units are pounds, gallons, hours, days, and tons.
A unit group defines how individual items are grouped into larger quantities.
For example, suppose that you sell books individually, by the case, and by
the pallet. A unit group of books shows how a book relates to a case and a
case to a pallet. Using this example, if you sell 2 cases of books, with 20 books
to a case, the system knows that you sold 40 books.
To create a unit group, follow these steps:
1. In the Product Catalog window, click Unit Groups.
If you need help finding the window, see the earlier section titled
“Getting to the Product Catalog Window.” The screen shown in
Figure 7-3 appears.
2. On the window’s toolbar, click the New button.
The Create Unit Group dialog box appears.
Figure 7-3:
This is your
main Unit
Groups
display.
Chapter 7: Using the Product Catalog
3. Enter the following information for your unit group:
a. Name: This is the name of your unit group. For our example, we’re
calling this unit group Books.
b. Primary Unit: This is the smallest unit by which the product can be
sold. The primary unit is also known as the base unit. Enter Each
as the Primary Unit.
4. Click OK.
The Information window, which is the default display, appears.
5. At the top of the navigation pane on the left, click Units.
The Unit Group: Books window appears. (If you named your unit something else, that name would appear instead of Books.) This is where
you’ll add your units to your unit group.
6. Click Units on the left and then on the toolbar of your new Unit
Group, click New Unit.
The Unit: New window appears.
7. For each of the three units (book, case, and pallet in our example), do
the following:
a. Enter the name.
This is where you enter the name of each unit. To follow along with
the example, enter Book (the first time through), then Case, and
then Pallet.
b. Enter the quantity.
Again, to follow along with the example, enter a quantity of 1 for
Each because this is our base unit. The Case quantity is 20, meaning that each case contains 20 base units. The Pallet quantity is 10,
meaning that each pallet contains 10 cases.
c. Enter the base unit.
The base unit is the smallest increment of this new unit you’re creating. Continuing with the example, you can see that Each has no
base unit (because it is the base unit and was determined in Step 3
to be the Primary Unit). Case has a base unit of Each, and Pallet
has a base unit of Case. Use the magnifying glass to browse for the
unit you want to set as the base unit. All units, with the exception
of the primary unit, must have a base unit.
d. Click the Save and Close button.
A quick note for those keeping score: The columns in the Unit Group workspace are listed in a different order than those in the Unit: New window.
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Part II: Setting Things Up
8. Click the Save and Close button.
You’re returned to the unit group that you’re working on, as shown in
Figure 7-4.
9. To save the unit group, click the Save and Close button again.
Figure 7-4:
We’ve
added units
to the group.
Creating a Price List
Price lists are the backbone of all your opportunities and quotes. Your company may have more than one price list, such as a retail price list and a
wholesale one. You could also have separate price lists for government and
nonprofit customers. You can add a default price list to each contact or
account, but you can override this when you create quotes and invoices. (See
Chapter 16.)
If your company uses an accounting system and wants to integrate it with
Microsoft CRM, keep in mind that the interface normally provides all of this
information and overwrites your price lists with the information from the
accounting system. With the integration provided to Microsoft CRM, much
of this functionality is disabled because it is controlled by the accounting
application.
Chapter 7: Using the Product Catalog
Here’s how you create that price list:
1. In the Product Catalog window, click Price Lists.
The Price Lists window, similar to the one shown in Figure 7-5, appears.
2. On the window’s toolbar, click the New button.
The Price List: New window appears. The navigation pane displays three
choices: Information, Price List Items, and Workflows. Price List Items
and Workflows aren’t available until you’ve saved the price list.
3. Enter a name for your price list.
Required fields are in red. The Name field is required, but the start and
end date fields aren’t. In our example, we created the “It’s Too Cold!!”
price list to offer special prices to match the dropping temperatures.
However, winter lasts only so long, so we’ve set the price specials to end
in February.
4. Click Save (the disk icon next to the Save and Close button).
Clicking Save allows you to continue with the next part of the process,
adding price list items. However, if you aren’t ready to enter your price
list items or need to get out of this window for some reason, just click
the Save and Close button.
Figure 7-5:
Manage
and create
your price
lists from
this screen.
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5. In the navigation pane on the left, click Price List Items.
6. On the Price List Items toolbar, click the Add Price List Item button.
The Price List Item: New window appears, as shown in Figure 7-6.
Figure 7-6:
Enter the
information
about your
item here.
7. Enter your price list information in the available fields.
Some fields must be filled in by using the magnifying glass to the right of
the field. The magnifying glass opens a Look Up window. You can fill in
other fields freehand or by using the drop-down boxes. As with other
screens in Microsoft CRM, the fields in red are required.
a. Price List: This is filled in automatically by the program. However,
you can change the price list by using the magnifying glass.
b. Product: Use the magnifying glass to find the product you want in
this price list. Microsoft thwarts the Minions of Chaos by allowing
your staff to enter only predefined choices from the product list.
c. Unit: Use the magnifying glass to make your selection. This field
isn’t enabled until you select a product.
d. Discount List (optional): Use the magnifying glass to find the discount list you created earlier in the chapter and link it to your
price list. By adding a discount list to work in tandem with the
price list item, your staff can create thorough pricing to quote your
customers. (See Chapter 16 for details on generating quotes.)
e. Quantity Selling Option: This is where you define the quantities in
which you’ll sell your product. Choose No Control, Whole, or
Whole and Fractional. This feature really comes in handy if you sell
fractional services such as help desk or prorated time products.
Chapter 7: Using the Product Catalog
f. Pricing Method: Six options are available: Currency Amount;
Percent of List; Percent Markup — Current Cost; Percent Margin —
Current Cost; Percent Markup — Standard Cost; Percent Margin —
Standard Cost.
g. Amount ($): Enter the dollar amount for the price list. The Amount
option is available only if you chose Currency Amount under
Pricing Method. Don’t include a dollar sign.
h. Percentage: Enter the percentage for the price list. Don’t include
the symbol (%).
i. Rounding Policy: Your rounding policy tells the system how to
round percentage calculations to arrive at a specific price. Your
options are None, Up, Down, and To Nearest. Rounding applies
only when the pricing method is based on percentage. If you
selected Currency Amount for the Pricing Method, this field isn’t
available.
j. Rounding Option: This option works with the Rounding Amount
field. For example, select Ends In here and .00 in the Rounding
Amount field if you want to round to the nearest dollar. Select
Multiple Of here and enter .05 in the Rounding Amount field to
round to the nearest nickel. If you selected None for the Rounding
Policy or Currency Amount for the Pricing Method, this field isn’t
available.
k. Rounding Amount: Fill in the amount on which you want to base
your rounding, as described in the preceding entry. If you selected
None for the Rounding Policy or Currency Amount for the Pricing
Method, this field isn’t available.
8. Click Save and Close to save your price list items to your price list.
As mentioned, the fields in red are required. If you’ve missed one (due to
excessive caffeine intake or hunting down who burned the popcorn), the
program will remind you.
By creating price lists, you build an easy-to-use system to generate price
quotes for your customers. Microsoft CRM uses the price lists, discount lists,
and price list items to automatically calculate client costs, so your salespeople can focus on selling and not math.
Adding Products
Your products — without them, you wouldn’t have a business, right? From
the first entrepreneurial caveman, businesses are made because someone
has a product to sell. We use the term product as a general term to encompass products, services, the help desk — basically whatever you build your
business around.
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Now, because the Minions of Chaos love mischief, Microsoft has taken a
smart step in preventing them from running amok in your system: Only
system administrators are allowed to add new products. That means that if
Sam the Salesman can’t find the entry for the Hop-n-Pop toaster, he won’t be
able to add entries that could create confusion when you want a report or
when other salespeople are looking for the Hop-n-Pop. Can you imagine if he
added the product as hopnpop, Mary in the next cube added it as HnP, and
then Carey added it by the model number X900? How could you run a report
on how many of those have sold?
Another function of Microsoft CRM allows you to group products sold as a
kit. Take your Hop-n-Pop toaster, sell it with bagels and organic preserves,
and you have the Bagel Buff Gift Basket. You can also create special kits to
simplify your sales and ordering processes or to get rid of some stuff that you
don’t want anymore — clearance, anyone?
You can also relate individual products to substitute products. This is a
handy function for your salespeople when Mrs. Reynolds wants a Hop-n-Pop
toaster but you sold the last one two days ago. By relating this product to a
substitute, your salesperson can easily recommend the equivalent
HotHopPop toaster.
If you’re a system administrator, follow these steps to add a new product to
your product list:
1. In the Product Catalog window, click Products.
A list of your active products appears, as shown in Figure 7-7.
2. On the Products window’s toolbar, click the New button.
The Product: New window appears with three tabs, as shown in Figure 7-8.
Figure 7-7:
The active
products
screen.
Chapter 7: Using the Product Catalog
3. Fill in the General tab.
The General tab, which is the default tab, is where you enter most of the
information for your product. You can fill in some fields freeform, others
using the magnifying glass (thwarting those Minions of Chaos), and still
others with the Form Assistant. For details on using the magnifying glass
and the Form Assistant, see Chapter 2.
The following fields are mandatory:
a. ID: If your system is integrated with your accounting system, the ID
is the item number used by the accounting system. Through this
field, the accounting system updates (and overwrites) information
in each product record.
b. Name: This is descriptive text entered freehand. But it can also be
populated by your accounting system if it’s integrated.
c. Unit Group: If your system isn’t integrated with accounting, select the
unit group that includes the units by which this product will be sold.
d. Default Unit: This is the unit you would typically sell the product
as. For example, if you sold the book, Toasting the Night Away, as a
single product, the default unit would be Each. If you were selling
nails, the default unit might be Box.
e. Default Price List: Earlier in the chapter, we discuss price lists. This
field relates an individual product to a default price list (wholesale,
retail, dealer, government, and the like) you’ve set up. When salespeople go to make that quote, they’ll actually get the price list
attached to the customer record. However, if no price list is attached
to the customer record, the system defaults to the price list indicated for the product itself. You can’t assign a default price list to
the product until you save the product (use the Save button rather
than the Save and Close button) and associate the product with a
price list item. Until you do this, you see a warning message that
the default price list isn’t set.
f. Decimals Supported: If you can’t divide your product (books, for
example) into fractional quantities, enter 0. If fractional quantities
are possible, you can use up to five decimal places.
g. Currency: This field is used to compute prices for you products. It
is also used compute the costs of business transactions such as
sales orders.
The following fields are optional, but we find them helpful in building a
product catalog and entering products:
a. Subject: This field allows you to group your products for reporting.
b. Product Type: The four default product types are Sales Inventory
(usually physical goods); Miscellaneous Charges (fees, such as for
restocking); Services (such as consulting or annual maintenance
fees); and Flat Fee (for example, handling or shipping charges).
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Figure 7-8:
Enter your
new
product
information
here.
c. Quantity on Hand: The number of items in stock. This field is controlled by the back-office system if you have integrated it.
d. URL: The Web address related to this product. This is a handy
place to get up-to-date product information.
e. List Price, Standard Cost, and Current Cost: The price on a generated
quote is based on these fields.
4. On the Description tab, you can enter vendor and part number
information.
Having the vendor and part information can be helpful, especially if you
sell similar products with similar names. Entering information on this
tab isn’t mandatory, but it does offer you another opportunity to identify
your product.
5. The Notes tab is for freeform notes and information about your
product.
Suppose that your product comes in other colors. Instead of making the
salesperson back up a few screens to see what colors you offer, you can
list the colors here, too.
6. After you enter all of your product information, click Save and Close
to return to your product catalog. (Refer to Figure 7-7.)
Remember the motto of computer users everywhere: save, Save, SAVE!
Ta-dah! Now you’ve entered your product into your product catalog! Give
yourself a pat on the back.
Chapter 8
Understanding Security
and Access Rights
In This Chapter
Understanding security
Examining user privileges and access levels
Determining and assigning roles
Sharing and unsharing data
I
n this day and age, security is important. As technology advances, so do
the hackers, virus writers, and other malevolently minded folks. With
Microsoft CRM, you should be concerned with two types of security: physical
security and internal security.
Physical security is a defense against everyone you don’t know and don’t want
to meet. These are the people who have nothing better to do than develop
and propagate viruses or, worse yet, spend their time hacking into your system
to either paralyze it or steal your stuff. This type of security is generally handled by firewalls, routers, and other types of hardware and software. Because
the vast majority of CRM installations run only on your intranet, this type of
security is beyond the scope of this book. For more information, see the Microsoft
Implementation Guide.You can download the Implementation Guide by going to
www.microsoft.com/downloads and searching for “Microsoft Dynamics CRM
4.0 Implementation Guide.” In fact, searching for just “Microsoft Dynamics
CRM 4.0” will result in dozens of downloads regarding CRM including the latest
security patches.
You can keep up on the latest at the Microsoft CRM Community site at
http://community.dynamics.com/
Be sure to check this Web site regularly to ensure that you are fully up-todate on any security issues specifically affecting Microsoft CRM.
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The second type of security, internal security, is aimed at your own usually
well-meaning team members. Some organizations, such as brokerage houses,
deal with internal security by requiring the restriction of certain records,
even from members of their own staff. In other organizations, salespeople’s
opportunities need to be hidden from the other salespeople. In our company,
we find it occasionally important to keep e-mails away from prying eyes.
CRM has quite a bit of built-in security. And your system administrator, perhaps
with several people from your management team, will probably be charged with
setting up security and access rights within Microsoft CRM. In this chapter, you
find out about the types of security you should consider and how to regulate
your internal security.
No form of security is ever foolproof. Although Microsoft CRM provides a
sophisticated security system, this issue should remain a high priority.
Security threats can come from anywhere: from your staff (innocent mistakes
or not-so-innocent sabotage) and from outside hackers.
Remember, no system is foolproof (remember the Titanic?), but you can
develop an efficient compromise and make your system user-friendly and
hacker-unfriendly.
And, don’t forget about the Minions of Chaos — always back up your data.
Security Overview
Microsoft CRM’s security focuses on meeting the needs of most organizations
in two ways:
Role-based security
Object-based security
Role-based security in Microsoft CRM allows you to assign a role to a user,
such as Sales Manager, that controls what the user can do and has access to.
Your installation can also define its own roles to meet your requirements. See
the upcoming section, “Looking at Predefined Roles” to have a look at the
security roles that exist out of the box Many of these will work as-is or
require only slight tweaking.
Object-based security in Microsoft CRM focuses on what access the roles have
to primary and extended entities (such as leads, opportunities, contacts,
accounts, and cases). So, in this way, you could possess the role of Sales
Manager and have access to change opportunities (an object) but only read
cases (another object).
Chapter 8: Understanding Security and Access Rights
Essentially a user’s rights depend on what Role they are a member of and what
Object they are working with. Although a Sales Manger (Role) might have full
access to Leads (Object) they may only have limited access to Cases (Object).
On the other hand, the opposite might be true for a CSR (Role). CSRs might have
full access to the Cases (Objects) but limited access, if any, to Leads (Object).
Setting Restrictions with User Privileges
Privileges are the most basic security options in Microsoft CRM and are generally set up by your administrator. User privileges determine what a user
can and can’t do, such as creating records or deleting records. (We recommend that only a system administrator be allowed to delete records.)
Altogether, a user can have eight basic privileges, as follows:
Create: The ability to create new records.
Read: The ability to read or view the record.
Write: the ability to change the record.
Delete: The ability to delete the record.
Append: The ability to link the record to another record.
Append To: The ability to link other records to this record.
Assign: The ability to change the record owner or “Assign” to another
owner.
Share: Similar to assign but without changing the owner. If you share a
records with another user then they will have nearly the same rights as
you on that record depending on their roles.
Further Defining Permissions
with Access Levels
The next step above privileges, access levels help determine which records the
user privileges should apply to. In other words, your privileges may include
the ability to delete account records, but your access level determines exactly
which records you are able to delete. Microsoft CRM defines four access levels
from user (least authority) to organization (most authority), as follows:
User: You only have access to your records.
Business Unit: You have access to all the records in your business unit.
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Parent: You have access to all the records in your business unit and all
subordinate business units.
Organization: You have access to all records in the entire organization.
Many organizations deal only with the User and Organization Access Levels.
This depends mostly on corporate policy and culture. Some organizations
allow everyone access to everything and others have a more “your contacts
and my contacts” mentality. The Business Unit and Parent access levels allow
for very complex access rights more suitable for very large organizations
with complex organizational structures.
You can learn more about setting up CRM to mimic your organizational structure in Chapter 6.
Looking at Predefined Roles
The concept of roles marries privileges and access rights. Microsoft CRM
comes with 13 predefined roles that are typical of a midsized organization, as
shown in Figure 8-1. Making use of these predefined roles saves a lot of time
that would otherwise be spent setting up specific access rights for each user.
If you’re going to make any changes to the default roles, we recommend that
you use the functionality Microsoft provides, called Role Copy. Refer to the
online help on how to use this.
Online help is available in the upper-right corner of virtually every screen
in CRM.
Figure 8-1:
You get
these
standard
roles out of
the box, but
you can add
more.
Chapter 8: Understanding Security and Access Rights
In this section, we show you how to look at the roles that Microsoft CRM
ships with. Each of these roles has a complete set of predefined privileges
and access rights. The prototypical sales manager, for example, is given a
default set of privileges and access rights. To see the settings for any of the
default roles, follow these steps:
1. In the lower left part of the navigation pane, click the Settings button
and then click Administration sub-section in the upper left.
The Administration window appears on the right. (Remember that nonadministrative users will not have access to the Settings area.)
2. Select Security Roles on the right.
The Security Roles window appears, listing all existing roles. (Refer to
Figure 8-1.)
3. View a role by double clicking it in the list.
For instance, if you double click the Salesperson Role, the Role:
Salesperson window appears.
4. Click the Core Records tab.
A screen similar to the one shown in Figure 8-2 appears. The Core
Records tab contains all the toggle switches to turn access rights on or
off and is the central storehouse for role information.
Figure 8-2:
The Salesperson’s
rights
regarding
Core
Records.
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5. Click each tab in turn to see all the objects that the role can access at
various levels.
6. Click the Save and Close button to return to the Security Roles
window.
If your business has specific business rules you need to enforce, you should
seek help from your system administrator or implementation partner.
Assigning Roles
After you have defined a role by either copying or editing and existing role,
you need to assign it to the user. Every user in the system must have at least
one role to access the system.
A user can have more than one assigned role. For example, someone could
have a role as a systems administrator and as a mailroom clerk. Not a very
likely combination but still possible. When a single user has multiple roles
with different privileges and access rights, the role with the less restrictive
privileges takes precedence. So, even when your systems administrator is
functioning as a mailroom clerk, he or she will have the maximum levels of
access rights.
If your organization is complex or you don’t understand Microsoft CRM’s concepts of roles, we suggest that you consult with an expert to help you in setting up your roles and assigning them to users. See Chapter 28 for more
information on when and where to go for help.
To add a role to a user of the system, just follow these simple steps:
1. At the bottom left of the navigation pane, click the Settings button and
then click Administration in the upper left.
The Settings window appears.
2. Select Users.
The Users window appears, listing all current users.
3. Double-click a username.
The User window appears.
4. In the navigation pane, click Roles.
5. At the top of the Roles window, click Manage Roles.
6. Select the roles you want this user to have and then click OK.
7. Click Save and Close.
Chapter 8: Understanding Security and Access Rights
Sharing Information with
Others on Your Team
Microsoft CRM has powerful security and record-sharing tools. If keeping certain records or data confidential is necessary for your company, that’s no
problem. Usually more critical than keeping data confidential, however, is
your ability to share information with other members of your team.
Defining a team
Before you set up your CRM system, we suggest that you do a bit of homework
and planning. So get your management staff together and order pizza, because
you have some brainstorming to do. You’ll want to figure out your business
units (think divisions or remote offices) and then assign users to those units.
Typically, the users assigned to a particular business unit are also members
of a team. Each user in CRM can be a member of one or more teams. The
concept of a team allows for a convenient sharing of records. (For more on
teams, see Chapter 6.)
Sharing and assigning
You can easily share records and activities with members of your team, and
you should. Sharing a record is like asking your buddies to help you when you
need it. Rest assured: If you ask them, they’ll return the favor. By sharing and
distributing the workload, you, your team members, and your customers all
benefit. While you’re on vacation, team members who have access to your
data while you’re away can still help your clients.
You can also assign records and tasks. Assigning is a little more like telling
another user on the system to handle the assignment. (It’s more like delegating than sharing.)
Unsharing
Whatever you share you can unshare. If you turned over access to your
clients while you were on vacation, you can retake control upon your return.
In most work environments, this is a far better solution than sending your
clients e-mails telling them you’ll be away for two weeks and they should just
relax until you get back. And it’s certainly a better approach than not letting
your clients know that you’ll be away at all.
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Sharing and Not Sharing Data
The concept of sharing is also pertinent to security. Assuming you have sharing privileges, you can regulate who else in your organization has access to
your records. By sharing your records with another user or a team, you’re
granting access to people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to view or modify
those records.
Sharing records
Granting sharing privileges to someone who already has organizational rights
(the highest level of access rights) really doesn’t accomplish anything.
Similarly, if you try to deny sharing rights to someone with organizational
rights, nothing’s going to change. That’s like telling the boss he or she can’t
look over your shoulder.
Sharing is a good tool if, for example, you’re working on a deal in New York
and need to bring in a co-worker from Detroit. Under normal security, your
co-worker wouldn’t be able to view your records. By sharing, you can give
him or her access to the record to help work the deal.
You can share almost any kind of record, but here we use an account record
as an example. Follow these steps to share an account with one user or a
whole team:
1. Navigate to the object you want to share using the navigation pane on
the left of the main CRM screen.
For this example click on Sales and then Accounts.
The Accounts list appears on the right.
2. Open a record by double-clicking it.
The General tab for the account appears.
3. On the menu bar (at the top of the screen), choose Actions➪Sharing.
The window shown in Figure 8-3 appears.
4. In the Common Tasks pane on the left, select Add User/Team.
The Look Up Records dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 8-4.
5. In the Look For field, select User or Team and then click the Find
button which looks like a magnifying glass.
All available users or teams are displayed. Alternately, you could enter
some text in the text box to the left of the Find button to narrow the results.
Chapter 8: Understanding Security and Access Rights
Figure 8-3:
Setting up
one or more
records for
sharing.
Figure 8-4:
Selecting
someone to
share with.
6. Double-click any user (or team) from the list in the left panel.
Another method is to highlight the user (or team) and click the rightfacing arrow button. The user (or team) is transferred to the right pane
in anticipation of sharing the record with that user or team.
7. Click OK.
The window shown in Figure 8-5 appears.
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Figure 8-5:
Granting
sharing
permissions.
8. Specify which permissions you’re allowing for this record.
To do so, select or deselect each of the check boxes that relate to the
rights you’re granting.
9. Click OK when you’re satisfied that you’ve shared enough rights.
The window for the record reappears, but now these other users have as
much access to the record as you’ve granted them.
Sharing multiple records
You can share multiple records by Shift-clicking them or Ctrl-clicking them
from the list and then clicking More Actions from the tool bar and selecting
Sharing. This brings you to the same screen as in Figure 8-3, and from there
the process is the same as sharing a single record.
Unsharing records
If you can share it, you can unshare it. For example, before going on vacation,
you may want to share all your records with one of your peers. When you
return, you probably want to unshare them and resume your usual tasks. To
unshare a record, follow these steps:
1. Navigate to the record you want to unshare.
2. On the menu bar (at the top of the screen), choose Actions➪Sharing.
Chapter 8: Understanding Security and Access Rights
3. Click the Share check box to remove the check mark.
If you granted sharing rights to more than one user, you can eliminate
multiple users’ rights by clicking each of their Share check boxes on this
one screen.
4. Click OK.
The system returns to the General tab of the account record.
Assigning records
If you can share it, you can unshare it. For example, before going on vacation,
you may want to share all your records with one of your peers. When you
return, you probably want to unshare them and resume your usual tasks. To
unshare a record, follow these steps:
1. Navigate to the record you want to assign.
2. On the menu bar (at the top of the screen), choose Actions➪Assign.
You will see the Assign Account box pictured in Figure 8-6. (Assuming
it’s an account that you are assigning.)
3. Select either Assign to me or Assign to other user.
If you are assigning to another user then use the provided lookup to
select the user.
4. Click OK.
The system returns to the General tab of the record and it is now
assigned to the new user.
Figure 8-6:
Assigning
an account.
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Streamlining the assignment
of permissions
If you share with multiple people or multiple teams, you can end up having to
deal with quite a few check boxes to manage in the Common Tasks panel,
which you see at the left side of the screen after you choose Actions➪
Sharing. Microsoft CRM provides three additional options in the Common
Tasks panel to streamline your efforts:
Toggle All Permissions of the Selected Items: After you’ve selected one
or more users using the check boxes to the left of their name, this option
acts like a toggle switch (it turns all permissions on and off) for for the
selected users. This is an easy way to grant permissions across the
board for multiple users.
Reset: This is like a do-over button. Selecting Reset brings you back to
the settings you had before the last time you clicked the OK button.
Chapter 9
Implementing Business
Rules and Workflow
In This Chapter
Understanding what workflow can’t do
Creating and testing workflow rules
Monitoring workflow
Understanding events, conditions, and actions that change workflow
W
orkflow. I know what you’re thinking. Workflow? What is that? Well, as
one of the most powerful functions of Microsoft CRM, workflow is the
nearest thing you’ll find to a money machine.
The Workflow Management System takes your manual business rules (or procedures) and turns them into an automated system. Without workflow, you’d
have a database with names, addresses, and a schedule, but the database by
itself wouldn’t do anything. With workflow, Microsoft CRM becomes a system
that farms your existing accounts for additional business, helps you hunt for
new accounts, and ensures that important tasks don’t slip through the cracks.
Whooaa. That’s a pretty hefty statement, isn’t it? However, by providing you
with electronic business alerts — such as automatic calls for accounts or
automatic follow-up e-mails — Microsoft CRM can step beyond being your
contact/account database and become an important part of your business
and corporate culture.
You probably have many business rules already in place, even if they aren’t
set in writing and mentioned all the time. For example, do you return a phone
call to a client who asks you to call him back? That’s a business rule, and workflow might automate that business rule by sending you an electronic reminder
message — again and again — until you actually make the call. Your business
rule has now become a workflow rule. I like to call this one “auto-nag.”
Now, before you start plugging in workflow rules, we recommend that you
review all your current business processes. This may take some time. You
should consult with the CEO, his or her assistant, the sales department, the
marketing department, you get the idea. This is also the best time to do
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spring cleaning. Get rid of business rules that worked before the advent of the
Internet, and update others or make new ones. Automating an ineffective procedure is like building a faster Edsel. The speed is there, but it’s still an Edsel.
In this chapter, we touch on the general principles of implementing workflow
rules and then provide you with an example of a typical rule. You also find
the background and basis to design and implement at least some simple
workflow rules of your own. However, keep in mind that the creation of complex workflow rules is probably best left to professional Microsoft CRM consultants or dealers.
Workflow Components
Let’s start from the beginning. Workflow may sound complicated, but when
you get the knack of it, it’s fairly simple. Workflow has two main modules:
Manager and Monitor.
Manager: Enables you to develop and use the workflow rules feature,
which is nothing more than a system to automate the business
processes you already have and use.
Monitor: Provides a display of the current status of each rule. You can
see exactly which processes are running and which ones may be waiting
for a triggering event.
Limitations of Workflow
Although Workflow is a powerful utility, it isn’t Super Program and does have
some limitations. For example:
Workflow can monitor data and events within the Microsoft CRM database but not outside it, unless you write a custom .NET assembly. (More
on .NET assembly in a moment.)
A workflow rule can check for data in more than one object (accounts or
contact records) at one time, but it’s limited to a few entities. For example, a workflow rule can look through all of your accounts to notify you
of any that are missing telephone numbers, but a single workflow rule
can’t check for accounts that are missing phone numbers and have open
cases more than two weeks old.
Workflow rules have difficulty checking for the absence of an event,
meaning they can alert you to an open or uncompleted appointment but
don’t tell you about stuff that wasn’t scheduled but should have been.
(It’s a software program, not a mind-meld machine.)
Chapter 9: Implementing Business Rules and Workflow
An important step in creating your workflows is to think through the flow
itself carefully. What are the exceptions? What conditions should terminate
the process? For example, if someone buys something, workflow should start
treating the person as a new customer and not as a prospect.
Creating Workflow Rules
For creating your workflow rules, we recommend that you use members of
your staff who work with the product on a daily basis, both on the administrative side and the operations side. This way, you cover your business
processes from all angles.
Now, we do suggest letting your company’s system administrator be the only
person to implement workflow rules. The process of creating rules can scary,
humorous, or just outright sad. (Just spend an hour or two watching C-SPAN!)
We think the best way to approach the process is with a small team of individuals from both the business side and the tech side. The business guys will
say “We need to make sure that the managers get notified of every account
that’s not touched in 90 days.” Then the data or tech person will say “What’s
a touch?” “What’s an account?” and “Who’s the manager?” This exchange can
be frustrating, but it is necessary. If you don’t go through it, then on Monday
morning the CEO might receive a flood of e-mails indicating that hundreds of
records in the database, including vendors and competitors, have not had a
completed sale in the last 90 days.
One of the most common tasks your company may want to automate is the
assignment of an account manager to a newly created account. We use that
as our example for creating a workflow rule:
1. Choose Settings and then Workflows in the navigation pane of CRM
Web client.
The Microsoft CRM Workflow Manager window appears, as shown in
Figure 9-1.
2. Click New.
3. Enter a name for the workflow and select an entity type.
The Entity Type option is the type of record (account, contact, lead, and
so on. See chapters 12 & 13) that your workflow rule focuses on. Click
the down arrow to the right of the field to open the drop-down box and
choose the entity you want to work with. For this exercise, we chose
Account for Entity Type.
4. Select the New Blank workflow radio button and then click OK.
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Figure 9-1:
The
Workflow
Manager.
5. Select the Record Is Created check box.
The Workflow form should appear as shown in Figure 9-2. Note that the
Entity field is already filled in with your choice from the preceding step.
For our example, we chose Start when: Record is created because we
want the creation of a new record to trigger this workflow rule.
The other options to automatically trigger a workflow are:
• Record status changes (run Workflow when the status field changes)
• Record is assigned (run Workflow when the Owner field changes)
• Record attributes change (run Workflow when the button to select
attributes has been clicked)
• Record is deleted (this one’s pretty obvious and a good one to use
to audit deletions)
6. Click the Add Step drop-down list and then a list appears with the following choices, as shown in Figure 9-3:
• Check Condition: This is basically an IF...THEN construct.
• Conditional Branch: This is an ELSE...THEN to be attached to the
above Check Condition.
• Default Action: This is an ELSE to be attached to a Check Condition.
• Wait Condition: This pauses workflow until the condition is met.
• Parallel Wait Branch: This indicates a separate pause to wait for a
condition. This one is useful for creating timeouts or escalations
Chapter 9: Implementing Business Rules and Workflow
in your workflow logic. For instance you might have a wait condition waiting for a call to be made and Parallel Wait condition set
to alert someone after certain amount of time that the call has not
been made.
• Create Record: Creates a new CRM record of any entity type.
• Update Record: Updates a CRM Record.
• Assign Record: Reassigns a record to a different user.
• Send E-Mail: This one does your laundry — no, wait! It sends an
e-mail!
• Start Child Workflow: Branches to a child workflow. A child workflow
is a workflow that cannot be run on its own but only when called
from a parent workflow. If you have a given group of steps that
many workflows will use then you may want to create a child workflow of the steps and then just reference the child workflow from
the other workflows.
• Change Status: Changes the status field of the record.
• Stop Workflow: Immediately stops the process of the workflow.
7. Select Check Condition.
Three lines of information are added to the Workflow details area at the
bottom of the screen. The first line is a text box containing the words
Type a Step Description Here.
Figure 9-2:
Create your
workflow
rule and
don’t go
wild now!
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8. In that text box, enter the description of this step.
Figure 9-3:
Everyone
needs a
Check
Condition
option.
9. Highlight <condition> (click to configure) in the workspace.
The Specify Condition form appears as shown in Figure 9-4.
Figure 9-4:
Check it out!
Chapter 9: Implementing Business Rules and Workflow
10. Hover your cursor over the word Select and a drop-down box
appears. Click the down arrow and select a table.
In this example, we’re working with the Account table, so select Account.
11. Hover your cursor over the word Select, which appeared to the right
of where you selected Account, and another drop-down appears. Click
the down arrow and select a field.
Just about every field in the table selected in step 10 is available here.
Select the field to which you’d like to apply the workflow rule. For example, if you want to assign only records in Massachusetts to your account
manager, Ted, you’d choose the Address1: State/Province field.
12. Hover your cursor over the word Select next to the State field you
selected, click the down arrow, and then select Equals.
The Contains, Begins With, and Ends With operators can produce surprising results if you don’t carefully consider what data these expressions might find. For example, if you search for records containing East,
you also get records containing beast.
In our example, we’re testing for Accounts in Massachusetts, so we
select Equals.
13. Hover over the words Enter Value next to the Equals condition and
enter MA in the text box that appears.
For example, if you selected State in Step 11, you could put the state
here in the Static Value field. If you wanted to compare two fields, you
could select another field by selecting a Dynamic Value from the forms
assistant on the right.
Now your new Workflow condition should look similar to Figure 9-5.
Figure 9-5:
Complete
Workflow
Condition.
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14. Click Save and Close.
You return to the main Workflow screen.
15. Back on the main Workflow creation screen Highlight Select this row
and click Add Step under the condition you just created.
The action you select tells the program what you want done when the
condition you set in Steps 8 through 11 is met. A list of actions and their
descriptions is available in the “Workflow Glossary” at the end of this
chapter.
16. Select Assign Record from the Add Step drop-down menu.
17. Enter the account manager name or click the find button next to the
field to search for a list of system users.
18. Click Save and Close.
19. To make the rule available, click Publish.
If you forget to do this, your perfectly good new rule will sit there forever, forlorn and lost.
20. Click Save and Close to return to the main workflow manager window.
Testing a new rule
Throughout this book, you can find reference to our office manager’s arch
nemeses, the Minions of Chaos (MoC). They love to sneak inside your database and wreak havoc. Remember this because they can make an appearance
at any moment, now that you’ve created your workflow rules.
Back to the workflow rules. They’re complete and ready to go, so you load
them up and away you go, right? Negative, databoy.
Loading an untested workflow rule on your active database is an invitation to
the MoC, who want nothing more than to get in and show you any errors or
glitches that are on your live system by bringing your system to a grinding
halt as that workflow rule runs amok on your data. Okay, this is dramatic, but
we must stress the importance of testing your workflow rules before you
make them live features of your Microsoft CRM.
The good news is that testing your workflow rule is easy. Here’s how:
1. Now that you’ve created your workflow rule, go ahead and start
Microsoft CRM.
Chapter 9: Implementing Business Rules and Workflow
2. Create a condition in your database that triggers the workflow rule.
For example, if you set your workflow rule to trigger on every new
account created in the system, go ahead and create an account and
remember to save, Save, SAVE and Close the record.
3. Reopen the record you just created so you can check for the intended
result.
If the rule said to assign every new account to Bob, you’d check to see
whether Bob is listed as the owner.
If you don’t see the desired result, you either failed to activate your rule, or
you need to review the rule criteria and specifics to determine the cause of
the problem. Always go back and check out how you built the workflow rule
first before assuming there’s a bug in the program — because most computer
errors are the result of operator error.
In large, mission critical environments there would most likely be a development or test system that mimics the live system in every way possible. These
systems allow you to test possible solutions without the danger of damaging
your production data.
Creating On-Demand (manual) rules
An On-Demand rule is a rule that can only be invoked manually — not automatically (at least not directly). Essentially it is a Workflow that doesn’t have
any of the Start When: boxes checked and instead has the Available to Run:
On Deman box checked. For those of you designing complex workflow rules,
you can call manual rules by another rule. By calling, we mean that each rule
should do one or two simple things and should then trigger, or call, another
rule if more functionality is needed.
Speaking of calling, try to avoid creating a giant workflow-rule Godzilla.
Instead of one massive process, it may be easier to put together a series of
simple manual rules that call each other. You can also do what computer programmers do (no, not change people’s passwords for fun): Create small modules of code, or in this case, workflow rules that you can reuse for many
different applications.
Remember that you have to activate a workflow rule after you create it, as
the last step. On-Demand rules, just like all the other rules, must be active
before you can invoke or call them.
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On-Demand Workflow rules are great if everyone remembers to invoke or
trigger them. The key word here is remembers. In today’s offices, most people
are so busy answering the phone, dealing with customer service issues, and
making sales calls that things are bound to slip through the cracks. We suggest that you create a system with a master workflow rule that automatically
attaches to every new record and begins a sequence of calling additional
rules as conditions in that record warrant.
Creating follow-up rules
Almost every business does some sort of follow-up with its customers, and
yours is probably no exception. You may want to send a thank-you e-mail for
a recent purchase, or you may want to schedule calls to accounts that have
had no activity for 60 days. This is called a follow-up rule, and it’s usually a
manual one. The steps are similar to creating a rule in the first place, so we’ll
just touch on them here and make sure we point out the variations.
One of the most common tasks your company may want to automate is the
scheduling of a call to a newly created account. We use that as our example
for creating a follow-up rule. As mentioned earlier, the steps mostly mirror
the ones you use to create a workflow rule.
To create a manual rule that schedules a follow-up activity for the owner of
an account, follow these steps:
1. Choose Settings and then Workflows in the navigation pane of CRM
Web client.
The Microsoft CRM Workflow Manager window appears, as shown in
Figure 9-1.
2. Click New.
3. Enter a name for the workflow and select an entity type. For this
example we will use the Account entity once again.
4. Select the New Blank workflow radio button and then click OK.
5. Click On Demand and uncheck Start when: Record is created.
This is a slight variation. In the list used to create a workflow rule, you
selected the Record Is Created option instead.
6. Click the Add Step drop-down list and then select Check Condition.
7. Click in the box where it says Type a step description here and type a
description to describe this step of the workflow. Something such as
“Where State = MA” should suffice.
8. Click <condition> (click to configure), which opens the Specify
Workflow Condition screen.
Chapter 9: Implementing Business Rules and Workflow
9. Hover your cursor over the word “Select” and a drop-down box
appears. Select Account from the box.
10. Hover your cursor over the word “Select” to the right of where you
just selected Account. Another drop-down box appears. Select
Address1: State/Province.
11. Hover over the word Select that appeared to the right of the the last
selection you made and select Equals from the drop down box that
appears.
12. Hover over the word Select that appears to the right of the last selection and enter MA in the text box that appears.
13. Click Save and Close.
14. Back at the main Workflow screen click on “Select this row and click
Add Step” under the condition you just created.
15. Select Create Record from the Add Step drop-down menu.
16. Select Phone Call from the drop-down menu of the Record you’re
creating and then click the Set Properties button to the right of the
drop down.
The Create Phone Call window appears, as shown in Figure 9-6. Here,
you can specify what tasks the follow-up rule should perform when it is
called, or triggered.
17. Enter a subject and a description for this new activity.
For example, in the Subject field, you might enter New Account or
Assigning an Account Manager to a new Account.
Figure 9-6:
This activity
can create a
task, phone
call, fax,
or letter.
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18. Enter a due date and a priority.
The due date isn’t so much an actual date but a length of time you want
the system to wait before it sends the letter or fax or prompts you to
perform the task or make the phone call. The priorities are low, normal,
and high.
19. Click Save and Close.
You’re taken to the main window of the workflow you just created.
Remember, rules do nothing unless you publish them.
20. To make the rule available, click Publish.
21. After it’s published, click Save and Close to return to the main workflow manager window.
Testing a manual rule
Remember the Minions of Chaos mentioned earlier? They don’t discriminate
between automatic rules and manual ones, so you’ll want to test these as well.
The steps for testing follow-up rules are different than those for testing automatic ones. Here’s how you do it:
1. Create a condition in Microsoft CRM that triggers the original rule.
A good example is the New Account workflow rule we just created.
2. In Microsoft CRM, use the navigation pane to find and highlight the
account.
3. In the window’s toolbar, click Run Workflow.
The Workflow dialog box appears.
4. Select your workflow process from the list and then click OK.
The process begins to run invisibly.
5. Go to the workplace and click Activities in the upper part of the navigation pane.
You should see the follow-up activity listed there (if the activity was
assigned to you, anyway).
Monitoring Your Workflow
Now that you have all of those workflow rules processing merrily away, you
want to see them all on one screen, without having to go to every account or
Chapter 9: Implementing Business Rules and Workflow
contact to see whether a rule has been applied. You can do this through the
Workflow Monitor. Like Workflow Manager, Workflow Monitor is visible from
within the CRM Web client. It also keeps a log of processes that are currently
active and records which ones have already run.
There are two ways to view the Monitor:
Click a record that the workflow applies to, then click Workflows in
the navigation pane to see the status of workflows on that record.
The Workflow Monitor window appears, as shown in Figure 9-7. In this
display, you can see Workflow process attached to the selected record
and along with some brief information regarding each Workflow.
In the navigation pane, click Settings and then click System jobs. The
Settings area is generally only accessible by end users so they will
need to use the first method.
You can sort the items by clicking the header for each column. You can also
export the log to an Excel spreadsheet by clicking the Excel icon.
The Workflow Monitor only shows workflow rules that have been triggered.
Even though you may have additional rules activated, they remain invisible
to the Monitor when an event triggers them.
Figure 9-7:
Success
at last!
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Workflow Glossary
Throughout this chapter, we tell you to select an event, or choose an action,
or set a condition. Maybe you’re wondering what, exactly, constitutes an
event, action, or condition. Well, we list them all here, in a one-stop, look-see
that’s easy to find.
Events
In Microsoft CRM, an event is the trigger condition that initiates a workflow
rule. For example, you can set a workflow rule for Assign, and anything that is
assigned has that workflow rule applied to it. Microsoft CRM has four events:
Record is created: This trigger fires whenever a new record is created
for the selected entity.
Record status changes: CRM monitors whether records have changed
state from active to inactive or vice versa and this event is fired when
this happens.
Record is assigned: This event fires when a record is assigned (or
reassigned).
Record attributes change: This event fires when one of the selected
attributes (or fields) changes for the selected entity.
Record is deleted: This trigger fires when an entity is deleted.
On Demand: Only workflow rules marked On Demand can be invoked
manually. To perform this invocation, select Apply Rule from the Actions
tab of the Workflow Manager window.
Conditions
Every business process is triggered by some change in a condition. That condition might be a change in a data field, a due date being passed, or a record
being created. The various conditions of the Workflow Manager (visible in
Figure 9-3) enables you to initiate an action based on a field or an activity
that has changed or an amount of time that has transpired.
The options for possible conditions are as follows:
Check Object Conditions: This enables you to drill down to a specific
field in a record. For example, if the State field is New York, you can take
an action to assign the New York sales rep to the account. Based on the
Chapter 9: Implementing Business Rules and Workflow
type of field (whether it’s a numeric, text, or a date field, for example),
various operators are available.
Check Activities: By checking activities, you can initiate actions based
on scheduled or completed activities.
Else If: This enables you to nest additional condition statements saying
that if the first condition is false, evaluate the second condition.
Wait for Conditions: Workflow can wait for a specified amount of time
until the specified criteria becomes true before the rest of the rule is
completed. This can be the cornerstone of an activity escalation plan.
For example, if a lead is assigned to a sales rep, the system can be
instructed to wait for three days before checking to see whether a user
has created an appointment. If the system finds no evidence of an
appointment, a message can be automatically sent to the sales rep or
the sales rep’s manager.
Wait for Timer: This is similar to Wait for Conditions, but this condition
can make sure that an assignment is handled within a specified time
limit. For example, you can monitor a high-priority tech support call that
must be returned within an hour by using Wait for Timer.
Actions
Actions are a series of operations performed after conditions have been evaluated as true. You can enact nine activities:
Create Activity: This schedules a task, phone call, fax, or appointment.
Send E-Mail: This powerful utility enables CRM to send a confirming
e-mail, on your behalf, to a customer who has just placed an order or
notify a sales rep when a lead is assigned to him or her.
Create Note: CRM can automatically attach a note to a record. For example, CRM could create a note that places an account on hold when payment becomes overdue.
Update Record: You can use the Update Record action to modify individual fields in records. Many fields in each record are not, by default, displayed on the screen. You can use Update Record to modify visible as
well as invisible fields.
Change Status: Different types of records are assigned different types of
status. The Change Status action enables the workflow system to change
a record’s status automatically based on conditions being met.
Assign Entity: Workflow can automatically assign cases to customer service reps based on a topic, or it can assign an account to a sales rep based
on a territory. For example, if a customer calls about a malfunctioning
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transporter, the case can be assigned to Molly, your most experienced
customer service rep.
Post URL: This action sends a Web site address of another business to a
data field. For example, when a new account is created, you can post the
Web site address in the Web Site field.
Run child workflow: Basically, this is one process or rule calling
another one. By using this technique, you can program a large number
of simple workflow rules, with each rule potentially calling another rule.
Stop: This brings your process to a halt.
Call Assembly: This option contains any custom .NET assemblies that
your administrator or implementation partner has registered with
Microsoft CRM. Refer to the SDK documentation to add your own assemblies here. You can download the SDK from www.microsoft.com/
downloads. Search for “CRM SDK”.
To workflow infinity and beyond . . .
Microsoft CRM also allows you call a small piece of code called a .NET assembly that does some custom functions. For example, if you want Microsoft CRM
to check the credit on one of your customers and update the customer record
with the customer’s FICO score, you can write a small .NET assembly that
calls another application to get that information and then updates Microsoft
CRM. Based on the returned score, Microsoft CRM can then finish processing
the rest of the rule you set up.
A third-party business alert system, KnowledgeSync, enables you to look at
multiple databases and multiple types of records. We describe KnowledgeSync
in Chapter 27. If you anticipate the need to build sophisticated rules and
alerts, and you don’t want to write custom code, you may want this add-on
program.
Chapter 10
Creating and Running Reports
In This Chapter
Adding report categories
Creating reports
Editing reports
Removing reports
Running reports
Using Excel as a report writer
N
ow that you’ve started to put data into Microsoft CRM, you’re ready to
get that data out. An easy way to analyze data in Microsoft CRM is to
run a report. But what if one of the pre-installed reports isn’t what you’re
looking for? In fact, experience tells us that it’s very unlikely that the prebuilt
reports are going to be exactly what you want. So what now?
Prior to Microsoft CRM 4, custom report creation was left to people who
could author reports in SQL Reporting. Not an easy task for the average user.
But don’t worry, because version 4 has a built-in Report Wizard. The Report
Wizard is simple to use, especially if you’re familiar with using Advanced
Find. (See Chapter 3 for more on Advanced Find.)
The Report Wizard provides limited design features. Designing reports with
the Report Wizard allows for grouping and sub-grouping of data, column
selection, some data summary, and graphing. Reports with graphs can also
have the additional capability of drilling down to the details that represent
the graph.
Adding Report Categories
In Microsoft CRM, you can aggregate reports by category. Out of the box,
there are four categories: Sales, Service, Administrative, and Marketing. You
can add your own categories to the list as well. Although you can find reports
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in more than one category, Microsoft has segregated the reports based on
the following:
Sales reports: Collect all the activities associated with a sale, from the
lead through the actual sale. These reports can also provide statistical
information about accounts, lead sources, competitors, and products.
Service reports: Provide statistical information related to contracts,
cases, and summaries of knowledge base articles. These reports provide
quick analyses of which products require the most support and where
your service representatives are spending the most time.
Administrative reports: Provide summary information about your
Microsoft CRM users.
Marketing reports: Describe accounts, campaigns, lead source effectiveness, and other areas of interest to the marketing department. The
reports provide summary and detail information across accounts, campaigns, and lead sources.
You can add your own report categories. To do so, follow these steps:
1. In the navigation pane, click Settings.
The Settings navigation options appear at the top of the navigation pane.
2. In the navigation pane, click the Administration icon.
The Administration options are now available on the right.
3. In the Administration pane on the right, click System Settings.
Settings are divided by tabs. Click the Reporting tab on the right.
4. Click Add on the right.
5. Create the new category.
For our scenario, we added a category called Stephanie’s Reports.
6. Click OK.
7. Click OK on the bottom.
Your new category appears in the report area.
Navigating the Report Area
Prior to designing our first report, let’s take a look at the report area of
Microsoft Dynamics CRM. To access the report area, follow these steps:
Chapter 10: Creating and Running Reports
1. In the navigation pane, click the Workplace button.
The Workplace navigation options appear at the top of the navigation
pane.
2. In the navigation pane, click the Reports icon.
The reports listing now appears on the right.
The top right of the report screen has the View drop-down list, like all other
areas in Microsoft CRM. In this case the values in the drop-down list include
the report categories.
The report toolbar has several icons. From the right, the first icon is More
Actions. Clicking the More Actions icon reveals a menu with the following
options:
Run Report: Run report is obvious and works in the same manner as
double-clicking the report.
Edit Default Filter: When you add reports to the system, they’re filtered
to display the data desired. Microsoft CRM allows the user to edit the
filter at runtime; that way, the user can customize the data displayed
without actually editing the report. In the More Actions menu, Edit
Default Filter allows the system administrator a way to edit the default
filter used by the report at runtime, should the user not edit the filter.
To understand report filtering, first run a report without filtering:
1. Double-click the Account Overview report.
The Report filtering criteria appears. (See Figure 10-1.) You could
change the default filtering now, but don’t do so just yet.
2. Click Clear at the top left.
This removes all filtering for the report.
3. Click Run Report on the bottom right.
The report’s listing now appears on the right. (See Figure 10-2.)
4. From the report screen, click Edit Filter on the top left.
The report filtering window appears. Defining the filter criteria is
much like working with Advanced Find. (See Chapter 3 for more on
Advanced Find.) In this example, we filter the company name.
5. Click Select and choose Account Name.
For this example, we filter the report based on Account Name.
However, you can choose a different field based on your filtering
requirements.
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Figure 10-1:
The report
filtering
screen.
Figure 10-2:
The report
without
filtering.
Chapter 10: Creating and Running Reports
6. Make sure the operator shown is Equals.
If you need to change the operator from equals, simply click the
word Equals.
Because you chose Equals, this value must match exactly the
company name in the account area. Choose your operator carefully. If you want to return all records in which the company name
begins with the letter A, you would choose Begins With and not
Equals. To learn more about selecting the proper operator, see
Chapter 3.
7. Place mouse over Enter Value and type a company name.
If necessary, you can add more sophisticated filtering prior to running the report. To do so, click Select below your first criteria and
repeat steps 5–7.
8. Click Run Report on the bottom right.
Figure 10-3 shows a filtered report based on the Account Name.
Reports are also filtered based on user security. This happens regardless
of the filter criteria chosen. Therefore, users running reports will only
have access to records via the reports that they can access via the CRM
interface.
Figure 10-3:
The filtered
report.
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From the More Actions menu, the Edit Default filter allows the system
administrator a way to edit the default filter used by the report at runtime, should the user not edit the filter. Follow the preceding steps for
filtering a report to edit the default filter (after you’ve chosen Edit
Default Filter from the More Actions menu).
Schedule Report: This is a wonderful way to create a report snapshot.
Report snapshots are analogous to pictures in that they are frozen in
time. When a snapshot is created, it preserves the report and data at the
time the snapshot was created. Rerunning a report snapshot, then,
shows the same data every time. This is in contrast to running the
actual report, which will dynamically update the report with the most
current data.
Reports snapshots cannot be created unless the Microsoft CRM
Connector for SQL Reporting Services is installed. If you try to create a
snapshot and receive such an error message, speak with your Microsoft
CRM partner.
Microsoft CRM allows for eight snapshots per report. You can create
snapshots manually or via a schedule. To create a report snapshot,
follow these steps:
1. On the Report area toolbar, select More Actions➪Schedule Report.
The Schedule Report Wizard runs.
2. Select either On Demand or On a Schedule.
Both are similar; however, On Demand has fewer options. In this
list, I choose On a Schedule.
3. Click Next.
The Select Frequency form opens. The schedule varies based on
the selection on the left.
4. Create a schedule for your report and click Next.
5. Depending on your selection in Step 4, pick start and/or end dates.
6. Click Next.
The Define Report Parameters form is displayed.
7. Fill in the appropriate parameters. If you don’t need to edit the
default filter, click Next; otherwise, edit the default filter.
8. Review the snapshot criteria and click Create.
9. Click Finish.
Sharing: Sharing is the last option in More Actions. Remember that
snapshots contain data. They have the data that was available to the
user who created the snapshot. Sharing the report with a user who otherwise wouldn’t have access to sensitive data when running the report
means that user now has access to that data when viewing a snapshot.
Chapter 10: Creating and Running Reports
The other report toolbar icons work like their brethren on other forms, and
we don’t cover them in this chapter.
Using Viewing Options
After you’ve run the report, you may have noticed the viewing options just
above the report. Let’s take a look at all those options. (Depending on the
report you’re running, not all of the options that follow are displayed.)
Group By: Group By options vary by report. Choose this to group
report data.
Page navigation: If your report has more than one page, you can move
through them using these VCR-type controls. From left to right, the first
button (First Page) takes you to page one of the report. The next button
(Previous Page) takes you back one page from the page currently displayed. The third button (Next Page) takes you to the next page. The last
button (Last Page) takes you to the last page of the report. The display
between the second and third button tells you the page you’re on and
the total page count.
Display size: Next to the navigation options is a box showing the size of
the display. Click the arrow for the drop-down list to modify the size of
the report.
Find|Next: This field enables you to search for specific text in the
report. You can use * as a wildcard to search partial text. (For example, typing Mart* will find Martin.) Just fill in the Find field and click
Find. You’re taken to the first result. To move to the second result,
click Next.
If the text you enter in the Find field appears in the report on a page previous to the one you’re viewing on the screen, the search will come up
empty. So, when conducting a search using the Find field, always jump to
the first page of the report before clicking Find.
You can drill down on summary reports (or graphs) to see the underlying detail. For example, if you open the Sales Pipeline report, you see a
single bar in the graph. Change the Group By to Sales User and click
View Report. You now have multiple bars representing your sales team.
Click a bar and you’re presented with a table of data representing the
selected bar. Move your mouse over any of the items in the left column
(Opportunity). Your mouse turns into a hand. Click and drill all the way
down to the actual opportunity record.
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Exporting and Printing Your Report
Exporting report data is just what it sounds like — the movement of data
from inside Microsoft CRM to outside Microsoft CRM. Let’s look at exporting
your spiffy report.
Printing is a form of exporting. To print your report, just click the little
printer icon in the line above the report. You’ll get the basic Print dialog
window, where you can make the usual selections.
For the most part, when we use the term export in this business, it describes
sending the data to another application. In Microsoft CRM’s case, the data
doesn’t export to just Microsoft products. You can create your report in
HTML (good for display on your company Web site) or export it to an Adobe
Acrobat file.
Follow these steps to export a report:
1. With the report on the screen in the Report Viewer window, click the
Export drop-down list and select the application.
Your choices are HTML, Excel, Web Archive, Acrobat, TIFF, CSV (comma
delimited), and XML.
2. Click the word Export.
You see a familiar screen, asking whether you want to open the file or
save it to disk. Your computer thinks you’re downloading a file from
a Web site, so you’re asked whether you want to open it or save it. If
you choose to open it, you have the option to save it from the report
window.
3. Decide whether to open or save the file and then click OK.
After a moment, your report opens in the format you selected.
When you select one of the export formats, the associated application opens
and displays the report. Interestingly, no matter which selection you make,
the report opens in a browser window. (Remember that Microsoft CRM is
browser based.) So, for example, if you select Microsoft Excel as the export
format, the report opens in essentially a browser version of Excel, and all of
Excel’s menus will be available.
Microsoft CRM 4 uses SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services as its primary
reporting tool. Should you desire to learn the Reporting Services design
tool, you will need Microsoft Visual Studio. You can find a free version at
www.asp.net. We suggest you try the Report Wizard first, as it is much
easier to learn. So read on.
Chapter 10: Creating and Running Reports
Accessing the Report Wizard
Before designing a report with the Report Wizard, we suggest you sketch your
design. After doing so, you’re ready to create a report with the Report Wizard.
If you read the “Navigating the Report Area” section earlier in the chapter,
you now know your way around the report area in Microsoft CRM, and you’re
ready to create a new report.
What is our scenario for this report? The sales manager of Mega Corp,
Stephanie, would like to create an opportunity pipeline report, grouping data
by sales person or owner and sub-grouping by state and ordering by revenue.
She has three sales people; Zach, Ethan, and Rachel. Let’s take a look at how
Stephanie would go about creating the report. Follow these steps:
1. In the navigation pane, click the Workplace button.
The Workplace navigation options appear at the top of the navigation pane.
2. In the navigation pane, click the Reports icon.
The reports listing is now available on the right.
3. Click New to Create a new Report.
The Report: New dialog box opens. (See Figure 10-4.)
Figure 10-4:
The Report:
New dialog
box.
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4. On the General tab, click the Report Wizard button.
The Report Wizard dialog box opens. (See Figure 10-5.)
Figure 10-5:
The Report
Wizard for
creating
custom
reports.
5. Select the Start a New Report radio button and click Next.
The Report Properties dialog box opens.
6. Enter a report name and description.
7. Select a primary record type. (See Figure 10-6.)
In our case, the Primary Record type that we select is Opportunities.
Leave the Related Record Type field blank for this report. You could add
a related record if your report displays fields from a related entity.
8. Click Next.
The Report Filtering Criteria dialog box opens.
9. Click Clear icon to reset the report filter.
You can now enter your own filtering criteria. Of course, you don’t have
to click Clear in this step. Leave the default filtering criteria when it
matches your desired filter criteria.
Report filtering criteria can be changed at run-time. See the section,
“Navigating the Reports Area,” earlier in this chapter.
10. Click Next.
The Lay Out Fields dialog box opens.
Chapter 10: Creating and Running Reports
Figure 10-6:
Selecting
the entity
to report
on. In our
example,
the entity
is Opportunities.
11. Click “Click here to add a grouping” to set the report’s highest level
grouping (see Figure 10-7) and add a field to group by.
The Add Grouping dialog box opens. You can group your report in three
levels. For example, group first by date, then by sales rep, and lastly by
product.
Figure 10-7:
Grouping
the report.
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12. In the Add Grouping dialog box, leave Opportunities in the record
Type drop-down list. Select Owner in the Column field, and leave
remainder of the fields as-is.
13. Click OK.
Back to the Lay Out Fields dialog box.
14. Click the “Click here to add a column” option.
The Add Column dialog box opens.
15. Select a Column for the report.
We’re adding only Opportunity fields, so make sure the Record Type
field says Opportunities. If you’d like to add fields from related entities,
change the drop-down list to the desired entity. Select the field you’d
like to have in the left-most column (Stephanie chose Topic), and set the
column size. The largest column width is 300 pixels, and 25 pixels is the
smallest. Add more columns as desired.
16. Click OK.
17. Repeat Steps 15 and 16 to add additional columns.
18. Click Next.
The Format Report dialog box is displayed.
19. Select Table Only or Chart and Table.
For now, select Table Only. You can’t choose Chart and Table without a
number field that is summarized; we cover that in the next numbered
step list.
Summary choices relate to the type of number field.
20. Select Table only, click Next.
The Report Summary dialog box is displayed.
21. Click Next.
The Report Successfully Created dialog box opens.
22. Click Finish.
The report new/edit dialog box opens.
Before we alter the report settings, let’s return to step 19 above, the one in
which we chose Table Only. If we’d like to include a chart, we would have
instead chosen Chart and Table. However, that option may not have been
available to us. To access Chart and Table we need a field in the body of the
report summarized. Let’s back up to step 15 above and make the necessary
changes so we can select Chart and Table.
Chapter 10: Creating and Running Reports
15a. Highlight an existing field and click Change Properties on the right.
The Edit Column Properties dialog box opens. Note, you MUST change
the properties of a number field and not a text field. Otherwise you
won’t be able to perform 16a below.
16a. Change the summary type to the option that best fits your data.
We chose Sum.
17a. Click OK.
The dialog box closes.
18a. Click Next.
The Chart and Table option is now available. Choose:
• Show table below chart on same page: This displays the table and
the chart on the same page.
• Show chart. To view data for a chart region, click the chart
region: This option lets you click on the chart and drill into the
report table for the details not displayed by the chart.
19a. Select a chart type. Click Next.
The Customize Chart Format dialog opens.
20a. Depending on your selections in step 15, you’ll be able to select which
fields are displayed as data slices and values. Decide if you want to
show data labels and legend and click Next.
The Report Summary dialog box opens.
21a. Click Next.
22a. Click Finish.
At this point we’ve created a new report using the report wizard. However,
we’re not done yet. We need to set up where we want to display the report,
the associated categories, and several other options. Then we need to run
the report to see if we’re happy with how it looks.
Report Settings
When we click Finish (step 22 above) the New/Edit Report dialog box opens.
(See Figure 10-4.) We’re now ready to complete the remaining options on the
form and run it.
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The options on the General Tab are:
Report Type: Report Wizard Report, Existing File, or Link to Web Page. If
you’ve followed the steps above and created a report using the Report
Wizard, leave this alone. If you’re adding a Microsoft SQL Reporting
Service Report (SRS Report), then choose one of these options:
• From Existing File: An “existing file” is a report already uploaded to
your report server.
• Link to Web Report: This choice lets you link to other reports that
have not been uploaded to your Microsoft CRM report Web server.
Name: The report name. You can rename your report here. If you are
naming a SRS report name, you’d be changing the display name in
Microsoft CRM and not the actual name.
Description: Add any report description you deem appropriate.
Parent Report: This pertains to sub-reports that are totally or partially
displayed in another report — the parent report. For our example, leave
this field blank.
Categories: Select the categories under which your report can be found.
To learn more about categories, see the section “Adding Report
Categories,” earlier in this chapter.
Related Record Types: This controls the location (lists and forms) in
which the report will be available. For example, to ensure that this
report is available in the local opportunities list (the reports available
from the opportunity form), select Opportunities.
Display In: Controls where reports are displayed, as follows:
• Forms for related record types: When a form is open, the report is
accessed via the report icon on the form toolbar.
• Lists for related record types: The report can be accessed from the
local toolbar when viewing a list of data. To find the report list, click
on an entity from the navigation bar, such as Accounts. A report
icon is available on the toolbar above the list of records returned.
• Reports area. The Reports area is where we began this chapter.
Access the reports area by clicking Workplace on the navigation
bar, then Reports.
Now you’re ready to save the report and run it! Here’s all you need to do:
1. Complete the report as necessary.
We want our report to be run from the Reports area and from the list of
opportunities, so we completed the form as follows:
• Related Record Type: Opportunities.
• Display In: Lists for related record types and Reports area.
Chapter 10: Creating and Running Reports
2. Click Save or Save and Close on the toolbar at the top of the form.
3. Click Run Report from the toolbar to view the report.
Your new report is displayed.
Editing Reports
You can use the Report Wizard to edit reports created with the Report
Wizard, but you can’t use the Report Wizard to edit reports created elsewhere. That means that you would have to use Microsoft SQL Reporting
Services to edit any report created with Microsoft SQL Reporting Services.
Such reports aren’t covered in this book.
Only users with the appropriate rights can add, edit, or delete reports.
After you’ve created a report with the report wizard, you may want to make
some changes to the report. To do so, follow these steps:
1. In the navigation pane, click the Workplace button.
The Workplace navigation options appear at the top of the navigation pane.
2. In the navigation pane, click the Reports icon.
The reports listing is now available on the right.
3. Highlight the report to be edited and click Edit Report on the toolbar
above.
The Reports dialog box opens.
4. Click the Report Wizard button.
The Report Wizard appears.
5. Leave the default selections as they are and click Next.
6. Change the Report Name, Description, Primary Record, and
Secondary Record Types and click Next.
7. Edit the report filter and click Next.
8. Click the group or column to change and click Change Properties.
You can change the Column Width field and Summary field (if it’s a
numeric field).
9. To remove a column or group, click it and click Remove Group
or Column. Similarly, to add a group or column, click Add Group or
Column.
10. Click Next.
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11. Edit the layout and click Next.
12. Select the chart type (if your selection in Step 11 included a chart).
13. Customize chart type and click Next.
14. Click Next.
15. Click Finish.
The report now reflects your changes.
To remove a report from the report area, follow these steps:
1. Navigate to the report area.
2. Click the report you’d like to remove.
3. Click the black X on the report toolbar.
4. Confirm deletion.
Creating Excel Reports
Throughout the CRM system, you find the ever present Excel icon. Often in
this book, we refer to the fact that you can export data from Microsoft CRM
to Excel and further manipulate that data. When you’ve created an Excel
spreadsheet that you’d like to run often with refreshed CRM data, you can
do so by saving your Excel file as a report.
Let’s say that Stephanie would like to create an Advance Find (refer to
Chapter 3 for more on Advanced Find) to show opportunities closing in the
next 30 days with estimated revenue greater than $50,000. She saves the
Advance Find, which is now visible in the Opportunity view.
Stephanie exports data to Excel and reformats the spreadsheet, and then she
would like to run the spreadsheet and have the data change dynamically. To
do this, she would follow these steps:
1. On the Navigation Bar, click Sales.
The sales-related icons appear at the top of the navigation bar.
2. Click Opportunities.
The Main Opportunity form opens to the right.
3. Click the Excel icon on the toolbar.
Chapter 10: Creating and Running Reports
The Export Data to Excel dialog box opens. The dialog box provides
three export options, as follows:
• Static worksheet with records from this page: With this option
you export the data and the columns visible on the grid. Selecting
this option makes the Make This Data Available for Re-Import by
Including Required Columns option available at the bottom of the
form. To learn more about this option, see Appendix A.
• Dynamic PivotTable: Select this option when you want to see your
data in a pivot table. When selected, you can select your columns
(see step 4). Also, this is dynamic so if you save the spreadsheet
the data will refresh each time the saved spreadsheet is run.
• Dynamic worksheet: Similar to the pivot table, but you create an
Excel worksheet instead of a pivot table.
4. Select an option (we chose Dynamic Worksheet) and click Export.
The File Download dialog box opens.
5. Click Open.
The Excel spreadsheet opens.
6. If prompted, select Yes.
7. Edit the spreadsheet as you see fit.
Because the worksheet or pivot table is dynamic, it reflects changes in
the data whenever you run it. For example, the spreadsheet might have
two opportunities with estimated revenue of $100,000; when you rerun
it, if a third opportunity exists with estimated revenue of $50,000, the
resultant total in the Excel spreadsheet is $150,000.
8. Save the Excel Spreadsheet.
We suggest you select Save As Excel and save the report with a name
you prefer such as, Open Opportunity Report.
9. In Microsoft CRM, click Workplace on the Navigation Bar.
The workplace options now appear at the top of the navigation bar.
10. Click Reports at the top of the Navigation Bar.
11. In the report, click the New icon on the toolbar.
The new report dialog opens. (See Figure 10-4.)
12. Change the Report Type to Existing File.
13. For File Location, browse to the file you just saved.
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14. Add categories.
For more information, see the section, “Report Settings,” earlier in this
chapter.
15. Choose the Related Record Type.
In our example, we chose Opportunities.
16. In Display Area, select Lists for Related Records.
The spreadsheet now is available in the toolbar above the Opportunity grid.
The Related Record Types and Display In fields control the location
in which your reports will be visible. The Categories field controls the
categories in which a report will be displayed in the main reports area
(Workplace ➪Reports).
To share your report with others in your organization, complete steps 17
and 18. Otherwise, skip to step 19.
17. Click the Administration Tab.
18. Select Organization in Viewable By.
19. Click the Save Icon or Save and Close.
Part III
Managing Sales
T
In this part . . .
his part deals with the sales side of your organization.
CRM has four types of customer records: leads,
opportunities, accounts, and contacts. This part explains
all four and shows you how to enter and manage them.
Organizing the sales team with quotas and forecasts is the
starting point and is detailed in Chapter 11.
We discuss leads and opportunities, which are near and
dear to every salesperson, in Chapter 12. Chapter 13
focuses on accounts and contacts.
Activities, which are tasks such as appointments and phone
calls, are associated with each of the four record types,
and we discuss them in Chapter 14. Saving your notes and
attachment documents is discussed in Chapter 15.
The quotes and orders and invoices that come from setting up your product list are all discussed in Chapter 16. If
you have any sales literature or any competitors, you find
out how to handle both of these in Chapter 17. Sales
processes, important in the design of your workflow, are
discussed in the last chapter of this part.
Chapter 11
Setting Sales Quotas and Dealing
with Forecasts
In This Chapter
Setting up quotas
Forecasting sales
Updating a forecast
Examining forecasts
T
oward the end of every year, our sales team sits down and develops a
plan for the coming year. That plan includes the products we will sell,
who will sell those products, and a guideline for how much of each product
our account managers will sell (we hope). That guideline translates into a
quota in Microsoft CRM.
The quota not only helps us budget for the coming year but also gives us a
series of quarterly milestones. Failure to meet quotas or milestones causes
midterm reevaluations or sometimes something worse. Meeting or exceeding
our goals is what keeps our company healthy and happy.
In this chapter, you find out how to set quotas for salespeople, how to log
forecasted sales against those quotas, and how to adjust these forecasts and
quotas as you go along.
How a Manager Sets Up Quotas
Quotas relate to your company’s quarterly fiscal periods. Before you can set
up a quota for anyone, Microsoft CRM needs to know your company’s fiscal
periods. Fiscal periods may be set only once, and the task should probably
be performed by someone with a title like CFO.
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Fiscal year settings
Quotas are usually related to the time period in which accountants measure
profits and losses — that is, the fiscal period. Accountants have devised a
variety of fiscal years. They can be based on calendar years or can end on
other seemingly random dates. A fiscal year can be divided semiannually or
quarterly.
You can set the fiscal year options only once. You can’t change these settings
after you set them.
To set a fiscal year, follow these steps:
1. Near the bottom of the navigation pane, click the Settings button and
then select Business Management.
Eleven customization topics appear.
2. In the Settings window, select Organization Settings.
The Business Management Settings window appears.
3. Select Fiscal Year Settings from the list.
The Fiscal Year Settings window appears as shown in Figure 11-1.
Figure 11-1:
Creating
your fiscal
year
information.
4. Enter the starting date for your fiscal year in the Start Date field and
select your intended interval for measuring revenue from the appropriate drop-down menu.
The required Template field allows you to specify your fiscal periods.
The rest of the fields in this window allow you to specify the naming
conventions your company uses and to formatt the periods.
Chapter 11: Setting Sales Quotas and Dealing with Forecasts
You need to enter the fiscal year information carefully and correctly
because you get only one shot at it. The system displays a warning message to this effect. You can’t enter sales quotas until you’ve entered the
fiscal year settings. If you set up your fiscal year beginning at some future
date — let’s say it’s December, and you are setting up your system for
the following year — you won’t be able to enter sales quotas until you
reach that future date.
5. Click OK to save your entries.
Setting up a salesperson’s quota
After the fiscal year information is set, you need to establish quotas. Of
course, before you can enter quotas into the system, your management team
must develop a business plan and sales plan and coordinate the quotas with
that plan.
To set up the quota for a user (salesperson), follow these steps:
1. Near the bottom of the navigation pane, click the Settings button.
2. In the navigation pane, select Administration.
This selection brings you to a window with five topics as shown in
Figure 11-2.
Figure 11-2:
The major
functions
within
Administration.
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3. Select Users.
A list of all available users of the system appears.
4. Select one or more salespeople.
Although users is a more general term than salespeople, usually only
salespeople have quotas. To select more than one salesperson, hold
down the Ctrl key while clicking with the mouse. If a group of salespeople has the same quota, you can set quotas for the group all at once.
5. From the menu bar (at the top of the screen), choose Actions➪Manage
Quotas.
The Manage Quotas dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 11-3.
If you’ve selected more than one user, you may get a warning message.
If this is the case, the new quota you’re about to enter will override any
existing quota. If that isn’t your intention, you can cancel the operation;
you return to the list of users (Step 3), where you can make another
selection.
Figure 11-3:
Entering
a salesperson’s
quota. In this
example,
three
salespeople
were
selected,
each of
whom will
be getting
the same
quota.
6. On the right side of the window, fill in each period’s quota.
These quotas will apply to every salesperson you selected in Step 4.
However, nothing happens until you click the Apply button.
7. Click the Apply button at the bottom of the dialog box.
The quotas are saved. This is an important step. If you click OK without
applying your changes, nothing is saved.
Chapter 11: Setting Sales Quotas and Dealing with Forecasts
8. Click the OK button at the bottom of the dialog box.
You return to the Quota window.
9. If you want to enter a quota for another salesperson, repeat Steps 4
through 8.
Entering Sales Forecasts
Anyone who’s been in sales for more than a day has wrestled with sales forecasting in some fashion. This wrestling match may have been with some
formal system or may have been a manager demanding to know when that
big deal is going to finally go down. Without reasonably accurate sales forecasts, it’s difficult for management to steer the boat.
Forecasts in Microsoft CRM are part of the Opportunities section of the program (in the Sales module). The words forecast and opportunity are nearly
synonymous in this system.
To enter a new opportunity, follow these steps:
1. Near the bottom of the navigation pane, click the Sales button.
2. At the top of the navigation pane, select Opportunities.
The Opportunities window appears on the right, as shown in Figure 11-4.
Figure 11-4:
The
opportunities window
with some
data already
entered.
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3. On the Opportunities window’s toolbar, click the New button.
The Opportunity: New window appears, as shown in Figure 11-5. On the
General tab, the Topic, Potential Customer, and Currency fields are all
required fields.
4. In the Topic field, enter a general description of the product or service you’re selling.
For example, you might type Residential Swimming Pool Installation or
Client Retention Consulting Engagement.
5. Fill in the Potential Customer field as follows:
a. Click the magnifying glass to the right of the Potential Customer field
so you can link the opportunity.
Every opportunity should be linked to an account or to a contact.
b. In the Look For field, select Account or Contact.
To follow along with the example, select Account.
A customer can be either an account (a business) or a contact (a
person) and a forecast can relate to either entity.
c. Enter a portion of the potential customer’s name and then click Find
to locate the specific account or contact to which you’re linking this
opportunity.
(We discuss the Find function in detail in Chapter 3.) The Look Up
Records dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 11-6.
d. In the Account Name field, select an account.
The General tab of the Opportunity: New window reappears.
Figure 11-5:
Entering a
new
opportunity.
Chapter 11: Setting Sales Quotas and Dealing with Forecasts
Figure 11-6:
The
accounts
that
correspond
to your
search
criteria.
6. For the Revenue option, select User Provided.
If you’ve set up price lists, you may be able to have the system calculate
the price of your list of products and services. In this example, we
assume that you don’t have price lists that apply, so you need to do a
manual entry of the price.
7. In the Est. Revenue field, enter the estimated revenue from this
opportunity.
8. Fill in the Est. Close date field using the calendar at the end of the
field.
9. In the Probability field, enter the probability of closing the deal.
If your company uses a sales process automated by workflow rules, this
field may be auto-populated.
10. If you want, make a selection in the Rating drop-down list.
You can rate the deal Hot, Warm, or Cold, but the Probability field
covers this.
11. In the Description field, add any comments.
You might notice that a Notes tab is associated with this new opportunity.
There’s no rule for using the Description field versus the Notes tab.
However, for complex sales that take a long time to close or involve a
team of people, we use the Notes tab so each note is time stamped and
date stamped. For simpler and shorter deals, we use the Description field.
12. Click the Save and Close button.
You return to the Opportunities window.
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Updating Your Forecasts
Forecasts have a tendency to get stale quickly. We recommend that you
review and revise your forecasts at least once a week. These revisions need
to focus not only on the estimated close date but also on every field that may
have changed.
To update a forecast, follow these steps:
1. Near the bottom of the navigation pane, click the Sales button.
2. At the top of the navigation pane, select Opportunities.
The Opportunities window appears. If the opportunity you need to
update doesn’t appear, check the View menu in the upper-right corner
to make sure you’re looking at My Open Opportunities or Open
Opportunities.
3. Select the opportunity in question.
The detailed information for the opportunity appears, as shown in
Figure 11-7.
4. Make your modifications.
Although much of the forecast is for your own benefit and is meant to
keep you on track, the forecast is also probably being reviewed by the
sales management team. Reasonable and realistic estimates are always
better than pie-in-the-sky guesses.
Figure 11-7:
It’s all in the
details.
Chapter 11: Setting Sales Quotas and Dealing with Forecasts
5. Click the Save and Close button.
The Opportunities window reappears. From here, you can review or edit
another opportunity that needs attention.
Examining the Forecasts
Microsoft CRM has built-in reports that focus on opportunity management:
opportunity reports and pipeline reports.
Opportunity reports are typically simple line reports with subtotals or totals.
You can filter and sort them by territory, potential revenue, closing probability, salesperson, and many other fields.
Pipeline reports and charts generally involve a little math. If you are a sales
manager, you may want to see how much each salesperson is likely to close
this quarter. A pipeline report can show this to you, either in tabular or
graphic form, by multiplying the potential revenue by the probability.
Your dealer or a knowledgeable systems administrator can customize these
reports, as well as set up additional custom reports. However, that customization is outside the scope of this book.
Printing a report
To select a report for printing or saving, follow these steps:
1. Near the bottom of the navigation pane, click the Sales button.
2. At the top of the navigation pane, select Opportunities.
The Opportunities window appears.
3. In the View drop-down list, select the opportunities you want to
report on.
For example, choose My Open Opportunities if you want to see only
your own deals, or choose Open Opportunities if you want a more company-wide report (assuming you have the rights to see these).
4. On the window’s toolbar, click the Reports button.
The system displays a list of all available reports. Our copy of the software lists three reports: Competitor Win Loss and Lead Source
Effectiveness and Sales Pipeline.
5. Select a report from the drop-down list as shown in Figure 11-8.
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Figure 11-8:
Selecting a
report —
like the
Sales
Pipeline
Report.
After the system processes all the data, the report appears on your
screen.
6. Print or save the report.
Using Excel to examine forecast data
Sales forecasting is one of the most critical aspects of the sales process at
our company. It allows each salesperson to track his or her progress, and the
information in the combined sales forecasts gives management a view of
coming attractions. Most importantly, this same information allows workflow
rules to ensure that no sale falls through the cracks.
You can export your forecast data directly to a local copy of Excel on your
computer. Then, if you have even a little facility with Excel, you can manipulate the data and look at it in a tabular or in a graphical presentation. (If you
need help with Excel, get a copy of Excel 2007 For Dummies, by Greg Harvey
[Wiley Publishing].)
To export your forecast data to Excel, follow these steps:
1. Near the bottom of the navigation pane, click the Sales button.
2. At the top of the navigation pane, select Opportunities.
The Opportunities window appears.
Chapter 11: Setting Sales Quotas and Dealing with Forecasts
3. In the View drop-down list, select the types of opportunities you want
in your Excel export.
4. On the window’s toolbar, click the Excel icon.
A screen appears with several worksheet choices.
5. For the simplest kind of export, select the first option and then click
Export.
CRM loads your data into a local copy of Excel. You can then calculate
totals, add columns with calculated values, or even create graphs.
6. For more sophisticated dynamic Excel tables, select the second or
third choices.
Dynamic worksheets automatically update their data as you change the
data in another application.
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Chapter 12
Handling Leads and Opportunities
In This Chapter
Creating and modifying leads
Changing a lead to an opportunity
Creating, assigning, and sharing opportunities
I
n CRM-speak, a suspect is a person or a company with whom you may do
business someday. In all likelihood, your suspect hasn’t yet heard of you.
A prospect is the next level up. Your prospect has heard of you and may have
even expressed some interest in doing business with you. Microsoft CRM
refers to both suspects and prospects as leads.
An opportunity is a lead that has matured enough to deserve serious attention. But before you can begin to turn leads into opportunities, you need to
enter your lead data (such as contact information, the source of the lead,
and what the prospect is interested in) into CRM.
Actually, you can promote a lead to an account record, a contact record, or
an opportunity record, or to any combination of these three. The subtle benefit of promoting a lead to an opportunity is that you can forecast a sale associated with an opportunity. You can also link each opportunity to a price list,
which helps determine the pricing in a quote.
You need to create an opportunity record before you close your opportunity
(whether by winning or losing the deal). You create opportunity records manually by just typing them in, by importing them from outside files (such as
Excel), or by converting them from leads. Importing data from Excel is discussed in Appendix A.
Workflow rules enable almost complete automation of your selling process,
moving opportunities from one sales stage to the next. Workflow is part of the
process of handling opportunities and is discussed in some detail in Chapter 9.
In Chapter 16, we discuss what happens when you close an opportunity and
turn it into the real deal. In this chapter, we talk about entering leads and
moving them through your sales process with the intention of turning them
into full-fledged opportunities.
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Processing Leads from Suspects
Leads may come to you from many sources. Some of the most common
sources are referrals from existing customers, mailing lists you’ve rented
or purchased, inquiries from your Web site, and responses to marketing
campaigns.
Leads get into CRM in essentially two ways. You can enter them manually or
you can import them, typically from an Excel file. If your CRM system is integrated with your Web site, you can automate the entry of leads from the Web.
It’s likely, though, that you’ll want some expert help for that. Chapter 21 deals
with Web integration and Chapter 28 discusses when and how to access
some expert help. You’re probably going to enter leads manually if you have
only a few sporadic leads or if you don’t have them available in a convenient
electronic format. In this section, we discuss getting leads manually into your
CRM system and what to do with them after they’re there.
Getting to the Leads window
You can access everything about leads and opportunities from the Sales
module. And everything about leads starts at the Leads window, which is
shown in Figure 12-1. To get to that window, click the Sales button near the
bottom of the navigation pane. Then, at the top of the pane, select Leads.
That’s it.
As you go through the standard Lead windows, you can see about 20 data
fields. As with most data entry windows throughout CRM, many more fields
than that are available. Those fields have been hard-coded into the database
structure but remain invisible unless your system design people make them
available. In the case of lead records, for example, 95 fields are available,
should you need to track more information about your leads. Your administrator or dealer can add fields, if needed.
Creating a lead manually
Your marketing department’s efforts are supposed to create leads. Microsoft
CRM thinks of a lead as a potential customer that may or may not have
expressed interest in your company’s products. For example, the marketing
department might purchase a list of potential users. Or various types of
advertising might generate inquiries. In any case, the resulting contact information has to get into the CRM database.
Chapter 12: Handling Leads and Opportunities
Figure 12-1:
Your work
with leads
starts here.
Unless you have an electronic list or your CRM system is hooked to your Web
site, you’re probably going to be entering leads the old-fashioned way — by
typing. In this section, we discuss the easiest way to manually enter those
hard-won leads. Just follow these steps:
1. On the Leads window toolbar, click the New button.
The Lead: New window appears, as shown in Figure 12-2, with four tabs:
General, Details, Administration, and Notes.
2. Fill in at least the required fields, which are highlighted with red
asterisks.
If the General tab isn’t already selected, click it. For the Topic field, enter
the product or service that the prospect is interested in.
The Company Name field is a required field, so you must enter a company name even if your lead is an individual. When we encounter that
situation, we simply enter X as the default company name. If you have
the name of an individual or any other relevant contact information,
enter that as well.
Although the E-Mail and Lead source fields aren’t system-required, they
should be at least business-recommended fields (in blue). The e-mail
address field is on the General tab, and the Lead source field is on the
Details tab. Make sure you enter as much information as you can in the
General, Details, and Administration tabs.
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Figure 12-2:
Here’s
where
you enter
information
for new
leads.
3. When you’re finished, click the Save and Close button at the top of the
screen.
The system returns to the Leads window, where you can create another
lead, access a lead, or move on to another function.
Aside from the obvious contact information, such as company name, contact
person, and phone number, you should focus on collecting data that will
enable you to follow up both immediately and over the long term. E-mail
addresses and specific product interests are key ingredients to properly following up on leads, and they’re critical for campaign management and electronic marketing.
Modifying a lead
You can modify a lead by navigating to the Leads window, clicking the lead,
and then making the necessary changes in the various tabs of the lead’s
record. Remember to click Save and Close before leaving the record.
If the lead you’re interested in isn’t displayed in the list, check the View menu
in the upper-right corner. This menu contains several options in its drop-down
list that expand or contract the number of listings displayed, as shown in
Figure 12-3. For example, if you’re looking for a lead that hasn’t been assigned
to you, try selecting Open Leads from the View drop-down list. Depending on
your access rights, you may be able to see additional leads this way.
Chapter 12: Handling Leads and Opportunities
Figure 12-3:
Expanding
the list of
leads.
If you don’t find your lead in any view, it may have been converted to an
account, a contact, or an opportunity. That’s good news, but it means you
may have to look under those other record types for your data. We discuss
accounts and contacts in Chapter 13 and opportunities later in this chapter. If
your lead has been disqualified, which is just another way of saying, “forget
about it,” refer to the upcoming “Resurrecting a lead” section.
Giving up on a lead
When you’ve decided that you have no hope of generating anything worthwhile from a lead, you can disqualify it. You do this as follows:
1. In the Leads window (refer to Figure 12-1), double-click the specific
lead you intend to give up on.
The General tab for that lead appears.
2. Click the Convert Lead button near the top of the window.
The Convert Lead dialog box appears as shown in Figure 12-4.
3. To disqualify the lead, select the Disqualify option.
All the choices above the option become dimmed.
4. Select a reason for the disqualification from the Status drop-down
menu and then click OK.
The lead now shows up only in the Closed Leads view in the Leads
window.
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Figure 12-4:
Converting a
lead.
Deleting a lead is possible but not recommended. Deletions are permanent,
and deleting a lead also deletes any attachments or notes associated with the
lead. A far better approach is to disqualify the lead. That way, an audit trail
(using that term loosely) remains if needed. And disqualifying allows you to
resurrect the lead later if the situation changes.
Resurrecting a lead
Occasionally you get lucky and a lead that you thought had died comes back
to life. If you disqualified the lead, you can bring it back without re-entering
all the old information. If you didn’t heed our advice — see the preceding
Warning — and instead deleted the lead, you’re out of luck.
To resurrect a lead, perform the following steps:
1. In the upper-right corner of the Leads window, change the View selection to Closed Leads.
The lead you previously disqualified appears somewhere in the list.
2. In the list, select the lead in question by double-clicking it.
The record for that lead appears.
3. On the menu bar at the top of the screen, choose Actions➪Reactivate
Lead.
The Confirm Lead Activation dialog box appears.
Chapter 12: Handling Leads and Opportunities
4. Click OK.
The original record appears. The data that had appeared dimmed while
the lead was disqualified is again available for editing and general use.
5. Click the Save and Close button, and you’re back in business.
The record is updated and the window closes.
6. Review the list in the Leads window to make sure that your lead is
successfully brought back to life. Make sure to change the Status to
“Open Leads” or to “My Open Leads” to actually see your newly resurrected lead.
Turning a Lead into an Opportunity
Your goal is to turn all leads into opportunities. When you reach that goal,
it’s time to turn your lead record into an opportunity record. Navigate to the
record for that lead and then click the Convert Lead button at the top of the
screen. The screen shown in Figure 12-5 appears.
Figure 12-5:
Converting a
lead to
something
better.
The first three conversion choices in Figure 12-5 aren’t mutually exclusive. If
you initially created a lead without establishing any related accounts or contacts, you can do all three conversions in one smooth step now. We discuss
accounts and contacts in Chapter 13.
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If this potential sale is directly related to a consumer (a person), select the
Contact option. If you’re trying to sell something to a company, choose the
Account option. If you’re dealing with a company, you can select the Contact
in addition to selecting Account, in which case the system creates an account
and a related contact record.
An account is a company. A contact is a person. A customer might be either one.
The third option, Opportunity, converts your lead to an opportunity. If you
also elect to create an account record, that opportunity will be related to it. If
you don’t create an account but do create a contact, the opportunity will be
related to the contact. If you have the system create both an account and a
contact, the opportunity (and the contact) relates to the account.
An opportunity is always associated with a customer! That’s why the
Customer field is a required field.
Handling Opportunities
A fine line exists between a lead and an opportunity. Generally, you’ve
crossed the line when you’re able to forecast a sale with associated revenue,
a potential close date, and a probability for the sale happening. When those
conditions are met, you graduate a lead to an opportunity, although your
organization may define the transition differently. If you’ve already written a
quotation, you’re definitely over the line.
Creating and modifying opportunities
We cover converting a lead to an opportunity in the preceding section.
You can also skip entering the lead record entirely and go directly to an
opportunity record. We like to do this when an existing client calls and asks
for something — even if we aren’t ready to forecast a sale yet.
To create a new opportunity, follow these steps:
1. Near the bottom of the navigation pane, click the Sales button. Then,
near the top of the pane, select Opportunities.
The Opportunities window appears, as shown in Figure 12-6.
2. On the Opportunities window’s toolbar, click the New button.
The Opportunity: New window appears, as shown in Figure 12-7.
Chapter 12: Handling Leads and Opportunities
Figure 12-6:
All open
opportunities are
displayed.
Figure 12-7:
Entering
a new
opportunity.
3. Enter a topic.
Topic, which is a system-required field, is just a description of what you
expect to sell — for example, Consulting, Term Insurance, or
Transporter System.
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4. Select a Potential Customer (the second required field) to which this
opportunity relates.
Remember, a customer is either an account (a company) or a contact
(a person). If you click the magnifying glass to the right of the Potential
Customer field, another screen appears that allows you to browse to
and select either an account record or a contact record.
5. If you have a price list set up, select the appropriate one.
We discuss price lists in Chapter 7.
6. For the Revenue field, if your price lists have been set up, select
System Calculated; otherwise, select User Provided.
By the way, you are the user, so be prepared to enter a forecasted
amount if you select the User Provided option.
7. Enter information in the following fields:
a. In the Est. Revenue field, enter your best guess for the actual revenue
you’ll receive when you close the deal.
b. In the Probability field, enter a whole number between 1 and 99.
Although 0 and 100 are allowed, a 0 probability sale doesn’t
deserve to be an opportunity, and at 100 the deal must already be
closed and turned into an order.
c. In the Est. Close Date field, enter the date when you expect to close
the deal.
d. In the Rating field, enter a rating.
You can select Cold, Warm, or Hot to describe the rating, although
the Probability field already does a good job of rating.
Although none of these are system-required fields, you don’t have much
of an opportunity if you don’t have these estimates.
8. Click the Save and Close button to save the opportunity record.
From the Opportunities window, you can update an existing opportunity
record by double-clicking the particular record, editing the information in
any of the three tabbed areas (General, Administration, and Notes), and then
saving the record.
As your opportunity progresses through the sales cycle, you’ll want to
update it often to maintain the current status of your real pipeline.
Chapter 12: Handling Leads and Opportunities
Assigning and sharing opportunities
You can assign an opportunity to yourself or to another user. You can share
opportunities with other users or teams. For large or more complex opportunities, this is often a necessity.
When you assign an opportunity to someone else, you change the record
ownership to that user. Sharing enables other users to see the opportunity in
their My Opportunities view just as if it were their own, but it doesn’t change
the record’s ownership.
To assign an opportunity to another user, follow these steps:
1. On the menu bar (at the top of the screen), choose Actions➪Assign.
The Assign Opportunity dialog box (available from the Opportunity record
itself, not from the Opportunity grid) appears, as shown in Figure 12-8.
Although you can assign one or more opportunities to yourself or to
another user, you can’t assign an opportunity to multiple users or to a
team.
Figure 12-8:
You can
assign an
opportunity
to yourself
or to
another
user.
2. Select the second option, Assign to Another User. You can also assign
records to yourself, but your organization may have some rules
regarding this.
3. Click the magnifying glass to the right of the Assign to Another User
text field.
A Look Up Records dialog box appears.
4. Select the user to whom you want to assign this opportunity.
The Assign to User text field shown in Figure 12-8 is automatically filled
in with that user’s name.
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5. Click OK.
The system returns to the General tab of that record, even though the
opportunity is no longer yours.
You share opportunities as follows:
1. In the Opportunities window, click the More Actions button.
A short list of options appears.
2. Choose Sharing.
The window shown in Figure 12-9 appears.
Figure 12-9:
The
Opportunity
sharing
window.
3. Select which users or teams you want to share this opportunity with
and which rights you want to give them.
Unlike assigning, sharing allows you to choose multiple users and even
teams of users. For each user or team, you can decide how much authority to give. For example, you might decide to allow everyone to see the
opportunity but not make changes to it. Or, if you’re going away on vacation, you might share the opportunity with another user and give him or
her complete rights to make changes (Write) and to share the opportunity with yet another user. Those choices and selections are shown in
Figure 12-9. Chapter 8 has further details on security and rights.
4. Click OK after you’ve chosen the people or teams and their rights.
The system returns to the Opportunities window.
If you decide to share an opportunity, examine the permissions you grant to
other team members. For example, you may want to be judicious about allowing other members the ability to delete or close an opportunity.
Chapter 12: Handling Leads and Opportunities
Relating opportunities to activities
or other records
Opportunity records are often associated with many other types of records.
Opportunities can be, and should be, related to accounts, or contacts, or both.
(We discuss how to associate an account or contact to an opportunity in the
preceding section, “Creating and sharing opportunities.”) This makes sense
because you’re planning to sell something to either a company or a person.
You may also want to relate activities (such as phone calls and appointments),
quotes, orders, invoices, notes, or attachments to an opportunity.
While working on an opportunity, chances are you’re generating one or more
quotes, making notes, and saving documents or data files that are associated
with the opportunity. For example, in our business, CRM consulting, we often
need to save sample data files so we can analyze how best to convert a
legacy system’s data into Microsoft CRM files. All these various files can be
linked to the opportunity record.
Here are the steps to link activities or files to an opportunity:
1. In the Opportunities window, click an opportunity record to see its
details.
2. On the menu bar (at the top of the screen), choose Actions.
3. Select one of the choices shown in Figure 12-10.
4. Click the Save and Close button.
Figure 12-10:
All the
potential
Actions
from an
Opportunity
record.
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Managing stages and relationships
Workflow rules automate your sales process — assuming your organization
has a process and the workflow rules are set up to emulate that process.
Typically, a sales process has 3 to 12 stages ranging from initial contact to
generating a quote, negotiating with the customer, and closing the deal.
Every company has a different process with different stages. In fact, a single
company may have a different process for every type of product or service
it sells.
Setting up your processes is usually the domain of your sales management
team, an outside consultant, or a combination of the two.
From the Actions menu, you can advance an opportunity through your predefined sequence of sales steps. We highly recommend this approach, but an
intelligently designed workflow is key. Workflow rules are discussed in
Chapters 9 and 18.
The Relationships function enables you to link various accounts and contacts. This is often important, particularly in more complex deals. For example, you may have a pending deal with a prospect, and both an outside
consultant and a leasing company are involved. Because the consultant and
the leasing company are each separate records in your database, you use
the Relationship function to link them. From the Opportunities window, you
select the appropriate opportunity, select Relationships from the navigation
pane on the left, and add new customers to the opportunity.
Closing, reopening, and
deleting opportunities
Eventually, whether you win or lose the deal, you need to close the opportunity. This is easy enough to do. To close an opportunity properly, follow
these steps directly from the Opportunity form (not the grid view):
1. On the menu bar (at the top of the screen), choose Actions➪Close
Opportunity.
The Close Opportunity window appears.
2. Under Status, click the appropriate option to indicate whether you
won or lost the opportunity.
Chapter 12: Handling Leads and Opportunities
3. In the Status Reason field, select one of the drop-down choices.
Microsoft CRM provides two reasons for losing a deal: The order was
canceled or you were outsold. We’ve never seen a salesperson select
that second choice. Many other reasons exist for losing a deal, and your
system administrator or dealer should help expand this list.
4. Do one of the following:
• If you won, modify the Actual Revenue field to reflect the agreed-upon
price and then enter the Close Date.
• If you lost the opportunity, enter the competitor to whom you lost, if
you know that information.
5. In the Description field, enter a sentence or two with your final
comments.
An example is shown in Figure 12-11.
Figure 12-11:
Closing an
opportunity.
6. Click OK to close the opportunity.
The system returns to the General tab of the opportunity.
A previously closed opportunity may resurface and need to be reopened. If
so, follow these steps:
1. In the Opportunities window, make sure the View menu displays
Closed Opportunities.
2. In the window’s list, select the appropriate opportunity.
The opportunity’s record appears.
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3. On the menu bar (at the top of the screen), choose Actions➪Reopen
Opportunity.
The Opportunity’s status changes immediately, and you can edit it just
as you would any other active or open opportunity record.
You can also delete an opportunity. This may seem like a good idea, particularly if you’re upset that you lost a deal. In the long run, however, it’s a bad
idea because you never know when a deal may come back to life or you may
need to refer to your notes on it. Don’t do it. Instead, close it and attach a
note if need be.
Chapter 13
Working with Accounts
and Contacts
In This Chapter
Adding and editing contacts
Adding accounts — and subaccounts
Finding information on your accounts
Assigning and sharing accounts
A
ccount and contact records, as well as related lead and opportunity
records, hold much of the primary information that your team has or
will collect. Depending on the nature of your business, you may use one or
both types of records. Microsoft CRM continually refers to accounts, contacts, and customers, so it’s important to keep the terms straight. Accounts
are companies, contacts are people, and customers can be either companies
or people.
Assuming for the moment that you sell to other businesses and that you use
account records, you’ll also need to use contact records. Each account
record can have multiple people (contact records) associated with it. The
larger the account, the more people you likely need to track.
If you sell only to individuals, you may never actually use account records
to track your customers. In all likelihood, however, you’ll want to track more
than just your customers in Microsoft CRM. For example, keeping track of
your company’s vendors in the same database is useful. Your competitors
may also be candidates for their own account records if you don’t create
actual competitor records for them. If you’re strictly a B2C company, you
will probably still encounter situations like these where you need the
account record.
In this chapter, we describe how you add new accounts and contacts and
how best to use and access those records after you create them.
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Adding and Editing Contacts
You can add a contact record that stands alone, or you can add one that is
associated with an account record. Adding or editing contact records is
almost identical to the process you follow for account records.
Contacts have a list view just as accounts do. You can access this view from
the Sales, Marketing, or Service areas. The Contact database is the same for
all three areas of CRM, so all your users access the same contact records.
You can add or manually edit individual contacts in the same way that you
handle account. Contact records have a Parent Account field just as account
records do. If you do business only with individuals, you may never need the
Parent Account field. You should use it, however, if you need to associate a
person with a company. Note that you can associate many different people
with the same company (account record).
In addition to the manual entry of contact records, Microsoft CRM also comes
with an automated wizard-based system for importing contact records.
Although the wizard was designed with Outlook files in mind, the import facility can handle other types of data, such as text (.txt) files. See Appendix B
for more information on importing data.
If you need to perform a significant amount of importing or something more
complex than just basic contact information, investigate the third-party
import products discussed in Chapter 27.
Adding and Editing Accounts
and Subaccounts
The first step in getting started with CRM is to stock it with all the organizations and people you deal with. If you already have the information organized
in data files (in Excel, other CRM systems, or accounting data files, for example), you’ll be doing some importing. We discuss importing data and converting it to Microsoft CRM’s format in Appendixes A and B. If the data is stored
in your head (or, worse, someone else’s head), you’re in for some typing. The
basic entities into which this data will go are accounts and contacts.
As mentioned, accounts are companies. Subaccounts may be divisions of the
main company or separate physical locations of the same company. Anything
you add in Microsoft CRM, you can edit. And anything you add can be
deleted, but a better practice is to deactivate an account rather than delete
Chapter 13: Working with Accounts and Contacts
it. Deactivating an account is like making it go dormant. If you deactivate an
account, you can always resurrect the information later if you discover you
need it. Deletion is forever.
The ability to add, edit and/or delete records is a function of your security
rights.
Old-timers who used version 1 may be looking for the Quick Create function —
the lazy person’s way to create new records using only required fields. This
function bit the dust in version 4.
Every account you add will almost always be associated with one or more
contacts (people), so you’ll find it easier to create the contact records before
you create the account record. You can then easily link the two.
Exploring account records
and their four sections
You can get to your account records from each of the three application
modules — Sales, Marketing, and Service — and even from the Workplace.
In each of those modules, Accounts appears up at the top of the navigation
pane.
Each account record has four related tabs: General, Details, Administration,
and Notes. You can access these tabs to create a new account, as follows:
1. At the top of the navigation pane, select Accounts.
The Accounts window appears on the right.
2. On the window’s toolbar, click the New button.
The Account: New window appears, as shown in Figure 13-1.
The General tab
The General tab has most of the critical contact information for your account,
including the required field Account Name. Most of the fields on the General
tab are self-explanatory, but the other three tabs deserve a little discussion.
The Details tab
The Details tab contains mostly financial information, such as annual revenue
and a company’s stock symbol if it’s publicly traded. It’s the kind of stuff
you’ll get if you receive data from Dun & Bradstreet or other similar services
or list providers. This provides useful demographic information about the
account, assuming someone in your organization does the research to fill in
the information and keeps it current. The Details tab is shown in Figure 13-2.
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Figure 13-1:
The General
tab is where
you begin
entering
information
about the
account.
Figure 13-2:
The Details
tab of the
Account
window,
housing
basic
company
demographics.
The Territory field on the Details tab is one of the most important. Many
companies, particularly national or international ones, divide their business
into territories usually based on geography. Salespeople, or teams of salespeople, are assigned to each territory and their revenue is tracked.
Chapter 13: Working with Accounts and Contacts
Territories should be set up in the Settings module. (See Chapter 5 for more
information.) Then you can manually select a territory for an account by
clicking the magnifying glass to the right of the Territory field and selecting
the appropriate territory.
You can also customize the system so that each new account is automatically
assigned to a territory or so that accounts are reassigned automatically when
it’s time to reorganize your territories. See Chapter 9 for instructions on creating workflow rules that can automate these types of processes. Effective
design and implementation of workflow may require the services of an experienced dealer or developer.
The Administration tab
The Administration tab, shown in Figure 13-3, is a catchall for accounting,
marketing, and service information. The Owner field is the only required field
and is filled in automatically with the name of the user creating the record.
So, by default, the record owner is the person who enters the information. If
that isn’t the way it works in your organization, you can reassign the record
to another user by clicking the magnifying glass to the right of the Owner
field and selecting the proper user.
Figure 13-3:
You can add
all sorts of
information
here.
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The Originating Lead field automatically keeps track of the source of this
account record if it came from a converted lead record. (We tell you how to
convert a lead record in Chapter 12.) Your marketing department will definitely want this field filled in accurately so that they can understand which
marketing efforts are generating revenue.
The Originating Lead field is a system-generated field, so you can’t enter anything into it. To be filled in, the account must be generated from a lead when
it is qualified.
It’s a great advantage for salespeople to know at least a little bit about their
clients’ billing and credit situations. The fields in the Billing Information section are prime candidates for integration with whatever accounting system is
used at your company. This integration will probably require some custom
work and is usually the domain of the business partner who sold you the
software.
The fields in the Contact Methods and Marketing Information sections regulate how you market to and correspond with this account. Keeping track of
this is increasingly important as more and more laws go into effect regulating
how we market to prospects and clients.
Even if you aren’t using the Service module, the Service Preferences section
contains basic service-related information that can help you tailor manual or
automatic responses to service requests. For example, this is a simple place
to keep track of the equipment your customer has and who your preferred
technician is whenever service is needed.
The Notes tab
The Notes tab starts out as a blank slate: a large area where you can begin
typing. You should use the Notes section to record general information about
the account. After you finish typing your notes, just navigate to another section. This is one of the few areas in CRM where you don’t have to tell the
system to save your work. It does so automatically. In fact, CRM also records
who created the note and timestamps it. Figure 13-4 shows a Notes tab after a
few notes have been entered.
Everything you write in the Notes section is public information — and CRM
doesn’t have a spell checker or grammar checker. Pay attention to your writing style, and don’t enter anything that you wouldn’t want a client or a judge
to see.
When you’ve finished filling in data fields in the various tabs, you could click
the Save and Close button with each tab. But you can often save some steps
by just clicking Save (the disk icon), which activates related actions on the
navigation pane.
Chapter 13: Working with Accounts and Contacts
Figure 13-4:
The Notes
tab of the
Account
window
with some
notes
already
entered.
Setting up subaccounts
An account record may be the parent of other account records, and those
other account records are called children. A child record is also referred to as
a subaccount. Typically, you use the subaccount system to subordinate one
record to another. An example is when you’re dealing with a company that
has multiple locations. The headquarters would be the parent account, and
each regional location would be a subaccount. By relating the accounts this
way, you can use the reporting system to consolidate, subtotal, or total revenue for all the related accounts.
The General tab (refer to Figure 13-1), which is the default window when you
are creating a new account record, contains the field that relates one account
to another. This field is labeled Parent Account and lists all account records
in the system. There is no limit to the number of levels of parenting. In other
words, every parent account can have multiple children, grandchildren,
great-grandchildren, and so on.
As you create this structure, the best approach is to map out the relationships between the accounts and begin at the top. First enter the parent
account and then enter the children. As you enter each child account, click
the magnifying glass next to the Parent Account field and select one parent to
connect each “generation.”
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Finding and Viewing Account
Information
Almost no matter what your role is, as a user of CRM you’ll find yourself looking up accounts, contacts, leads, and opportunities on a regular basis. (Okay,
if you’re a customer service rep, you may not spend much time checking out
sales forecasts or opportunities. In fact, your access rights might even preclude you from doing so.) For the most part though you can locate records in
Microsoft CRM in two basic ways: the Find function and the Advanced Find
function.
Finding an account by name
You can access the Find function from any of the main windows. Using Find is
the simplest and fastest way to locate a record. Figure 13-5 shows a typical
list view as a result of a search for accounts beginning with the letter “e.”
At the top of the window is an unlabeled, blank search field. The magnifying
glass to the right of the field, actually sets this function in motion. You can
locate an account in several ways:
Enter the first few letters of the account name in the search field and
click the magnifying glass. All the accounts beginning with those letters
appear in the list. Click the account in the list to navigate to that account
record.
The Find function isn’t case sensitive, so you needn’t worry about
uppercase and lowercase.
Enter part of the account name preceded or followed by an asterisk (*).
If you want to locate all the companies that have LLC in their names,
you can enter LLC in the search field. This locates all the accounts
that start with LLC. If you think LLC may occur in the middle or at
the end of the name, however, you can generalize your search by
using *LLC*.
Click a letter of the alphabet at the bottom of the grid and scroll through
the listing of all companies that begin with that letter. This approach
is useful if you have a small database — but if you have hundreds of
accounts that span multiple pages, one of the other techniques is easier.
Chapter 13: Working with Accounts and Contacts
Figure 13-5:
The Search
function
makes it
easy to find
records.
This figure
shows the
results of a
search for
accounts
starting
with “e”.
Using Advanced Find to perform
a more sophisticated search
The Find function enables you to locate an account record quickly if you
know the name of the account, or part of the name as long as that’s the only
criterion by which you’re searching. Advanced Find, however, provides a
more powerful search capability, enabling you to locate specific records (and
activities) based on multiple fields, even if those fields are in different entities. When you use Advanced Find, you can specify one or more search conditions. For example, you can find items by account name, city, and the name
of the salesperson responsible for the account. You may want to find all the
A-level accounts in your city and send them an invitation to a seminar.
Your search can contain Boolean operators, such as AND or OR. While using
Advanced Find, you can also enter an asterisk when performing a search
(for example, when you’re searching for an account, a user, or a contact).
The values you enter aren’t case sensitive. For example, if you’re entering a
state code, Microsoft CRM will find the same records whether you enter CT
or ct.
Boolean logic dictates that conditions within parentheses are evaluated
before conditions separated by ANDs. ANDs are evaluated before ORs.
However, the Advanced Find function doesn’t have parentheses and evaluates expressions in the order in which they appear in your search.
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To do a search with Advanced Find, follow these steps:
1. On the main toolbar, click the Advanced Find button.
The window shown in Figure 13-6 appears.
Figure 13-6:
A sample
search is
already
entered.
Just as with
diet pills and
exercise
equipment,
your own
results
may vary.
2. In the Look For drop-down list, select the appropriate choice.
In this example, the Look For list allows you to specify which record
type Advanced Find will focus on. After you select the record type (in
this example, Accounts), all related fields are available to you. You now
proceed to the selection of specific fields, conditions, and values.
3. In the first row, select a field (in this example, Account Name) from
the drop-down list by clicking the down arrow to the right of the field
name.
Based on the field you choose, the system selects your available choices
for conditions. You can see all the possible conditions by clicking the
down arrow to the right of the Condition field.
4. Choose a condition.
The most commonly used conditions are Equal, Does Not Equal,
Contains, Begins With, Contains Data, and Does Not Contain Data. Click
the condition you want from the drop-down list. In the example, we
chose Greater than.
5. Enter a value in the Value field.
Microsoft CRM allows you to have multiple values in this field for those
fields that have drop-down lists. Relationship Type is an example of such
a field. If you separate individual values with a semicolon (;), the system
treats that semicolon as if it were an OR condition.
Chapter 13: Working with Accounts and Contacts
6. Continue to the next row to add search criteria.
If you run out of rows, click the Select button to begin another row of
criteria.
7. Select two or more rows you want to connect with either AND or OR
and then select the Group And or the Group Or button.
To the left of the two selection criteria, a box appears with either an
AND or an OR inside. You can change your choice by selecting the
down arrow within that box.
8. Click the Save As button if you’d like to name your query and retain
it for future use.
9. Click the Find button in the lower right corner to actually perform the
search.
Assigning and Sharing Accounts
The Actions button at the top of every account window enables you to assign
or share your accounts. You can also delete or deactivate an account.
Deleting accounts is usually a bad idea because any records attached to an
account, such as contacts or opportunities, also go away. After you delete
an account, you can never retrieve the information, and you can’t undo the
action. Deletion is forever. However, if you had previously set up a subaccount, that subaccount remains.
Deactivating an account turns it off, rendering it inactive. You can’t edit an
inactive account or associate other types of records with it. It disappears
from your usual lookups and is visible only if you specifically search for inactive accounts. The advantage of deactivating over deleting is that you can
restore a deactivated account to active status should that become necessary.
Any sub-accounts that were associated with the original account continue to
be active, however.
Assigning accounts to users
If you go on an extended vacation, you may want to assign an account to
another user. Or perhaps the territories your company covers are being
realigned, and many accounts need to be tended to by other managers. If you
assign one of your accounts to another user, that new person becomes the
account owner, and you are removed from that position.
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To assign one or more accounts, follow these steps:
1. In the upper part of the navigation pane, select Accounts.
The Accounts window appears.
2. Choose the accounts you want to reassign by clicking (highlighting)
each account listing.
You can select multiple accounts by using the Shift key or the Ctrl key.
The Shift key selects all the accounts from the first one you selected to
the one you’re currently positioned on. Hold down the Ctrl key and click
to select noncontiguous accounts.
3. Click the Assign icon (the little guy with the green megaphone).
The Assign Accounts window appears.
4. Click the radio button next to Assign to Another User.
5. Click the magnifying glass at the end of the Assign to Another User
field.
The Assign Account dialog box opens for choosing the new user.
6. Select the new user and click OK.
The system returns to the Accounts window. You won’t see the reassigned account in the list unless you change the View to Active
Accounts.
Sharing accounts
Sharing is a little different from assigning. Sharing one of your accounts
doesn’t remove you from ownership; it merely adds additional users to the
team servicing that account.
To share one or more accounts, follow these steps:
1. Go to the Account List View and select all the Accounts you want to
share.
You can select multiple Accounts at one time by using the Shift key or
the Ctrl key. The Shift key selects all the Accounts from the first one you
selected to the one you’re currently positioned on. The Ctrl key allows
you to randomly select individual Accounts.
2. On the window’s toolbar, choose Actions➪Sharing.
The Who Would You Like to Share the Selected Account With window
appears.
Chapter 13: Working with Accounts and Contacts
3. Choose the users or the team from the Who Would You Like to Share
This Account With dialog box.
After you select the users or teams, the system returns you to a List
View with check boxes for the security privileges assigned to each user
or team. By default, none of these privileges are assigned.
4. Select the security privileges you want to give to each of the users
with whom you’re sharing by checking all the appropriate boxes.
For details on which type of security privileges each option allows,
check out Chapter 8.
5. To save these sharing specifications, click OK.
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Chapter 14
Creating and Managing Activities
In This Chapter
Displaying your calendar
Checking out your activities
Making an appointment
Scheduling others
Assigning activities
Completing activities
M
icrosoft CRM 4 comes with a basic activity management system that
enables you to schedule or log activities associated with the various
records in the database, such as opportunities, leads, contacts, accounts, or
cases.
Your calendar is a subset of your activities and displays only appointments.
Your activities show a wider assortment of things that take up your time,
such as phone calls and miscellaneous tasks such as meeting with your boss
or coordinating the company golf outing. In addition, only the appointments
on your calendar are coordinated with Outlook. Phone calls and tasks never
show up in the main area of Outlook.
Aside from the obvious practice of entering all your activities in the system
to ensure that they’re properly documented and that you don’t forget to do
them, workflow rules can also have an important role with activities in your
business processes. Workflow rules can look for overdue activities and alert
you to them. They can look for activities that should be scheduled (such as
following up on a quote that you sent out a week ago or an annual maintenance contract that’s due next month) and send a series of alerts to the right
team members. This is a powerful use of scheduling, but it works well only if
everyone on the team is consistently logging his or her activities. (We discuss
workflow in detail in Chapter 9.)
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The ingredients essential to activity management include viewing existing
activities, entering new activities, delegating activities, the inevitable
rescheduling of activities, and completing activities. In the next few pages,
you’ll find out how to manage your activities and, to the extent possible, the
activities of others as well.
No Outlook Here
Microsoft designed its CRM product assuming that most users also use
Outlook. In this chapter, we discuss how to use Microsoft CRM’s activity
management system assuming that you aren’t using Outlook. This is a big
assumption, but it helps simplify the discussion of calendar usage.
If you aren’t using Outlook, you’ll want to look at the Service Scheduling calendar as a way to keep you and your team members on the same page. You
won’t get any alarms about appointments or due dates. (Maybe you view this
as a good thing!)
Chapter 2 covers using Outlook with Microsoft CRM. If you’re an Outlook
user, consider reviewing Chapter 2 next. Doing so will fill in the holes created
in this chapter.
If you’re coming to Microsoft CRM with experience using another CRM
system, you may wonder where some of the more advanced teamwork functionality is hiding. So, before you start looking around, here are some of the
program’s shortcomings:
To look at everyone else’s activities, you have to go to the Service
Scheduling area from the Navigation pane. Using Outlook via Exchange
provides some assistance here, though, in that it allows for shared
calendars.
You can schedule other users to do something, but no convenient,
automatic way exists to notify them that you did the scheduling. And
because you can’t see their calendar easily, you may end up scheduling
them into a conflict. Outlook’s Meeting Request is the answer to this situation. (And you can link Outlook Meeting Requests to CRM, so this is a
viable workaround.)
You can’t set an alarm on any kind of activity to alert you to an upcoming
event. Therefore, Microsoft also doesn’t have a snooze button in CRM.
The system doesn’t automatically roll over activities from one day to
the next if you don’t complete something when you’re supposed to.
However, activities do remain on your calendar as past-due activities
and show up on your activity list as long as you fail to complete them.
Chapter 14: Creating and Managing Activities
Some of these oversights are resolved if you’re using the Outlook client. More
on that in Chapter 2.
Having now finished our complaints, we must say, in all fairness, that
Microsoft CRM enables you to schedule and track all the important activities
associated with customers. If you use this feature consistently, you’ll always
be organized. You’ll never forget to do the important things. You’ll make more
money, live longer, and prosper. But we do still need to easily see and share
our staff’s calendars. And, we’ve got to say it one more time: Use the Outlook
client if you really want the system to work well for you.
Viewing Your Calendar
To display your calendar, click the Workplace button near the bottom of
the navigation pane. Then, near the top of the pane, click Calendar, which
appears under My Work. (If nothing appears under My Work, click the plus
sign next to it to display the list.) The Calendar window appears on the right,
as shown in Figure 14-1.
The service calendar displays the weekly view of appointments and service
activities. Note that service activities are activities associated with the Service
module that have not only a user but also company resources. The information is available also in the Service Scheduling window, which allows users to
see other user’s calendars and activities.
Figure 14-1:
A typical
week in the
life of a
writer.
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The area on the far right of the screen contains a calendar you can use to
change the date or date range of the calendar display. You also can select
from three display modes — month, week, and day.
The calendar is just a subset of your activities (only appointments and
service-related activities) with a more graphical view of them.
Viewing Your Activities
If you really want to know what’s on your agenda, the Activities window is
the place to go to look at your open activities. To get there, select Activities
under My Work at the top of the navigation pane. You can also set this as the
default screen that shows up every time you start up CRM. This is discussed
in Chapter 4. Figure 14-2 shows a typical Activities window. This is probably
where your day should begin and where you should spend much of your professional life.
Figure 14-2:
A snapshot
of the life of
a certain
writer.
Figure 14-2 shows the Activities window for appointments, but remember you
can manage eight types of activities in Microsoft CRM:
Tasks
Fax
Phone call
E-Mail
Chapter 14: Creating and Managing Activities
Letter
Appointment
Service Activity
Campaign Response
Clicking the column title re-sorts your activities by that column, from ascending to descending order. Activities are sorted within each day’s display. If you
want to adjust the width of a column, drag the border between the column
titles. You can change the columns displayed by saving your own Advanced
Find searches, or your system administrator or implementation partner can
create customized views.
At the top of the window, the Look For field allows you to locate scheduled
activities based on the subject. Although you can use the alphabetical listing
bar at the bottom of the window to locate Subjects beginning with a particular letter, the Look For field is more flexible. For example, you can enter consecutive characters, such as flor, to find activity subjects starting with, say,
Florida. You can also use the wildcard character * to match any sequence of
characters.
If you’re trying to find all of your activities, enter * in the Look For field and
then click the Find button. This displays both open and closed activities. You
might think by just choosing My Activities in the View drop-down list, all your
activities would be displayed. But you’d be missing the closed activities with
that method of searching.
You can use the View menu (in the upper-right corner of the Activities
window) to select from one of several views. Your selection of a view works
with your Search for Records selection. These views are
All Activities: This comprehensive list displays open and completed
activities no matter whose they are.
Closed Activities: These are all the completed activities the system
contains — yours and everyone else’s.
My Activities: These are the activities on your schedule. This is probably the most important view and the one we use most often.
My Closed Activities: These are all your completed activities that the
system contains.
Open Activities: These are all open activities, whether they belong to
someone else or to you. Unfortunately, the default view doesn’t show to
whom they belong.
Scheduled Activities: These are all your scheduled appointments.
Of course, there are no activities to view if you don’t enter some in the first
place. Creating these activities in CRM is the subject of the next section.
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Creating an Appointment for Yourself
from the Activities Screen
You can create an appointment for yourself directly from the Workplace,
which Microsoft online help suggests. This method is quick, but you can
easily cause yourself problems by flippantly agreeing to some appointment
without first checking your calendar — or better yet, your activity list.
An appointment is just a special kind of activity, and that’s why we sometimes seem to refer to those two things (appointments and activities) almost
interchangeably. The calendar shows only appointments, not tasks or phone
calls. If you want to avoid scheduling two conference calls at the same time,
for example, use the Activities window instead of the calendar.
You’re always better off checking before you schedule appointments. For that
reason, we recommend another approach to scheduling your appointments
when working online in Microsoft CRM:
1. Near the bottom of the navigation pane, click the Workplace button.
At the top of the pane, select Activities (under My Work).
Review your schedule here before committing to another appointment
or activity.
2. On the Activities window’s toolbar, click the New button.
3. Select an activity (such as Appointment) and then click OK.
Figure 14-3 shows a typical window for entering appointment details.
We describe this screen in detail in a moment.
4. Fill in the details.
5. When you’re finished, click the Save and Close button.
You return to the Activities window.
The Appointment window is divided into three tabs: Appointment, Notes, and
Details. The following fields deserve clarification or further elaboration:
Appointment tab: the Appointment tab contains the information that
will be transferred to your calendar display.
• Subject: The text you enter in the Subject field appears in the
Activities window and the Calendar window. In the weekly view of
the calendar, the text wraps so you can see it all. In the daily view,
if the text is too long, it’s cut off.
• Required and Optional: When you click the magnifying glass to the
right of each of these fields, CRM presents a window allowing you
Chapter 14: Creating and Managing Activities
to specify one or more people involved in the meeting. The first
field, Required, is for those people for whom attendance is mandatory. The Optional field is for people not quite so important.
• Regarding: This field enables you to attach an activity to one or
more records, such as contacts, accounts, or leads. By associating
the activity with more than one record, you can then see the activity from any of those records.
• Start Time and End Time: If you don’t enter a start and end time,
particularly for appointments, the times aren’t displayed on your
calendar.
• All Day Event: By default, an event is a day-long activity. When you
select an All Day Event, you no longer have the option of selecting
specific times. However, you can specify the dates; if the end date
is different from the beginning date, you create an activity that
spans multiple days. Vacations are a good example of an appropriate use of All Day Event.
Details tab: The Details tab houses the information on the meeting
owner and the organizer — possibly two separate people.
The organizer is the person coordinating the activity and isn’t necessarily one of the attendees. This is the person you blame when the meeting
is messed up.
Notes tab: The Notes section is an unlabeled free-form text area that
appears on the lines just below the time span and subject on the calendar.
That’s what it takes to schedule something for yourself. One of the more powerful features of CRM systems is the ability to schedule activities for other
people — that is, to delegate. That’s what we discuss next.
Figure 14-3:
Planning
to meet
with your
marketing
director.
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Scheduling for Other People
How you use Outlook determines how you can best schedule activities for
others on your team. Specifically, if calendar sharing is enabled in Outlook,
scheduling is easy. Even if sharing isn’t enabled, you can use Outlook’s meeting request functionality to assist in setting up activities for other people. We
discuss Outlook in detail in Chapter 2. Assuming you aren’t using Outlook,
you still have a few options.
Because you can’t actually see anyone else’s complete schedule using
Microsoft CRM, it would be improper to even try to put anything directly on
someone else’s calendar. So you’re left with two options when attempting to
schedule the activities of others: e-mail requests and instant messaging.
You can use Microsoft CRM’s e-mail system to send an activity “suggestion”
to one or more users on your team. You can attach the e-mail to the appropriate record and request that the other users schedule that phone call or
appointment. Chapter 2 discusses e-mail in some detail.
The second method for coordinating your activities with other members of
your team is to use one of the instant messaging systems. They’re free, which
makes them even more appealing. The most common ones are Microsoft’s
Instant Messenger, Yahoo!, AOL, Trillian, and ICQ. In addition, Microsoft CRM
version 4 now has an “Integrated Office Communicator” which is really a
fancy way of saying that Instant Messaging is built-in. It’s your System
Administrator’s task to set this up if your organization thinks it’s appropriate.
Several compelling reasons exist for implementing such a system. You can
see who’s online and available at any given moment. You can coordinate with
users who are widely separated geographically. We like the instant part of the
equation also. In addition, some instant messaging systems keep a history of
your messages. You could, when the conversation is over, cut and paste the
message history into the Notes section of the appropriate record.
In a flash, you can ask another user to call a client and get a confirmation that
that task is going to happen. This is an ideal way to respond to a client call
requesting service or support.
Assigning an Activity to Someone
When you create an activity, you can assign it directly to yourself (by default)
or to another user or to a queue. Similarly, you can reassign an activity to
another user or to a queue. When you do reassign an activity, the ownership
Chapter 14: Creating and Managing Activities
of that activity doesn’t change until the intended user or queue accepts the
assignment. You can assign activities from anywhere in CRM, but you can
accept them only from the Queues area of the Workplace.
Assigning an activity is our favorite. We love to delegate. To do so, follow
these steps:
1. Near the bottom of the navigation pane, click the Workplace button.
At the top of the pane, under My Work, click Activities.
The Activities window appears on the right. Based on your selection in
the View field, you see some or all of your scheduled activities.
2. Select one or more activities that you want to assign to someone else.
In Figure 14-4, we’ve selected two activities.
You can select one or more activities by highlighting those activities and
using either the Shift key (for contiguous activities) or the Ctrl key (for
noncontiguous activities.)
Figure 14-4:
Delegating
everything
you don’t
want to do.
3. Click the Assign option from the Activities drop-down list.
The Assign to Queue or User dialog box appears, leading you through
the sequence of actions to delegate all the activities you highlighted in
Step 2.
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4. Click the magnifying glass at the end of the field to see the entire list
of users to whom you might assign these activities.
5. Select one or more users from the list. Make sure you notify the
assignees either by setting an alarm, sending an Instant Message,
sending an e-mail, or by yelling down the hall.
6. Click OK.
CRM returns to the Activities window.
You can also choose to delete activities, but this is generally a poor choice
because you can’t undo a deletion. If an activity is canceled, you should complete it (see the next section) and include a note that the activity was canceled by the client or by a user.
Completing an Activity
Nothing is as satisfying as getting things off of your activity list. To complete,
or close, an activity, follow these steps:
1. Near the bottom of the navigation pane, click the Workplace button.
At the top of the pane, under My Work, click Activities.
The Activities window appears on the right.
2. To follow along with the example, select an appointment that you
want to mark as completed.
The Appointment window appears, with three tabs: Appointment, Notes,
and Details.
3. Click the Actions button and Add a Note to create a note that will be
attached to the record. Save and close the Note.
Documenting what you do is important so that the historical trail for
this record is complete.
4. Click the Actions button and complete the activity as shown in
Figure 14-5.
We have a saying in our office: “If it’s not in CRM, you didn’t do it.” A rough
translation is that unless you enter your activities and close them when
you’ve completed them, there’s no evidence that you did anything. Later,
you’ll be explaining to a skeptical boss that you really did make those followup calls but just didn’t bother completing them in CRM. Complete every
activity immediately afterwards. Then there’s no doubt.
Chapter 14: Creating and Managing Activities
Figure 14-5:
Completing
an activity
(after
adding your
notes).
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Chapter 15
Using Notes and Attachments
In This Chapter
Creating a note
Adding an attachment
Deleting a note or an attachment
A
lmost every type of record in the Microsoft CRM system enables you to
post notes and link attachments. Think of a note as information that you
manually type into the system. For example, if you find out that your main
contact at an account is about to leave, you probably want to document that
and create an action plan. Meetings and phone calls deserve this kind of
follow-up documentation as well. At our company, every meeting and phone
call and almost every kind of activity is documented with notes so we have
an audit trail of what we’ve promised or accomplished.
Attachments include a variety of files that are linked to individual records.
These files may be the typical Word documents or Excel spreadsheets, or
they may be PowerPoint presentations, digital photos, contracts, images of
faxes, and so on — almost anything.
In this chapter, you find out how to create and maintain notes and attachments, processes that have been significantly streamlined in version 4.
With regard to relating notes and attachments to other records — you can’t
do it. Notes and attachments are assigned to the one record they’re initially
attached to — and that’s it. Sorry.
Creating Notes
You can associate notes with any kind of existing record, whether it’s an
account, a contact, or a case, from the Customer Service area. All of these
types of records include a Notes tab. For example, Figure 15-1 shows the
Notes tab for a typical account record.
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Figure 15-1:
My notes for
the ENIAC
account.
To create a new note relating to a particular account, follow these steps:
1. At the top of the navigation pane, click Accounts.
The system displays the Accounts window. We use accounts here as an
example, but remember that what you do here applies equally well to
contact, lead, opportunity, and case records. In fact, almost every type
of record in CRM has a Notes field.
2. Select the specific account to which you want to attach a note.
3. Click the Notes tab at the top of the account’s screen.
4. Click the blue hyperlink that reads “Click here to enter a new note.”
5. Type your text in the rectangular area, as shown in Figure 15-2.
6. When you’ve finished entering text, click Save and Close.
The next time you return to the Notes tab for this account, you’ll see the note
you entered, as well as the date and time and your name. This is one of the
few areas in Microsoft CRM where you don’t have to manually save your work
because you simply could have navigated away from your newly entered
Note by selecting another option from the navigation pane. You can see the
completed note in Figure 15-3.
Notes don’t have spell checking or grammar checking. If you’re challenged in
this department and think that others may end up reviewing your notes (and
they probably will), use Word to create your notes and spell check and grammar check them there. Then either cut and paste the Word text into the notes
section or attach the Word file, as explained in the next section.
Chapter 15: Using Notes and Attachments
Figure 15-2:
Entering a
new note.
Creating Attachments
Attachments are separate files that you may associate with individual
records such as accounts, contacts, opportunities, and cases. An attachment
can be a Word document, but it can just as well be, say, an electronic set of
blueprints, or a series of digital photos, or a spreadsheet.
Figure 15-3:
The
evidence of
a completed
and saved
note. The
most recent
note is
always at
the top.
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You can add a note but not an associated attachment by using the Notes tab
at the top of most records. You can add a single attachment, but you can’t
make notes, by choosing Actions➪Attach a File. A better and more general
approach follows.
To add a note as an attachment, follow these steps:
1. Navigate to the record to which you want to attach a note or a file.
2. On the menu bar (at the top of the screen), choose Actions➪Add a Note.
The Note: New window appears, as shown in Figure 15-4. The system
automatically fills in the Regarding field.
Figure 15-4:
Adding
notes and
attachments
at the
same time.
3. Enter a title in the Title text box.
4. Enter a description in the large text box (below the word Title).
The information you type in the larger field is displayed in the listing of
all associated notes — not what you enter in the Title field.
5. Use the Browse button to locate and select the file you want to attach.
6. Click the Attach button.
The system uploads your file to the server for storage. This gives other
users (with the proper access rights) the ability to see the file and also
gives you access to it from any other computer you may be using later.
You can attach only one file per note. All attachments are stored on the
server, so when you’re first attaching a file or using it in some way, the
system needs to move it using your Internet connection. Virtually any kind of
file is a candidate for an attachment. The maximum size of the file that you
can attach to a record is defined by your system administrator, but if you
Chapter 15: Using Notes and Attachments
expect to upload or download attachments from the server frequently, try
not to bog the system down with enormous files. (Video clips, fax images,
and the like are often pretty big.)
Deleting a Note or an Attachment
If you need to change the file attached to a record, perhaps because the file
itself has changed, you need to delete the original attachment. After an
attachment is attached to the note, you can delete the attachment by clicking
the Remove button.
To delete a note associated with a record, follow these steps:
1. Navigate to the record.
If you’re deleting a note associated with an account, for example, select
Accounts from the upper part of the navigation pane and then select the
specific record from the Accounts window.
2. Click the record’s Notes tab.
All notes associated with this record appear.
3. Highlight and then right-click the note you want to delete.
The text of the note appears.
4. A context menu appears from which you can select the Delete option.
See Figure 15-5.
The Confirm Deletion dialog box then appears, telling you that you are
about to delete not only this particular note but also any associated
attachment.
5. Click OK to proceed.
Figure 15-5:
Your note is
about to bite
the dust.
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Deleting an attachment without deleting the associated note is now much
easier than in prior versions of CRM. Follow these steps:
1. Navigate to the record.
2. Click the record’s Notes tab.
All notes associated with this record appear.
3. Double-click the note with an attachment that you want to delete.
The text of the note appears.
4. Click the Remove button in the lower-right corner. See Figure 15-6.
A confirmation screen appears with a warning that when you remove the
attachment, it’s really gone. However, you can always reattach the same
file anytime you want to.
Figure 15-6:
Your
attachment
is about to
bite the
dust.
5. Click OK.
Another confirmation screen appears.
6. Click Save and Close to complete this action.
Chapter 16
Generating Quotes, Orders,
and Invoices
In This Chapter
Creating and activating a quote
Creating associations between opportunities and quotes
Printing your quote
Changing your quote to an order
Changing your order to an invoice
M
icrosoft CRM manages the entire process of generating quotations,
orders, and invoices. An essential ingredient in developing quotes is
the product catalog, which we describe in Chapter 7. The product catalog
contains your list of products and their prices and discount structures.
Microsoft CRM’s quotation system draws from these products, prices, and
discounts to create pricing specific to each customer.
After you generate a quote and give it to a customer, the best scenario is that
the quote comes back as a signed order. The second-best scenario is that the
quote comes back for revisions. Even after a quote is converted to an order,
however, you can still revise it (until you send it to the accounting system).
After an order goes to accounting, it becomes an invoice.
Although the logical flow is from quote to order to invoice, you can also
create an order without creating a quote. And, in the same way, you can
create an invoice without having created either a quote or an invoice. As you
can see, you can start anywhere in the cycle.
In this chapter, we cover how to use Microsoft CRM to create a quotation,
turn the quote into an order, and make the order into an invoice.
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Creating and Activating Quotes
Several years ago, we met with a very large distributor of paper products.
They had been in business for more than a hundred years and had a hundred
million dollars of revenue. Their entire quotation procedure was a verbal
system. They never even wrote down what price they had quoted. When the
customer called back to order something, the salespeople would simply ask
what price they’d been given! We never got the go-ahead on installing a quotation system because they didn’t think such a thing could possibly work.
If your quotation system involves something more formal than just telling
your clients their prices during a phone conversation, you need to generate a
formal, written quotation.
Most quotes go through more than one iteration. Initially, you create a draft
of your quote. You can continue editing your draft quote until it’s ready to
send. At that point, you activate the quote (also making it read-only) and
send it to the customer.
You can make multiple revisions of an activated quote, and each revision is
stored as a separate record. The quote is then either accepted if it’s won or
closed if it’s lost. If it’s accepted, it’s recorded as part of the order history.
Creating a quote
Most significant sales are preceded by a series of quotes or proposals.
(Many people confuse proposals with quotations. Proposals are quotations
on steroids; they include a great deal more background, discussion, and
analysis in addition to the more typical one- or two-page quotation. CRM
doesn’t have a built-in proposal system, but you can find third-party proposal
systems that integrate with Microsoft CRM in Chapter 27.)
To create a new quote, follow these steps:
1. At the bottom of the navigation pane, click the Sales button.
2. In the upper part of the navigation pane, select Quotes.
The Quotes window appears, displaying all your existing quotes.
3. On the Quotes window’s toolbar, click the New button.
The quote record appears, as shown in Figure 16-1, with General,
Shipping, Addresses, Administration, and Notes tabs.
On the General tab, the quote ID is a unique, system-generated number
that can help you identify the quote later. The revision ID is also created
and maintained by the system and enables you (and the system) to
Chapter 16: Generating Quotes, Orders, and Invoices
track all the various versions of quotes that you have created and activated. The Quote ID and Revision ID fields are filled in after you save the
quote. These fields cannot be filled in and will appear grayed out. For
that reason, clicking the Save button (the disk icon) after you enter the
Name, Potential Customer, and Price List fields is essential. You don’t
need to click Save and Close until you have filled in all the relevant fields
in each of the five tab areas.
4. In the Name field, enter some text that describes what this quote is
all about.
For example, you might type Microsoft CRM Training Class in Maui.
After you save all the details of the quote, the text in this Name field will
appear in the Quotes window.
5. In the Potential Customer field, select an account or a contact to associate with the quote.
To do so, click the magnifying glass to the right of the field to display the
Look Up Records dialog box for Accounts and Contacts. Alternatively,
you can select a customer from the Form Assistant on the right.
Whichever method you choose, select the appropriate record from the
list and click OK. The system returns you to the General tab.
6. In the Price List field, use the magnifying glass or the Form Assistant
to select a price list.
7. In the Currency field, use the magnifying glass or the Form Assistant
to select a Currency.
Figure 16-1:
Developing
a new
quote.
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8. Now is a good time to click Save (the disk icon).
CRM displays the quote ID number in the Quote ID field. (If you were
revising a quote, CRM would also populate the Revision ID field.)
9. In the Totals section of the General tab, enter the Quote Discount and
Freight Amount.
Microsoft CRM calculates the total amount and displays it in the last
field in the General tab. Several fields on this screen, such as Detail
Amount and Pre-Freight Amount, are system generated. You can tell
because these fields are outlined in black rather than blue.
10. Click the Shipping tab and fill in the following:
a. Enter information into the Effective From, Effective To, Requested
Delivery Date, and Due By fields.
Each of these date fields has an associated calendar display
(little grid box icons with a red oval in them) just to the right. (See
Figure 16-2.) Clicking the calendar and then choosing a date is usually easier than manually typing a date directly into the field.
b. Enter the Shipping Method, Payment Terms, and Freight Terms.
Each of these fields has an associated drop-down menu. If your
system is integrated with an accounting system, these fields can be
filled in automatically.
Figure 16-2:
The
Shipping
tab —
delivering
the goods.
Chapter 16: Generating Quotes, Orders, and Invoices
11. Click the Addresses tab (see Figure 16-3) and enter the Bill To and
Ship To information.
To look up this address information, click the Look Up Address button
on the toolbar.
If the customer will be picking up the items, select Will Call for the Ship
To option (the first option in the Ship To Address section).
Figure 16-3:
You don’t
always ship
to the same
place you
send the bill.
12. If you want to associate your quote with an opportunity, start the
quote from the opportunity screen or do the following:
a. Click the Administration tab. (See Figure 16-4.)
b. Use the magnifying glass in the Opportunity field to find and select
that opportunity.
c. Click OK.
13. Click the Save and Close button to save your quote.
The system returns to the Quotes window.
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Figure 16-4:
Store
administrative
details of
the quote
here.
Activating a quote
When you first create a quotation, it’s officially a draft. You can modify the
draft as many times as necessary. But before sending the quote to a customer, you must activate the quote. Follow these steps to do so:
1. In the Quotes window, select the quote you want to activate.
The details of the quote appear.
2. On the menu bar (at the top of the screen), choose Actions
Activate Quote.
The quote now becomes read-only, and you can turn it into an order
when the time comes.
3. To save changes and continue working, click Save (the disk icon); to
save changes and close the form, click the Close button.
After you have activated the quote, it’s no longer a draft and the system creates an official quotation. If the customer then requests a revision to the
quote, you can modify that quote. The system stores an additional record
with its own revision ID for each modified quote, so you may have a long
series of quotes as you continue to revise activated quotes.
Chapter 16: Generating Quotes, Orders, and Invoices
Associating Opportunities and Quotes
Opportunity records house all of your sales forecast information. By associating an opportunity with a quote, you allow the system to calculate the estimated revenue for the opportunity automatically. As you revise an associated
quotation by changing products or discounts, those changes to the revenue
stream are reflected in your overall forecast.
You can associate a quote with an opportunity or vice versa. If the opportunity
doesn’t exist yet, you need to create it before you can associate it with a quote.
We go through the steps of associating a quote with an opportunity record:
1. In the Opportunities window, select the opportunity that needs an
associated quote.
2. With the opportunity record displayed, click Quotes in the navigation
pane (under Sales).
A list of all associated quotes appears in the main window.
3. If no quotes are yet associated with the opportunity, click the New
Quote button in the window’s toolbar. If quotes already exist, you
can edit them if necessary.
4. Whether you’re entering a new quote or editing an existing quote,
proceed with entering the information as detailed in Step 4 of the
“Creating a quote” section, earlier in this chapter.
5. Assemble the individual items you want listed in your quote by clicking Existing Products from the navigation pane or if you’re quoting a
custom product or something that isn’t in the products list, select
Write-In Products from the navigation pane.
Because we started this exercise from an opportunity record, the quote we
just created is automatically associated with this opportunity. No need to do
any further association!
Printing a Quote
After you finish developing a quote and activate it, it’s a good idea to do a
quick Microsoft CRM print. Follow these steps:
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1. From the Quotes window, select the quote you want to print.
Your quote record appears on the screen.
2. Choose File➪Print or click Print Quote for Customer in the toolbar.
A preview of your quote appears so you can review it for accuracy.
3. When your previewed quote looks okay, you can send it to your
printer by clicking the Print button.
Your bare-bones quotation prints, displaying the information from each
of the tab areas of your quote.
In most cases, this information won’t be formatted in your organization’s
style. The good news is that you aren’t locked into a specific quotation
format. The bad news is that you need to create a format rather than select
from some canned ones.
Your system administrator or dealer can assist with the development of specially formatted printouts and reports.
Converting a Quote to an Order
A successfully presented quote becomes an order. Only a previously activated (status = active) quote can be turned into an order. The steps to
change a quote into an order are easy:
1. In the Quotes window, click the active quote.
The details of the quote appear.
2. On the Quotes window’s toolbar, click Create Order.
The Create Order dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 16-5. The
Status Reason of the quote has automatically changed to Won. You can
see the Status in the list of quotes as long as the View is All Quotes. The
opportunity is no longer part of your forecasted sales because it’s now a
done deal. Today’s date is automatically filled in, although you can
modify this if necessary.
3. Select the Close Opportunity option and click OK.
The opportunity is closed and no longer appears in the list of Active
Opportunities (that is, when the View is set to Active Opportunities).
4. The quote window closes and a new window opens showing the
details of the newly created order.
Chapter 16: Generating Quotes, Orders, and Invoices
Figure 16-5:
Creating
an order.
Generating Invoices from Orders
When you’re ready to ship your goods or services to the customer, you use
the information in the order to generate an invoice to the customer. Follow
these steps:
1. In the lower part of the navigation pane, click the Sales button. In the
upper part of the pane, select Orders.
The Orders window appears.
2. Make sure the View menu (in the upper right) is set to All Orders.
3. Select the order you want to make into an invoice.
4. Click the Create Invoice button.
Microsoft CRM automatically generates and displays the invoice for you.
Unless your system is integrated to a Dynamics accounting application,
however, that invoice goes nowhere. Your invoice is typically printed (or
delivered in some other electronic way) from your accounting system.
5. Click Save and Close.
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One of the most compelling things about generating quotes, orders, and
invoices is CRM’s ability to integrate with accounting software. The extent or
ease of this integration depends on the accounting software you’re using. If
you’re using Microsoft Dynamics GP, for example, Microsoft has the integration you need. If you’re using accounting software not from Microsoft, you’ll
probably need a third-party module to integrate the two. See Chapter 27 for
information on sources for this type of integration.
Chapter 17
Setting Up Sales Literature and
Dealing with Competitors
In This Chapter
Adding sales literature
Making changes to literature
Relating literature to other records
Adding and tracking competitors
T
he Sales Literature area is really a document management system. After you
set up your subjects (formerly known as the Subject Manager) to provide
the structure for your company’s document library, you can file individual
pieces of sales literature for future reference. (See Chapter 23 for full details
about how to set up the subjects.)
Subjects create an organizational structure for your literature, documents,
and brochures. Think of it as the Dewey Decimal System for your own library.
The Sales Literature area allows you to stock the shelves. And the shelves, by
the way, are on the server — not your local computer.
You may also want to keep track of your competitors and their sales literature.
This information is particularly important when competing for projects. What
you find out (even in a losing battle) may help you win the next one.
Adding Literature
All new literature must be categorized by subject. This means your subjects
must be set up with a structure to house your documents. (As mentioned,
see Chapter 23 for information on subjects.)
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To add a piece of literature — or any document or file — to the Sales Literature
area, follow these steps:
1. In the lower part of the navigation pane, click the Sales button.
2. In the upper part of the navigation pane, select Sales Literature.
The Sales Literature window appears, as shown in Figure 17-1.
3. On the Sales Literature window’s toolbar, click the New button.
The Sales Literature: New window appears, as shown in Figure 17-2. This
is the main information screen for entering and cataloging your literature.
4. In the Title field, enter a title for your article.
5. In the Subject field, select a subject as follows:
a. Click the magnifying glass to the right of the Subject field.
The Look Up Records window appears.
b. Select a subject from the list.
6. In the Type field, click the arrow and choose an item from the list.
This list displays likely topic descriptions for your literature.
Figure 17-1:
Your sales
literature
appears in a
typical view.
Chapter 17: Setting Up Sales Literature and Dealing with Competitors
Figure 17-2:
Entering a
new article.
7. If you want, associate a user with this literature as follows:
a. Click the magnifying glass to the right of the Employee Contact field.
b. Select an employee to associate with the literature.
This is probably the person on your staff who developed the literature or the one who is responsible for the documentation.
8. To the right of the Expiration Date field, click the calendar icon and
select a date for your document to expire.
For example, you may have a sale advertisement or a company policy
that expires on a particular date.
9. If you want, enter an abstract of the document in the Description field.
10. Click Save (the disk icon) or the Save and Close button.
If you select Save, the system saves what you’ve entered so far but
remains on this same New Literature screen awaiting further edits. If you
click Save and Close, the system returns to the Sales Literature window.
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So far, you’ve entered only general information about the document. You still
need to attach the document to the listing you just created. Follow these steps:
1. In the Sales Literature window, click the listing to which you want to
add one or more documents.
2. In the window’s pane on the left, select Documents (under Details).
3. On the window’s toolbar, click the New Document button.
The Document window appears, as shown in Figure 17-3.
4. Fill in the window as follows:
a. Title: Enter a descriptive title of the document, possibly including a
version number or a date.
b. Author: Enter either the author’s name or the name of the person
responsible for the document.
c. Keywords: Enter one or more keywords that anyone with access to
the database can use later to locate any document with one keyword or a combination of keywords.
d. Abstract: This is a short summary of the document’s contents.
e. File Name: This field connects Microsoft CRM to the stored file.
You can use the Browse button to the right of the File Name field to
locate the document.
5. Click the Attach button in the lower-right corner of the window.
Doing so attaches the document entered in the File Name field and
uploads the document to the server.
Figure 17-3:
Entering the
specifics for
a piece of
literature.
Chapter 17: Setting Up Sales Literature and Dealing with Competitors
6. Click the Save and Close button at the top of the window.
The system returns to the listing of documents associated with this
particular subject.
Each title can be associated with multiple documents. When you complete
step 6 above, you will be at the Sales Literature main window. To add a new
document, simply repeat steps 3– 6 above. The structure of the entire title
listing is similar to an organization chart, with each parent record capable
of having multiple children. For example, you might have a document with
pricing and terms and a separate document dealing with confidentiality
associated with consulting agreements. This is done by working with
subjects. Subjects are a way to organize records and to tie them together.
All Sales Literature is categorized by subjects that are created in a
hierarchy. We talk more about subjects in Chapter 23.
All documents are stored on the server. If you attach a document that’s currently
stored locally on your hard drive, Microsoft CRM makes a copy of the document
on the server. This way, other users (if they have access rights) will have access
to the document. When you need to retrieve the document, you have a choice
of downloading it from the server or just opening it directly from the server.
Modifying Literature
Microsoft CRM copies documents to the server so that all authorized team
members can use them. Therefore, at least two copies of the same document
exist — one on your local computer and one on the server. Users may have
their own original copy of the document on their own machine. Keep in mind
that you want everyone to work from the same version of the document.
Several document management systems allow multiple users to contribute to
the same document, more or less simultaneously. Even Microsoft Word has a
facility called Track Changes. Each contributor is automatically assigned a
color, and you can easily see who has done what to the document. It’s also
easy to gracefully remove all signs of editing before printing the final edition.
You need one central repository for the current copies of all literature. That
can be the Microsoft CRM server, or it can be another readily accessible server,
as long as everyone understands where the active documents are stored. If you
use CRM as a document repository, keep in mind any user of the system has
access to view and download it.
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Assuming that the CRM server is the central library for current documents,
follow these steps to edit an existing piece of literature:
1. In the Sales Literature window, click the row that contains the document
you want to edit.
The General tab for that subject appears. You will soon have access to
the documents so that you can edit one or more of them.
2. In the pane on the left, select Documents.
You see a list of all the documents related to this subject.
3. Click the document you need to edit.
At the bottom of the window is a link to that document. This document,
or attachment, is housed on the CRM server.
4. Click the link to the document and save it on your local drive.
You can’t edit the document while it’s on the CRM server.
5. Edit the document and save your changes on your local drive.
6. Upload the document to the CRM server so other users can access it.
If you simply reattach the document, it uploads automatically. Revision
numbers aren’t automatically associated with revised documents, so you
might want to include a revision number in the file name or title of the
document. In addition, you can track revisions, at least a little, by checking the Modified On date that appears in the Sales Literature window.
Relating Literature to Competitors
One of the more compelling aspects of the design of Microsoft CRM is the
ability to relate one kind of record to another. Suppose you want to associate
a piece of sales literature with a competitor. You collect sample brochures from
each of your competitors. You then catalog them in the Sales Literature area
and relate each brochure to the appropriate competitor. To do this, follow
these steps:
1. In the lower part of the navigation pane, click the Sales button.
2. In the upper part of the navigation pane, select Competitors.
A list of all competitors appears in the window on the right.
3. Select the appropriate competitor.
The General tab for that competitor’s information appears.
Chapter 17: Setting Up Sales Literature and Dealing with Competitors
4. In the pane on the left, select Sales Literature (under Sales).
The Sales Literature window appears, showing all existing sales literature
associated with the competitor you selected.
5. Select the piece of literature that you want to associate with this competitor by clicking the appropriate row in the list.
You can also set up a new piece of sales literature from here, as shown in
the “Adding Literature” section, earlier in this chapter.
6. In the window’s toolbar, click the Save button to save your association
of sales literature with the competitor.
Adding and Tracking Competitors
Whenever you’re in a competitive situation, knowing as much as possible
about the opposition is a good idea. You want to track their strengths so that
you can anticipate the ammunition they’ll use against you. You want to know
their weaknesses so you can exploit them. Yes, it’s a tough world out there.
It’s a good idea not only to track the products they sell but also to compile as
much literature about those products as possible. Your competitor’s Web site
is a great place to go to compile, download, and cut and paste all the information you can find. To add a new competitor to the database, follow these steps:
1. At the bottom of the navigation pane, click the Sales button.
2. At the top of the navigation pane, select Competitors.
3. In the Competitors window’s toolbar, click the New button.
The data entry window shown in Figure 17-4 appears.
Finding your competitors
You may occasionally find yourself in a competitive situation but not know exactly who your
competitor is. Maybe you know the general
geographic location of your competitor. The
Advanced Find feature may come to your
rescue. For example, if you’re competing to sell
computer clones against another dealer somewhere in Connecticut, you could use the
Advanced Find feature to find likely contenders.
Choose Tools➪Advanced Find in the
Competitors window to access the Advanced
Find feature.
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Figure 17-4:
Entering
data on
another
annoying
competitor.
4. Enter at least the one required field, Name, and as many of the other
fields as you can.
Filling in the Key Product and Address fields may come in handy.
5. Click the Analysis tab.
The Analysis tab has five general, text-based topics for you to fill in. If
you’ve ever taken any Miller Heiman sales training, some of these topics
may look familiar.
6. In these five fields, enter everything you know or suspect about the
competitor.
7. Click the Save and Close button.
Compiling a library of your organization’s literature is one of the more useful
things you can do for the group. Whether it’s just for internal consumption or,
ultimately, for distribution to prospects and customers, having current literature
organized in one place and available to everyone speeds up your sales and
support efforts. Do it and then make sure you keep it all up-to-date.
Chapter 18
Implementing Sales Processes
In This Chapter
Understanding general process principles
Adding and configuring sales stages
B
usiness processes are intertwined with the workflow rules discussed in
detail in Chapter 9. In this chapter, we discuss some of the basic principles
involved in designing your processes and how you can implement those
design principles in Microsoft CRM.
In the almost 20 years that we’ve been designing and implementing CRM systems
(not always Microsoft CRM, of course), it has been made clear again and again
that two basic features allow CRM to earn its keep. The first is its ability to
consolidate an entire organization’s data into one useful, shareable place.
Don’t underestimate this.
The second is its ability to automate business processes. The implementation
of workflow not only forces you to think about — and then continuously
rethink — your business processes but also allows you to replace notoriously
inconsistent human activity with automation that always follows the rules.
Sadly, more than 90 percent of CRM implementations never achieve that
automation. That initial goal seems to get lost in the effort to get the system up
and running and the staff using the software. Too often, we’re out of energy and
money to invest further in developing the workflow that really makes the
investment in CRM pay for itself. If you want to maximize the value of your
system, however, don’t allow yourself to run out of resources before you
finish the entire job.
A good process guides your people through a series of well-documented steps
for almost every type of situation. For example, although you can do a quote
before properly qualifying an account, any well-thought-out system discourages
this. Or you may remember to call a prospect back after sending a quote, but
a good workflow-based process won’t let you forget.
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Earlier in the book, we discuss in detail how to implement one of your wellthought-out processes in the Workflow Manager. (Actually, it may not be one
of your well-thought-out processes, but it might be similar to one of yours.)
Please refer to Chapter 9 for a refresher on workflows.
In this chapter, you find out how to plan your sales stages and how to relate
these sales stages and other processes to your CRM system. You also discover the basic principles of process design and how these affect the design
of your overall CRM system.
The General Principles
A good business process includes the concepts of alerts, escalation, feedback, and analysis. We describe each of these principles in this section.
Alerts
An alert, which is often an e-mail notice or some kind of screen pop-up, is called
for when an activity should’ve been completed but for some reason wasn’t. For
example, if you’ve obtained verbal approval and the prospect promises a written purchase order within a week, the system should alert the account manager
10 days later if that purchase order hasn’t arrived. (If you’re a Type A personality, you may want to adjust your waiting period to 10 minutes.) Please refer to
Chapter 9, “Managing Workflows,” for an example of setting up a workflow rule.
Alerts are appropriate also as a warning that an upcoming activity is almost
due. For example, you might want a polite warning 30 days before a client’s
annual contract needs renewal.
Depending on the number of alerts you anticipate, you may decide on individual e-mail notices for each alert, or you may want a single e-mail or report
that contains all the alerts. For example, you may set up a Workflow which
e-mails you a list of overdue purchase orders at the end of the day. A typical
sales alert might be to let a manager know on the 18th of the month that a
forecasted sale that was slated to close on the 15th hasn’t closed yet. If you
expect more than two or three of these alerts, you’ll be better off planning to
put them in a consolidated report that the manager receives. Otherwise, you
risk clogging up your manager’s in-box with dozens of these warnings, which
he or she will soon learn to ignore. KnowledgeSync, discussed in Chapter 27,
is a third-party alert messaging application. This is one tool you could use to
display on-screen pop-up alerts.
Chapter 18: Implementing Sales Processes
Escalation
When something doesn’t get done on time, someone needs to know. Now, you
can do this properly, or you can do this in a way that gets everyone upset.
Escalations are typically done by e-mail notices, by automatically scheduling
activities, or by some combination of the two.
Typical activities that deserve escalation are sales that haven’t closed when predicted or customer support issues that haven’t been resolved in a timely way.
To be fair, the first step in escalating any issue is to notify the person to
whom the issue was originally assigned. There might be a perfectly valid
reason why the issue hasn’t been resolved, and you should allow the original
person to resolve it.
An administrator could set up a Workflow rule which automatically schedules
an activity or sends an e-mail when a scheduled activity is overdue. Please
refer to Chapter 9 on setting up a Workflow rule.
If the task or issue still hasn’t been resolved within a few days, a notice
should go to the original person’s manager.
CRM can’t send a notice to the manager unless it knows who the manager is.
Each user’s record has a field for the user’s manager’s name. Escalating
issues is probably the best use of this field. To see users’ managers, simply
click on Settings on the main navigation pane, click on Administration and
then click on users. You will be presented with a list of all configured users.
Simply double-click on any user to see his or her Manager.
The typical steps of an escalation plan are as follows:
1. Test to see whether an alert is required. You could do this by setting up
a Workflow rule scan for any incomplete assigned tasks. (Refer to chapter
9 on how to set up Workflow rules.)
2. Send an initial alert to the primary user. You could do this by setting up
a Workflow rule to send an e-mail to the primary user.
3. Wait a reasonable period (one to seven days, for example) and test again.
If the issue still isn’t resolved, escalate to the primary user’s manager.
4. Test again a reasonable time later. If the issue still isn’t resolved, notify
the manager’s manager. Continue this notification until you run out of
management levels. Adjust the waiting period between notifications as
appropriate. You could do this by setting up a Workflow rule to send an
e-mail to the manager’s manager if the incomplete task has not been completed after so many days. In this example, you waited up to seven days to
notify the primary manager (step 3), you could wait an additional seven
days to notify the manager’s manager.
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Each time a manager is notified, all users who received prior notifications
should be copied.
Feedback and analysis
It isn’t a good process unless you can measure it. Losing weight is a process.
Before you start that process, you undoubtedly weigh yourself and continue
to do so as you work toward your desired weight. Without measuring, you
don’t know how well you’re doing, and you can’t make midcourse corrections. Business processes are the same.
If you’re implementing a sales process with a focus to move each sale from
one stage to the next, you want to measure a number of factors. You probably
want to know:
Where and when the lead originated. The purpose of tracking the
source of each new record is to be able to better allocate your marketing
dollars by determining which lead sources are best.
Who is working on the lead. Aside from wanting to give credit where
credit is due — that is, commissions, bonuses, or a pat on the back —
you also want to identify salespeople who may be having problems with
particular types or stages of sales so you can correct these problems.
How long it takes to get from each stage to the next. If your sales are
bogged down at a particular stage, you want to know that and make
corrections to your process or workflow.
Planning Your Sales Stages
Microsoft Corporation and Microsoft CRM both follow the sales process
called Solution Selling, which was originated by Sales Performance International.
If you haven’t taken one of the classes, read one of the books that provides
an overview of this sales philosophy. We’re partial to Solution Selling: Creating
Buyers in Difficult Selling Markets, by Michael T. Bosworth (McGraw-Hill).
If your company already has a sales process other than Solution Selling in
place, that’s okay. Microsoft CRM has enough flexibility to allow you to configure almost any kind of process.
Your organization undoubtedly needs more than one process. For example, if
you sell software and technical support, the associated sales cycles and techniques are different, and you’ll want a process for each type of sale. Also, you
may need a different sales strategy just based on the size of the potential deal
or even the size of the prospect. For example, you would sell 2 pounds of
Chapter 18: Implementing Sales Processes
nails to a homeowner in a different manner than you would sell 200 tons of nails
to a home improvement store.
In CRM, sales processes are associated with opportunity records. Although
you may consider the sales process to begin when you enter a lead, this isn’t
the case. The process can’t begin until you convert a lead to an opportunity,
which we tell you how to do in Chapter 12. We distinguish a lead from an
opportunity the same way we distinguish a suspect from a prospect. It isn’t
an opportunity or a prospect until this potential customer expresses some
interest in your products or services. After that happens, you may have an
opportunity, and it’s time for the sales process to begin.
No immutable laws govern the development of a sales process. The sales
process police won’t be knocking at your door if you have too few or too
many stages, but sales processes do have a few guidelines.
The more complex or the longer your sales cycle is, the more stages you’ll
need to describe where each deal is in your pipeline. However, the more
stages you program into the cycle, the more likely your salespeople will
object to being forced to enter unnecessary data or take unnecessary steps.
So, the simpler, the better — with an eye toward gathering good information
about where sales bog down or at what point a particular salesperson begins
to struggle.
In Table 18-1, we present a typical sales cycle. Before you can begin to implement CRM’s workflow rules, you must define your process. Start with the
table and compare it with your own existing sales steps. Chances are, you
don’t even have a well-documented set of steps. Now’s the time to begin creating that system.
Table 18-1
Typical Sales Cycle
Stage
Description
Probability
Comments
1
Prequalify
10
Make sure it’s the right kind of
client.
2
Initial meeting
20
This can be a phone call or a
physical appointment; probability
increases to 25 if the prospect
comes to your office.
3
Qualified
30
Not only are they interested, but
their timeframe and financials
make a deal possible.
4
Demonstration
40
This is show and tell at their place
or, even better, at yours.
(continued)
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Part III: Managing Sales
Table 18-1 (continued)
Stage
Description
Probability
Comments
5
Quotation or
60
proposal presented
There may be several of these,
and you may go back and forth
from stage 6 to 5 more than once.
6
Negotiating
75
Always be ready for some give
and take.
7
Verbal approval
obtained
85
This isn’t as good as a written
purchase order or a signed check.
8
Purchase order
received
99
It isn’t a done deal until the
money arrives.
Select your simplest product or service and compare the steps you use to the
steps in Table 18-1. Then create a table that best follows either the steps
you’re taking today or, better yet, the steps you think you should be taking.
Before you just jump in and begin programming the workflow rules described
in Chapter 9, you need to organize your thoughts. Convene a brainstorming
session with the users who are involved on a day-by-day basis with each
process you want to automate.
The result of that brainstorming session should be a detailed outline or diagram
of the process. Each outline needs to include, for each step:
The action that will be taken
Who will be responsible for that action
What will trigger the action (for example, a change in the data or a
missed appointment)
How to escalate if the action isn’t completed
After you set this up for each step of the process, it’s time to go to Chapter 9
and begin making your new process happen.
Part IV
Making the Most
of Marketing
T
In this part . . .
argeting your accounts, which we cover in Chapter 19,
is a way to group just those accounts or records that
have something in common. For example, you could target
every customer or prospect in your state that might be
interested in a new line of products you’re about to release.
Any marketing person worth his or her salt wants to measure the cost and effectiveness of each marketing campaign, so we cover that in Chapter 20.
And, in a chapter new to this edition, in Chapter 21 we
discuss how you can collect information from visitors to
your Web site and automatically get that to flow into your
CRM system and then, maybe, even use workflow to automatically respond to their requests.
Chapter 19
Targeting Accounts and Contacts
In This Chapter
Setting up fields
Developing your marketing lists
Editing marketing lists
Merging marketing lists
M
arketing professionals are often looking for ways to build lists of customers and prospects to help target their marketing message. Your
Microsoft CRM system is most likely full of useful marketing data. Fortunately,
the developers of Microsoft CRM understand that and provide a multitude of
ways to target customers and prospects directly from the CRM system. This
chapter addresses the marketing module contained in Microsoft CRM 4.
Target marketing with databases consists of storing critical business data,
mining that data, and building lists of people that correspond to a marketing
need. This book isn’t a primer on database marketing, but that doesn’t mean
we can’t review some basic concepts.
Databases are wonderful tools for storing data and retrieving it. With Microsoft
CRM Marketing Lists, we can retrieve individual records, aggregate data, build
lists, and perform marketing-related actions against the aggregated lists of
data. We can then associate marketing lists with marketing campaigns (as we
discuss in Chapter 20). Marketing campaigns store data on the types of channels used to reach your target market: who responded, how much new business was created, and lots more. Analyzing this data helps to improve future
campaigns by allowing you to focus on the channels and people that not only
respond to your marketing activities but more importantly purchase your
goods and services.
Believe it or not, marketing list development starts with database design.
A well-designed database allows for maximum output with minimal input.
Simply put, a well-designed database puts few data entry requirements on
users while allowing the marketing department to query the database at will.
We suggest you check with your Microsoft CRM dealer to aid in database
design.
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Let’s take a look at an example to illustrate marketing list development.
Mr. Spacely (of The Jetsons) wants to make a special offer to customers of
his competitive product, Cogswell Cogs. Fortunately, Mr. Spacely had a
reader of Microsoft CRM 4 For Dummies design his database. His CRM
designer added a field to the Account form called Product Owned, which
records the product that an account owns, either a Spacely Sprocket or a
Cogswell Cog. Mr. Spacely asks his marketing department to create a list of all
customers who purchased Cogswell Cogs. His marketing team uses Advanced
Find to create the desired list. (For more on Advanced Find, see Chapter 3.)
With the list created, the Spacely marketing will create a campaign targeted
at Cogswell customers. To learn more about Marketing Campaigns, see
Chapter 20.
We recommend that you work with a Microsoft CRM professional organization to help in determining the best approach for designing your database.
Here are some basic rules for designing your Microsoft CRM 4 system, to help
you optimally market to customers, prospects, or leads, or any combination
of the three:
Track company information on the account form only. If you need to
segment by industry, enter it on the account form and not on the contact form. If you know what industry a company is in, you can safely
assume the company’s employees also work in that industry. Similarly,
when designating companies as prospects or customers, we recommend
tracking that information on the account screen.
Enter contact-specific data on the contact screen. This may seem obvious, but should you want to send out birthday notices, put a birthday
field on the contact screen.
Query related entities. Microsoft CRM is a relational database. The
Advanced Find lets you query related entities to help develop a list. If
you’re unaware of how to relate entities, call your reseller.
Targeting the Right People
Let’s not lose sight of an obvious fact: You market to people — not buildings,
accounts, opportunities, or anything else. And some people don’t want you
to market to them. Don’t worry if someone opts out of your marketing but
somehow ends up on one of your marketing lists anyway; Microsoft CRM has
a built-in safety net. (Okay, you may not be trapeze artists, so safety net is
more of a metaphor.) In any case, the aforementioned safety net is found on
the Administration tab of the Contact form, as well as the Account and Lead
forms under Contact Methods.
Chapter 19: Targeting Accounts and Contacts
Figure 19-1 shows the Contact form’s Administration tab. At the top of the tab
is the Contact Methods section, where you can adjust the following settings:
Preferred: This drop-down list allows you to choose the contact’s preferred method of contact.
E-Mail: If the contact opts out of e-mail, select the Do Not Allow radio
button. Subsequent attempts to e-mail the contact from Microsoft CRM
will be blocked.
You can’t send an Outlook e-mail to a CRM record that has Do Not Allow
set in the E-Mail field. When you click Track in CRM prior to sending the
e-mail, you’ll receive the message shown in Figure 19-2.
Figure 19-1:
The
Administrative tab
that’s in
account,
contact,
and lead
records.
Figure 19-2:
An Outlook
message
indicating
that the
contact is
marked as
Do Not
Allow for
e-mail.
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Part IV: Making the Most of Marketing
Chapter 20 covers marketing campaigns; however, it will be helpful
now if you understand the distinction between a campaign and a quick
campaign in Microsoft CRM. A quick campaign is a single marketing
activity sent to one or more records. A marketing campaign is a full marketing campaign that can have one or more events in a variety of channels, such as e-mail, letter, fax, and more. Marketing campaigns can have
associated planning steps, targeted responses, and more.
Bulk E-Mail: Used for quick campaigns. Records marked “Do Not Allow”
with this option will not receive quick campaigns.
Phone: Indicates a person’s desire, or lack thereof, to accept marketing
calls from your organization.
Fax: As with phone, you can indicate whether or not the person will
accept fax marketing messages.
Mail: Indicates whether a person will accept marketing materials that
are mailed to them.
The next section, called Marketing Information, contains a radio button for
sending marketing materials. Selecting the No radio button for the Send
Marketing Materials option prevents all marketing campaigns from going to
that contact.
Note that setting Bulk E-Mail to Do Not Allow (in the Contact Methods section, above) prevents all quick campaigns. A Do Not Allow for E-Mail blocks
all e-mail to the contact regardless of the selected choices for Bulk E-Mail and
for Send Marketing Materials (when the campaign is an e-mail campaign).
Figure 19-3 illustrates the proper settings for a contact with whom you often
exchange e-mails, but who has declined to receive your e-mail marketing. In
Figure 19-3 we’ve set: E-mail to Allow; Bulk E-mail to Do Not Allow; and Send
Marketing Materials to No.
This contact is now someone with whom we can communicate on a regular
basis via e-mail but who won’t receive any of our e-mail marketing.
We recommend creating corporate best practices on how to utilize the
Contact Methods settings. More and more laws are being passed regulating
spam, opt-in/opt-out marketing, and the divulging of contact details to third
parties. If you violate any of these rules, your marketing will probably not
benefit and may create all sorts of trouble.
We’re ready to build that marketing list we mentioned earlier in the chapter. If
you’ve properly designed your database, now you simply need to go ahead
and build the list.
Chapter 19: Targeting Accounts and Contacts
Figure 19-3:
The
Administrative tab
allowing
e-mail
but not
marketing.
Developing and Saving Marketing Lists
Marketing lists differ from Advanced Find in that, after a marketing list is
built, it requires human interaction to alter the contents. In contrast, whenever you run an Advanced Find query, the result set that is returned encompasses all the data in the database satisfying the query. If you create a
marketing list with 100 records, 100 records will remain in that list forever,
unless someone alters the marketing list. In contrast, an Advanced Find
query can differ in the number of records returned every time it’s executed.
For example, an Advanced Find query run for all customers in Massachusetts
returns a specific number of records, such as 1,000. If we rerun the Advance
Find later in the day we may now return 1,010 records as 10 new customers
have been added to the database.
A marketing list isn’t dynamic, meaning that marketing list entries don’t
change automatically with changes to the database as an Advanced Find
does. If we create a marketing list based on the Massachusetts Advanced
Find, we have 1,000 records in the marketing list. Later, when the Advanced
Find returns 1,010 records, the marketing list will continue to return 1,000
records. This allows you to track the original group marketed to regardless of
additions made to the database.
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Part IV: Making the Most of Marketing
Creating marketing lists
Before creating a marketing list, have an idea as to the target audience of
your marketing message (such as accounts, contacts, or leads). Then follow
these steps:
1. On the navigation pane, click the Marketing button.
2. In the upper part of the navigation pane, select Marketing Lists.
The Marketing Lists window appears, as shown in Figure 19-4.
Figure 19-4:
Your
marketing
lists are
displayed.
3. On the window’s toolbar, click the New button.
The Marketing List: New screen appears, as shown in Figure 19-5. Three
fields are required: Name, Member Type, and Owner.
4. In the Name field, enter a unique name for your new list.
5. Select a Member Type from the drop-down list.
The Member Type simply indicates whether you’re building the list from
your accounts, contacts, or leads. You can choose only one of these
per list.
6. By default you will be the Owner; to change ownership of the marketing list to another user, click the magnifying glass icon and select
another user.
Chapter 19: Targeting Accounts and Contacts
Figure 19-5:
Creating
a new
marketing
list form.
7. Enter information in the other fields, as desired.
If you’re building this marketing list based on a purchased list that was
imported into the CRM system, indicate so in the Source field. Enter how
much you paid for the list in the Cost field. You can enter notes either in
the Description field or in the Notes tab. If you use the Notes tab, each
note is date and time stamped.
8. Click the Save button.
The navigation menu on the left of the marketing list is now available.
Now you have a list, but it has no records in it. The next section describes
how to populate your list.
Adding members to the marketing list
You can populate marketing lists by adding records one at a time or with
Advanced Find. The Advanced Find method populates the list with multiple
records at a time. Similarly, you can remove marketing list members from the
list one at a time or en masse via Advanced Find.
In general, if a database relationship exists between the records you’d like to
target, Advanced Find is the best tool for the job. On the other hand, should
you want to add records without a common thread (no database relationship
can be established), the Look Up feature is the way to go. Of course, you
could do both. The examples that follow illustrate these points.
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To add all contacts where the account type is Customer, use the Advanced
Find method. The database relationship between the account records is the
account type of Customer. Your list will consist of contacts where the relationship field on the Account form is Customer. This is in contrast to a list
created that is not based on a database relationship. For example, a marketing list called Newsletter will contain anyone requesting your corporate
newsletter. Other than adding these records to a marketing list called
Newsletter, there may not exist any other database relationship between
these records.
To add specific members to the marketing list, follow these steps:
1. On the marketing list navigation pane, click Marketing List Members.
2. At the top of the Marketing List Members pane, click Manage
Members.
Figure 19-6 shows the Manage Members screen.
Figure 19-6:
The
Manage
Members
form.
3. Click the first option, Use Lookup to Add Members, and then click OK.
The Look Up Records dialog box opens.
4. In the Look For field, enter the name of the account(s) you want to
add to your list.
Chapter 19: Targeting Accounts and Contacts
You can enter all or part of the name. We entered *mo*. The asterisk (*)
is a wildcard that matches any sequence of characters. The mo finds any
contact record with mo in the first or last name. The characters aren’t
case sensitive and will display mo in the first or last names, such as Moe
Howard, Amos Smith or Mickey Monaghan.
5. Click the Search Icon (magnifying glass).
All the contacts with mo in their first or last names appear in the
Available Records pane, as shown in Figure 19-7. This list may include
records you don’t want. For example, the figure shows many other
people that we don’t want to add to our marketing list.
6. Highlight the records you want to include in your marketing list and
then click the >> button.
To select a range of records, use the Shift key or the Ctrl key to select
multiple records.
Figure 19-7:
You’re
adding
two of the
records
displayed.
7. Click OK when you’re finished.
The system flashes a message, telling you that it’s adding records to
your list, and then returns to the Marketing Lists window.
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To see the number of records added to a marketing list, follow these
steps:
1. Click Marketing on the Navigation Bar.
2. Click Marketing Lists.
3. Double-click a marketing list to open it.
4. On the Local Marketing List navigation bar, click Marketing List
Members.
5. The total number of list members is written near the top left of the
form. (See Figure 19-8.)
Figure 19-8:
The total
number of
records
added to a
Marketing
List.
Here’s an alternative way to add a record to the marketing list. After you’ve
created your marketing list, you can add members when you’re on the Lead,
Contact, or Account forms. To do so, just follow these steps:
1. Open the contact record and Click Marketing Lists on the bottom of
the contact navigation pane.
2. At the top of the Marketing List Members pane, click Add to Marketing
List.
The Look Up Records - Marketing List dialog box opens. (See Figure 19-9.)
3. Select a record.
4. Click Save and Close.
Chapter 19: Targeting Accounts and Contacts
Figure 19-9:
The Look Up
Records Marketing
List dialog
box.
Populating a marketing list using
Advanced Find
With Advanced Find, you can add many records to the marketing list at one
time; you create a query that returns a subset of data. For example, the query
you create could be: All contact records in the state of California where the
E-Mail field contains data and the contact’s title is VP of Operations. This
complex query returns all the contact records in the database that satisfy the
query. Some benefits of using Advanced Find are:
Advanced Find can look at any field within a record, not just the Name
field.
Advanced Find can look at more than one field in a search. For example,
Advanced Find can locate all the accounts in New York that also have fax
numbers.
Advanced Find can search more than one entity. Your contact list can be
filtered by values on the account form or any entity related to contacts.
You can save Advanced Find queries for use later.
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Part IV: Making the Most of Marketing
To create a targeted list using Advanced Find, follow these steps:
1. On the navigation pane, click the Marketing button.
2. At the top of the navigation pane, select Marketing Lists.
3. Double-click to select the marketing list you want to populate (if you
have not yet created a marketing list, refer to creating marketing lists
above).
The marketing list form opens.
4. On the navigation pane, select Marketing List Members.
5. On the window’s toolbar, click the Manage Members button.
The Manage Members dialog box appears.
6. Click the second option, Use Advanced Find to Add Members, and
then click OK.
7. The type of record on which you’re basing your search is limited to
list type; however, you can query related entities, such as the Account
entity from Contacts, as shown in Figure 19-10.
You’re looking for contacts in Massachusetts with an account
Relationship Type of Customer. (See Figure 19-10.)
Figure 19-10:
Advanced
Find for
contacts in
Massachusetts with an
account
designation
of Customer.
You can also use a saved Advanced Find query by clicking the Saved
Views tab and selecting an existing query.
Chapter 19: Targeting Accounts and Contacts
8. In Figure 19-11, you can add selected members to the marketing list
by using Ctrl+click or by clicking the Add All the Members Returned
by the Search to the Marketing List radio button. When done, click the
Add to Marketing List button.
Figure 19-11:
Adding
Advanced
Find records
to a
marketing
list.
9. If so desired, click the Back to Query button and save your Advanced
Find.
This adds the Advanced Find to your saved queries.
10. Click Save and Close to save this new entry as one of your marketing
lists.
After a marketing list is created, it’s static. In other words, marketing list
members don’t change without manual intervention.
Editing a Marketing List
We mention several times that, unlike an Advanced Find, marketing lists are
static and can be changed only manually. Why would you want to change a list?
One reason is to add people to the list to comply with a request, such as a
newsletter opt in. To update a list with many records at one time, you can use
Advanced Find in much the same way you use it when creating a marketing list.
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To add records, follow the steps in the preceding “Populating a marketing
list” section.
You can enter a record into a specific marketing list only once, so don’t worry
about duplicating the entry.
Removing Records from a Marketing List
There are two ways to remove records from a marketing list. We cover both
options in the steps that follow.
To remove records from a marketing list, follow these steps:
1. Open a contact record.
2. On the form’s navigation pane, click the marketing list icon second
from the bottom.
The marketing list view is displayed on the right.
3. Click the list item (or Ctrl+click several marketing lists) from which
you’d like to remove the record.
4. On the toolbar, choose More Actions➪Remove.
The contact will be removed from chosen list or lists.
5. Click OK.
The second approach is to navigate to a particular marketing list where you
have several options to remove records. From the marketing list, you can
remove one or multiple records at a time. Let’s explore those options:
1. On the navigation pane, click the Marketing button.
2. At the top of the navigation pane, select Marketing Lists.
3. Double-click to select the marketing list you want to edit.
The marketing list form opens.
4. On the navigation pane, select Marketing List Members.
5. Click the list member or Ctrl+click the members you want to remove.
6. On the toolbar, choose More Actions➪Remove From Marketing List.
7. Click OK.
Chapter 19: Targeting Accounts and Contacts
Alternatively, you can remove records via an Advanced Find query. To do so,
follow these steps:
1. From an open marketing list, Click Marketing List Members on the
navigation bar.
2. Click Manage Members on the top right.
The manage members dialog box opens. (Refer to Figure 19-6).
3. Select Use Advanced Find to remove members.
The Advanced Find query window opens.
4. Create an Advanced Find or use a saved one.
5. Click Find in the lower right corner.
The list of members satisfying the search is shown.
6. Ctrl+click to remove individual members or click the Remove All the
Members Returned by the Search from the Marketing List radio
button.
7. Click the Remove from Marketing List button on the bottom of the
form.
Or, finally, you can remove records with the Use Advanced Find to Evaluate
Members option. To do so, follow these steps:
1. From an open marketing list, click Marketing List Members on the
navigation bar.
2. Click Manage Members on the top right.
The manage members dialog box opens. (Refer to Figure 19-6.)
3. Select Use Advanced Find to evaluate members.
4. Click OK.
5. The Advanced Find window opens.
In this case, you’re going to evaluate the account state and remove
any contacts whose parent account isn’t located in Massachusetts.
Figure 19-12 shows your query.
Of your three records, Moe and Larry work for a company in
Massachusetts, and Mickey Monaghan works for a company located in
Washington state.
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Part IV: Making the Most of Marketing
Figure 19-12:
Query to
exclude
records
from the
marketing
list.
6. Click the Find button.
Figure 19-13 shows the results. Only two records appear based on the
query, which means Mickey will be removed from the list.
Figure 19-13:
Query
results for
evaluating
members.
Chapter 19: Targeting Accounts and Contacts
7. Click the Keep All the Members Returned by Search in the Marketing
List radio button.
8. Click the Update Marketing List button.
Merging Mail from Marketing Lists
A new feature added to Microsoft CRM 4 is the ability to launch mail merge
documents from the Internet Explorer client, a feature only found in the
Outlook client in version 3. The mail merge feature enables the user to output
data from the marketing list members to Microsoft Word, e-mail, fax, labels,
or envelopes.
After you create a marketing list, the Mail Merge on List Members button is
available at the top of the screen. Use it to create the mail merge as follows:
1. At the top of the marketing list form, click the Mail Merge on List
Members button.
The Mail Merge for Microsoft Office Word dialog box opens, as shown in
Figure 19-14.
Figure 19-14:
The Mail
Merge for
Microsoft
Word Dialog
box.
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Part IV: Making the Most of Marketing
2. In the Select the Mail Merge Type drop-down box, choose Letter,
Email, Fax, Envelope, or Label, according to your needs.
3. Choose the type of document to start with: a blank document, or an
organization or personal mail merge template.
If you choose one of the templates, you’ll then have to click the lookup
box to the right of your selection. If you have a few templates they will
show in the dialog box. Select one and click OK. If you have many templates, you can search for the desired template in the Look For box.
When found, click on the template and click OK.
4. Select a template, if necessary, and click OK.
5. Click the Data Fields button.
You can select up to 62 fields.
6. Click OK twice.
7. Click Open when prompted with the file download dialog box.
8. If macros have been disabled, click Options in Word and enable
macros. (See Figure 19-15.)
If you’re using Word 2007, as we are in Figure 19-15, you’ll also have to
click the CRM button on the Add-Ins or Mailing tab.
Figure 19-15:
A Microsoft
Word
template
with CRM
data
merged.
9. Select the data to be merged and click OK.
Figure 19-16 shows the data to be merged.
Chapter 19: Targeting Accounts and Contacts
Figure 19-16:
Merging
marketing
list data
with
Microsoft
Word.
10. In Word, on the bottom right, click Next: Preview your letters.
You’re merge document shows with actual CRM data merged.
11. In Word, on the bottom right, click Next: Complete the merge.
Your merge documents are now complete. You can print or save or both.
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Part IV: Making the Most of Marketing
Chapter 20
Managing Campaigns
In This Chapter
Creating campaigns
Launching and managing campaigns
Recording campaign responses
Working with quick campaigns
A
s a Customer Relationship Management tool, Microsoft CRM 4 has an
entire module related to marketing. A key component of the marketing
module is campaigns. Campaigns in Microsoft CRM deals with planning and
executing a database marketing campaign. Campaigns are related to database
marketing because the campaigns you create deal with data stored in your
Microsoft CRM system, and the campaign results will also be stored in your
Microsoft CRM system. You need not be a marketing professional to use campaigns. This chapter will introduce you to campaigns, how to execute them
and how to record responses.
This chapter logically follows Chapter 19, in which we cull our database to
produce lists of customers, prospects, and so on. Now we want to put those
lists to good use.
Marketing campaigns can be simple. A campaign can be comprised of a single
activity, such as sending a letter, or a campaign can be very sophisticated
and comprised of multiple steps. A complex campaign can consist of several
phone calls, letters, and trade show attendance involving many people.
Whichever campaign is decided upon, marketing managers would like to
track campaign response rates. They can then correlate the number of
impressions to responses to opportunities and hopefully to new business.
This analysis is vital in determining a campaign’s effectiveness.
CRM campaigns allow for tracking responses and linking them to sales opportunities. In addition to response rates, campaign managers can track a variety
of other campaign-related data and report on results. These tools can help a
marketing manager improve planning and execution of future marketing
campaigns.
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Part IV: Making the Most of Marketing
Developing Your Campaign
Microsoft CRM is the tool to carry out and track a marketing campaign, but
before you do that, you can use CRM to develop a clearly defined plan for
the campaign. Proper planning is an essential component of any marketing
campaign (but you already knew that didn’t you?). When you’re armed with a
plan that has clearly stated goals and a well-defined budget, you’re ready to
execute your first Microsoft CRM 4 marketing campaign.
But before we begin our journey through campaign management with
Microsoft CRM 4, let’s explore a marketing scenario. Our three funny guys,
Moe, Larry, and Curly, are planning to attend the big Comedy Convention in
Las Vegas later this year. The Comedy Convention sends a list of attendees
to exhibitors prior to the convention. Our three funny guys have decided to
use Microsoft CRM to market to the attendee list prior to the meeting in an
effort to maximize the number of prospects who visit their booth. Their preconference marketing consists of different channels — e-mails, letters, phone
calls, and so on.
After the conclusion of the conference, our heroes will post-market to the
conference attendees that stopped by the booth. With Microsoft CRM, they
will be able to manage campaign responses and the effectiveness of the
marketing campaign in terms of related opportunities and hopefully new
business.
The following list outlines several important aspects of the benefits of using
Microsoft CRM for a marketing campaign:
Track budget versus expenses. Money, money, money. Your budget is
extremely important, and you want to make sure you have one established before you start. Then, as the campaign progresses, the cost is
automatically calculated in Microsoft CRM. You can enter and adjust
information for the total budget of the campaign, the expected revenue,
miscellaneous costs, or the total actual cost.
Assign promotion codes. Use promotion codes to help track responses.
Track responses by associating different codes with different media
outlets.
Target products. Add products to Microsoft CRM and associate those
products with a marketing campaign. Now you’re experiencing the
power of a relational database!
Define lists. All campaigns need at least one marketing list associated
with it. Marketing lists are collections of accounts, contacts, or leads that
have been identified as the target market for a campaign. Marketing list
creation can be based on database queries (Advanced Find) or simply
by adding users to a particular list or lists. For more on lists, see
Chapter 19.
Chapter 20: Managing Campaigns
Collect marketing material. Now you’ll know who received the unique
coffee mug you provided as a thank you. Or perhaps the pen that writes
underwater to a depth of 60 feet.
You’ll also want to set your revenue target and the starting and ending dates
of your campaign. We suggest that you put all this together in an outline
before building your campaign. That way, you can see any holes in your
campaign before they become an issue.
Creating Campaigns
Let’s return to our marketing scenario. The Stooges in preparation for the
upcoming Las Vegas conference create a campaign in Microsoft CRM. Let’s
create the campaign together. Just follow these steps:
1. On the navigation pane, click the Marketing button.
2. At the top of the navigation pane, click Campaigns.
The Campaigns window appears, Most likely your view will be My
Campaigns, but you can switch your view by clicking on the View dropdown list (See Figure 20-1).
3. On the window’s toolbar, click the New button.
The New Campaign form is displayed, as shown in Figure 20-2.
Figure 20-1:
All
campaigns
start here.
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Figure 20-2:
The New
Campaign
form.
4. Enter a name for your campaign in the Name field.
We’re entering 2008 Las Vegas Convention.
5. Click the arrow to the right of the Status Reason field to select an
option from the drop-down list.
Because we’re creating a campaign here, we choose Proposed. After
your campaign is defined and everything is in place, you can change the
status to Ready to Launch. The other options are self-explanatory.
6. Enter your campaign code in the Campaign Code field.
You can enter a code (perhaps as part of a marketing gimmick) or let the
program assign the code (just leave it blank for now). The campaign
code helps you link responses to the campaign for those important
reports and demographic data. The assigned code follows the format
your system administrator chose in the settings area.
7. Choose your campaign type from the Campaign Type drop-down list.
The options are Advertisement, Direct Marketing, Event, Co-Branding,
and Other. Select the option that best fits the type of campaign you are
creating.
8. Next, enter the expected number of responses to the campaign in the
Expected Response field.
For example, if you’re sending 500 mailers and expect a 1 percent
response rate, you would put 5 here. This allows you to later measure
the actual response rate against what you estimated.
Chapter 20: Managing Campaigns
9. In the Price List field, select a price list to associate with this
campaign.
If you’re using products in Microsoft CRM, we recommend that you
choose a price list so that the campaign has something to work from. If
you’re not using products then leave this field blank. To learn more
about using products with Microsoft CRM see Chapter 7.
10. In the Offer field, describe your offer.
11. Fill in the fields in the Schedule section.
These fields are optional, but we recommend you complete them. The
proposed dates let everyone working with the campaign know when
you’d like to execute the campaign. The actual dates allow you to compare actual to proposed.
12. Enter a campaign description as needed.
13. Click Save (the disk icon).
Your data is saved, and you can move on to the other tabs.
Now enter information on the Financials tab as follows:
1. Click the Financials tab. (See Figure 20-3.)
2. Complete the Budget Allocated, Miscellaneous Costs, and Estimated
Revenue fields.
The other two fields (Total Cost of Campaign Activities and Total Cost
of Campaign) are calculated automatically as you define and run your
campaign.
We put $35,000 in the budget field and $350,000 in the estimated revenue
field. The Stooges want a minimum of a 10x return on any marketing
venture.
3. Remember to click Save (the disk icon).
We suggest that you save your data each time you move to a new tab or
option within your campaign.
After you’ve entered your financial information, you can either click the Save
and Close button or enter notes in the Notes tab. You can use notes as a running journal of campaign-related interactions. Notes are not required and will
not be reported on, so use them as you see fit.
The Administration tab contains basic campaign administration notes
(Owner, Created date, date of last modification, and who did the change),
which are filled in automatically. The only field you can edit on this tab is
Owner. The Owner field defaults to the logged-in username; you can change
the owner by clicking the hourglass to the right of the field.
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Figure 20-3:
The
campaign
financials.
Planning Tasks
In the case of a trade show, there’s often a lot of preparation needed to have a
successful conference. The planning tasks could include: reserve booth
space, book hotel and flights, ship the booth, order booth related items, and
more. All of these tasks are time sensitive and perfect candidates for the planning tasks section. Additionally, each task can be individually assigned to the
proper person within your organization. In Microsoft CRM, tasks are simply
activities assigned to CRM users. These activities are associated with the
campaign and are found in the campaign planning tasks, on a user’s calendar,
or in Activities (under Workplace). Completed activities remain listed with a
Status Reason of “Completed.”
In this section, we will explore the creation of Planning Tasks. All you have to
do is follow these steps:
1. On the navigation pane, click the Marketing button.
2. At the top of the navigation pane, click Campaigns.
The Campaigns window appears. Most likely your view will be My
Campaigns, but you can switch your view by clicking on the View dropdown list. (Refer to Figure 20-1.)
3. Double-click a campaign to open it (or continue to use the campaign
you created above).
Chapter 20: Managing Campaigns
4. On the navigation pane, select Planning Tasks.
The Planning Tasks window appears.
5. On the Planning Tasks window’s toolbar, click the New button to
create a new task.
The Task: New window appears, as shown in Figure 20-4. This window is
similar to the one you see when scheduling activities (which we discuss
in Chapter 14).
Figure 20-4:
The
Planning
Task
form —
it looks
exactly
like the
Schedule
Task
window!
6. Fill in the Subject field.
The subject should be descriptive such as Order Trade Show Booth
Graphics.
7. Fill in the Description field (the large box below the Subject field).
8. (Optional) Change the owner from you to the person responsible for
the task.
If you’re the one responsible for the task, ignore this step.
9. Ensure the Regarding field has the campaign entered.
It will be by default, but if you change it, the planning task will no longer
be part of the campaign.
10. If desired, fill in the remaining optional fields.
Remember, the more information you have, the better you can complete
a task.
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11. To add notes to this task, click the Notes tab and enter away.
As with other note fields in Microsoft CRM, you can enter information
free-form.
12. Click the Save and Close button, which saves the task and returns you
to the planning tasks workspace, or click Save and New and add more
planning tasks.
Defining Campaign Activities
Campaign activities are often referred to as steps or waves. This is where all
the marketing takes place. The campaign responses are reactionary to the
activities. Therefore, the better your message (the activity) is, the greater the
responses. What’s great about this is that you can assess those activities that
generate the most response and improve future campaign responses.
To create a campaign activity, follow these steps:
1. On the navigation pane, click the Marketing button.
2. At the top of the navigation pane, click Campaigns.
The Campaigns window appears. Most likely your view will be My
Campaigns, but you can switch your view by clicking on the View dropdown list. (Refer to Figure 20-1.)
3. Double-click a campaign to open it (or continue to use the campaign
you created above).
4. From the campaign form, click Campaign Activities on the navigation
bar.
5. Click the New button on the form toolbar.
The Campaign Activity: New window appears, as shown in Figure 20-5.
Parent Campaign, Subject, and Owner are required fields, although
Subject and Owner are the only fields you can edit.
The Status Reason field is set to Proposed and grayed out. This will
change later.
6. Select the appropriate option from the Channel drop-down list.
This is where you tell the program how you want this phase carried out:
phone, fax, letter, e-mail, appointment, and so on. To clarify, this isn’t a
marketing channel, such as direct marketing or distribution. By the way,
you must make this selection to distribute campaign activities, a topic
we cover later in this chapter in the Distributing Campaign section.
Chapter 20: Managing Campaigns
Figure 20-5:
Start by
creating
the first
wave of
your
campaign.
Channel Options:
• Phone: Schedule phone calls to marketing list members. These
calls will be made by Microsoft CRM users.
• Appointment: Schedule appointments with marketing list members. These calls are made by Microsoft CRM users.
• Letter: Send letters to marketing list members. In reality, Microsoft
CRM does not create a letter but an activity to send a letter. If you
want to create an actual letter then use the Letter via Mail Merge
option.
• Letter via Mail Merge: Send letters using the mail merge function.
You can access letter templates that contain Microsoft CRM data.
Note: You must use the Outlook Client to perform this step. See
“Distributing Campaign Activities,” later in this chapter.
• Fax: As with letters, Microsoft CRM does not create a fax but an
activity to send a fax. If you want to create an actual fax then use
the Fax via Mail Merge option.
• Fax via Mail Merge: Send Faxes using the mail merge function.
As with letter via Mail Merge, this feature is available from the
Outlook Client.
• E-Mail: Send e-mail directly to marketing list members from
Microsoft CRM. E-mails can be sent immediately or scheduled for
users to send. If scheduled, users will have to send them one at a
time.
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• E-Mail via Mail Merge: Send E-mails based on templates. This feature is available from the Outlook Client only.
• Other: Use this to indicate a type of campaign activity that will not
be distributed, such as a Newspaper Advertisement.
7. Choose the appropriate option from the Type drop-down list.
The type is the purpose of the campaign activity, such as research or
lead qualification.
8. In the Subject field, enter a subject for your campaign activity.
Although you can call the activity anything you want, we suggest that
you keep the subject logical and self-explanatory. For example “first
pre-conference e-mail to conference attendees” is preferable to “e-mail
attendees.”
9. Add an activity description in the large text box below the Subject
field.
If you’d like a label called Description associated with the box, speak to
your dealer, or ask us how (http://www.consultcore.com/dummies.htm).
10. (Optional) From the Owner drop-down list, choose an owner.
The Owner field automatically defaults to the user creating the campaign activity, but you can change it. If you want to delegate tasks in the
campaign, this is where you do it. Assign the owner here, and the task
appears in the owner’s activities.
11. In the Outsource Vendors field, assign an outsource vendor.
Use the magnifying glass to search for and select a vendor. For example,
if the local printing company, Ink, Inc., is printing the invitations to your
webinar, they are your outsource vendor.
12. Choose a scheduled start and end date.
This is self-explanatory.
To the right of these fields, you’ll see Actual Start and End Dates, which
aren’t enabled. These are filled in automatically when you start the
campaign.
13. Fill in the Budget Allocated field with the cost of your budget.
This way, you can check your budget at a glance instead of having to
e-mail folks or rifle through papers on your desk. The companion field to
the right, Actual Cost, is just that — the actual tally of everything related
to this campaign.
14. Fill in the Priority field.
Chapter 20: Managing Campaigns
15. If desired, fill in the Anti-Spam No. (number) of Days field.
Microsoft CRM will scan the contact’s record to make sure the contact
hasn’t received any other marketing materials within the time frame you
specified. It prevents you from overloading the contact with multiple
marketing messages. If done right, you can maintain the appropriate
number of touches without spamming your customers and prospects.
16. Click Save (the disk icon) or the Save and Close button.
Remember, if you want to do some more work on the campaign activity,
just click Save. Your campaign activity will be saved and the option in
the navigation pane will be enabled.
Prior to distributing this activity, we need to associate one or more marketing
lists with the campaign. We’ll do so later in the chapter; for now, save and
close your campaign activity.
So let’s take a look at target products and sales literature.
Often, marketing campaigns are designed to sell a product. If your campaign
is designed around one or more products, you can associate those products
with the marketing campaign (if not, skip this section). When the campaign
is completed, you’ll be able to analyze response rates and close rates and
compare them by product as well as by campaign. A wonderful feature of
Microsoft CRM is that it lets you analyze your data from many different
perspectives.
To add a target product, follow these steps:
1. With the campaign form open, click Target Products in the Sales area
of the navigation pane.
The Target Products grid is displayed.
2. Click Add Existing.
Look up the product(s) you want to associate with the campaign and
click >> to add.
3. Click OK.
The product(s) are associated with the campaign.
The process for adding literature to this campaign is very similar to adding
products. Adding literature to a campaign is not required, however doing so
let’s you associate printed materials to the campaign:
1. With the campaign form open, click Sales Literature in the Sales area
of the navigation pane.
The Sales Literature grid is displayed.
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2. Click Add Existing.
Look up the literature you want to associate with the campaign and
click >> to add.
3. Click OK.
The literature is associated with the campaign.
Marketing lists are mechanisms used to determine the target audience for
campaign activities. Every campaign needs at least one associated target
marketing list to execute campaign activities. Without a target marketing list,
you can’t distribute campaign activities. If your campaign does not include
personalized marketing or sending something to person, then you will not
need to add a marketing list. However, most marketing done with Microsoft
CRM is targeted to people, and therefore one or more marketing lists will be
necessary. Adding one or more target marketing lists is similar to adding
products and literature. Just follow these steps to add a target marketing list:
1. With the campaign form open, click Target Marketing Lists in the
Marketing area of the navigation pane.
The Target Marketing List grid is displayed.
2. Click Add.
Look up the marketing list(s) you want to associate with the campaign
and click >> to add.
3. Click OK.
You’re prompted with the Add Marketing Lists to Campaign dialog box
shown in Figure 20-6. If you add the marketing list after you create
campaign activities, you can add the list(s) to all existing activities. If
you’d like to have more control over this, deselect the check box in the
dialog box.
Figure 20-6:
Adding a
marketing
list to
existing
campaign
activities.
Chapter 20: Managing Campaigns
If you add the marketing list before you add all of your campaign activities —
and you’d like to distribute the list over all campaign activities — simply
re-add the marketing list.
Distributing Campaign Activities
With at least one target marketing list assigned to the campaign, we can
return to the campaign activity created earlier. Our activity is sitting dormant. It hasn’t been associated to a single record in the database, nor has it
been assigned to anyone on our team to carry out the activity. Microsoft CRM
has a built-in mechanism called Distribute Campaign Activities to facilitate
the association and assignment of individual campaigns.
Consider this scenario, which illustrates how and why campaign activities
are distributed. Assume that the initial step or wave in our campaign calls for
making outbound telephone calls. The marketing list we associated with the
campaign has 3,500 prospects, and our inside sales team consists of 35
people responsible for making the calls. (They need not be sales people,
simply users of Microsoft CRM.) Logistically, this task would be very difficult
to do manually; however with Microsoft CRM, this task is quite manageable.
Here are the steps to take to distribute the campaign related calls to the sales
team:
1. On the navigation pane, click the Marketing button.
2. At the top of the navigation pane, click Campaigns.
The Campaigns window appears. Most likely your view will be My
Campaigns, but you can switch your view by clicking on the View dropdown list. (Refer to Figure 20-1.)
3. Double-click a campaign to open (or continue to use the campaign you
created above).
4. Click Campaign Activities on the navigation menu.
5. Double-click the campaign activity to be distributed.
If you’ve already associated a Target Marketing list, skip to Step 11;
otherwise, continue to Step 6.
6. From the campaign activity form, click Target Marketing Lists on the
campaign activity navigation pane.
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7. Click Add from Campaign on the form toolbar.
The Lookup Marketing List Dialog box opens
8. Click the magnifying glass on the upper-right to see all marketing lists
or begin to type the marketing list name and click the magnifying
glass icon.
A list of all the marketing lists associated with the campaign appears. If the
lookup dialog box is empty, you need to associate at least one marketing list
with this campaign. To do so, cancel out of this dialog box and follow the
steps to associate a marketing list above.
6. Click the marketing list or Ctrl+click the marketing lists that you’d like
to associate with the campaign.
7. Click OK.
8. On the Navigation Bar click Information. Ensure that the method of
distribution from the Channel drop-down list is correct.
As you can see in Figure 20-7, we chose the Phone channel.
Figure 20-7:
The
campaign
activity
before
distribution.
9. Click Distribute Campaign Activity on the toolbar at the top of the
form.
The box that appears depends on the channel you selected. Because we
selected Phone as the channel, the New Phone Calls dialog box appears,
as shown in Figure 20-8.
Chapter 20: Managing Campaigns
Figure 20-8:
Distributing
phone calls
as activities.
To distribute campaign activities where the channel option is Letter via
Mail Merge, Fax via Mail Merge, or E-mail via Mail Merge, follow these
steps from within the Outlook Client for Microsoft CRM. These activities
cannot be distributed from the Internet Explorer client.
10. Enter the subject.
Subject is a mandatory field. Basically, the subject is a description of the
activity you’re distributing.
11. Enter a description in the large text box beneath the Subject field.
The description can be a short script for the person making the call.
12. On the bottom right corner, click Distribute.
Again, the dialog box that appears depends on the channel you chose to
deliver this activity. Because we’re using a phone call as our channel,
the Distribute Phone Calls dialog box appears.
13. Select the appropriate options in the Confirm Distribution dialog box.
We have three options here to indicate the owner (the person the call is
being assigned to) of the phone call. Choose one of the following radio
buttons, as shown in Figure 20-9.
If your campaign activity is e-mail, you can choose the option to send
the e-mails automatically and close the activity. If you don’t, you’ll have
to send the campaign e-mails manually.
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Figure 20-9:
Distributing
phone call
assignments.
14. Click OK.
You return to the campaign activity window. Take a look in the navigation pane, where you’ll see added options to help you track this
distribution.
15. Click Save (the disk icon) or the Save and Close button.
Voila! You’re done!
The phone call option and channel will track where the phone calls went and
how many failed attempts were made. As you can see, Microsoft CRM makes
campaign scheduling especially easy for those in large companies and those
who handle a large number of activities for marketing campaigns.
The navigation bar on the campaign activity form now has two additional
items: Phone Calls Created and Failures. Figure 20-10 illustrates those changes.
Failures lists those activities that were not distributed. Usually, failures are
related to records where the contact method for the type of communication is
set to Do Not Allow. To learn more about Do Not Allow, refer to Chapter 19.
After an activity has been distributed, the next step is to close the activity.
This allows you to be able to distinguish between closed activities, completed activities, and pending campaign activities. To close an activity, follow
these steps:
1. On the navigation pane, click the Marketing button.
2. At the top of the navigation pane, click Campaigns.
Chapter 20: Managing Campaigns
The Campaigns window appears. Most likely your view will be My
Campaigns, but you can switch your view by clicking on the View dropdown list. (Refer to Figure 20-1.)
Figure 20-10:
The postdistribution
activity
form.
3. Double-click a campaign to open (or continue to use the campaign you
created above).
4. Choose Actions➪Close Campaign Activity.
The Close Campaign Activity dialog box appears (as shown in
Figure 20-11).
Figure 20-11:
The Close
Campaign
Activity
dialog box.
5. Indicate the Status, choose the dates, and click OK.
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Recording Campaign Responses
When you create a marketing campaign, you expect results or responses,
whether they’re negative or positive. There are even folks dedicated to determining response rates, filtering that information into percentages, and
making little pie charts and bar graphs from those responses. Good news or
bad, you can record it in Microsoft CRM.
Another little bonus to being able to record your responses in a central
system like this is that your sales department and your marketing department can see the same information! Whoa! Who doesn’t want their departments working together, in sync and in harmony? (Okay, maybe not in
harmony, as the marketing department stomped the sales department last
year in the softball game, but you get the picture.)
Excited now? Good. Here’s how you (or your sales staff) can record those
responses. Essentially, there are two ways to record campaign responses,
from the activity form or from Campaign Responses on the campaign navigation bar. We explore both methods in the steps that follow.
Earlier in the chapter, we distributed phone calls to staff members.
Presumably, an individual opens the activity and makes the call. If so, that
person can convert the activity to a campaign response. Here’s how to do it:
1. On the navigation pane, click the Marketing button.
2. At the top of the navigation pane, click Campaigns.
3. In the Campaigns window, double-click your campaign.
The campaign window appears.
4. On the navigation pane of the open campaign window, click
Campaign Responses.
5. On the window’s toolbar, click New.
The Campaign Response: New window appears, as shown in Figure 20-12.
Another way to make this window appear? With the campaign activity
open, just click Actions➪Promote to Response.
Most of the fields are self-evident, but we touch on some of them here.
• Response Code: This indicates the response of the customer. You
can choose from Interested, Not Interested, Do Not Send Marketing
Materials, and Error.
• Promotion Code: You can link the response to a particular promotion. If the customer is calling because of the free bunny slippers,
for example, you can indicate that here. Several campaigns can
have the same promotion, so this is just another way of grouping
data for marketing analysis.
Chapter 20: Managing Campaigns
Figure 20-12:
Did the
customer
say yes
or no?
Record it
here.
• Customer: This can be an account, a contact, or a lead. If you
arrived at the campaign response form via Step 1, the customer
field will already be filled in.
6. When you’ve completed the form, click the Save button.
After the form is saved, look at the toolbar. A new button has been
added — the Convert Campaign Response button.
7. Click the Convert Campaign Response button.
The Convert Campaign Response form opens. (See Figure 20-13.)
8. Click OK.
9. When you’ve completed the form, click the Save and Close button.
The Campaign Response window closes, and you return to the open
campaign window.
By recording campaign responses, you can easily check the status of each
campaign throughout its lifespan. This is a great feature because you can see,
for example, whether one promotion is taking off or a certain employee is
having trouble making calls.
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Figure 20-13:
The Convert
Campaign
Response
Button.
Relating Campaigns to Each Other
Now, say you’re running two campaigns: one to identify interest by product
category and one to reflect different marketing strategies for each product
category. That’s great. But what if you want to compare them? Easy! Just
relate the campaigns to each other. Here’s how:
1. On the navigation pane of the open campaign window, click Related
Campaigns.
The window switches to the Related Campaigns workspace, as shown in
Figure 20-14.
2. On the window’s toolbar, click Add Existing.
Like the other options mentioned in this chapter, the Look Up Records
dialog box appears.
3. Search for the other campaign you want to relate to this one, select it,
and click the right-pointing arrow to add it to the right-hand pane.
Chapter 20: Managing Campaigns
4. Click OK.
You return to the Related Campaigns workspace.
5. Click Save (the disk icon) or the Save and Close button to save your
work.
Figure 20-14:
Relating
campaigns
to each
other is also
a snap.
One of the great features of Microsoft CRM is that you can do a report on just
about anything, including campaign performance, which you can check by
clicking the Campaign Responses or Related Campaigns selection in the navigation pane of your campaign window. Then just click the Reports icon on
the window’s toolbar (or select a report from the drop-down box by clicking
the arrow next to the Reports icon). You can print the report as a table or a
graph. Either way, use the information to help you stay on top of what’s going
on in the campaign.
Working with Quick Campaigns
There are times when you’ll want to create a single marketing touch and send
it to a group of records. Quick campaigns are the answer. On the toolbar grid
for Accounts, Contacts, Leads, and Marketing Lists, you can find a Create
Quick Campaign button. Here, we explore this feature with contacts, but it’s
similar for other record types as well.
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All you have to do to set up a quick campaign is follow these steps:
1. On the navigation pane, click Contacts.
The window switches to the contact grid.
2. On the grid toolbar, click Create Quick Campaign.
Figure 20-15 shows the three options available for a quick campaign:
• For Selected Records
• For All Records on Current Page
• For All Records on All Pages
If you want to select multiple records on the page, use Ctrl+click.
Figure 20-15:
Quick
Campaign
options.
3. Choose an option and click Next.
4. Provide a name for your campaign.
Make the name as descriptive as possible, keeping the 200-character
limit in mind.
5. Click Next.
6. Choose the activity type and the owner.
The next screen depends on what you choose for an activity. We’re
choosing Phone Call for this example.
7. Enter a subject and a description.
8. Click Next.
9. Click Create.
Figure 20-16 shows the Create a Quick Campaign Wizard. It summarizes
the number of records impacted by the quick create. If the summary
looks good, click Create.
Chapter 20: Managing Campaigns
Figure 20-16:
We’re ready
to launch
the quick
campaign.
To view all of the quick campaigns in the system:
1. On the navigation pane, click the Marketing button.
2. At the top of the navigation pane, click Quick Campaigns.
The Quick Campaigns window appears.
3. Double-click a quick campaign.
4. Figure 20-17 depicts the Quick Campaign grid.
From the grid, you can easily ascertain how many people were targeted
(total members), the number of success and failures, and the status of
the campaign.
5. Double-click a quick campaign.
The Quick Campaign detail form opens. Figure 20-18 shows the quick
campaign detail form. The items are self explanatory; however we want
to point out that by clicking the Created item (Phone Calls Created, in
our example) in the navigation pane, you open campaign activities and
record responses as described in the “Recording Campaign Responses”
section earlier in this chapter.
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Figure 20-17:
The quick
campaign
shows key
results.
Figure 20-18:
The Quick
Campaign
results form.
Chapter 21
Integrating Your Web Site
In This Chapter
Sending e-mail to a queue
Creating a case or lead from an e-mail or Web form
Creating Web portals
S
o you’ve been successful in driving customers and prospects to your
Web site. Now you want your Web site to integrate with your CRM
system. The good news is that it can be done. The better news (admit it —
you thought we were going to give you bad news) is that several integration
options don’t require much in the way of programming.
If your Web site has forms on it, say a lead form or a customer service help
form, you can have the data from those forms (or others) entered into
Microsoft CRM 4. After it’s there, users can work directly with the data. You
can also have workflow rules that further process the incoming data prior to
any user interaction. There are also options for customer portals and data
entered in — and perhaps retrieved directly from — your Microsoft CRM
system.
In this chapter, we cover the items that don’t require programming to integrate your Web site with Microsoft CRM. We also touch on some of the
options that would require programming, as a means of introduction. Actual
programming examples aren’t part of the scope of this book.
Sending E-Mail to a Queue
In Microsoft CRM, you can set up a queue to handle incoming e-mail. For
example, your organization might have a Web site with a support form on it.
In that case, your customers can go to the Web site, fill out a support request,
and an e-mail is generated from your Web site to a support e-mail box that in
turn is monitored by an individual or team at your organization.
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You don’t need a support request form on your Web site. You could have customers e-mail to a support mailbox. The e-mail received into the support
mailbox is then visible in a Microsoft CRM 4 queue. That way, an entire support team can monitor the queue for incoming customer service requests.
A customer service representative can then take ownership of the support
request and work with it. (To learn more about queues, see Chapter 25.)
A benefit of pointing a Microsoft CRM queue at a support e-mail box is that
you can use CRM’s Workflow to automatically create a case when an e-mail is
received.
Microsoft CRM’s workflow can associate a new case to a customer, based on
the customer’s e-mail address.
Should you choose to have an e-mail generated from a support form on your
Web site and sent to a support box at your company, the e-mail’s From
address is the e-mail address your Web administrator created and not the
From address of the person completing the form. In that case, you cannot
directly link the incoming support request to an existing contact. This isn’t a
problem for companies that sell business-to-business (B2B), because those
companies typically want to link cases to accounts and not to contacts. If
your support organization focuses on B2B support we suggest you create a
support account and link all cases created via workflow to that account.
Then your support staff can re-link the cases when they’ve identified the
company requesting support.
Ideally, you’d create a case from an e-mail sent to a queue and automatically
link the e-mail to the newly created case. There’s a wonderful blog post
authored by Jagan Peri on the Microsoft CRM Team site with an example of a
workflow that does just that. You can find that blog at http://blogs.msdn.
com/crm/archive/2008/02/19/e-mail-to-case-lead-using-crm-4workflow.aspx.
The general flow is as follows:
1. An e-mail is received into a Microsoft CRM 4 queue. (See Figure 21-1.)
2. Workflow creates a new case and relates the e-mail activity to the new
case. The workflow that created the case assigns it to the Support Level
1 queue. (See Figure 21-2.)
Figure 21-3 shows the newly created case, and Figure 21-4 shows the
original e-mail saved as a related activity.
Chapter 21: Integrating Your Web Site
Figure 21-1:
A support
request is
received
into the
Support
Level 1
queue.
Figure 21-2:
The newly
created
case is
assigned to
the Support
Level 1
queue.
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Figure 21-3:
The new
case details.
Figure 21-4:
The original
e-mail is
now related
to the case
as an
activity.
Creating leads works exactly as creating cases. A lead sends an e-mail to a
specific e-mail account, such as sales@yourcompany.com, and from there,
you can use workflow to create a new lead and associate the original e-mail to
the lead.
Chapter 21: Integrating Your Web Site
Creating Records with Programming
We don’t create code in this section, just simply discuss some options for
creating leads, cases, contacts, accounts, or whatever type of record you’d
like to create.
The Microsoft CRM SDK (Software Development Kit) is for programmers.
The SDK allows programmers to extend the product beyond the built-in features. To help programmers or even beginners, the SDK provides several
coding examples. The developers of Microsoft CRM recognize that they
cannot anticipate how each organization will use Microsoft CRM and therefore cannot pre-create every feature that every end-user would want. The
SDK goes a long way toward filling any gaps that exist between the built-in
feature set and the features you will need.
The products listed in Chapter 21 use the SDK to interface with Microsoft
CRM. In fact, it is usually more cost-effective to check for add-on products
prior to creating custom solutions. Should you decide custom is the way to
go, download the SDK. The SDK is available for free — yes we said free —
from Microsoft at www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?
FamilyID=82E632A7-FAF9-41E0-8EC1-A2662AAE9DFB&displaylang=en.
Creating a Web Portal
What is a Web portal? A Web portal is a Web site that provides users external
to your organization access to certain Microsoft CRM data. We say certain
data because an important aspect of a Web portal is that you control the data
made available to people accessing your CRM database.
To allow for external users to access your Microsoft CRM database, Microsoft
CRM has a special Web portal license. With it, companies can have unlimited
user access to the Microsoft CRM database. The license provides access but
doesn’t allow for unlimited use of the Microsoft CRM application interface.
A Web portal is a way for organizations to provide customers, prospects,
and so on, read and write access to their Microsoft CRM implementation.
The easiest way to put a Web portal in place is to purchase one from an ISV
(independent software vendor). One such portal is available from c360
(www.c360.com), but there are others. We suggest you research the various
options prior to purchasing.
Make sure you understand what you’re purchasing when it comes to portal
licenses. Most ISV portal software is purchased in addition to the Microsoft
CRM license.
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There are several aspects of the c360 portal we like, but one in particular is
access to the CRM knowledge base. If your organization is diligent in creating
CRM knowledge base articles, your clients can access that knowledge via a
c360 portal. (For more on the knowledge base, see Chapter 24.) A robust
knowledge base drives customers to your Web site, reduces calls to your support team, and is one element of providing superior customer service. You
can learn more about the c360 portal at www.c360.com.
c360’s Customer Support Portal focuses on providing external users access
to cases and the knowledgebase. Through a configuration utility, you decide
which case fields will be made available to the customer via the portal.
Once the portal is set up, customers are provided unique login information.
They can then create new service cases, as shown in Figure 21-5. The customer uses this form to create a new case directly into your Microsoft CRM
system.
Customers who have cases in the system can get a list of those cases via the
c360 portal. Figure 21-6 is a list of cases for a particular customer. The customer can learn more details about the case status by drilling into the form
from the list view.
Lastly, Figure 21-7 shows knowledge base articles. These articles are published in your CRM system and made available to your customers via the
c360 portal.
Figure 21-5:
The c360
new case
form.
Chapter 21: Integrating Your Web Site
Figure 21-6:
A list of the
customer’s
cases.
Figure 21-7:
The
customer
view of
Microsoft
CRM cases
via the c360
portal.
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Another commercially available Web portal is from Axonom. To learn more
about their portal product go to www.axonom.com/crm_solutions/
powertrak/pt_crm_partner_portal.html.
You need not purchase a Web portal. You can build one — or have one built
for you. Building one is easier than it sounds, but it requires programming
skills and knowledge of the Microsoft CRM Software Developers Kit (SDK). We
suggest you contact your Microsoft CRM reseller.
Part V
Taking Care of
Your Customers
O
In this part . . .
ne of the beautiful parts of Microsoft CRM is that it
handles sales and service. This integration enables
your organization to coordinate activities from both sides
of that fence. Salespeople, in the middle of trying to close
a deal, won’t be blindsided by some raging customer support issue, and customer service people will know enough
to provide that little extra help when a major sale is about
to go down.
Customer service is one of the hot buttons in CRM, and
it’s an area in which Microsoft CRM shines. When a customer calls with an issue, it’s logged as a case (which we
discuss in Chapter 22).
Managing your database of subjects is handled in Chapter
23. You can use CRM to manage your organizational
knowledgebase, and that’s discussed in Chapter 24. Cases
and tasks are put into a queue for orderly disposition and
management by staff members (which we discuss in
Chapter 25).
Microsoft CRM even includes contract administration, so
everyone can see what type of support a customer is entitled to and the software can properly decrement contracts and advise when renewals are in order (as we
explain in Chapter 26).
Chapter 22
Working with Cases
In This Chapter
Touring the Cases window
Creating a case
Assigning a case
Resolving and reactivating cases
B
efore customer relationship management, or CRM, became a household
term, organizations were focusing on something called sales force
automation or SFA, which was essentially software that helped automate the
sales process. Sales activities, opportunities, prospects, clients, and more
were stored in the sales database. Salespeople would interact with the sales
database either in the office or from a remote office. Remote office data was
often synchronized back to the home office system. SFA was a great tool
to help sales people win new business, but what about the rest of the
organization?
Prior to the introduction of CRM software, customer service departments
also recognized the need for effective case management software and often
built or developed specific software for case or incident management. We
think you’re getting the picture: two products and two disparate databases.
CRM solves the issue conceptually by treating the organization as a whole
and recognizing that all customer-facing interactions should be stored in a
single source or database.
A prime benefit of having sales and customer service share a single database
is that customer interactions by both groups are captured in a central place.
Sales people aren’t blindsided by ongoing customer issues when calling on an
existing customer. Customer service knows which customers or prospects to
support, what the support requester’s value is to the organization, and lots
more. Management can report on customer value — the amount of revenue or
margin attained from a specific customer minus the costs associated with
sales and support.
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In Microsoft CRM, the Service module (found in the navigation pane) has several entities, but the heart of the Service module is the Cases feature, where
you can view, resolve, and reactivate cases in an easy and comprehensible
manner.
A case (also known as an incident) is simply a record of customer interaction
with the customer service department. When a customer has a question or a
problem, the representative who interacts with the customer opens a case.
The customer’s issue can originate from a phone call, e-mail, or a support
form on your Web site. (For more on this, see Chapter 21.) The customer
service representative responsible for the incident opens a case to document
the problem and its eventual solution. Cases need not be problems, but
they should be a record of customer interaction with the customer service
department.
Those of you without a customer service department need not skip this
chapter. Cases still provide value to your organization if you view cases as
important customer service follow-up. These can be items that — if they
aren’t attended to in a timely fashion — could alienate the customer. By using
the Cases feature, you’re elevating certain customer issues above simple
calendar follow-ups or tasks. Even if you don’t have a customer service
department, we strongly recommend that you discuss how to use cases with
your CRM dealer.
Some companies refer to cases as tickets or issues. Whatever they’re called in
your organization, active case management is the name of the game; the
better you manage your cases, the better your customer service and
customer satisfaction.
In this chapter, we show you how to create cases and assign them to someone on your team. You find out how to open an existing case and resolve it,
scheduling activities related to gaining the solution along the way. We even
explain how cases interact with queues and contracts. (For a refresher on
queues, see Chapter 25; for contracts, see Chapter 26.) You also find out how
to reactivate a case when necessary.
Case Management Overview
The case management path looks like this: A customer service representative
(CSR) takes a call. Let’s say the customer’s having a problem with one of your
time transporters. He dialed Camelot, A.D. 495 and ended up in Peoria, 1958.
The CSR creates a case and links it to the appropriate customer. The case
is assigned to an engineer. The engineer sets about finding a solution,
Chapter 22: Working with Cases
generating a few e-mails to the customer along the way. The engineer solves
the problem and closes the case.
A week later, the customer calls back with the same problem. A CSR (not
necessarily the same one as before) reactivates the case, and the solution
process begins anew. A more thorough solution is developed and recorded,
and the case is closed again. A month later, a different customer calls with
the same problem. Any CSR can search the database for all cases related to
the same problem. This is case management at its best.
Working in the Cases Window
Cases are listed in the main display area of the Cases window, like the one
shown in Figure 22-1. You use this window to open cases, and then add notes
and schedule activities, with the goal of resolving the case. The Cases
window is also where you assign cases to other service representatives,
share cases, or accept them yourself. The entire service team can use this
window to collectively track the current status and ultimate disposition of
cases.
Figure 22-1:
The Cases
window is
where you
can view
and sort
cases.
To open the Cases window, click the Service button at the bottom of the navigation pane. Then select Cases from the list of options at the top of the pane.
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The main part of the window has a list of all your active cases. You can filter
this list by choosing one of the following options from the View drop-down
menu.
Active Cases: All cases assigned to you or your fellow team members
that haven’t been resolved.
All Cases: All cases assigned to you or your fellow team members that
are open or have been resolved.
My Active Cases: All cases assigned to you that haven’t been resolved.
During a Microsoft CRM session, when entering the Cases window for
the first time or going back to it, the View option always reverts to My
Active Cases (unless it’s changed by the system administrator).
My Resolved Cases: All cases assigned to you that have been resolved.
Resolved Cases: All cases assigned to you or your fellow team members
that have been resolved.
These are the views you get “out of the box.” Your implementation partner or
system administrator can add, rename, and delete views.
You can sort cases also by column headings. Just click a column heading to
sort as follows:
Title displays cases alphabetically.
Status displays cases alphabetically by status (resolved or active). The
status column is visible when choosing the All Cases view.
Case Number displays cases in numerical order.
Priority displays cases by level of importance.
Created On displays cases in chronological order.
Again, note that your system administrator can add columns to this list or
delete columns from this list.
Click a column header a second time to display the cases in reverse order.
You have two ways to find specific cases. The Look For field at the top of the
Cases window lets you search active cases by title or case number. You may
type the full title or any part of it. Click the Find button, and a list of matching
cases appears. Use the wildcard character * to type only a portion of the text
string you’re looking for. For example, searching for *porter returns Porter,
Transporter, and Exporter.
Chapter 22: Working with Cases
You can also use the Advanced Find feature to search various fields. To do so,
choose Tools➪Advanced Find or click the Advanced Find button on the toolbar at the top of the screen. Microsoft CRM lets you define search criteria
over several fields. Figure 22-2 shows just some of the case-related fields that
you can use to perform a search.
Figure 22-2:
The
Advanced
Find feature
enables you
to use
multiple
fields and
specific
definitions
to search
for cases.
Creating Cases
Anyone with create case rights can create or add a case to the Microsoft CRM
system. Rights are assigned by your system administrator. Cases can be created in two places: from the main Cases navigation area or from an account
or contact record. However you get to the new case window, the form is the
same. To open a case from the Cases area in the service module, follow these
steps:
1. On the navigation pane, click the Service button.
2. At the top of the navigation pane, select Cases.
The Cases window appears on the right. (Refer to Figure 22-1.)
3. On the Cases toolbar, click New.
The Case: New window appears, as shown in Figure 22-3.
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Figure 22-3:
The General
tab of the
Case: New
window
contains
basic
information
about the
case.
Filling in the General tab
The Case: New window has two tabs: the General tab and the Notes and
Article tab. The General tab is divided into three sections: Overview, which
has six fields to further define the case; Assignment Information; and
Contract and Product Information.
Some fields (such as Subject) have a magnifying glass to the right of the field.
This means you must use the magnifying glass or the Form Assistant to fill in
the field. For more information on both options, see Chapter 3.
Lookup fields (magnifying glass icons) now has autocomplete. To enter the
“Sprocket Design” as the subject click in the subject field and begin typing
part of the word and tab out of the field. If auto-complete finds more than one
match, the various options will be displayed.
Remember, all fields with a red asterisk are required. Follow these steps to
complete the Overview area of the General tab:
1. In the Title box of the General tab, enter a title for the case.
The title is a short description of the reported issue. The Title field can
hold a maximum of 175 characters.
Chapter 22: Working with Cases
2. Click in the Customer field and begin typing the customer name
(account or contact). Before you complete the name, tab to the Subject
field.
You can use the magnifying glass instead, or the Form Assistant, but
we’re going to explore the autocomplete feature. By leaving the
Customer field — in our case, tabbing to the Subject field — we
triggered auto-complete. The auto-complete options are:
a. If the customer name is unique in your database, it will show in the
field blue in color and underlined (hyperlink). If so, skip to Step 3.
b. If there is a yellow caution icon with the sequence of letters typed
underlined in red, it means more than one possible match has been
found.
The more you type, the less likely you’ll find duplicate records.
c. Click the hyperlink field (Figure 22-4).
d. Select the account or contact from the list.
The account is entered into the Customer field.
Figure 22-4:
A list of
possible
matching
records.
The hyperlink field
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3. Use the Form Assistant to fill in the Subject field.
The Subject option categorizes your cases by subject, such as Sprocket
Delivery Issues or Sprocket Quality. You can link the case to a subject in
your subject tree. (For more on the subject tree, see Chapter 23.)
4. Back on the General tab, in the Case Origin field, click the arrow and
select how you received the case.
Note: Your system administrator can edit this list.
5. In the Case Type field, select a value from the drop-down list.
The value categorizes the case as a question, problem, or request. (Your
system administrator can also edit this list.)
6. (Optional) In the Satisfaction field, select the option that best indicates
the customer’s level of satisfaction with your service.
Typically, you fill out this field prior to closing the case, not when first
opening the case.
The Assignment Information area of the General tab has four fields. Fill them
in as follows:
1. (Optional) Select the Owner field and choose who you want to assign
the case to for resolution.
This field defaults to you, the creator of the case. You can leave it as it is
or reassign the case to another user.
2. In the Follow Up By field, select the date on which the owner should
follow up on the case.
You can click the calendar or make a selection from the drop-down list.
3. In the Status Reason field, select the option that best describes the
current status of the case.
4. In the Priority box, set a priority for this case.
The Contract and Product Information area offers five more fields to define
your case:
1. In the Form Assistant, select the Contract option.
Select a contract to link this case to.
2. In the Form Assistant, select the Contract Line option.
Set the case to a contract line here.
3. In the Service Level field, click the arrow and select the appropriate
service level from the list.
Chapter 22: Working with Cases
4. In the Form Assistant, select the Product option.
This lets you link the case to a particular product.
5. In the Serial Number field, enter a serial number associated with this
case or with a product associated with this case.
If a serial number is associated with a contract line, you can fill it in from
the Form Assistant.
Now you can move on to the Notes and Article tab.
Filling in the Notes and Article tab
The other tab of the Case: New window, Notes and Article, is much simpler
than the General tab, as you can see in Figure 22-5. This is where you can
enter any notes and articles pertaining to the case. For example, you can
note your conversation with the customer in the Notes section and attach
a knowledgebase article used to help the customer. You can also e-mail the
knowledgebase article from here.
Figure 22-5:
The second
tab of the
Case: New
window
shows the
Notes and
Knowledge
Base Article
areas.
To fill in the first area of the Notes and Article tab, follow the self-explanatory
instruction to “Click here to enter a new note.” A data entry area appears for
you to manually enter a note. Enter as many notes as you like.
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In the second area, you can link an article that ties into this particular case. If
you use the Form Assistant and select the Article option, Microsoft CRM
automatically displays your top ten article selections based on the links you
defined in the knowledge base. (For more information on the knowledge base,
see Chapter 24.) If this list doesn’t show you the article you need, you can
use the magnifying glass.
Click the Show Article check box to display the article you selected in the
Notes and Article tab. After the article is displayed, you can e-mail it to a
client from this tab by clicking E-Mail KB Article.
To look up a knowledge base article in your library and attach it to this case,
do the following:
1. Click the magnifying glass icon at the end of the Article field.
The Look Up Articles dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 22-6. You
have a handful of ways for searching the knowledge base.
Figure 22-6:
Search the
knowledge
base for
articles
related to
the case.
2. Click the arrow in the top drop-down box to choose one of the following options to search for articles:
• Full Text Search: Search the full text of articles for specific words.
• Keyword Search: Search by keyword.
• Title Search: Search by article title.
Chapter 22: Working with Cases
• Article Number Search: Search for an article number.
• Subject Browse: Browse all the subjects to find what you want.
3. In the Search For field, enter the word or words that you want to find.
4. In the In Subject field, make a selection:
a. Click the magnifying glass to the right of the field.
The Look Up a Subject dialog box appears, listing your subjects
organized by headings and subheadings. You can choose a specific
subject for the program to search. For example, if you select the
subject Marketing, the program won’t look for your text in Sales,
Service, or Thank You Letters.
b. Select a subject.
c. Click OK.
5. In the Options field, make a selection from the drop-down list.
You have two options: Exact Text, which means the search looks for
exact matches only, and Use Like Words, which searches for the string of
text you entered. For example, enter the word pro and you’ll get everything containing that sequence of letters.
6. Click the Search button.
A list of articles meeting your search criteria appears on the right.
7. When you find the article you want, double-click it (or select it and
click OK) to attach it to the case.
You return to the Case: New dialog box, where you can continue adding
articles or exit the case altogether. You can attach only one article per
case.
You can view the article prior to selecting it by clicking View Article on
the bottom right.
8. To e-mail the article, click the Show Article check box.
The article displays below the check box.
9. In the knowledgebase article window, click E-Mail KB Article.
Fill out the e-mail form and send.
10. To save your data, click the Save and Close button in the upper left
corner of the Case form.
The next step in working with a case is to assign it (if you’re the assigner) or
accept it (if you’re the assignee).
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Assigning and Accepting Cases
Often, cases are assigned to a queue that customer service representatives
(CSRs) monitor. (For more on queues, see Chapter 25.) Of course, you can
assign cases directly to an individual based on skill set, availability, or both.
Microsoft CRM has provisions for assignment to either a queue or an individual. A case can be assigned to only one queue or one person at time.
However, there is no limit to the number of times a case is assigned.
Through the use of workflow, case assignment can be automated based on
the rules you establish. (For more on workflow, see Chapter 9.) For example,
if a case has a subject of “Shipment Missing,” a workflow rule could be
employed that will assign it to the shipping department queue.
The first thing you want to do to start work on a case is to assign it to a
queue or an individual. In the following steps, we assign a case to a queue.
Here’s all you need to do:
1. On the navigation pane, click the Service button.
2. At the top of the navigation pane, select Cases.
The Cases window appears on the right.
3. In the Cases window, select a case.
To select several records for an ensuing action, hold down the Ctrl key
and click. Selecting the check box at the top of the first column (under
the New button) selects all cases.
4. Click the Assign icon on the toolbar above the list of cases.
The Assign to Queue or User dialog box appears, displaying two options
for managing cases. Route Case is a powerful option after you establish
workflow rules. Find out more about defining workflow rules and
processes in Chapter 9.
5. Click the Assign to Another User or Queue option and then click the
magnifying glass icon to the right of the field.
The Look Up Records dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 22-7.
6. In the Look For field, choose User or Queue.
By default, the field displays User. In this example, we’re assigning the
case to a queue, so we select Queue from the Look For drop-down box.
7. Select a Queue.
When you change the Look For field to Queue, a list of all of the queues
in the system are displayed. To limit the list, you can use the Search for
Records field to the right of the Look For field. Type in all or part of the
queue name and click the magnifying glass icon.
Chapter 22: Working with Cases
Figure 22-7:
You can
assign the
case to an
individual
CSR or
place it in
a service
queue.
8. Select the Queue and click OK.
You must highlight the appropriate user or queue even if only one match
is listed.
When you click OK, you return to the Confirm Assignment dialog box,
where the username appears.
9. Click OK to close the Confirm Assignment dialog box.
You return to the window of the case you were assigning, and that case
is assigned.
With this method, we assigned one or more cases to a queue without opening
the individual case form.
Alternatively, case assignments can happen from the open case form by
performing these steps:
1. Open a case.
2. Click the magnifying glass to the right of the Owner field; or from the
toolbar, choose Actions➪Assign.
3. Follow Steps 4 through 8 in the preceding step list.
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For queues to work effectively, people need to monitor them. When someone
responsible for monitoring a particular queue sees that a case has been
assigned to the queue, he or she needs to take ownership of the case. In
doing, so, the case is removed from the queue and the owner is the CSR working on the case.
Follow these steps to monitor a queue and accept ownership of a case
record:
1. On the navigation pane, click the Workplace button.
2. At the top of the navigation pane, in the My Work section, select
Queues.
If a plus sign appears next to My Work, click it first to open the list. The
Queues window appears on the right, with its own navigation pane and a
list of queues. (See Figure 22-8.)
Figure 22-8:
The pane in
the Queues
window
enables you
to view all
cases
assigned to
a specific
queue.
3. In the Queues window, click a folder under My Work.
Each folder is a separate queue. All cases assigned to that queue appear
in the main window.
In Microsoft CRM, you can’t reject a case or an activity. (By activity, we
mean a task, a fax, a phone call, an e-mail, a letter, or an appointment.) If
you don’t want to accept a case or an activity that is assigned to you,
you must reassign it to another user or queue.
Chapter 22: Working with Cases
4. Click the Case you want to accept.
To select multiple cases, hold down the Ctrl key and click.
5. At the top of the Queues window, click the Accept button.
The Confirm Assignment dialog box appears.
6. Click OK.
The case is now removed from the queue and assigned to you in your In
Progress queue.
Tending to Cases
As you work toward resolving a case, you typically have to perform certain
activities to obtain a solution. For example, you might need to perform tests
on the Spacely Sprocket to see whether it will repeat the problem your
customer reported.
In this scenario, you’d perform the following steps to log your time and
associate it with the case:
1. On the navigation pane, click the Service button.
2. At the top of the navigation pane, select Cases.
The Cases window appears.
3. In the Cases window, double-click the case you’re working on.
To follow along with the example, we double-clicked the case for which
we’re scheduling a test.
4. In the Case navigation pane, click the Activities option.
The window shows uncompleted activities associated with the case.
5. On the toolbar, click the New Activity button.
The New Activity dialog box appears. Because we’re performing a test
on the equipment, we use Task.
6. Highlight Task and then click OK.
The Task: New window appears.
7. Enter a subject that describes the task you’ll perform.
Note that the Regarding field already displays the case title, and your
name should be in the Owner field. The Duration defaults to 30 minutes,
but you can change this using the drop-down menu. If appropriate, you
can also complete the Due date and time; Priority; Category; and
Subcategory fields.
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8. Click the Save and Close icon.
The task now appears in the main display for the associated case.
To complete the task (and automatically accrue billable time against the
case), follow these steps:
1. In the Cases window, double-click the appropriate case.
The Case window appears, showing the case you selected. (The title of
the window includes the name of the case.)
2. In the navigation pane, click the Activities option.
You see a list of all activities associated with this case.
3. Double-click the task you want to close.
4. Click the Save as Completed icon.
In the Case window, you’ll see that the task is no longer displayed under
Activities in the navigation pane. But wait! Click History, which shows the
completed task. If you had spent one hour performing the task, for example,
the customer would now be on the hook for one hour of contract time.
You can close an activity as completed instead of saving and reopening. If the
activity isn’t a scheduled activity, but one you’re entering in for historical
purposes, simply click the Save as Completed icon.
You can associate existing activities with this case by clicking the Add
Existing Activity button to the right of the New Activity button.
Resolving a case
Case resolution is the system’s way of indicating that the problem is solved.
(Many organizations like to set an intermediate status indicating that, from
the technician’s perspective, the case is resolved, but the customer has a
period of time to indicate otherwise. This is a good topic to take up with your
dealer.) You can resolve cases on the first call as they happen, or after extensive research.
In some cases, multiple activities are generated to help resolve a case. In
Microsoft CRM, you can’t mark a case as resolved if any activities associated
with the case remain uncompleted. This might require completing phone
calls, tasks, and appointments, sending e-mail messages, and more. This prevents a user from accidentally closing a case before completing all mandated
workflow and activities.
Chapter 22: Working with Cases
After you determine a solution to a case and complete all associated activities, follow these steps to change a case’s status to resolved:
1. In the Cases window, double-click the case you want to resolve.
You may find it helpful to first select My Active Cases from the View
drop-down menu in the upper right corner of the window.
2. From the menu bar (at the top of the screen), choose Actions➪
Resolve Case.
The Resolve Case dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 22-9. The
dialog box has the following options:
• Resolution Type: A drop-down box in which you can indicate if the
problem is solved.
• Resolution: A required field (see the red asterisk) for a brief
description of how the case was resolved.
• Total Time: Microsoft CRM automatically calculates and fills in the
Total Time field. Total time is defined as the sum of time spent on
all activities associated with the resolution of the case. CRM recognizes the following activities in the total time calculation; task, fax,
phone call, letter, e-mail, and appointment.
• Billable Time: A required field that defaults to total time, but you
override it to adjust for the actual time to bill on the case. If this
activity is linked to a contract, the billable time you indicate here
is applied against the total time listed in the contract.
• Description: A note field to any case-related information not covered in the actual case. This is a good place to put the resolution
results.
Figure 22-9:
Document
the time
you spent
resolving
a case.
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3. Click OK.
The Resolve Case dialog box closes. Note that the case status updates to
Resolved in the lower left corner of the Case window.
Reactivating a case
If a customer calls with a recurrence of a previously resolved problem, you
need to reopen or reactivate the case. Follow these steps:
1. In the Cases window, select My Resolved Cases or All Resolved Cases
from the View drop-down menu.
A list of all your resolved cases appears.
2. Double-click the case you want to reactivate.
3. In the menu bar (at the top of the screen), choose Actions➪Reactivate.
The Reactivate Confirmation dialog box appears.
4. Click OK.
The case status in the lower left corner of the Case window appears as
Active.
As you can see, Microsoft CRM offers extensive choices to help you better
serve your customers, with almost everything just a few clicks away.
Chapter 23
Managing Your Subjects
In This Chapter
Creating an effective subject tree
Adding, editing, and removing subjects
Relating subjects to cases
Finding and viewing cases by subject
Associating subjects with knowledge base articles
Tagging product listings and sales literature with subjects
N
ow you can slice and dice your data without a Ginsu! Subjects are great
way to organize and relate data. In Microsoft CRM, you can relate subjects to cases, products, and knowledge base articles. Subjects are like buckets. Associate a case, for example, with a subject, and it goes into that
subject bucket. Over time as cases build, you can run reports based on subject bucket. For example, a computer laptop manufacturer may decide to
create three subjects: Hard Drive, Screen, and Keyboard. When a customer
calls and opens a case regarding her laptop’s malfunctioning screen, the case
is associated with the Screen subject.
By tracking the subject of a case, an organization’s support manager can then
report on the number of cases open by support technician by subject.
Additionally, support organizations can route cases by subject, ensuring the
most qualified support technician is assigned to the case.
If subjects are arranged in buckets, it’s possible for buckets to contain other
buckets. This is called nesting. Subject nesting allows one bucket to reside
inside another bucket. For example, the hard drive bucket could be found in
the laptop bucket. Another, hard drive bucket could be found inside the desktop computer bucket.
Also remember that Microsoft CRM subjects can not only be products but
also services. For this chapter, we use Bikes, Clothing and Accessories, and
Company Information as our subjects.
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Structuring your subjects and their relationships to one another is important.
We show you how to create your primary subjects and if required in your
organization sub-subjects.
Tips for Defining Your Subjects
Microsoft CRM uses a collapsible tree system — trees, not buckets — much
like the ones that Windows and Microsoft Outlook use. Creating a subject
tree offers the following benefits:
A consistent hierarchy for associating contacts with products, sales
literature, and knowledge base information
Easy access to information related to specific subjects
Centralized management of subjects (including creating, editing, and
removing subjects) and their relationships to one another in the subject
tree
Building a subject tree is easy, but figuring out what to put on which branch can
be difficult. We recommend scheduling a brainstorming session with different
departments in your company. Divide your products and services into categories and topics. Then determine if you will need to further define one or all of
your topics into sub-topics. Repeat this process until you’re comfortable that
your subject definition is detailed enough to aid in reporting, but not so detailed
that you will have trouble differentiating one branch from the branch above it.
Brainstorming can become perplexing and lead to lengthy discussions. Don’t
worry — spending time on the subject tree at the beginning is far better than
building the subject tree on the fly. And moving things around in the subject
tree later isn’t as easy as placing them at their appropriate level in the first
place. Additionally, ad hoc subject design may not account for the needs of
your entire organization. You can save yourself time and aggravation by
having a blueprint in place first.
No hard-and-fast rules exist when defining the structure of a subject tree.
Each company has its own priorities. But you might want to consider the following items when defining your subject tree structure:
Price lists
Sales literature
Product specs
Warranty information
Service contracts
Knowledge base articles
Chapter 23: Managing Your Subjects
When is a subject not a subject?
If you open an activity form (task, appointment,
phone call, and so on) in Microsoft CRM, you’ll
notice that there is a field called Subject. Under
closer scrutiny, one would notice that the
lookup magnifying glass icon is missing. What
happened to our subject trees? Nothing, this
subject field is a text field. In this case, subject
refers to the subject of the activity and isn’t
related to Subjects, the object of this chapter.
Only users with the appropriate access rights can create subjects and add
items to a subject tree. (See Chapter 8 for more information.)
You can also relate items such as product catalogs and sales literature to
subjects.
Accessing the Subjects Window
After you create the outline or blueprint for your company’s subject tree, be
sure to save it where you can access it easily when you’re ready to build it.
A good idea is to have the administrative assistant (who as we all know, truly
runs the company) create the outline in a Word document.
Before you can use subjects in CRM, you must create at least one subject.
You add subjects, maintain them, and delete them from the subject management area, which you can find in Settings. Here’s how you get to it:
1. On the navigation pane, click the Settings button, which is second up
from the bottom.
The Settings navigation options show at the top of the navigation pane.
2. In the navigation pane, click the Business Management Link, which is
second from the top.
Business Management options are now available on the right.
3. In the Business Management pane, click the Subjects link on the
bottom right.
The Subject Management area replaces Business Management on the
right. See Figure 23-1.
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Figure 23-1:
Begin
managing
your
subjects
here.
Three options appear in the Common Tasks pane, which is to the left of the
main display: Add a Subject, Edit Selected Subject, and Remove Selected
Subject. We cover each of these in the following sections.
On the right is the Subject Tree. When accessing the Subject Management
area for the first time, you’ll find a single subject: Default Subject. A plus sign
is located just to the left of the default subject, leading one to believe that
additional subjects are available to cascade down. However, clicking the plus
sign doesn’t reveal any additional data; instead, the plus sign turns to a dot,
indicating that this tree doesn’t have children.
Adding a Subject
You’ve taken the time to create a subject hierarchy. Now it’s time to add your
subject tree to Microsoft CRM. Because you can nest subjects in a treelike
format, we add a new subject at the root level (or the tree trunk, which is the
same level as the default subject).
To add subjects, follow these steps:
1. In the Common Tasks area of the Subjects window, click Add a
Subject.
The Add Subject dialog box appears.
2. Enter a title for the subject and (if desired) a description.
The title is required; you can’t save the form without a title.
Chapter 23: Managing Your Subjects
3. To place the new subject under a previously created subject, click the
magnifying glass icon next to the Parent Subject field, then click OK.
The Subject Lookup dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 23-2.
If you navigate to the selected parent and child before you click Add a
Subject, the Parent Subject field is automatically populated with your
highlighted selection.
Figure 23-2:
You can
associate
the new
subject to a
parent
subject.
4. Click the appropriate plus sign (+) to the left of a subject to open
the subject tree, highlight the subject you want as the parent, and
click OK.
The new subject is added to the subject tree. This design flexibility
enables you to create a sophisticated hierarchy to match the blueprint
you came up with at the brainstorming session.
The desired parent can be the child of another subject.
5. If you selected a parent subject and you want to display the subject
you just added, you must click the plus sign to the left of the parent.
If you add the new subject as the child of a child, continue clicking plus
signs until you drill down to the appropriate level.
Clicking the plus sign to the left of a subject displays its children (if any exist)
and is the easiest way to drill down into a subject. If the plus sign turns into a
dot, you know that you’re at the end of the line for that subject.
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Note: Whenever you make an addition or revision to the subject tree and
click OK, Microsoft CRM saves the subject and refreshes the window. If you
drill down several levels to add a new subject and click OK, the screen
refresh takes you all the way back to the top-level view of the subject tree
(arrgh!). It does this so that you’ll always have an up-to-date view of your subject tree, but be prepared to spend a few extra mouse clicks when adding lots
of branch subjects.
Editing a Subject
The Edit Selected Subject option is the second option in the Common Tasks
pane. (Refer to Figure 23-1.) This option enables you to rename a subject or
move it to another location in the subject tree.
Modifying and updating the subject tree is part of the evolutionary process of
any business. Should you do so, all edits cascade through the system, meaning the new subject name changes anywhere the subject is in use. This
includes historical data.
To edit a subject, follow these steps:
1. In the Subject Tree area of the Subjects window, highlight the subject.
2. In the Common Tasks pane, click Edit Selected Subject.
The Edit Subject dialog box appears.
3. Edit the subject’s title, change the subject’s parent/child relationship
in the subject tree, or revise the description notes, all by entering text
into the respective fields.
To change the parent subject, you must use the magnifying glass at the
end of the field. You can modify the title and description by entering
text.
Don’t forget to change the Default subject to something that matches
your business.
If you made a subject a child of another subject and would like to
remove the parental relationship (would that be orphaning the subject?)
click the magnifying glass icon and select the None button at the top of
the dialog box.
Moving a subject to a new parent subject will move all of the selected
subject’s associated children. This action could lead to an unpleasant
surprise for your co-workers the next time they look for a subject.
Chapter 23: Managing Your Subjects
4. Click OK.
The Edit Subject dialog box closes, and your edits are saved.
Changing the subject title changes the title throughout the application. This
means that historical records, such as cases, will have the new value as
subject title and not the original value.
Removing a Subject
The Remove Selected Subject option, the last option in the Common Tasks
pane, enables you to delete a subject from the subject tree. You might choose
this option if a product line is discontinued or a service is no longer offered.
Microsoft CRM allows you to remove only subjects that aren’t associated
with existing records, such as Cases, Knowledgebase Articles, and Products.
If you remove a subject from the subject tree, and that subject has child
branches, child subjects move up a level.
To remove a subject, follow these steps:
1. In the Subject Tree area of the Subjects window, highlight the subject
you want to remove.
2. In the Common Tasks pane, click Remove Selected Subject.
3. When a window appears asking whether you’re sure you want to
delete the subject, click OK.
The window closes and the subject tree refreshes, minus the subject you
removed.
Relating Subjects to Other Entities
Now that you’ve built a rather complex subject tree, how do you use it? As
we mention earlier, you can use subjects with knowledge base articles, cases,
sales literature, and products.
For example, let’s assume that Dick in the service department opens a new
case pertaining to a software problem that Mr. Wayne is having with the
Series 211 Transporter. Something about this case strikes him as familiar.
Because other cases are associated to the subject “Series 211 Transporter,”
Dick can search for those cases and get a list of them almost instantly. Alfred,
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his cube neighbor, gets a request for sales literature on the Series 211
Transporter. He conducts a search for all sales literature linked to the subject
“Series 211 Transporter” and gets a list of all related documents. Last but not
least, there’s Barbara, in the cube across the way. At a potential customer’s
request, she’s researching the electrical requirements of all backup power
supplies that your company sells. She performs a knowledge base search of
all articles related to the subject “Power Supplies” and prints those articles.
Holy association, Batman! You mean by associating and organizing subject
trees with logical, explanatory details, you can easily retrieve your company’s data and information? Correct, Boy Wonder!
Relating subjects to cases
Subjects provide a mechanism to report on case issues. For example, the
engineers responsible for developing future generations of The Series 211
Transporter may propose a redesign based on metrics learned from subjects.
Let’s go back to Dick and the case he just opened with Mr. Wayne. He wants
to make sure this case is linked to the Series 211 Transporter subject. Others
might come across the same problem. Dick knows that this is important
information for any of the customer service representatives in his company.
You can link new or existing cases to subjects by following these steps:
1. Third from the bottom of the navigation pane, click the Service
button.
2. At the top of the pane, click Cases (under Service).
3. To start a new case, click the New button in the upper-left corner of
the form. Or to open an active case, double-click it.
Both options display the Case window.
4. In the Case window, click the magnifying glass icon to the right of the
Subject field.
The Subject Lookup window displays the subject tree. Although you
may have only one subject tree for your company, you can design the
subject tree with as much complexity as you need.
5. Locate the subject to which you want to link the case.
You may need to click a plus sign or two to drill down to the appropriate
subject.
6. After you locate the subject you want, double-click it or highlight it
and click OK.
The subject you select is displayed in the Subject field of the Case
window.
Chapter 23: Managing Your Subjects
The Form Assistant on the far right displays the subject tree when you
enter the Subject field. You can locate the subject as in Step 5 above and
skip Step 6 by simply selecting a subject from the form assistant.
7. Click the Save and Close icon in the upper-left corner of the window.
Your case is now related to the subject you selected.
We recommend that you relate cases to subjects when you first create the
cases. However, if you aren’t sure of the best subject to link to, you can
assign or change the subject later. Keep in mind that changing a subject
related to a case may cause problems if a user has worked on the case and
related information to the previous subject.
Subjects relate similar cases. Searching for cases with similar issues helps
customer service representatives quickly find solutions to problems.
Putting the case link to work
Suppose a customer calls with a problem with one of your company’s
products — the Hop-n-Pop toaster just won’t hop when it pops the bread out.
Your customer service representatives can check to see whether any other
cases are linked to the same product using the Advanced Find feature. This
offers you the ability to conduct detailed searches in almost any searchable
field in Microsoft CRM.
To view all cases linked to a specific subject, follow these steps:
1. In the menu bar (at the top of the screen), choose Tools➪Advanced
Find.
The Advanced Find dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 23-3. The
Look For field tells the program where to look for the parameters you’re
going to add later. The Use Saved View lists searches you’ve saved previously. The area below these fields is where you’ll enter the data you
want to search for.
2. In the Look For field, verify that Cases is in the box; if it isn’t, click the
arrow to the right and choose Cases.
The look for box defaults to the entity you are on when you launch
Advanced Find. It may not have cases in the box when the form first
opens.
3. If below the Look For drop-down box you see Show Details and perhaps certain field values such as Owner Equals Current User, click the
Show Details button. If not, skip to step 5.
The Show Details button changes to Hide Details and now you can
change the query options.
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Figure 23-3:
You can
search for
records
based on
values you
define.
4. Click the Clear button to clear out the current search parameters.
You can skip this step if there aren’t any search parameters showing.
5. Mouse over the Select option to activate the Select drop-down menu,
and then click the arrow or in the box to open the menu.
The options in the Select drop-down box are related to the entity you’re
querying and vary based on the item selected in the Look For dropdown list. For example, if you chose (in Step 2) to look for Documents,
your search options are File Size, Author Name, File Name, and so on.
If you chose Facilities/Equipment, you can search for Name, Primary
E-Mail, Business Unit, and so on.
The list of items in the drop-down box have fields listed under two headers: Fields and Related. Fields represent the fields associated with the
primary entity you are querying (in this instance Cases). Related, on the
other hand, contains a list of entities related to the primary entity (again
in our example, Cases).
The options in the Select drop-down box are related to the entity you’re
querying and vary based on the item selected in the Look For dropdown list. For example, if you chose (in Step 2) to look for Documents,
your search options are File Size, Author Name, File Name, and so on.
If you chose Facilities/Equipment, you can search for Name, Primary
E-Mail, Business Unit, and so on.
6. Select a field to query.
In our case, Subject.
7. Place your cursor over the word Equals and set the Condition for the
search from the drop-down menu.
Chapter 23: Managing Your Subjects
Again, placing your cursor over the word Equals activates the drop-down
menu. Click it to open the menu and make your selection.
8. Under Enter Value, select or enter the appropriate value.
The value you enter depends on the field you chose in step 6. Because
we chose Subject in our example, the value field is a Lookup. If we chose
a field that is a textbox, you would type your selection in the box.
9. Repeat steps 5-9 to add additional search criteria or skip to step 9.
The value you enter depends on the field you chose in step 6. Because
we chose Subject in our example, the value field is a Lookup. If we chose
a field that is a textbox, you would type your selection in the box.
10. Click the Find button (in the lower left).
A new window appears with your search results, created from the
choices you made in the main Advanced Find window.
11. To open an entry in the search results list, double-click it.
Single-clicking in a hyperlink field brings you to that record. If you want
to open a selection as per Step 9 above, double-click a non-hyperlinked
field.
For more on Advanced Find, see Chapters 3 and 13.
Relating a subject to a
knowledge base article
The process of linking a subject to a knowledge base article is the same as
that for linking subjects to cases. (We discuss the knowledge base in detail in
Chapter 24.) A knowledge base article is a record (stored in the knowledge
base) that contains information. It may document a process, contain the history of the company, provide details on the company’s health or retirement
plan, or list employee addresses and phone numbers.
You can create a link between a knowledge base article and a subject when
you create the article. You can also link existing articles to existing subjects.
Linking knowledge base articles to specific subjects provides your customer
service representatives with a quick and easy way to search for similar problems and solutions in a specific subject.
To link a new article to a subject, follow these steps:
1. On the menu bar (at the top of the screen), choose New Record➪
Article.
The Select a Template dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 23-4.
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Figure 23-4:
The first
step to
creating an
article is
choosing
the
template.
2. Select the appropriate language and template.
Templates help format your articles so that they’re uniform in appearance, making them easier to read. (This is handy when you have a client
on the phone.) Microsoft CRM has several predefined templates, and
you can also create your own. (For more on templates, see Chapter 24.)
Microsoft CRM also allows for multi-lingual templates. After you select
your language in the Language drop-down box, click a template to highlight it and check the right side of the Select a Template window. You’ll
find basic information about the template you selected.
3. Click OK.
The Article: New window appears, as shown in Figure 23-5. (You find out
about creating and submitting articles in Chapter 24.)
4. Enter a title for your new article.
5. Select the subject to which you want to link your article.
To do so, click the magnifying glass icon to the right of the Subject field.
In the Subject Lookup window that appears, select the subject from the
subject tree. You may need to click a plus sign or two to drill down to
the appropriate subject.
6. Add keywords.
7. In the body of the template, place your cursor over the reddish text
and click it.
The predefined text is removed, and a free-form field appears so you can
enter your Article question.
You can edit text in this field just like in a Microsoft Word document.
Chapter 23: Managing Your Subjects
Figure 23-5:
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8. Repeat step 7 as required by the template your chose.
Just like in Step 7, the predefined text is removed, and a free-form field
appears so you can enter your answer.
9. Click the Save or Save and Close icon.
Your article is now related to the subject you selected.
To link a previously created knowledge base article to a subject, follow these
steps:
Only users with the appropriate security access can edit knowledge base
articles.
1. Click the Service button, which is third from the bottom of the navigation pane.
2. At the top of the pane, select Knowledge Base.
The Knowledge Base window appears.
3. Under Article Queues: select Draft, Unapproved, or Published to find
the knowledge base articles you’d like to select from.
All draft or unapproved articles are displayed in the main window.
• Draft articles have been composed but haven’t been submitted for
approval by a user with editors’ rights; consider them works in
progress.
• Unapproved articles have been submitted to a user who has been
assigned the task of reviewing and approving articles.
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• Published articles have been approved for the general population.
After an article is published, the Subject link can’t be altered.
However, if you find you need to change a published article, you
can un-publish the article to make the necessary changes.
4. Click the desired article.
The Article window appears.
5. Select the subject to which you want to link your article.
To do so, click the magnifying glass icon to the right of the Subject field.
In the Subject Lookup window that appears, select the subject from the
subject tree. You may need to click a plus sign or two to drill down to
the appropriate subject.
6. Click the Save and Close icon.
The article is now linked to the subject you selected.
Putting the article link to work
Let’s say that another customer calls about the Hop-n-Pop toaster. She heard
that an attachment is available that allows the user to toast hamburger buns.
You can search the knowledge base for the article that talks specifically
about the bun toaster option.
To view knowledge base articles linked to a specific subject, choose Go
To➪Workplace➪Knowledge Base. The Workplace: Knowledge Base window
appears. Change the drop-down box from Full Text Search to Subject Browse.
Select the subject from the subject tree just below the drop-down box. The
system automatically returns a list of related articles.
Relating a subject to the product catalog
As with cases and articles, you can link products listed in the product catalog
to subjects. This is an efficient way to set up metrics for tracking sales by
department, product type, sub-product type, and so on. And you can edit the
Subject field related to a product catalog item at any time, as long as the
product remains active. (See Chapter 7.)
To link a product to a subject, follow these steps:
1. In the lower part of the navigation pane, click the Settings button.
2. In the upper part of the navigation pane, select Product Catalog.
The Product Catalog window appears. Detailed information on using the
Product Catalog is in Chapter 7.
Chapter 23: Managing Your Subjects
3. In the Settings window, select Product Catalog.
4. Select Products.
The Products window appears, as shown in Figure 23-6.
Figure 23-6:
This
window lists
all your
company’s
products.
5. In the window’s toolbar, click the New button (or double-click an
existing product to edit it).
The Product: New window appears. Chapter 7 contains detailed information about this window. For now, direct your attention to the Subject
field.
6. Select the subject you want to link your product to.
To do so, click the magnifying glass icon to the right of the Subject field.
In the Subject Lookup window that appears, select the subject from the
subject tree.
or
Use the form assistant to the right.
7. Click the Save and Close icon.
Your product is now related to the subject you selected.
Searching for products linked to a subject requires using the Advanced Find
feature, which is described earlier in this chapter in “Putting the case link to
work.”
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Relating a subject to sales literature
You follow the same types of steps to link a piece of sales literature to a subject as you do to link cases and articles to a subject. What’s the advantage?
Here’s an example: Suppose you have a training manual that you sell. Your
marketing department has created a two-page advertisement for the manual
in PDF format. It would be handy to be able to link the ad with the product
using a subject relation.
When customers call to request training information related to a specific
product, you can easily search for all the training materials associated with
the product, including the spiffy ad slick. You can then e-mail those documents to your customers, and within minutes they can be perusing the information and deciding about training.
To link sales literature to a subject, follow these steps:
1. On the navigation pane, click the Sales button.
2. At the top of the pane, select Sales Literature.
The Sales Literature window appears.
3. On the Sales Literature window’s toolbar, click the New button or
double-click an existing sales literature item.
If you click New, the Sales Literature: New window appears. Otherwise,
you see the window for the existing literature item. Chapter 17 contains
detailed information about this window.
4. Select the subject you want to link your sales literature to.
To do so, click the magnifying glass to the right of the Subject field. In
the Subject Lookup window that appears, select the subject from the
subject tree.
5. Click the Save and Close icon.
Your sales literature is now related to the subject you selected.
Note that you can edit subjects related to sales literature at any time.
Searching for sales literature linked to a subject requires using the Advanced
Find feature, which we describe earlier in “Putting the case link to work.”
Chapter 24
Creating and Using the
Knowledge Base
In This Chapter
Preparing your knowledge base
Creating a knowledge base template
Creating an article to add to the knowledge base
Searching through the knowledge base
B
ased on templates and articles, Microsoft CRM’s library is called the
knowledge base (also referred to as KB) and is a powerful tool for
sharing information across your organization and with your customers. The
knowledge base can house sales and technical literature as well as provide
information to assist your customer service people with the thorniest
customer issues.
Templates determine how information is formatted, found, and presented.
Articles are the products created when information is stored in a template.
In this chapter, you find out how to create knowledge base templates and
articles. You also discover how to search the knowledge base and associate
relevant information with other sections of Microsoft CRM.
Organizing Information for
Your Knowledge Base
The key to the knowledge base is organization. So announce a staff meeting
and order pizza, the ultimate brainstorming food, because that’s what this
meeting is about — brainstorming and organizing your documentation and
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processes. If you have a whiteboard (complete with the permanent-marker
line that can’t be removed), make sure you use it to record ideas and
thoughts for the stuff you want to put in the KB, so everyone can keep track
of what’s brought up. Your task is to organize all the sales and service documents your company uses. Ultimately, these topics become the building
blocks for your knowledge base. You should also consider which people in
your organization have access to each type of information and documents.
Your sales documents can include features and benefits of your products,
pricing, system requirements, availability, delivery timelines, and fancy marketing advertisements.
On the service side, you have things like schematics, maintenance requirements, warranty information, and installation procedures. Also, on the service side of your business, you may want to consider stocking the knowledge
base with a trouble-shooting guides to allow even rookie customer service
people to sound like experts on the phone.
Remember to keep your topics and titles in plain, easily discernible language
because, after you’re finished here, you’re going to put all your notes
together in Microsoft CRM to create your company’s knowledge base.
Creating Article Templates
The knowledge base contains articles built on templates. By using templates
for the foundation of a new knowledge base article, all of your company’s
articles will be easy to enter and have a uniform layout, regardless of
whether Accounting or Sales creates the article.
Microsoft CRM comes with a collection of default article templates:
Procedure, Question & Answer, Solution to a Problem, and Standard KB
Article, as shown in Figure 24-1. And those of you who like to think outside
the box can create your own templates.
The Procedure template is laid out using a standard format of three sections:
Purpose & Scope, Procedure, and Additional Comments.
Normally, you create a new article within an existing template. But we’re
going to walk you through creating a new template, just in case none of the
standard ones fit what you’re looking for. Later in the chapter, you create a
new article based on an existing template.
Chapter 24: Creating and Using the Knowledge Base
Figure 24-1:
The Article
Templates
window
displays a
list of all
current
article
templates.
To create a template, follow these steps:
1. In the lower part of the navigation pane, click the Settings button.
2. In the Settings window, select the Templates option.
3. Select Article Templates.
The Article Templates window appears, displaying all available article
templates. (Refer to Figure 24-1.)
4. On the Article Templates window’s toolbar, click the New button.
The Article Template: A new window opens and, right on top of that, the
Article Template Properties dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 24-2.
Figure 24-2:
This
window is
your first
step in
creating a
template.
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5. Enter a title and a description of the article template and then
click OK.
The description is optional, but we suggest you include it because it
offers one more way (in addition to the title) to describe the template
you’re creating. When you click OK, you return to the Article Template:
New window to design the template.
6. On the right of the Article Template: New window, in the Common
Tasks pane, click Add a Section. A section, by the way, is just another
level in the organizational structure of each template. You can scan
ahead to Figure 24-4 to get a picture of some of this structure.
7. In the Add a New Section window, enter the title and a description or
instructions for the section, and then click OK. The instructions, of
course, are for those people in your organization who may be reading
or modifying these articles.
8. If you want to add another section, repeat Step 7.
You can add as many sections as you want to the template. These sections will appear when you create articles (later in this chapter).
9. Click the Save and Close icon in the upper-left corner of the Article
Template: New window.
The window closes, the new template is saved, and you return to the
Article Templates window.
Creating a Knowledge Base Article
The knowledge base acts as the staging area for all your company’s articles.
This is where you store, edit, and publish articles, and also where your staff
finds the finished product.
Imagine that your company doesn’t have an assigned editor and this happens: Bob from Sales adds an article regarding a quick blurb he heard on the
news about the competitor’s washing machine. Stan from Marketing adds a
comic strip about computer repair guys. Jane from Accounting adds instructions on placing orders and taking credit cards. Thomas the CSR adds one
about what to do with irate customers.
Microsoft takes another step in preventing chaos by enabling your company
to choose who can add articles to and remove articles from the knowledge
base. We recommend that you set up this person, or team, to also approve
articles before they are published, checking for format, accuracy, and
continuity.
Chapter 24: Creating and Using the Knowledge Base
The next few pages explain how to create and submit draft articles as well as
approve and publish them. As shown in Figure 24-3, the knowledge base categorizes articles in three stages:
Draft: Your works-in-progress, that is, composed articles that haven’t
been submitted for approval. Drafts are visible only to their respective
authors, and users can’t search for them in the knowledge base.
Unapproved: Store your articles pending editor approval here. Users
can’t search for these in the knowledge base either.
Published: Your finished, editor-approved articles, ready for the general
public. Published articles are read-only (so your co-workers can’t edit
them), but users can search for them in the knowledge base.
Figure 24-3:
The
Knowledge
Base
workspace.
Follow these steps to create a new article:
1. In the lower part of the navigation pane, click the Service button.
2. Then, in the upper part of the pane, select Knowledge Base.
The Knowledge Base window appears (refer to Figure 24-3). You can
view articles (based on their status and if any exist yet) in the main part
of the window, on the right.
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3. On the Knowledge Base window’s toolbar, click the New button.
The KB Template window appears, listing all the templates currently
available in your system. Find a template you would like to use.
Template information (title and type, creator and description) appears
on the right of the KB Template window as you highlight a template.
4. Highlight your template and click OK.
The Article: New window appears, as shown in Figure 24-4. The sections
and instructions appear here.
Figure 24-4:
This is
where you
build your
article.
5. Enter a title.
Required fields are Title and Subject; you must fill them in before you
can save the article.
6. Link the article to a subject.
To do so, click the magnifying glass to the right of the Subject field. The
Look Up a Subject window appears. Use the plus signs to open and collapse the subjects to specify a section within the subject. When you find
your subject, highlight it and click OK. (The Subject field includes information that your organization can use to organize and track specific
issues and items entered into CRM. If you need more information about
using the Subject field in CRM, please see Chapter 23.)
7. In the Keywords field, enter words that will help your staff find this
article.
Chapter 24: Creating and Using the Knowledge Base
Much like a search on the Internet, you can enter words here to search
for articles pertaining to certain subjects. For example, if I were the CSR
on the phone with Mrs. Reynolds concerning her air conditioner, I could
search the knowledge base for over-heating and this article would show
up in my search results — if the person who created the article tagged it
with the term over-heating in the Keywords field.
Separate each of your keywords with a comma.
Another suggestion for your article keywords is the model number of
your product.
8. Click inside the text area and enter your information.
The instructions disappear, and you’re ready to type. Microsoft CRM’s
predefined templates are already formatted with specific information.
For example, if we had chosen the Procedure template to create our article, the following section headings would be in the template, prompting
the user to give all of the necessary information in the article: Purpose &
Scope, Procedure, and Additional Comments.
The sections of the knowledge base article template allow you to create
an easy-to-read, informative article for your customer service representatives and your customers. You can write step-by-step instructions,
create question-and-answer scripts, or even make a Frequently Asked
Questions (FAQ) section.
Use the toolbar under the Keywords field in the Article: A new window
appears to do basic editing of your article and even add color text for
emphasis.
9. Click the Save and Close icon.
The article goes into your Draft folder for further editing and, ultimately,
submission for approval.
Although this publishing process may seem overwhelming and (in some
cases) unnecessary, maintaining the process is important. Carefully managing information stored in the knowledge base guarantees that you’re providing the latest, most accurate information to your sales and service staff and,
even more importantly, your customers.
Submitting a draft article
Now is the moment every writer dreads: time to hand over your masterpiece
to the person your company designated as editor (when your business units
were defined in Chapter 6).
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To submit a draft article for approval, follow these steps:
1. In the navigation pane, click the Service button.
2. Then in the upper part of the navigation pane, select Knowledge Base.
The Knowledge Base window appears on the right.
3. On the left side of the Knowledge Base window, click the Draft folder
to access your drafts.
4. On the right side of the window, highlight the article you want to
submit.
5. In the Knowledge Base window toolbar, click the Submit button.
The Confirm Submittal dialog box shown in Figure 24-5 appears.
Figure 24-5:
This
appears
when you’re
submitting
an article
for approval.
6. Click OK.
The article you submitted moves from the Draft folder to the
Unapproved folder.
You can check that your article has been moved by clicking the Unapproved
folder on the left side of the Knowledge Base window. All the articles pending
editor approval are here. Just a reminder: These aren’t searchable.
Approving an article
All those articles in the Unapproved folder are yours (if you have editing
rights, that is) to check, edit, correct, and otherwise make your high school
English teacher proud (or cry).
Anyone with editing rights can open and edit articles in the Unapproved
folder. After all appropriate changes have been made, the editor can approve
the article and add it to your company’s knowledge base.
Chapter 24: Creating and Using the Knowledge Base
Follow these steps to approve an article:
1. In the navigation pane, click the Service button.
2. Then in the upper part of the navigation pane, select Knowledge Base.
3. On the left side of the Knowledge Base window, click the Unapproved
folder.
All the articles awaiting approval are displayed.
4. On the right side of the window, find your article, highlight it, and
double-click to open it.
This opens the article so that you can make changes. If you make
changes, make sure to click Save (the disk icon) in the upper-left corner
of the screen.
5. On the Knowledge Base window toolbar, click Approve.
In the event that you have to reject the article, click Reject instead of
Approve. You’re given the option to add comments explaining your
rejection in the Provide a Reason dialog box, as shown in Figure 24-6.
6. In the confirmation window that appears, click OK.
The Article is automatically moved to the Published folder and is now
searchable in the knowledge base.
Figure 24-6:
Enter your
suggestions
and reasons
for rejecting
an article.
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Let’s say you’ve approved the article, but a week later, someone finds an
error in it. For example, the company logo’s reddish color isn’t called
Cinnamon. It’s called Beauty Red. In this situation, you (with the appropriate
rights) can unpublish an article. To do so, follow these steps:
1. Click the Published folder in the Knowledge Base window.
2. Click the article you want to unpublish.
3. Click the Unpublish button.
The article is automatically moved to the Unapproved folder for revisions.
Now let’s say that you’ve found an article that is out of date and you need to
delete it. Again, you’ll need the appropriate rights to complete this two-step
process: Unpublish the article first and then delete it.
1. Click the Published folder in the Knowledge Base window.
All published articles are displayed.
2. Click the article you want to unpublish.
3. Click the Unpublish button and then click OK.
Your article is moved to the Unapproved folder. When you return to the
Published folder, the list is refreshed automatically.
4. Click the Unapproved folder.
5. Highlight the article you want to delete and then click the Delete
button.
The Delete Confirmation dialog box appears.
6. Click OK.
Goodbye out-of-date article. The Unapproved folder refreshes
automatically.
Because all articles and subjects in Microsoft CRM are related, you’re warned
that deleting an article will also cause Microsoft CRM to remove any files
attached to the article. Normally, this isn’t a problem because the only
attachment an article can have is to a subject, but we recommend that you
and your staff use the delete feature sparingly. For those of you who don’t
want to delete the article and start over, you can simply add a comment to it
on the Comments tab in the open article window.
Searching the Knowledge Base
Mrs. Reynolds is on the phone again, and you need to find the article you
read aloud to her last week. Problem is, you don’t remember the article’s
name. That’s right, retreat to your trusty knowledge base and take advantage
Chapter 24: Creating and Using the Knowledge Base
of the search function. Like a card catalog in a library, the knowledge base is
the warehouse of information for your company.
With Mrs. Reynolds in one ear, here’s how you search the knowledge base:
1. At the bottom of the navigation pane, click the Workplace button.
2. In the upper part of the navigation pane, select Service and then
select Knowledge Base.
All of your company’s published articles are displayed. You can reach
this section also by clicking the Service button at the bottom of the navigation pane and then selecting Knowledge Base at the top of the pane.
3. On the left side of the Knowledge Base window, click the down arrow
to the right of Article Queues and then select the appropriate search
option.
The Search pane appears, as shown in Figure 24-7.
Figure 24-7:
Use the
Search
pane to zero
in on the
article you
want.
4. Fill in the following fields to define your search criteria:
• Unlabeled Field: Use the drop-down menu in the first field to tell
your search engine which fields to search. Full Text searches the
title, case number, and body of every article. It doesn’t search for
keywords. Keyword Search goes through only the keyword field of
every article. Title Search looks at the title field of every article.
Article Number Search can find a specific article number. Similarly,
Subject Browse helps you find all the articles with a particular subject, and Article Queues show all the articles in the system in their
various stages of being published.
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• Search For: This is where you enter your search words. For our
example with Mrs. Reynolds, you might enter air conditioner and
the model number. If you remember only part of the model
number, you can use a wildcard character. For example, entering
*1138* returns every article with the numbers 1138 in the field
you search.
• In Subject: Narrow your search even more by selecting the subject
you want to search. This is especially helpful if you have, say,
several hundred articles.
• Options: Another drill-down feature, this option allows you to
search for the exact text you enter in Search For, or you can
choose a broader search with Use Like Words. An Exact Text
search is quicker but less forgiving; you’ll need the exact wording
to ping the articles you want. Use Like Words takes longer but
allows you some freedom if you can’t remember whether Mrs.
Reynolds has, say, the Model 1138 or the Model 1138A.
In the Options field, you can use the * wildcard only with Options:
Exact Text. Using the wildcard character with the Use Like Words
option results in an error message.
5. Click the Search button.
All articles that match your search criteria appear on the right side of
the window.
Just a note on searching for articles: When you add a new article to the
knowledge base, you can view it from the Published folder, but you can’t
search for it until the catalog’s index is updated. Microsoft CRM does this
automatically every 15 minutes (unless your administrator changes this
value).
Chapter 25
Managing Queues
In This Chapter
Defining types of queues
Creating queues
Assigning cases or activities to a queue
Accepting activities from a queue
A
ccording to the dictionary, a queue is a line of people waiting. Queues in
Microsoft CRM are collections of information waiting for action, such as
activities and cases waiting for processing. Activities are tasks, appointments,
calls, and e-mails. (See Chapter 14 for more about creating and managing
activities.) Cases are service support tickets. (See Chapter 22 for more about
working with cases.) Processing means assigning and accepting activities and
cases. Queues are handy not only for providing centralized lists of outstanding activities and cases, but also for sorting tasks by subject matter or
assignment.
Queues are ways to route issues and cases to departments without having to
assign them directly to individuals. Issues requiring third-level support (that
is, the people in your organization who know how to fix anything) can simply
be assigned as such to the queue. The people responsible for providing thirdlevel support monitor their queue and, when they’re available, take over the
case. In some organizations, an individual has the responsibility for issue
routing monitoring the various queues and assigning the cases to people
based on skill sets.
Cases or issues can be assigned to more than one queue but not at the same
time. Perhaps a customer calls with an issue that is handled by a level 1 customer service representative (CSR). If that person can’t solve the problem,
the level 1 CSR escalates the issue to a level 2 CSR. That CSR does most of the
legwork and reassigns the case back to the first CSR to ensure that the client
is informed of the solution. Soon after, the case is closed.
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Queues can also be used as e-mail inboxes. In Microsoft CRM 4, a queue can
be associated with an e-mail inbox, and all incoming e-mail to that mailbox
will show in the queue.
Queues are a valuable tool for your company. You can examine them for upto-the-minute information on how many customers have a specific issue or
how many CSRs are engaged with issues relating to a specific product. This
information can go a long way toward optimizing the efficiency of the service
department and helping identify issues in other departments as well.
Before associating a queue with an inbox, ensure that the e-mail associated
with that inbox should be seen by everyone with access to the queue.
In this chapter, we discuss the various queues defined by Microsoft CRM, and
we tell you how to use them. You’ll also discover how to create, modify, and
manage your own queues.
Queue Overview
Your company probably has a person who acts as a human router, directing
service calls and e-mails to the appropriate CSRs or taking care of an escalated situation when the CSR can’t handle it. You may call these people customer service managers, quality attention retainers, or what have you, but
for this book, we call them service managers. They are the optimal choice for
creating and defining your queues because they manage the front lines of
your customer service department. Your service managers also know the
strengths and weaknesses of your CSRs and can assign them to the proper
queues; in this way, your best washing machine guy isn’t dealing with refrigerator issues.
When you assign your CSRs to queues and then assign activities and cases to
those queues, you’re giving your people (and your company) an effective and
efficient means of solving problems and making customers happy.
How many queues should your company have? Queues should be as numerous as it makes sense logistically in your company. An organization with only
a few CSRs should not have a large number of queues, when one or two
would do the trick. Larger organizations should decide on queue design
based on the types of products or services sold. Queues could be set up
based on product line, such as one for coffee beans, one for coffee brewers,
and one for coffee grinders. Another approach is to set up queues based on
department, such as engineering, billing, and shipping departments. Then if
you need a department involved in a case, you can assign an activity or the
entire case to that departmental queue.
Chapter 25: Managing Queues
Looking at Personal and Public Queues
Microsoft CRM comes with two predefined queue areas, which you can see in
the Queues window’s navigation pane: the My Work queue, listing folders for
the activities and cases assigned to you, and the Queues area. The Queues
area displays all the queues that you have access to.
When you look into a public queue, you see all activities and cases associated with that queue, whether they’re assigned to you or not. Everyone who
is a member of that queue can see these activities and cases.
The My Work queue, shown in Figure 25-1, has two folders:
Assigned: You’ll find all the cases that are assigned to you. These are
cases that you haven’t accepted yet. We cover accepting cases in the
section called “Working with Cases and Activities Assigned to Queues,”
later in this chapter.
In Progress: These are all the cases you’ve accepted, and you’re currently working on them.
Figure 25-1:
Your folders
in the My
Work
queue.
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Creating a Queue
Users who are assigned the appropriate rights can create queues. Because
you can create many queues in Microsoft CRM, we recommend that you plan
your queues around your company’s workflow. Create a master plan of all
your services and products and determine how you want to handle customer
service scenarios before building your queues.
For example, a chocolate chip cookie manufacturer could have a queue for
shipping-related issues: freshness or breakage. Whereas a bank may create
queues based on the depositor: ordinary depositors, wealthy depositors,
small business accounts, and large corporate accounts. Cases can be
assigned based on the person or organization initiating the issue.
Follow these steps to add your new queues:
1. On the navigation pane, click the Settings button.
2. At the top of the navigation pane, click Business Management.
The Business Management window appears on the right.
3. Click Queues.
The Queues window appears, as shown in Figure 25-2. All queues are
listed here.
Figure 25-2:
All current
queues are
displayed
here.
Chapter 25: Managing Queues
4. In the window’s toolbar, click the New button.
The Queue: New window appears, as shown in Figure 25-3. Three fields
are required: Queue Name, Business Unit, and Owner.
Figure 25-3:
Create your
queues in
this window.
5. In the Queue Name field, enter a name for this queue.
Remember to keep it simple and descriptive. This is the only way your
users will know which queue a case belongs to.
6. In the Business Unit field, click the magnifying glass to display the
Look Up Records window and select the appropriate business unit.
Business units are similar to departments or regions. For example, if
you’re in the Customer Care department or a regional center, and you
want to create a queue for your staff, you would select Customer Care or
the name of your regional center here. See Chapter 6 more on creating
business units.
7. In the Owner field, choose an owner for the group.
Clicking the magnifying glass opens a Look Up Records window with all
your users. Choose one and click OK. You’re returned to the Queue: New
window. The owner essentially monitors the queue — assigning cases,
shifting workloads, and so on.
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8. Indicate the e-mail account associated with the queue.
This step is optional. However, if you have an e-mail support box such as
support@yourcompany.com, add the e-mail address here. All e-mail
sent to support@yourcompany.com can be seen in the queue. See
your system administrator for help with setting up the routing of e-mail
to a queue.
9. If you want, enter a description for the queue, as well as any important notes.
10. Make a choice from the Convert to E-Mail Activities drop-down list.
The choices are as follows:
• All E-Mail Messages: All e-mail sent to the inbox listed above will be
sent to the queue.
• E-Mail Messages in Response to CRM E-Mail: Only e-mail sent by
people outside of your organization in response to your e-mail will
be sent to the queue.
• E-Mail Messages from CRM Leads, Contacts, and Accounts: All sent
e-mail that can be associated with existing Lead, Account, or
Contact records will be sent to the queue.
11. Make choices from the E-Mail Access Type - Incoming and E-Mail
Access Type - Outgoing drop-down lists.
This pertains to the setup of the e-mail router, which is beyond the
scope of this book. Ask your system administrator what values you
should enter in these fields.
12. Click the Save and Close button.
The Queue: New window closes, and you return to the main Queues
display, where your newly created queue is listed along with the other
queues. The e-mail address and business unit for each queue is also
displayed.
Working with Cases and Activities
Assigned to Queues
In Chapter 22, we discuss cases and how to assign them to queues. In some
organizations, case-related activities — and not entire cases — are assigned
to queues. For example, a CSR logs an issue with a Spacely Sprocket that
needs to be reviewed by a technical designer. The CSR retains ownership of
the case but assigns a review and comment task to the new VP of
Development, Mr. Jetson.
Chapter 25: Managing Queues
We already mentioned that when a new activity (a task, a phone call, an
e-mail, an appointment, and so on) is created, it can be found in the In
Progress queue of the person who created the activity. This is true unless the
creator of the activity changes the owner, in which case the activity will be in
the Assigned queue of the assignee or the queue Assigned. Microsoft CRM
doesn’t automatically assign it to a queue except as mentioned above.
Your service manager isn’t going to monitor all activities created by every
CRM user, only those assigned to a queue. Service-related activities created
by workflow and assigned to a queue are easily monitored by the service
manager. (See Chapter 9 for more on workflow.)
Here’s where your service manager ensures his job security. He looks at the
activity and assesses the situation: Simple issues can go to the level 1 support queue but advanced issues can jump all the way to the level 3 support
queue. This efficient utilization of your company’s resources (that is, the service manager’s training and fancy computer equipment) saves time, prevents
redundancy, and most importantly, makes the customer happy. This is CRM
working as all managers envision.
Activities should be created first and then assigned to a queue. You can’t
create an activity from within a queue. (See Chapter 14 for details about
creating an activity.)
Assigning an activity to a queue
As we mention earlier in the chapter, activities can be assigned to queues or
to users. The difference? Queues can have a number of users assigned to
them, and a user is just that: a single individual.
Keeping that in mind, as the service manager, when should you assign activities to an individual CSR or manager and when should you drop an activity
into a queue for the next available CSR to pick it up?
A good service manager determines the answer to these questions based on
the situation. He then determines the best course of action and assigns activities accordingly. If the assignment process is the same all the time, workflow
rules can be created to automate the functions of assignments and escalation. (See Chapter 9 for details on rules and workflow.)
As we discussed earlier, most likely case activities are assigned to a queue
but other activities can be assigned to users. Because this chapter is all
about queues, we’re going to assign an activity to a queue. Activity assignment can happen regardless of how you get to the activity form — we’re
going to get there from the Activities window, but you can do so from the In
Progress queue, case, contact, account, opportunity, or any entity associated
with activities. Follow these steps to assign an activity to a queue or a user:
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1. On the navigation bar on the left, click Workplace.
2. At the top of the navigation pane, click Activities.
You can sort the activities by clicking the column headers or filter the
activities according to date, type, or status (under the View drop-down
list).
3. Double-click the activity to open it.
4. On the menu bar, choose Actions➪Assign or click the magnifying
glass to the right of the owner field.
The Confirm Assignment dialog box appears.
5. Select the queue to which you want to assign this activity:
a. Click the magnifying glass icon.
A Look Up Records dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 25-4.
Figure 25-4:
Search for a
queue and
assign the
activity to it.
b. In the Look For field, click the arrow and select Queue from the list.
A list of all current queues is displayed in the lower part of the
screen. You can also assign activities to users from this window.
Queues don’t accept assignments, but users do! (We show you how
to do that in the next section, “Accepting activities.”)
Chapter 25: Managing Queues
c. Double-click the queue or highlight the queue and click OK.
You return to the Confirm Assignment dialog box.
You can also search for queues using the Find box or alphabetize the
queues by clicking the Name column header.
6. In the Confirm Assignment dialog box, click OK.
You’re back in the Activity window.
7. Click the Save and Close icon.
Note that the task is still displayed in the Workplace: Activities window.
It’s still a legitimate activity. However, you can see the task also in the
Queues display because you’ve assigned the task to a queue.
8. Under My Work in the navigation pane, select Queues and find the
queue to which you assigned the activity. Click that queue to open it.
The Queues window appears (refer to Figure 25-1). You now see the
activity assigned to that queue.
Remember to save, Save, SAVE! Always click the Save and Close button, even
if you’re reassigning a previously created activity. This way, you guarantee
that all changes will be saved.
Accepting Queue Assignments
For this section, let’s become the CSR. We need to picture ourselves in a cubicle with a bunch of information attached to the cubicle walls by push pins.
Our cube mates are also CSRs, so when you understand this section, yell
EUREKA! And perhaps you can teach them. Better yet, have them buy their
own copies of this book.
There are two types of activities:
Activities or Cases assigned directly to you (which are in the Assigned
folder under My Work: Queues).
Activities or Cases assigned to a queue that you monitor (which are
found in the public queue in the Queues window).
In either case, you have to accept the activity or case before you can begin
work on it. If no workflow rules are in place, it’s up to you to monitor your
queues for outstanding activities or cases.
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Part V: Taking Care of Your Customers
You need to find the queues you are monitoring before you can accept an
assignment. To find queues:
1. On the navigation pane, click the Workplace button. In the upper part
of the pane, select Queues (under My Work).
2. In the pane on the right, click the Assigned folder under My Work or
click a folder under Queues to display any pending activities or cases.
3. Click an item to highlight it.
4. Click the Accept button on the toolbar.
The Confirm Assignment dialog box appears, asking you to verify that
you want to move the selected activity to your In Progress folder.
5. Click OK.
Queue windows don’t automatically refresh, you can click the refresh
icon on the top right of the grid or click the queue on and off and then
on again.
You’ve now accepted the activity or case.
After the activity or case moves to your In Progress folder, you can open it,
create associated activities, and ultimately complete it. You may also reassign the activity or case. When completed, it will no longer be in your In
Progress folder. It will be found in the history of the case, contact, account or
whatever entity you related to it.
Chapter 26
Working with Contracts
In This Chapter
Making a contract template
Understanding the status of a contract
Making a contract
Adding contract lines
Renewing a contract
Managing a case against a contract
W
hat are contracts? In Microsoft CRM contracts aren’t legal documents,
they’re an indication that the person requesting support is under a
support plan.
Essentially, a contract is defined in Microsoft CRM as an agreement or plan
that depreciates with time or use. For instance, say a customer purchases an
extended warranty. That warranty expires over time, perhaps over the next
three years. That’s a contract. Or say your customer purchases a support
plan based on a number of incidents or cases. His contract will expire when
he’s used up the number of incidents. Microsoft CRM also allows you to combine the two options. This means that customers can purchase number-ofincident plans that expire either when they use all of the incidents or when
the contract expires.
The best part about contracts is that you don’t have to do anything after
they’re executed. Contracts are tracked by the system. Better yet, if you
define some workflow rules, contract renewal can be handled in an automated function as well. (See Chapter 9 for more on workflow rules.)
When creating contracts in Microsoft CRM you first create a contract
template. Templates are a great way to quickly execute contracts, as most
organizations have a few standard contracts.
After you create them, you can associate contracts with cases. If per-incident
contracts are associated with cases, they’ll automatically decrement when
you use them.
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This chapter is all about creating and using contracts. Getting started with
contracts is simple. You first need to create a new contract template.
Creating a Contract Template
Why contract templates? As we discussed, Microsoft CRM contracts are
based on duration or the total number of cases. When they’re based on the
total number of cases, contracts can also have an expiration date. This creates a “whatever comes first” scenario. Defining a template aids in the creation of contracts by simplifying data entry later. And of course, we create
contract templates because we have to. All new contracts are based on
contract templates.
In this chapter, we look at how Bob’s Building Blocks (BBB) uses contracts in
Microsoft CRM. BBB sells building blocks that children the world over love.
Often, the children (or most likely their parents), need help building the intricate block models. A few years ago, BBB had the inventive idea of selling support access at a discounted rate. The support plans are prepaid and allow
members to call 10 times at a deeply discounted rate. To track the status of a
client’s support plan, BBB uses Microsoft CRM. (If not, what would be the
point of this chapter?)
You need to create contract template before creating the actual customer
contract.
The first step in creating a Microsoft CRM contract is to create a contract
template. First, follow these steps to create a contract template:
1. Click the Settings button, which is the second button from the bottom
of the navigation pane.
2. At the top of the navigation pane, click Templates.
3. Click the Contract Templates option.
The Contract Templates window appears, listing all current contract
templates.
4. On the Contract Templates window’s toolbar, click the New button.
The Contract Template: New window appears, as shown in Figure 26-1.
5. Fill in the Name and Abbreviation fields.
The name can be anything you want. For the abbreviation, use something that you think logically abbreviates your contract name. The
abbreviation is an alternate way to refer to the contract.
Chapter 26: Working with Contracts
Figure 26-1:
Build your
contract
templates
using the
Contract
Template:
New
feature.
6. Choose a billing frequency from the Billing Frequency drop-down list.
Choose a billing cycle, whether it’s monthly, bimonthly, quarterly,
semiannually, or annually.
7. Select an Allotment Type.
The three options for providing support are Number of Cases, Time, and
Coverage Dates.
• Number of Cases: Offer your services by the case or call. For example, you might offer a five-call service package in which Bob’s
Building Blocks allows five support calls.
• Time: You can provide your services for an amount of time,
whether it’s hours, days, and so on. For example, Bob’s Building
Blocks might offer their support contract for 5 hours of time.
• Coverage Dates: Set a time frame for your services. For example,
Bob’s Building Blocks may offer unlimited support 12 months from
the date of purchase.
8. If you want, select a service level and discount, and fill in the
Description field.
Use the Service Level field to designate the contract’s status.
9. Fill in the Calendar grid.
Set the days and hours of support this contract offers by clicking in the
appropriate box. A green dot appears in each box you click. In our example, Mr. Wayne provides his services from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday
through Friday.
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If you provide an option for clients to purchase a support contract with
extended support hours (weekends or after 5 p.m. in our example), you
must create additional contract templates to reflect those options.
Here’s a quick trick to save clicks: Assume Bob’s Building Blocks offers
24-hour support on weekdays. Their support is closed on weekends.
Click the 24x7 check box at the bottom and then click the Sunday label
(Su) at the top of the grid. The green dots in the Sunday row disappear.
Repeat for the Saturday (Sa) row.
10. Click the Save and Close icon in the upper left corner.
The Contract Template: New window closes, and your new contract
appears in the Contract Templates window.
After you save a contract template, you can’t edit it.
Understanding Contract Status
Before we get into showing you how to create your contracts, let’s go over
the different levels of contract status: draft, invoiced, active, on hold, cancelled, and expired. Because everyone can see contracts, the status allows
your sales and service staff to be consistent with their answers and support.
Each contract starts out as a draft and automatically moves to active status
once the beginning date has been reached, regardless of whether it’s still a
draft or has been invoiced. Contracts expire on the end date specified in the
contract. Your sales and service staff can place contracts on hold or cancel
them.
Here’s the list of contract status types:
Draft: After a contract is created, it automatically has draft status. This
is the default option and allows your staff full access to it for modifications or updates.
Invoiced: After the contract is ready for use, it can be invoiced (from
the Actions menu). We show you how to do this later in the “Adding
Contract Lines to a New Contract” section. After you invoice the contract, you can’t edit the dates, contract names, and contract ID.
Active: A contract still in draft status moves to active status automatically after the beginning date set in the contract is reached. For example, if your beginning date is June 18, 2009, the contract will go to active
status on that date. As with invoiced contracts, you can’t edit the dates,
contract names, and contract ID after the contract becomes active.
Chapter 26: Working with Contracts
Expired: A contract expires automatically on the end date set in the contract. After this happens, you can’t open new cases against it. (Although
you can close existing cases.) You can renew expired contracts. When
renewing you can edit the Contract Start and End dates, the Contract
Name, as well as billing information on the General tab. On the details
tab, you can change the Service Level, the Contract Template, and the
Owner. For more information, see the section, “Renewing Contracts,”
later in this chapter.
Cancelled: You can cancel (from the Actions menu) a contract that is
active or invoiced, but you can’t edit cancelled contracts.
On Hold: You can place a contract on hold (from the Actions menu).
While it’s on hold, you can’t log cases against it. To take it off hold,
choose Release Hold from the Actions menu.
Creating a Contract
As we mentioned earlier, you’ll need to create a contract template before creating a contract. If you haven’t, please see the section, “Creating a Contract
Template,” earlier in this chapter. With at least one contract template, the
Bob’s Building Blocks team is ready to sell contracts to customers. That’s
a good thing because little Timmy is on the phone and wants his block set
built . . . NOW! After your support specialist has determined that Timmy
needs to purchase a set of five support cases — and Timmy’s mom has
provided a valid credit card number — you’re ready to create a contract.
Here’s how to create a contract:
1. In the lower part of the navigation pane, click the Service button.
2. In the upper part of the navigation pane, select Contracts.
3. In the Contracts window’s toolbar, click the New button.
The Template Explorer dialog box appears.
4. Double-click the contract template you’d like to use.
The Contract: New window appears, as shown in Figure 26-2. For our
example, we’ll choose the B5P Template to create the contract for
Timmy.
We’d like to point out two things about this Contract: New window. First,
as with most of Microsoft CRM, the fields with the red asterisks (on your
screen) are required. Second, you can’t modify the Contract ID field. The
contract ID is generated automatically when you click the Save and
Close button to create the contract. However, your system administrator
can specify some of the characteristics of the contract ID.
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Part V: Taking Care of Your Customers
Figure 26-2:
The
Contract:
New
window.
5. In the Contract Name field, enter a name for the contract.
For our example, we’ve used Little Timmy and his street address
6. Fill in the Customer field.
To do so, click the magnifying glass and select the customer from the
Look Up Records window. You can also open the Form Assistant on the
right of the screen and select Customer from the drop-down list. When
you do, a list of customers appears.
7. Enter the contract start and end dates.
You can use the calendars or enter the dates manually.
8. Use the magnifying glass to select the Contract Address.
The contract address Look Up shows the address on hand for the customer. Select the appropriate address. In our example, we have only one
address for Little Timmy. (See Figure 26-3.)
The Bill To Address automatically fills in to reflect the contract address;
change it if necessary.
When creating a contact address, make sure to enter an address name.
Without it, the address won’t show in the contract address field.
It’s worth taking the time to add these addresses now because you need
them later when you change the contract’s status.
9. Click Save (the disk icon) to record these addresses.
Chapter 26: Working with Contracts
Figure 26-3:
Add a
customer
billing
address.
10. Click the Details tab in the Contract: New window and fill it in as
necessary.
The only required fields (Contract Template and Owner) are already
filled in. You can choose the type of discount you want the customer to
have (percentage or amount) and enter a description for the contract.
You can also indicate the service level agreement.
11. To add a note, do so on the Notes tab.
12. Click Save (the disk icon).
Your contract is now a draft. Keep this in mind for the rest of the chapter. We will move it out of draft status later, in the “Adding Contract
Lines to a New Contract” section.
Now that you’ve saved the contract, the following options are live. These
options allow you to enter or view information relative to the contract during
its life:
Information: You entered the initial information for the contract here.
Contract Lines: This option outlines what the contract covers. You can
associate several contract lines (for example, hardware, software, parts,
and maintenance) with a single contract.
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Part V: Taking Care of Your Customers
Activities: This is where you find every activity scheduled as part of
the support in the contract, such as phone calls, e-mails, tasks, and
appointments.
History: All completed or closed activities go here.
Cases: All cases related to this contract are visible here.
Shortcut alert! For the most part, your contracts will contain a lot of the same
information (such as billing frequency or pricing). Instead of creating a contract from the template, you can open a contract similar to the one you want
to create and copy it.
Follow these steps to copy a contract:
1. In the lower part of the navigation pane, click the Service button.
2. In the upper part of the navigation pane, select Contracts.
3. Double-click the contract you want to copy.
We recommend that you write down the current contract ID number.
When you get to Step 4, the contract is copied with all the same information except the contract ID. The program generates a new contract ID for
the new contract you’re creating. The only way you can distinguish your
new contract from the old one is by the contract ID.
4. On the main menu (at the top of the screen), choose Actions➪Copy
Contract.
The Create from Existing Contract dialog box appears. You can choose
to copy over cancelled contract lines as well, just by selecting the box in
this window. (For more on contract lines, see the next section.)
5. Click OK.
You return to the open contract window. The new contract usually takes
a minute to pop up, so be sure to keep an eye on that contract ID.
6. Check the contract ID to make sure you’re using the new contract.
7. Go ahead and change the new contract information.
For our example, we made a new contract for Little Timmy’s neighbor,
Little Suzie, by copying her contract and giving it a new name, as shown
in Figure 26-4.
When changing the information, make sure that that you change both the Bill
to Customer and the Bill to Address in the Billing Information section.
Chapter 26: Working with Contracts
Figure 26-4:
The
Contracts
window
with a
copied
contract.
Adding Contract Lines to a New Contract
Now that you have your new contract for Little Suzie set up, it’s time to
create one or more contract lines. A contract line is a description of what the
contract is covering. For example, you might offer an in-home building block
inspection. Once a month, your team of Bob’s Building Blocks Building Block
Inspectors will visit the customer’s home to check on the stability and overall
structural safety of the building blocks. Or you may want to indicate that the
contract is covering Little Timmy’s new purchase, the Astro Wars Space
Station. That would mean that this contract will not cover his purchase of the
Astro Wars Moon Station. Of course, you could have more than one contract
line associated with a contract, so if it is appropriate you could add the Moon
Station as one of the products covered by the contract.
Contracts need not be associated with products. If you’re simply allowing
Little Suzie to call for support, then a single contract line is all that is needed.
The Contract Line: New window has three tabs: General, Administration, and
Notes. The General tab has areas for the following:
General Information: This includes the name of the contract line and
the product.
Allotment Details: These details show the total minutes or cases, how
many have been used, how many remain, and pricing.
Total Price: This shows the price for the product for this contract.
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Part V: Taking Care of Your Customers
To add a contract line, follow these steps:
1. In the lower part of the navigation pane, click the Service button.
2. In the upper part of the navigation pane, select Contracts.
3. Double-click the contract that you want to add a line to.
4. In the navigation pane, click Contract Lines.
The Contract Lines window for that contract appears.
5. In the window’s toolbar, click the New Contract Line button.
In our example, shown in Figure 26-5, we’re using Little Timmy’s Astro
Fighter.
Figure 26-5:
Establish
Service
terms that
your service staff
members
can track
as they
support the
customer.
6. In the first section, type a title for this contract line and choose the
start and end dates.
These three fields are required, but the others in the top section aren’t.
The start and end dates default to the contract start and end dates but
can be changed.
7. In the Allotment Details section, enter the number of minutes or cases
you want to specify for this contract.
The other two fields are optional and show how much the customer has
used and how much is left.
Chapter 26: Working with Contracts
8. In the Pricing section, enter the total price for this product for this
contract.
Of the remaining fields under Pricing, Discount is the only one you can
fill in. Keep in mind that the amount or percentage of the discount is
determined by what was entered for this product on the product list.
The other two fields are filled in automatically based on the discount
you enter. Net is the total after the discount is applied.
9. Click Save (the disk icon).
10. Click the Administration tab and check your customer. Enter a serial
number if necessary.
The customer field is required and should already be filled in. The serial
number field is optional and is a good place to track product serial numbers against the contract (say for inventory or quality assurance, for
instance).
11. On the Notes tab, enter information important to this contract.
The Notes tab, like the other Notes areas in Microsoft CRM, offers a freeform place to enter data.
12. Click the Save and Close icon.
The new contract line appears in the Contract window’s main display.
You see the contract line’s title, product, allotments remaining, and net
(a dollar amount).
Clicking any column heading sorts the list of contract lines by that criterion.
Now that you’ve added a contract and the contract lines, you can see how
Microsoft CRM tracks things such as time, available cases, or remaining minutes. In just a few clicks and a glance, you can easily see the status and
details of a contract. We know what that translates to: getting information to
the customer quickly, which means happy customers.
As we mentioned, you can move a contract from draft to invoiced status, if
the start date hasn’t yet been reached.
Follow these steps to move a contract from draft to invoiced status:
1. In the lower part of the navigation pane, click the Service button.
2. In the upper part of the navigation pane, select Contracts.
The Contracts window appears.
3. Double-click the contract you created earlier.
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Part V: Taking Care of Your Customers
4. On the menu bar (at the top of the screen), choose Actions➪
Invoice Contract.
The status of the contract, displayed in the lower left corner of the
window, is updated to Invoiced (if the start date has not yet been
reached) or Active (if the start date has been reached).
Expired contracts are automatically updated to expired status on their end
dates. The other status levels — cancelled, on hold, and renew — can be
updated.
Renewing a Contract
As we mentioned, you can renew cancelled or expired contracts in a few
short steps:
1. In the lower part of the navigation pane, click the Service button.
2. In the upper part of the navigation pane, select Contracts.
The Contracts window appears.
3. Double-click the contract you want to renew.
4. From the menu bar (at the top of the screen), choose Actions➪
Renew Contract.
The Renew Contract dialog box appears, asking for verification and
whether you want to copy the cancelled contract lines as well.
5. Click OK.
Keep an eye on the status in the lower left corner. When you renew a
contract, its status is changed automatically to draft.
Creating a Case and Linking It
to a Contract
Little Timmy needs help completing his Astro Fighter. He calls Bob’s Building
Blocks for help. The Bob’s support agent takes his call and, prior to beginning the session, she opens a case. She wants to associate Little Timmy’s support contract with the case. (You can learn how to create a case in Chapter
22.) Here we show you how to associate that case to the contract.
See the instructions in Chapter 22 for opening a new case. Then follow these
steps to link the new case to Little Timmy’s contract.
Chapter 26: Working with Contracts
1. In the newly created case, go to the Form Assistant and select
Contract from the first drop-down menu.
Available contracts associated with the customer are listed in the Form
Assistant under the lookup field. Only active and invoiced contracts
appear.
2. Find and select the contract.
The Contract field under Contract and Product Information in the main
window should now be filled in. (See Figure 26-6.) Now that you’ve
assigned the contract, you have to assign the contract line associated
with this call.
Figure 26-6:
Your case
assigned
to the
customer’s
contract.
3. Click the magnifying glass icon to the right of the Contract Lines field.
The Look Up Records dialog box appears, listing all the contract lines
associated with this contract.
4. Find the contract line, highlight it, and click OK.
The case is now properly linked to the contract, and any work performed while resolving the case will be tracked against the active
contract.
5. Click the Save and Close button.
Remember the cardinal rule of computers: save, Save, SAVE!
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Part VI
The Part of Tens
Y
In this part . . .
ou can find many official and unofficial independent
software vendors (ISVs), all madly developing add-on
products for Microsoft CRM. We review what we think are
the best products and present the top ten in Chapter 27.
Everyone needs a little help once in a while. In Chapter 28,
we describe the best places for getting an essential tip,
training, or consulting.
Chapter 27
The Top 10 (Or So) Add-on
Products for Microsoft CRM 4
In This Chapter
Adding a spell checker
Automating processes and generating alerts
Joining the c360 family
Migrating and manipulating your data
Getting instant sales tips from the experts
Adding customized charts
Upgrading your service
I
t’s surprising that now, even after several years in the marketplace, there
are so few add-on products for Microsoft CRM. There’s a crying need for
more. We’re still looking for a good expense reporting system that works with
CRM, for example. Now that the Enterprise version supports multi-currency,
how about a real-time, automated system to update exchange rates? How
about an automated way to check and update zip codes and postal codes?
Maybe we’ve missed these. Certainly, there are good add-ons under development and still under our radar.
There is no one, good consolidated place to find all the CRM add-ons, so in
conjunction with the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 For Dummies, we’ve
created a site to review the contenders and the pretenders. Check out
www.consultcore\add-ons.html. To cull the list in this chapter to
approximately ten (depending on how you count), we established several
criteria for making selections, including the following:
General applicability: CRM is about managing prospect and client data.
And it’s about making it easier for a team of users to work together. If an
add-on module didn’t address one or both of these issues, it didn’t make
the cut.
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Part VI: The Part of Tens
Integration with Microsoft CRM: Many vendors advertise their products
as Microsoft CRM add-ons even when little, if any, integration exists. If
there’s little integration or no apparent reason for the integration, the
product didn’t make the cut.
History of and support from a vendor: The CRM dealer industry is still
a bit of a cottage industry, with dealers coming and going. Often, a
vendor writes a custom application for one client and then decides to
offer it as a general product to an unsuspecting public. We’ve tried to
check out the vendors and their motivations as well. Evaluating motivation, of course, is much more subjective than the first two criteria.
Updated for Version 4: Some of the less popular add-ons for versions 1
or 3 haven’t been overhauled for version 4. Any add-on we mention here
works with version 4.
Just because a product doesn’t appear in this chapter doesn’t mean that you
shouldn’t be interested in it. The product may not have been available for
review at the time of this writing, or it may be of special interest to your company but not of more general interest. And, conversely, just because a product appears in this chapter doesn’t mean that you should buy it without
further evaluation.
Many developers put out advertising materials on products that they’re thinking about developing. That is known as vaporware. Before plunking down your
hard-earned money, make sure that the product exists and has documentation
and support — maybe even a reference site or two. The consultcore site referenced previously attempts to separate the wheat from the chaff for you.
Checking Spelling with Google Toolbar
Microsoft CRM doesn’t include any spell-checking or grammar-checking features, and these are among the most asked-for applications. Google comes to
the rescue, and the price is right — free. Because almost everyone likes
“free,” Google’s spell-checker tops our list.
The Google Toolbar’s spell-checker feature can correct most spelling mistakes you make when you type into a Web form, including Web-based e-mail,
discussion forums, and even intranet Web applications. Of course, if you type
“to” instead of “too,” there’s still no help for you. And, if your notion of grammar has always prevented you from writing something as complex and
sophisticated as a For Dummies book, this tool won’t help you either.
To run Google spell-checker, go to www.google.com, install the Google
Toolbar, and click the Check button on your toolbar. Spell-checker sends text
for review to Google’s servers, so it catches and highlights any incorrect
spellings.
Chapter 27: The Top 10 (Or So) Add-on Products for Microsoft CRM 4
Google’s spell-checker feature automatically corrects your spelling if you
click the arrow to the right of the Check button and select click AutoFix.
Don’t worry; if Google spell-checker isn’t sure, it highlights the words it’s
unsure of and allows you to correct them yourself.
Automating Processes and
Generating Alerts
Workflow and escalation (also known as automated processes) functionality
is built into Microsoft CRM. And it has even been enhanced for version 4.
With workflow, you can automate a variety of business rules, processes, and
alerts. However, Microsoft’s workflow integrates only with the files (entities)
that are part of Microsoft CRM. Workflow can’t trigger activity based on data
that might be in an accounting system or in an HR system.
Sometimes it’s important to base your automated decisions on data outside
CRM. If you want your salespeople to be notified when one of their accounts
is overdue with its payments, for example, you’ll want one of the add-on
products cited in this section. If you want to focus on client retention, one of
these add-ons may also be on your short list of add-ons.
There are two add-on packages that provide this additional functionality and,
in fact, go well beyond the features and functions that come out of the box with
Microsoft CRM. KnowledgeSync, from Vineyardsoft (which you can find online
at www.vineyardsoft.com), has been around for many years integrating
with many earlier CRM systems. TaskCentre (can you tell from the spelling?) is
a more recent entrant from the U.K. (Go to www.orbis-software.com for
more information on TaskCentre.) Both require some self-paced or Web-based
training before you can expect to become proficient.
KnowledgeSync v7 is a business-activity monitoring application that detects
and responds to critical, time-sensitive data in Microsoft CRM, in incoming
e-mail, and in many other applications. KnowledgeSync v7 updates Microsoft
CRM, other databases, and users (through e-mail, faxes, pagers, and the Web)
with critical information. KnowledgeSync comes with many canned alerts
(called EventPaks). To develop a customized alert, you may want to find a
specialist — probably a Vineyardsoft partner.
KnowledgeSync can easily alert you to a variety of conditions within your
database. Here are a few examples:
A forecasted sale is suddenly overdue.
A lead distributed to an outside salesperson hasn’t been pursued.
Money has come in (or has not come in) from a client.
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Part VI: The Part of Tens
A request was made from your Web site by a prospect and the system
has responded by sending literature and scheduling you to follow up.
A deal was closed.
TaskCentre, from Orbis Software, is functionally similar to KnowledgeSync,
but it’s a bit more graphical.
Increasing Your Productivity with c360
According to Microsoft, c360’s productivity packs are included in about half
of Microsoft CRM implementations. c360 packages groups of utilities into
three productivity packs: a Core Productivity Pack, a Sales Productivity Pack,
and a Service Productivity Pack.
The Core Productivity Pack includes the following:
A utility for combining multiple screen views into one screen to reduce
the number of clicks to get from one screen to another.
Duplicate record detection across multiple record types. For example, if
you enter a new lead record for ABC Corp., it can check to make sure
that ABC Corp. doesn’t already exist as an account record.
Alerts that trigger pop-up windows based on any type of record.
Roll-up summaries for all record types. A roll-up summary, by the way,
compiles results from separate but related records.
Relationship charting to see how various records in the database relate
to each other.
E-mail linking that simplifies connecting an e-mail to a CRM record.
The Sales Productivity Pack includes:
An enhancement to CRM’s forecasting.
A connection to your Web site to automate creating and updating
records. This is particularly useful if you combine this automation with
workflow to automatically respond to inquiries.
The Service Productivity Pack includes:
The ability to link e-mails to cases.
A workplace configuration that enhances the use of queues.
In particular, if you want to integrate your Web site with your CRM system,
c360 has a Web connector for you. This is traditionally one of the most
compelling integrations for any CRM package. You want your clients and
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Part VI: The Part of Tens
Accessing Instant Advice,
Tips, and Tricks
Every once in a while, it’s nice to have a coach sitting on your shoulder
whispering advice in your ear just when you want it. That’s what CanDoGo
(at www.candogo.com) does. They’ve assembled a world-renowned team of
sales, marketing, and business experts who’ve written and recorded snippets
of advice. So, when you get stuck or frustrated, you can press a button and
search for just the snippet you may need.
This really comes under the heading of training, but it’s so task-specific that
we hesitate to call it training — although it could be.
Displaying Data in Graphical Formats
Microsoft CRM allows you to relate contacts to accounts and, in fact, records
in nearly every entity to records in other entities: one-to-one and many-to-one
and even many-to-many. The problem is that sometimes you want to see
graphically how various records relate to one another. A good example is
an organizational chart: If you want a traditional org chart, SalesCentric
(at www.salescentric.com) provides that functionality.
On the other hand, if you’d like a full set of dashboard displays, FusionCharts
(at www.fusioncharts.com) fits that bill. With FusionCharts, you (or your
dealer) can develop a series of realtime pie and line charts that show critical
CRM or other data. A useful example might be the display of your sales
pipeline showing upcoming sales in various categories.
Upgrading Your Service Area
We haven’t used the Neocase add-on ourselves, but according to Neocase
(at www.neocase.com), their customer service module is an on-demand or
an on-premise customer service solution that maximizes the productivity and
quality of customer service through collaboration, self service, knowledge
management, partner centers, and advanced workflow management with
strict adherence to service level agreements (SLAs).
What we particularly like is the self-service component of the system. In selfservice systems, clients can use the Web to look up the status of their orders or
their customer service issues. Each client doesn’t have to have a CRM license in
order to do so. If you have a large number of clients often making inquiries
about their order status, or if you just need a more sophisticated approach to
Microsoft’s Customer Service module, Neocase might be your ticket.
Chapter 28
Ten Ways to Get Help
In This Chapter
Using Microsoft CRM’s online help
Reading the CRM blog
Accessing the Resource Center
Getting the straight story from newsgroups
Finding an expert
Using technical sites for developers
Investing in training
Getting in touch with the authors
Accessing general CRM resources online
I
n this chapter, we show you ten ways to get help. There are other ways to
get help, of course, and we’re sure you’ll stumble across them as you
investigate the various features described here. But here, we explore some
free options (our favorite) and some paid-for services. The paid-for services
are usually worth the investment. However, we leave it up to you to decide
how much you’re willing to pay for the help you need. Free help is available
through Microsoft CRM’s online help system, blogs, the Resource Center, and
from the newsgroups. Then there’s paid help from dealers, developers, and
Microsoft itself.
It seems that most dynamic help options are blogs and newsgroups. Often,
newsgroup articles point to blogs. Blogging has become so popular that the
number of Microsoft CRM blogs grows almost daily. With newsgroups, you
can simply read posts or, as you become more comfortable with them, you
can post your own questions. Subscribing to a newsgroup now and getting
comfortable with the posting process is a good idea. As time goes by, more
and more users will be sharing information, best practices, and the inevitable
workarounds.
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You can find Microsoft partners all over the world, and they serve as your
best — and often local — support. Beyond that group is a cadre of independent software vendors (ISVs), ready to sell you their custom CRM add-on
products. (See Chapter 27 for more on CRM add-ons.) Don’t overlook ISVs as
resources, too. They have a lot of experience dealing with the substance of
CRM’s programming code and can offer insights into problems you may
encounter. These developers can also help you design custom enhancements
to the program. After all, that’s their business.
Using Microsoft CRM’s Built-in Help
Microsoft CRM’s help is available from any and all screens. To access help,
you simply click the Help button on the top right of the screen you’re on.
From there, you’re provided a few options, but most likely you’ll choose the
Help on this Page option. The depth of help provided depends on the page
you’re on.
Figure 28-1 shows the Microsoft CRM help menu. When you need help with a
particular form — such as the Account form — the Help on this Page feature
is quite handy.
Figure 28-1:
The
Microsoft
CRM Help
menu.
To use the Help on This Page feature, follow these steps:
1. Click the Help button at the top right of the form.
2. Select Help on This Page from the drop-down box.
An option list appears. (See Figure 28-2.)
3. Choose the best option for your needs by clicking the appropriate
radio button.
The help text appears at the bottom of the pane.
4. When you’ve finished exploring everything that the built-in help feature has to offer, click the X in the upper-right corner to close the
window and return to Microsoft CRM.
Chapter 28: Ten Ways to Get Help
Figure 28-2:
An example
of contextual
help from
the Account
form.
Reading the Blog
The Microsoft CRM blogosphere has grown significantly since the release of
version 3. Our favorite blogs are those written by the Microsoft CRM developers. In fact, there is a single blog maintained by the Microsoft CRM developers called (have you guessed?) The Microsoft CRM Team Blog. You can find it
at http://blogs.msdn.com/crm.
Accessing the Resource Center
New to Microsoft CRM 4 is the Resource Center. It’s a collection of CRM
knowledge that’s maintained by Microsoft. There are links to the Microsoft
CRM Team Blog (which we discuss in the previous section) and the newsgroups (see the next section) as well as lots of general CRM knowledge. You
can’t update the content that is handled directly by Microsoft, however. To
access the Resource Center, here’s what you need to do:
1. At the bottom of the navigation pane, click Resource Center.
The Resource Center appears. (See Figure 28-3.)
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Figure 28-3:
The
Microsoft
CRM
Resource
Center.
2. At the top of the navigation pane, select one of the following:
• Highlights: Topics that transcend the other options below. Often
the items listed here are interesting ways to use Microsoft CRM or
some interesting tips.
• Sales: Sales related information, such as articles suggesting ways
Microsoft CRM can benefit your sales team.
• Marketing: Marketing-related content is found here. Often you’ll
find interesting suggestions on how to get more out of the
Marketing module in Microsoft CRM.
• Service: Suggestions on how to use Microsoft CRM to its fullest in
your support organization.
• Settings: Links to content on how to customize or configure your
Microsoft CRM system.
The content changes to reflect what is selected in the navigation pane.
Getting the Straight Story from
Newsgroups or Forums
The newsgroups contain a wealth of knowledge. Microsoft has an MVP program where frequent contributors to the newsgroups are nominated and
awarded MVP status. Microsoft CRM MVPs are people who frequently provide useful responses on the CRM newsgroup.
Chapter 28: Ten Ways to Get Help
Within the newsgroup threads (a thread is a chain of related responses), you
can find input from users, dealers, developers, and an occasional response
from someone at Microsoft. Mostly, the tone is polite and professional.
Usually, the information is correct — but not always.
Often, your issue has already been posted to the newsgroup, so we suggest
you start by searching existing newsgroup posts. If you post or choose to
take the free help provided in the newsgroup, do so with caution. If you’re
unsure as to the proper course of action and the newsgroup post suggests
something that you’re unfamiliar with, we suggest you find help in more traditional ways (read on).
To access the newsgroups, follow these steps:
1. At the bottom of the navigation pane, click Resource Center.
The Resource Center appears.
2. Click the Newsgroup hyperlink in the rightmost column (near the top).
Figure 28-4 shows the Newsgroup window. You can read, search, and add
your own threads. You can also reply to an existing thread. Note the following elements of this window:
• On the left is a display of many different newsgroups. There are
three Microsoft CRM-specific newsgroups: Microsoft Dynamics
CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Deployment, and Microsoft CRM
Dynamics CRM Developer.
• The top contains a search field.
• The center column contains the newsgroup threads. Click the + to
expand and read the entire thread.
• When a newsgroup article is highlighted, the right panel displays
the text.
3. To search for case-related threads, type case in the Search For field.
4. Click the Go button or press Enter.
All existing threads related to your keywords appear. Figure 28-5 shows
many threads that relate to the search criteria of email to case.
5. Click whichever thread seems most relevant and interesting.
6. You can then browse through the conversations everyone is having.
If you don’t find an answer to your question on an existing thread, you can
start your own thread instead. Just follow these steps:
1. From the Newsgroup window’s toolbar, click the New button. (Refer to
Figure 28-5.)
2. When asked whether you want to submit a question or a comment,
make a selection.
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Figure 28-4:
There are
three
Microsoft
CRM
newsgroups
to choose
from.
Figure 28-5:
Newsgroup
threads
regarding
email to
case.
Chapter 28: Ten Ways to Get Help
You’re prompted for your Windows Live ID. (If you don’t have a
Windows Live ID, you can sign up for one to the left of the logon boxes.)
You now see a screen where you can begin your new thread. You may
also need to create a profile before you can create your first message.
3. Enter as much as you can about your issue and then click Post (at the
bottom of the window).
This submits your issue to the world.
4. Go about the rest of your business for a while.
Please note that “a while” might be minutes, hours, or days.
5. Return to the newsgroup area occasionally to see whether anyone has
responded.
Chances are that within a day, various people will have replied with
helpful advice.
The Microsoft CRM forums are much like the newsgroups in that they’re monitored by Microsoft CRM experts and allow for searching and posting of questions and comments. To reach the forums, click Resource Center at the
bottom of the navigation pane, then click the Forums hyperlink. (Refer to
Figure 28-3 for a view of the Resource Center.)
Finding an Expert
Microsoft products are typically implemented by Microsoft partners. The
partner community consists of companies that have passed certain certification exams and met other Microsoft criteria. The Microsoft CRM partner community is vast, but not all partners are the same. A certification in Microsoft
CRM doesn’t necessarily translate into strong CRM knowledge. We suggest
you do your due diligence prior to engaging a partner.
A partner is often the best place to get help. Sure you’ll pay for the advice,
but your implementation cycle will often be shorter and your use of the product will be better. The partner community is a prime place to go for serious
help. If you need assistance with installation, customization, training, integration with other software, importing data, or just routine support, there’s no
better place to go. In the United States, rates range from $140 to $200 per
hour.
Microsoft doesn’t publish a comprehensive list of all their CRM dealers. One
way to get a few names, however, is to go to the following Web address:
http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics/crm/purchase/default.mspx#EDAA
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Using Technical Sites for Developers
If you’re interested in learning how to write custom code for Microsoft CRM,
there are two sites of interest:
Microsoft Dynamics Code Gallery: The Microsoft Dynamics Code
Gallery is housed on the MSDN code gallery site. There are interesting
code examples posted to this site. This is a fluid site, with code being
posted often. If you want to develop custom code for Microsoft CRM and
you’re a developer, you should check this site out.
http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/Project/ProjectDirectory.aspx?ProjectSearch
Text=crm
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Dev Center: The Microsoft Dynamics
CRM Dev Center provides links to the Microsoft CRM SDK (Solution
Developers Kit) as well as some links found in the Resource Center. As
with the Code Gallery, this is a valuable site to developers. It can be
reached via this Web address:
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm/default.aspx
Investing in Training
A key ingredient to a successful implementation of Microsoft CRM is
training — end-user training and administrative training. Overlook these and
your implementation won’t be a success. New training materials and companies are appearing so rapidly that a list printed here will quickly become outdated. Again, surfing the Web (using the keywords Microsoft CRM training) or
asking your dealer is probably the best approach to finding the right training.
Training is a tradeoff in time, budget, and commitment. In the following list,
we itemize the best training at the top, with a gradual descent toward barely
useful:
Send all your users to a training facility away from your office and daily
distractions. Maui is good.
Bring an experienced Microsoft CRM trainer to the facility and make
sure it really is a training facility.
Have your own in-house trainer trained and come back to train all of
your users. This is almost never as good as having an experienced CRM
trainer do the job, but it’s less expensive.
Chapter 28: Ten Ways to Get Help
Find some live Web-based training that each of your users can access.
Find a Web-based or CD-based tutorial for your users.
Attend free webinars.
Just tell each user to use the new software. Some of them will probably
get it.
Microsoft offers many types of training, not only for their CRM product but
also for many of their other business software products. A good starting
point to find out about all these options is
www.microsoft.com/learning/training/default.asp
And, of course, buy each user a copy of this For Dummies book. Give each
one a raise after they’ve read it.
Selecting Microsoft Packaged
Service and Support
Microsoft offers several levels of decision-making, design, and support services. They each cost real money, but it may be money well spent. Design and
planning always pay off in the end. You can access the details of Microsoft’s
programs by going to
www.microsoft.com/dynamics/crm/support/serviceplans.mspx
Microsoft offers different support plan options. They range from Flex PerIncident Support, where you can pay on a per-incident basis, to a deluxe support service that provides faster response times and a host of other benefits.
These plans are offered by Microsoft directly, so we suggest you check out
the link above.
Microsoft offers software assurance as means of keeping you current on the
latest product versions. Software assurance is usually renewed on an annual
or semiannual basis, but longer terms can be purchased. Customers current
on software assurance also have access to CustomerSource, which is a Web
portal that allows you access to a considerable amount of information about
each of your Microsoft products. CustomerSource also provides you with
detailed information about various types of training that are available. In
addition, you can search the official Microsoft knowledge base, submit support incidents, and much more.
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Getting in Touch with Us
We use Microsoft CRM. We write about Microsoft CRM. We sell and support it.
We have a team of experts who do nothing but CRM consulting. We can even
help you find additional resources, if that’s what’s needed. You can get in
touch with us at the following address:
www.consultcore.com/dummies.htm
Accessing General CRM
Resources Online
Not to be confusing, but the CRM that we talk about in this section isn’t
related specifically to Microsoft CRM. These CRM resources are dedicated to
client relationship management in general. Much of the information on the
Web sites we list here doesn’t deal with software. Instead, it’s about the philosophy and concepts behind more actively managing your customer base.
A solid understanding of CRM concepts can enhance your Microsoft CRM
investment. Here are a few resources to get you started:
www.crmguru.com: Membership is free. Newsletters arrive directly in
your e-mail inbox. This site has a Community Forum link and a Guru
Panel link. The site also features a searchable GuruBase.
www.crmdaily.com: The site’s self-proclaimed description is Real-Time
CRM Industry News from Around the World, but we think it’s best
described as an online newspaper. Articles are fresh, and the layout is
great. Each article has a brief overview on the front page with a link to
the details. This site also has a searchable archive.
www.crm2day.com: Excellent articles and a concise design make this
page easy to read. It features an Experts Corner and a searchable library,
which puts a lot of great CRM information only a few clicks away. And
the free company listing is great for networking!
We hope this chapter provides you with a good start. Everyone needs a little
help when they’re first starting, or even later when digging a little deeper into
a new feature.
Appendix A
Converting to Microsoft CRM
In This Chapter
Planning the conversion
Designing a system that meets your needs
Establishing the new system and testing it
Cleaning and importing the data
Showing co-workers how to use the new installation
A
lthough the end results can dramatically increase effectiveness, for
most sales organizations, the prospect of migrating to a different CRM
system is a harrowing prospect. Most sales managers would rather donate a
kidney . . . without anesthesia!
It can be technically challenging, but the key to an effective migration is in
management. It’s important to get everybody on board and excited. Of
course, if in the end everything goes wrong, if all of your contacts have the
first and last names switched and billing information is mismatched, the challenge will be having enough lifeboats for everyone jumping ship. But the best
advice before the migration is to keep morale high and keep people participating in the process.
We recommend working with a Microsoft CRM professional who has done
this hundreds or even thousands of times. Let her handle the technical stuff
while you keep everyone excited.
If you’re committed to Microsoft CRM, it’s a good idea to order the hardware
and software early in the process so that when you get to the point of installation there won’t be a delay. Obviously, there are financial considerations to
be made, but there is no reason that the hardware and software installation
can’t proceed in parallel with the system design.
In this appendix, we discuss the best, most efficient way to migrate your
system to CRM.
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Developing a Process for the Conversion
Whether you work with a CRM professional or with in-house talent, the
process should be similar to the one outlined in this chapter. Here it is in a
nutshell:
1. Evaluate the current system.
2. Define expectations.
3. Design the system.
4. Implement the design.
5. Test the system.
6. Clean the data.
7. Migrate the data.
8. Train the staff.
The following sections discuss all of these steps in greater detail.
Evaluating the Current System
The first step in converting your existing CRM system is to take a critical look
at it. You know what I mean: Take a look at it with your head tilted sideways
and one eye squinted shut, like the way your dog responds to the strange
sounds your stomach makes after a muy grande burrito for dinner.
You may think that you don’t have an existing CRM system, but if you’re
doing business with people and organizations, you must be keeping track of
them somewhere. Maybe it’s all in your accounting system. Maybe in a little
black book. There are some professions where the little black book is the de
facto method of CRM.
You need to take a good look at your current method for tracking your customers and consider its strengths, its weaknesses. Find out what kind of data
you’re tracking. Try to write it all down, or document it somehow, maybe in a
spreadsheet. Note features that you need to keep, features you want to keep,
and features you’d like to add with the new system. This is a good thing to do
even before you start shopping for a new CRM solution.
Keep in mind how the data relates to itself. In the strange and mysterious
world of relational data, there are only three basic types of relationships:
one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many. (Actually, there are four, but the
many-to-one relationship is just a one-to-many turned around.) Let’s look at
these in a little more detail. They are as follows:
Appendix A: Converting to Microsoft CRM
One-to-one: This one is simple. It’s like your social security number.
Unless you’re a spy or someone doing some very interesting tax reporting, you have only one, and it belongs to you only.
One-to-many: This is a little more complex. An example might be credit
cards. You have many, but each belongs to you only.
Many-to-one: Yeah, I said I wasn’t going mention it, but I have twice
already. A good example of a many-to-one relationship is your birthday.
You have only one (hopefully), but it isn’t just yours. Many people share
that birthday with you.
Many-to-many: Ah yes, the granddaddy of them all. This relationship will
allow you to make a bigger mess of your data faster than all the others.
Use with caution. However, it’s also the most flexible. An everyday illustration might be the relationship between a household and its vehicles.
A household may have many drivers and many cars, and any driver can
use any car. The thing is that with this kind of relationship the relationship generally goes through an intermediate entity, with this intermediate having a one-to-many relationship with the other two entities. In the
preceding example, the intermediate entity is actually the household,
and it has one-to-many relationships with both vehicles and drivers.
Okay, enough with the ugly data details.
Defining Expectations
Whether you’re working with a CRM professional or your own in-house
talent, this is the point where you really need to nail down your expectations.
Clearly understood expectations are critical to effective system design, implementation, and ultimately end user adoption. Don’t take anything for granted
and document everything. Everybody needs to be on the same page!
Start with the data. What do you need to track in the system and how is the
data related? Don’t look only at your current CRM solution, which might just
be Outlook or a series of Excel spreadsheets. Look at your paper forms. How
much of that data can you enter and track in CRM? Even if you scan and link
the document to a client record in CRM, you can’t effectively search on it or
report against it. Think how much easier it would be to fill out that form
online or to be able to print a nice typed copy of it instead of having to decipher someone’s handwritten interpretation of our Latin alphabet every time.
Keep in mind also that most CRM systems track much more than just clients.
They might also track employees, vendors, competitors, suppliers, strategic
allies, possibly even personal contacts, and more. In fact, with the release of
CRM 4, Microsoft has billed Dynamics as an XRM system, meaning that you
can use it as a general relationship management system in addition to the
typical client or contact management system.
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After fully exploring the specific information that you want to track for each
of your customers and any other relationships that you decide to keep track
of in CRM, you should look at process. If you have clearly defined business
processes, it will be easier to automate them using CRM than if you don’t. For
instance, you might have a business rule that states this: After a lead is qualified, we send the lead an information packet. Then one week later, the sales
representative calls or follows up with an e-mail to the lead, . . . and so on. In
Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you can automate most of this process. For
automation of your sales representative, on the other hand, look for the
upcoming Mind Control For Dummies.
Different installations have different priorities. Some companies have very
strict security policies and complex organizational structures, and others
have a very flat org chart and allow nearly everyone full access to the
system. Some may make extensive use of the product catalog and workflow,
and another might work mostly through a customized add-on.
For some organizations, help-desk support is a main part of their business;
these businesses can benefit from using cases. Cases are a way to track support requests, who handled them, and whether they need to be escalated to
senior technician.
For some organizations, reports are the ultimate end product of CRM. They
show them who is producing and who isn’t. What kind of marketing is working and what isn’t. Reporting also tends to be very dynamic. People like to
say, “We’ll just run a report on it.” As stated previously, you can’t run a report
on widget sales by color if you aren’t tracking the color.
Very few installations are actually comprehensive and make extensive use of
all the features of CRM.
A Word on Reports
As important as they are, not much has been said about reports. In fact,
reporting is probably one of the major reasons that organizations try to standardize their contact management.
Reporting can be a very enigmatic element of data management. More times
than not, a system is meticulously designed, implemented, tested, and then
rolled out, and users find out later that important information necessary to
key reports isn’t being tracked effectively.
Appendix A: Converting to Microsoft CRM
The point is that even if you have an in-house report writer who creates and
updates reports, you still need to keep the reports in the conversation for the
entire process. The project manager needs to know what kind of reporting
you’ll expect to be doing, even if the reports aren’t part of the project.
Some items to consider as part of the process of your business:
Templates
Territories
Business units
Workflow
Product catalog
Cases
Reports
Security
Customization
Designing the System
After you have all of your expectations hammered out, it’s time to design the
system. The design will be mostly on paper or, more likely, Excel, and will
generally be performed by a project manager if you’re working with a CRM
professional. If you’re doing this in-house, it will most likely be done by you.
The design process will include such mundane tasks as naming and labeling
all the attributes and possibly new entities with unique names. For instance,
you’ll most likely have a spreadsheet that lists all the entities and attributes
along with their system names, their “friendly” label names, as well as where
they will appear on forms and in relationships in CRM.
It will also include mappings for the data migration. There will be a list of
every discrete piece of information that will be coming from the old system
along with where it will be going in the new system — as well as the relational
information, so all of the linkages will remain intact.
It will also describe in great detail all of the elements in “defining expectations”
above.
The design will result in several documents, which you’ll then send to the
engineer(s), who will implement the design and bring the data in; these engineers may be the same person or they may be two or more individuals that
will work in parallel setting up the system and migrating the data.
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Implementing the Design
Okay, now that you have a highly defined design to work from, it’s time to
start implementation. Hopefully, you’re already working with a CRM professional at this point, but if you aren’t, this is the time to start.
At this point, it’s a good idea to stand up a demo or test system to begin
designing on. This might vary depending on how your CRM professional or
in-house IT staff works. Your CRM professional might set up a development
system at his site and give you remote access to it, or you might set one up at
your location. You might even just start developing on your production
system if your CRM professional or IT staff doesn’t expect the configuration
to be too complex. Regardless, there should be a system with demo data that
the developers can start configuring based on your design.
Testing the System
At some point, or more likely, several points, you or your staff will log in to
the system to test and sign off on certain functionality. It’s very important to
test as extensively as you can. One excellent, albeit time-consuming, way to
test is to spend a day using the new system and your existing system in parallel. That is, enter all of your activities, clients you work with, and so on in the
new system just as you’re entering them in the old system. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll learn through this exercise. Much of it will be minutia, but it will most likely be a real eye opener. Eventually, after several test
runs, the system will be complete. Well, complete for now. CRM systems
seem to continuously evolve.
Cleaning the Data
Data cleanup is a touchy subject. Qualified data experts can do nearly anything with the data, as long as they understand what the expected result is.
Unfortunately, they speak an entirely different language than most other
humans. Well, that’s not entirely true, but it can be difficult and frustrating for
someone from the sales world and someone from the data world to find
common ground. “Assign all clients in Atlanta to the Southeastern region”
means nothing to the data guy. He needs to know to insert a value of 7 into a
field named region when the date in the field named state is equal to GA and
the data in the field named city is equal to Atlanta, Alpharetta, . . . or a half
Appendix A: Converting to Microsoft CRM
dozen other suburbs. This is why the project manager and the documents
that come out of the design process are so important.
The rules for any data cleaning need to be very specific. “Delete all the old
unimportant stuff” will generally result in the data expert making no changes
because there isn’t enough information to work with. Part of the design
process should’ve been to decide which data isn’t being migrated to the new
system, as well as which is being migrated. Again, it’s important that expectations are clearly understood.
As well as removing the old unimportant stuff, this is an ideal time to finally
correct all the inconsistencies in your data, such as converting all of those
records where the city was entered as atl instead of Atlanta.
The process of cleaning the data will be tied to the entire data migration
process, and the experienced engineer will use the best tools he has at his
disposal. It might be best to perform some cleaning while the data is on the
existing system. Many engineers prefer to work with data in the SQL world
(SQL is a programming language commonly used for databases) and won’t
even bother looking at it on the existing system. They simply find a way to
export it, import it into a SQL database, and then go to work on it with the
tools they’re most familiar and skilled with. If you have this kind of skill inhouse, you may want your SQL expert to work on the data before turning it
over to the migration team.
Migrating the Data
After the design of the system is fully implemented and signed off on and the
data has been fully cleansed, the data will be imported. In many cases, the
data import will run in parallel with the design implementation. The import
engineer will probably work on a separate system that cleans, converts, and
maps the data.
It’s possible, especially on complex systems, that the data import overlaps
with the design implementation where small samples of data aren’t enough to
effectively test the system.
Your migration might take several, import, review, revise, and re-import
cycles. Hopefully, this has been accounted for in time and budget. The better
that communication is in the beginning, the smoother the process should be.
Don’t despair if the first time you log in to review the import, some data is
missing or misplaced.
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It is, however, another area where it’s important to scrutinize heavily. It can
be much more difficult to correct an import issue after the system has been
used for a few weeks or even a few days. You may also be billed for the work
if you’ve already signed off on the original import.
Your team will have many options on the data import. There is the built-in
import tool mentioned in Appendix B, as well as several third-party tools that
can be used for more complex importing.
Training the Staff
So you’ve completed the harrowing task of migrating your CRM system to
Microsoft CRM. You’ve tested the new installation heavily and gone through
all the data with a fine-toothed comb. Everything is perfect, but . . . you’re
really only half way there! Training your staff to effectively use the new
system is at least as important as all the technical work required to actually
migrate the data and processes to the new system.
How you train your staff will depend on a number of factors, with size, culture, and geographic dispersion being just a few.
Training can be done all at once in a room large enough to hold everyone or
online. For larger organizations, it can be done as part of a roll-out where different subsets of the organization are trained and go online with the new
installation on different dates.
For very large organizations, a train-the-trainer model can be used, where
regional or departmental representatives are trained first and then sent back
out into the field to train others.
Appendix B
Managing Your Data
In This Chapter
Defining and creating duplicate detection rules
Editing duplicate detection rules
Publishing and unpublishing detection rules
Importing and exporting data
W
hile the cloning debate rages in political circles, database users have
already decided, no clones, no duplicates!
In version 4, Microsoft CRM lets the system administrator determine the
rules an organization will use to determine what constitutes a duplicate
record. Microsoft CRM calls this Duplicate Detection.. The administrator can
add duplicate detection rules to any entity in the system, even custom entities. Duplicate detection rules are run behind the scenes when creating or
updating a record, going online with the Outlook client, or during data import.
This chapter discusses CRM’s ability to implement duplicate detection rules
and how to use those rules to manage your data.
Tips for Creating Duplicate
Detection Rules
Microsoft CRM uses the concept of match codes to determine duplicate
records. For example, if the duplicate detection rule for your contact consists
of the first four letters of the last name and the first three digits of the zip
code, the match code for John Smith, 123 Main Street Boston, MA 02111
would be SMIT021. Meaning, Sally Smith of 999 Tremont Street, Boston, MA
02111 would also be SMIT021. The records would match. Therefore, we suggest the following rules when setting up your match codes:
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Use a unique identifier whenever possible. This can be the e-mail
address of a contact or the account number of an account.
Keep your detection rules as simple as possible, or you’ll end up
detecting too many duplicates, slowing down data entry.
You can have more than one rule per entity, but do so sparingly.
After your rules are established, try not to change them. Changing
duplicate detection rules means match codes will be regenerated. This
could be slow when done against large entities.
Creating duplicate detection rules isn’t easy. You need to consider many variables when creating the match code. Remember, you’re creating a string of
data to match on. Should your rules be too strict, every record will match,
causing continuous duplicate detection prompts. (See Figure B-1.) If your
rules are too loose, many duplicates won’t be detectect and your database
will be full of duplicates.
Create rules that match your business best practices. For example, determine
how your users should import the account name. Should the account name
be: Department of Usually Micro Managed Important Executive Secretaries,
or DUMMIES, or D.U.M.M.I.E.S? Now imagine what your match code would be.
For the record: A best practice for account names is to use the organization’s
full name in the account name field — such as, Department of Usually Micro
Managed Important Executive Secretaries.
To Dot or Not to Dot, That Is the Question
The administrator can add a second field to the account form for the shorter,
abbreviated name. A second duplicate detection rule could monitor the short
name field. What’s next? Decide upon and create a best practice around
abbreviations. Should the short name be DUMMIES or D.U.M.M.I.E.S? Decide
at design time and have your users follow this best practice.
What do you do with Inc, Incorporated, Company, Co, LTD, and so on? Don’t
ask us — it’s up to you. It is your job to establish a corporate best practice.
You can have more than one rule per entity.
An on-change event that with the help of regular expressions helps to
enforce your corporate standards, however, is beyond the scope of this book.
To learn more about both on-change events and regular expressions, contact
your Microsoft CRM professional.
Appendix B: Managing Your Data
Defining Duplicate Detection Rules
So you and your users are ready to establish duplicate detection rules. Let’s
stop cloning around!
Before your duplicate detection rules can run, you need to enable duplicate
detection and define when the rules will fire. To do so, just follow these steps:
1. On the navigation pane, click the Settings button second up from the
bottom.
The Settings navigation options appear at the top of the navigation pane.
2. In the navigation pane, click the Data Management button.
Data Management options are now available on the right.
3. In the Data Management pane, click the Duplicate Detection Settings
link on the top left.
The Enable Duplicate Detection Settings dialog box opens. (Refer to
Figure B-1.)
Figure B-1:
Enable and
define when
duplicate
detection
rules will be
applied.
This dialog box includes a primary check box to enable duplicate
detection.
4. Select the Enable Duplicate Detection check box.
These three additional options activate:
• When a Record Is Created or Updated: This option turns duplicate
detection on when records are created or updated. However, only
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entities with detection rules active will actually be evaluated. See
the section, “Creating a Duplicate Detection Rule,” later in this
chapter to learn more.
• When Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook Goes from Offline to
Online: If you don’t have any users using CRM in offline mode,
don’t select this option.
• During Data Import: Select this check box if you regularly import
external data such as trade show attendees or purchased marketing lists. If your initial import doesn’t contain duplicates, don’t
select this option.
5. Select any of the check boxes that apply.
6. Click OK.
You still need to create the actual duplicate detection rules. This step simply
enables duplicate detection.
Creating a Duplicate Detection Rule
Because matching on a unique identifier is a great way to establish your rule,
we will create a contact rule based on the contact’s e-mail address. The wrinkle here is that your database will probably contain more than one e-mail
address. Microsoft CRM ships with three e-mail address fields for the contact.
Our rule will need to address all contact e-mail addresses.
Duplicate detection rules are created in a similar fashion to Advanced Find.
(See Chapter 26 for more on Advanced Find.)
To create a duplicate detection rule for the Contact entity, follow these steps:
1. In the Data Management area, click Duplicate Detection Rules.
The Duplicate Detection Area replaces data management.
2. Click New to create a new duplicate detection rule.
The Duplicate Detection Rule: New form opens. (See Figure B-2.) This
form has three tabs: General, Administration, and Notes.
All the action happens on the General tab, but you can explore the
Administration and Notes tabs on your own.
3. Fill out the required Name field.
We’re calling our rule “Contacts with the same e-mail addresses.”
Status Reason is a system field; you can skip it.
4. From the Base Record Type drop-down list, select Contact.
Appendix B: Managing Your Data
Figure B-2:
Create a
duplicate
detection
rule form.
5. From the Matching Record Type drop-down box, select Contact.
6. Mouse over Select in the Attribute area.
A list of contact attributes is displayed.
7. Select the E-mail Address option.
8. For Criteria, select Exact Match.
We want the e-mail addresses to match exactly. The other two choices
are Same First Characters and Same Last Characters. If either of these is
selected, the third box, No. of Characters, becomes available.
9. Repeat Steps 6-8 two more times with E-mail Address2 and E-mail
Address3.
You only have to add E-mail Address2 and E-mail address3 if those fields
are on the contact form, ergo you’re using those fields.
10. Click Save.
The matchcode that your rule generates can not exceed 450 characters. Plan
your rules accordingly. The bottom left of the Duplicate Detection Rule form
keeps a count for you. (Refer to Figure B-2.)
To publish a rule, follow these steps:
1. Click on the rule you want to publish
The rule is highlighted.
2. Click the Publish button on the menu bar.
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3. Click OK to begin the match code generation.
A prompt indicating that the rule is going to generate the match codes
while running in the background appears. (See Figure B-3.)
Figure B-3:
Publishing a
duplication
rule.
Should you decide that a published duplicate detection rule is not working as
you’d like, you can un-publish the rule. In doing so, the rule will not be run. To
unpublish a rule, follow these steps:
1. Click on a rule to be un-published.
2. On the toolbar, click More Actions.
3. Click Unpublish.
The Status Reason will remain Publishing until the match codes are generated. The Status Reason field changes to Published when the match
codes are generated.
Editing a Duplicate Detection Rule
To edit a duplicate detection rule for a contact (or any other entity), follow
these steps:
1. On the Navigation Bar, click Settings.
The settings menu is displayed in the top of the Navigation Bar.
2. In the top portion of the Navigation Bar, click Data Management.
The data management options are displayed.
3. In the Data Management area, click Duplicate Detection Rules.
The Duplicate Detection Area replaces Data Management.
4. Double Click on a duplicate detection rule to edit.
The Duplicate Detection Rule form opens.
5. Edit your rule as necessary.
Appendix B: Managing Your Data
6. Click the Save icon (The Blue Disk) or the Save and Close Icon.
You’ll be prompted with a message indicating that modifying the rule
necessitates a regeneration of match codes. The match codes will be
removed and the rule will be unpublished. (See Figure B-4.)
Figure B-4:
The
unpublish
prompt
when editing
a Duplicate
Detection
rule.
7. Click OK.
8. On the Menu Bar click Publish.
New match codes will be generated for the rule.
Only changes to the rule’s match code rules will result in unpublishing and
clearing of existing match codes. You can edit the Description or other fields
such as a the rule name, without regenerating the match code.
Putting the Rule to Work
If you’ve followed our instructions in the “Creating a Duplicate Detection
Rule” section, you can test out the new rule. To do that, create a contact with
a test e-mail address, such as test@test.com. Save and close the record.
Then create another contact with the same e-mail address. You’ll be
prompted with the Duplicate Detection dialog box. (See Figure B-5.)
The Duplicate Detection dialog box is split into two areas. The top is the
record you’re trying to create. The bottom half of the dialog box lists the
potential duplicate records.
The drop-down box at the top of the second portion shows the duplicate
detection rule or rules that triggered the dialog box. Below that are the
potential duplicate records.
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Figure B-5:
The
Duplicate
Detection
dialog box.
Here are some tips about manipulating records:
To open a possible duplicate record: Double-click the record or select
Edit from the Action button on the menu bar.
To activate or deactivate records: Click the More Actions button and
select Activate or Deactivate.
To activate or deactivate multiple records: Ctrl+click all the appropriate records’ rows in the grid and select Activate or Deactivate.
To affect all the records in the grid: Click the check box on the top left
of the grid first.
To delete a record: Highlight the record and click the X icon on the
menu bar.
Importing and Exporting
With the duplicate detection rules in place, you’re now ready to import
records into Microsoft CRM. Microsoft CRM 4 Import/Export Wizard allows
importation to any and all entities in the system. This is an enhancement
over prior versions. To import data, keep in mind the following:
Appendix B: Managing Your Data
The file to import must be a CSV file.
When mapping to a drop-down list, the source values need to be
mapped to drop-down list items.
When the import has finished, you have the option of receiving an automated e-mail indicating that the import has finished.
For our example, we import sample data collected at a trade show. The trade
show data was collected by the marketing team working the trade show
booth. When they returned to the office they provided us with a file called
tradeshow.csv.
Because the data is coming from a trade show, we will import the records
into the Lead entity. You can import into other entities, but the process is
the same.
The trade show list import is subject to the duplicate detection rules you
create earlier in this chapter.
Creating data maps
Microsoft CRM uses data maps to translate the incoming data to the proper
fields in Microsoft CRM. A data map is simply the mapping of the source
fields (the data you wish to import) with the target fields (the fields in
Microsoft CRM where the data will be going). The Import Wizard is based on
a data map. So the first step is to create a data map. To create a data map for
an account, follow these steps:
1. In the Navigation Bar Click Settings.
The Settings options show at the top of the Navigation Bar.
2. Click Data Management on the top of Navigation Bar.
The Data Map area replaces Data Management.
3. In the Data Management area, click Data Maps.
The Data Map area replaces Data Management.
4. Click New in the upper left corner.
The Data Map: New form opens. (See Figure B-6.)
5. Give the map a name in the Name field.
In this example, we use ABC Trade Show Leads.
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Figure B-6:
The Data
Map: New
form.
6. Make sure that the value in the Record Type drop-down list is Lead.
You use the drop-down list to select the target entity —– the entity
where the data will reside., such as Contact.
7. Provide a description in the Description field.
8. Click Save at the top left of the form.
9. On the left navigation pane, click Attributes.
The Attributes form is displayed on the right.
10. On the bottom left, click the Load Sample Data button.
Browse to the CSV file that you’re importing. (In our case, it’s called ABC
Trade Show Leads.csv.)
The Attributes section is now split into two sections: Source on the left
and Target on the right. (See Figure B-7.)
Source is further split into two columns: Column Headings and Mapped
Target Attributes.
11. On the Source side, map the items under Column Headings with the
appropriate fields in the Target column. Highlight the source row to
map, find the appropriate target row item, and click the Map button
on the bottom right.
Appendix B: Managing Your Data
Figure B-7:
Detailed
view of
attribute
mapping.
The required fields in the Microsoft CRM have a red asterisk to the right
of the field name.
Double-clicking the target item also maps it to the highlighted source row.
If you’re importing to the Lead entity, Topic is a required field. Add a
Topic column to your import CSV file and add copy a topic to each
record.
If your source data has fields being mapped to drop-down list fields, the
source values need to be mapped to the values in Microsoft CRM.
12. Click List Values on the left navigation pane.
The List Attributes form appears.
The left panel lists the drop-down fields that were mapped in Step 11. On
the right, there are two boxes. The top box lists the distinct values in the
source file. The box on the bottom lists the options in Microsoft CRM.
13. Highlight a source value in the top box and a corresponding value in
the bottom box and click Map below. Repeat for all fields on the left.
14. When all attributes and list values are mapped, click Save and Close
on the menu bar at the top of the form.
The data map is completed.
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Editing data maps
If your data map needs to be updated or edited, follow these steps:
1. In the Navigation Bar Click Settings.
The Settings options show at the top of the Navigation Bar.
2. Click Data Management on the top of Navigation Bar.
The Data Map area replaces Data Management.
3. In the Data Management area, click Data Maps.
The Data Map area replaces Data Management.
4. Find the Data Map in the grid and double-click.
The data map form opens.
5. Double Click a Data Map.
The data map form opens.
Edit the items in in much the same way you created the map. Refer to steps
9–14 in the section, “Creating Data Maps,” above.
Importing records
To import records you first need a data map. The data map created earlier
maps where the source data will go in Microsoft CRM, but until you actually
import the data, it remains in the CSV file where it currently resides. To
import records, follow these steps:
1. From the menu bar at the top of the screen, choose Tools➪Import
Data.
The Import Records Wizard launches. (See Figure B-8.)
2. Click the Browse button and browse to the file containing the data to
be imported.
3. Click Next.
4. In the Record Type drop-down list, select the target source.
In our example, you’ll select Account.
Appendix B: Managing Your Data
Figure B-8:
Importing
data with
the wizard.
5. In the data map box, select your map from the lookup box.
Clicking New from the data map lookup form is another way to add a
new data map. For details see the section, “Creating a New Data Map,”
earlier in this chapter.
It’s best if the field headings in the source file match the field names in
the target columns. If not, there’s a chance the import will fail.
6. Click Next.
7. Determine who the record owner will be.
The assign to lookup will set the owner of the imported records. By
default it is set to the importing user, but can be changed here.
8. Choose Do Not Duplicate if you’ve created a duplicate detection rule
(if not, and you want a rule, review the beginning of this chapter) or if
you’re interested in duplicate records, choose Import Duplicates.
9. Name the import rule and select the Notification check box if you’d
like an e-mail notification when the job is completed.
10. Click Import.
To review the import job status, just follow these steps:
1. On the navigation bar, click Settings.
2. In the Settings area, click Data Management.
The data management options are displayed on the right.
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3. Click Imports.
4. Double Click an Import.
The Import Source form opens. (See Figure B-9.)
5. On the left navigation pane, Click <<Entity>> Created.
A list of records created is displayed (Leads in our example).
6. On the navigation bar Click Failures.
A list of failed records is displayed.
7. If desired, Click Export Error Rows on the toolbar.
The failed records will be exported to Excel.
8. Close the form when done.
Figure B-9:
System Job
Information.
Exporting and re-importing data
There are several reasons to export data from Microsoft CRM. A common
request is to export certain data from Microsoft CRM to further manipulate in
Excel, which is covered in Chapter 10.
Appendix B: Managing Your Data
However, a new feature in Microsoft CRM is the ability to export data, update
the data, and re-import the changed data. This feature has been added to the
Export to Excel function. The fields that are available to update are those that
are in the grid view. To export, update, and re-import, follow these steps:
1. When viewing a grid of data, click the Excel icon on the toolbar.
The Export to Excel dialog box opens.
2. At the top of the box, select Static Worksheet with Records from this
Page.
3. At the bottom of the form, select the Make this Data Available for
Re-Import by Including Required Columns check box.
4. Click Open when prompted.
5. Edit the Excel spreadsheet and Save it as a CSV file.
6. From the menu bar at the top of the screen, choose Tools➪Import
Data.
The Import Records Wizard launches. (See Figure B-6.)
7. Click the Browse button and browse to the file containing the data to
be imported.
8. Click Next.
9. Ensure that the Enrich Data by Updating Existing Records Rather
Than Creating New Records check box is selected.
10. Click Next twice.
11. Name the import rule and select the Notification check box if you’d
like an e-mail notification when the job is completed.
12. Click Import.
Fields not contained in the grid can’t be updated. To update these fields,
ask your system administrator to add those fields.
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Index
•A•
abbreviations, duplicate detection rules
and, 374
access levels, defining security, 91–92
Account: New window
adding to marketing lists via, 232–233
Administration tab, 169–170, 224–227
Details tab, 167–169
General tab, 167–168
Notes tab, 170–171, 192–193
accounting, integrating with MS CRM,
11–12
accounts. See also contacts
account records
accessing, 167
for competitors, 165
editing, 166–167
finding using Advanced Find, 41–44,
174–175
finding using Find, 172–173
parent/child records, 171
adding, 166–167
assigning
to account managers, 103–108
to other users, 175–176
to territories, 67–68
warning, 175
deactivating, 175
defined, 10, 165
deleting, 175
methods for contacting, 224–227
sharing, 176–177
subaccounts, 166, 171
Accounts window, 32–33
activities
assigned to queues, accepting, 331–332
assigning to queues, 328, 331
associating with cases, 291–292
auto-assigned to queues, 329
campaign activities. See also campaigns
Channel options, 251–252
closing, 258–259
defining, 250–255
distributing, 255–258
defined, 179, 290
deleting, 188
editing appointments, 37
enactable in workflows, 115–116
finding, 183
managing without Outlook
assigning to others, 186–188
completing, 188–189
limitations of, 180–181
scheduling for others, 186
scheduling for yourself, 184–185
viewing your activities, 182–183
viewing your calendar, 181–182
processing, 323
scheduling appointments, 36–37
service activities, 181
types of, 182–183
warning, 188
workflow rules and, 179
Activities window
accessing, 182
versus calendar, 184
changing columns, 183
Look For field, 183
navigating, 36–37
sorting activities, 183
View menu, 183
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Add Marketing Lists to Campaign dialog
box, 254
add-on products
to access expert advice, 354
to automate processes, 351–352
c360, 271–273, 352–353
CanDoGo, 354
criteria for selecting, 349–350
to display data graphically, 354
FusionCharts, 354
to generate alerts, 351–352
Google Toolbar spell-checker, 350–351
to increase productivity, 352–353
to integrate with Web sites, 271–273,
352–353
KnowledgeSync, 68, 116, 351–352
to migrate/manipulate data, 353
Neocase, 354
Powertrak from Axonom, 274, 353
product review site, 349–350
SalesCentric, 354
Scribe, 353
TaskCentre, 351–352
to upgrade customer service, 354
warning, 350
Addresses tab, Quote: New window, 201
addresses in user profiles, 59
Administration tab
Account: New window, 169–170, 224–227
Campaign: New window, 247
Contact: New window, 224–227
Contract Line: New window, 343
Lead: New window, 224–227
Quote: New window, 201–202
Administration window, 139–141
administrative reports, 118
Advanced Find feature. See also Find
feature; Look For field; searching
accessing, 41
adding to marketing lists using, 229–230,
233–235
Back to Query button, 44
Boolean operators, 173
Clear button, 304
defined, 41–44, 173–175
versus Find, 173
finding
account records, 41–44, 174–175
cases, 281
competitors, 213
finding entities related to subjects
cases, 303–305
products, 309
sales literature, 310
Look For field, 41–42, 303–304
versus marketing lists, 227
personalizing searches, 50
removing marketing list records using,
237–239
Select options, 304
Show/Hide Details buttons, 303–304
Use Saved View field, 41–42, 43, 303–304
alerts, defined, 216
alerts, generating, 351–352
announcements, posting, 37–38
application modules, 34–35
Appointment: New window, 36–37, 184–185
appointments. See activities
Article: New window, 306–307, 316
Article Template Properties dialog box,
313–314
Article: Templates window, 313
articles. See knowledge base
Assign Opportunity dialog box, 159
assigning
accounts
to account managers, 103–108
to other users, 175–176
to territories, 67–68
activities to others, 186–188
activities to queues, 328, 329–331
cases to users or queues, 288–289
contract lines to cases, 345
contracts to cases, 344–345
Index
opportunities to another user, 159–160
records to team members, 95, 99
security roles to users, 94
tasks to individuals, 12
teams to business units, 72–73
users to teams, 60, 73–74
associating. See also relating
activities with cases, 291–292
campaigns
with marketing lists, 254–256
with products, 253
with sales literature, 253–254
quotes with opportunities, 203
attachments. See also notes
adding notes as, 194–195
defined, 191–193
deleting, 195–196
warning, 191
attribute mapping, 382–383
authors site, book, 364
autocomplete feature in Lookup fields,
282–283
automating processes. See also workflow
rules
using KnowledgeSync add-on, 351–352
sales force automation systems, 9, 277
using TaskCentre add-on, 351–352
Axonom add-on product, 274, 353
•B•
base units, 80, 81
blogs, 355, 357
Boolean operators, 173
Bosworth, Michael T., 218
business processes. See also sales
processes
alerts, 216
assigning tasks, 12
escalation, 13, 217–218
feedback, 13
reporting and measuring, 13, 218
workflow rules and, 12–13, 215–216
business units
assigning teams to, 72–73
defined, 59, 63, 69–70
setting up, 70–71
versus teams, 69
Business Units window, 70–71
business-recommended fields, 68
business-required fields, 68
•C•
c360 add-on product, 271–273, 352–353
calendar
versus Activities window, 184
personalizing default views, 52–53
viewing without Outlook, 181–182
Campaign Activity: New window, 250–251
Campaign: New window
accessing, 245–246
Administration tab, 247
Financials tab, 247–248
General tab, 246–247
Notes tab, 247
Campaign Response: New window, 260–261
campaigns
associating with
marketing lists, 254–256
products, 253
sales literature, 253–254
benefits of using MS CRM for, 244–245
campaign activities
Channel options, 251–252
closing, 258–259
defining, 250–255
distributing, 255–258
creating, 245–248
defined, 243
Do Not Allow option and, 258
failures, 258
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campaigns (continued)
planning, 244–245
planning tasks for, 248–250
quick campaigns
creating, 263–265
defined, 226
versus marketing campaigns, 226
viewing results, 265–266
recording responses to, 260–262
relating to each other, 262–263
reporting on, 263
CanDoGo add-on product, 354
Case: New window
General tab
Assignment Information area, 284
Contract/Product Information area,
284–285
Lookup fields autocomplete feature,
282–283
Overview area, 282–284
Notes and Article tab
defined, 285
Knowledge Base Article area, 286–287
Notes area, 285
opening, 281
cases. See also customers
assigned to queues, accepting, 290–291,
331–332
assigning contracts to, 344–345
assigning to users or queues, 288–289
associating activities with, 291–292
attaching articles to, 286–287
completing, 292
creating by customers, 272
creating from e-mail in queues, 268–270
defined, 34, 278
filtering, 280
finding
cases related to subjects, 303–305
using Advanced Find, 281, 303–305
using Look For field, 280
logging time spent resolving, 291–293
management before CRMs, 277
management path, 278–279
processing, 323
reactivating, 294
related to subjects, viewing, 303–305
relating to subjects, 302–303
resolving, 292–294
sorting, 280
view options, 280
viewing by customers, 272–273
warning, 292
Cases window
Advanced Find feature, 281
column headings, 280
defined, 278–279
Look For field, 280
opening, 279
View menu, 280
child account records, 171
Clear button in Advanced Find, 304
Close Campaign Activity dialog box, 259
closing. See also completing
campaign activities, 258–259
opportunities, 162–163
CMS (contact management system), 9
competitors
account records for, 165
adding and tracking, 213–214
associating sales literature with, 212–213
finding, 213
completing. See also closing
activities, 188–189
cases, 292
conditions, workflow and, 114–115
Confirm Distribution dialog box, 257–258
Confirm Submittal dialog box, 318
Contact: New window
adding to marketing lists via, 232–233
Administration tab, 224–227
Index
contacts. See also accounts
contact records
accessing, 35–36
adding manually, 166
defined, 165
importing, 166
Parent Account fields in, 166
warning, 166
defined, 10, 165
methods for contacting, 224–227
tracking, 10
context-sensitivity, 29
Contract Line: New window
accessing, 342
Administration tab, 343
General tab, 341–343
Notes tab, 343
Contract: New window
accessing, 337
Details tab, 339
General tab, 337–339
Contract Template: New window, 334–336
contracts
active status, 336
assigning to cases, 344–345
cancelled status, 337, 344
contract lines
adding to contracts, 341–343
assigning to cases, 345
defined, 339, 341
sorting list of, 343
copying, 340–341
creating contract templates, 334–336
creating drafts, 337–341
defined, 334
draft status, 336
expired status, 337, 344
on hold status, 337, 344
invoiced status, 336
moving drafts to invoiced status, 343–344
MS CRM tracking of, 343
renewing, 337, 344
warning, 336
contrast, personalizing display, 51
Convert Campaign Response form, 261–262
Convert Lead dialog box, 153–155
Convert Utility tool, 27
converting leads to opportunities, 155–156
converting quotes to orders, 204–205
copying contracts, 340–341
Create New Phone Calls dialog box,
256–257
Create Order dialog box, 204–205
Create Quick Campaign Wizard, 264–265
CRM (customer relationship management)
systems. See also Microsoft Dynamics
CRM 4
defined, 9
most important features of, 215
online resources on, 364
prime benefit of, 277
systems previous to, 9, 277
CSRs (customer service representatives).
See also service managers
managing cases, 278–279
managing queues, 324
Currencies setting, 65
currency formats, 53–54
currency types, 51
customer service, add-on to upgrade, 354
customer service cases. See cases
customer value, 277
customers
adding to opportunities, 162
c360 add-on and, 272, 273
communicating with, 10–11
defined, 10
e-mail from, sending to queues, 267–268
e-mailing articles to, 286–287
giving access to cases, 272–273
giving tasks feedback to, 13
retaining, 14
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•D•
data. See also records
add-on to display graphically, 354
add-on to import/manipulate, 353
cleaning, 370–371
duplicate detection rules
abbreviations and, 374
creating, 373–374, 376–377
defining when to run, 375–376
editing, 378–379
enabling, 375
manipulating duplicates, 380
overview, 373
publishing, 377–378
testing, 379–380
unpublishing, 378, 379
warning, 377
exporting to Excel, updating, and reimporting, 386–387
forecast, exporting to Excel, 146–147
importing into MS CRM
creating data maps before, 381–383
editing data maps, 384
overview, 380–381
re-importing updated data, 387
reviewing status of, 385–386
using Import Wizard, 384–385
warning, 385
saving, 31
sharing with team members
assigning records, 95, 99
defining teams, 95
overview, 95–96
sharing records, 95–98
streamlining, 100
unsharing records, 95–99
synchronizable types, 27
synchronization enhancements, 28
synchronizing, 25–26
data access, offline. See Outlook, offline
client
data access in Live versus On-Premise
versions, 16–17
data entry enhancements, 27
Data Map: New form, 381–383
data maps, 381–384
databases, relational, 366–367
date/time formats, 53–54
deleting. See also removing
accounts, 175
activities, 188
articles, 320
attachments, 195–196
duplicate records, 380
leads, 154
notes, 195
opportunities, 164
Details tab
Account: New window, 167–169
Appointment: New window, 185
Contract: New window, 339
developer resources, 362
Diagnostic Tool enhancements, 27
discount lists, 77–79
Discount Lists window, 78
Do Not Allow option, 225–227, 258
Document window, 210
Domain Logon Name, 59
drilling down into reports, 123
drilling down into subjects, 299–300
Duplicate Detection Rule: New window,
376–377
duplicate detection rules. See also data;
workflow rules
abbreviations and, 374
creating, 373–374, 376–377
defining when to run, 375–376
editing, 378–379
enabling, 375
manipulating duplicate records, 380
overview, 373
publishing, 377–378
testing, 379–380
Index
unpublishing, 378, 379
warning, 377
Duplicate Detection Settings dialog box,
375–376
Duplicates Detected dialog box, 379–380
exporting, updating, and re-importing
data, 386–387
exporting forecast data, 146–147
exporting, printing as, 124
exporting reports to other file formats, 124
•E•
•F•
e-mail
bulk/direct/blast/opt-in e-mail, 54
customer, sending to queues, 267–268
overview, 11
in queues, creating cases from, 268–270
in queues, creating leads from, 270
in scheduling activities for others, 186
warning, 54
e-mail address of book authors, 5
e-mail templates, personalizing, 54–55
e-mail tracking, personalizing, 55–56
e-mailing articles to customers, 286–287
editing. See also modifying
account records, 166–167
appointments, 37
data maps, 384
default report filters, 119, 122
duplicate detection rules, 378–379
knowledgebase articles, 318
marketing lists, 235–236
reports, 131–132
sales literature, 211–212
subjects, 300–301
Enable Duplicate Detection Settings dialog
box, 375–376
Enterprise Server license, 19
error reporting to Microsoft,
personalizing, 56
escalation, 13, 217–218
events, workflow and, 114
Excel 2007 For Dummies (Harvey), 146
Export to Excel feature
creating Excel records, 132–134
enhancements, 28, 387
faxing, 11
feedback, giving customers, 13
filtering. See also searching
cases, 280
records, 32, 38
reports, 119, 121
running reports without, 119–120
versus searching, 39
filters, editing default report, 119, 122
Financials tab in Campaign: New window,
247, 248
Find feature. See also Advanced Find; Look
For field; searching
accessing, 172
versus Advanced Find, 173
finding accounts by name, 172–173
searching for report text, 123
fiscal year settings, 137–139
follow-up rules, 110–112
Form Assistant, searching with, 40–41
forums, 361
FusionCharts add-on product, 354
•G•
General tab
Account: New window, 167, 168
Campaign: New window, 246–247
Case: New window
Assignment Information area, 284
Contract/Product Information area,
284–285
Overview area, 282–284
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General tab (continued)
Contract Line: New window, 341–343
Contract: New window, 337–339
Duplicate Detection Rule: New window,
376–377
Lead: New window, 151–152
Quote: New window, 198–200
Google Toolbar spell-checker add-on,
350–351
graphic data display, add-on products
for, 354
•H•
Harvey, Greg, 146
help. See also add-on products; Web site
addresses
built-in help
blogs, 357
forums, 361
Help menu, 356–357
newsgroups, 358–361
overview, 355
Resource Center, 357–358
outside services
book’s authors, 364
for developers, 362
general CRM resources, 364
Microsoft service/support plans, 363
Microsoft software assurance, 363
MS CRM partners, 361
MS CRM training, 362–363
overview, 355–356
Hide Details button in Advanced Find,
303–304
house-holding, 353
•I•
Import Source File form, 386
importing data
contact records, 166
creating data maps before, 381–383
editing data maps, 384
using Import Wizard, 166, 384–385
overview, 380–381
re-importing updated exported data, 387
reviewing status of, 385–386
using Scribe add-on, 353
warnings, 166, 385
when migrating to MS CRM, 371–372
instant messaging, 186
invoices. See also orders; quotes
accounting software and, 206
generating from orders, 205
overview, 197
•K•
knowledge base (KB)
articles
accessing via c360 portal, 272–273
approving, 318–319
attaching to cases, 286–287
creating drafts, 315–317
defined, 305, 311
deleting, 320
Draft folder, 315
e-mailing to customers, 286–287
editing, 318
overview, 314–315
Published folder, 315, 319–320
rejecting, 319
related to subjects, viewing, 308
relating to subjects, 305–308, 316
searching for in Case: New window,
286–287
searching for in KB window, 320–322
submitting drafts for approval, 317–318
Unapproved folder, 315, 318
unpublishing, 320
defined, 311
Index
organizing, 311–312
preventing chaos, 314
templates
creating, 312–314
default templates, 312–313
defined, 311
selecting, 305–306, 316
Knowledge Base window, 315
KnowledgeSync add-on product, 68, 116,
351–352
•L•
language options, 57
Lead: New window
adding to marketing lists via, 232–233
Contact Methods settings, 224–227
entering data in, 151–152
leads. See also opportunities
converting to opportunities, 155–156
creating from e-mail in queues, 270
defined, 149
deleting, 154
disqualifying, 153–154
entering manually, 150–152
methods for contacting, 224–227
modifying, 152
reactivating, 154–155
sources of, 150
viewing, 152–153
warning, 154
Leads window, 30–31, 150–151
linking. See relating; associating
Live versus On-Premise versions. See also
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4
data access, 16–17
defined, 15
overview, 1, 15–16
security, 16
total cost of ownership, 17
Look For field. See also Advanced Find
feature; Find feature; searching
in Advanced Find, 41–42, 303–304
finding activities using, 183
finding cases using, 280
in Look Up Records dialog box, 330
Look Up Articles dialog box, 286–287
Look Up Records dialog box
adding marketing list members, 229–233
adding users to territories, 67
defined, 40
searching for queues, 330
lookup fields (magnifying glass icon)
autocomplete feature, 282–283
search enhancement, 27
searching with, 40
•M•
magnifying glass icon. See lookup fields
mail merge enhancements, 27
mail merges from marketing lists, 239–241
Manage Members form, 230
Manage Quotas dialog box, 140–141
Manager module. See also workflow rules
accessing, 103
creating automatic rules, 103–108
creating manual rules, 110–112
defined, 102
managers
account managers, 103–108
personal information managers, 9
service managers, 324, 329
of users, viewing, 217
marketing campaigns. See campaigns
marketing lists
adding members
using Advanced Find, 229–230, 233–235
from Lead/Contact/Account forms,
232–233
using Look Up Records, 229–233
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marketing lists (continued)
versus Advanced Find, 227
associating campaigns with, 254–256
creating, 228–229
database design and, 223–224
defined, 223, 244
Do Not Allow option, 225–227
editing, 235–236
merging mail from, 239–241
removing records from, 236–239
seeing number of records in, 232
setting contact method options, 224–227
warning, 225
Marketing Lists window, 228
Marketing module
Accounts window, 32
Campaigns window, 245
Leads window, 30–31, 150
Marketing Lists window, 228
navigating to, 34–35
overview, 34
Sales Literature window, 207–211
marketing reports, 118
measuring business processes, 13, 218
merging mail from marketing lists, 239–241
Microsoft CRM SDK (Software Developers
Kit), 271, 274
Microsoft CustomerSource portal, 363
Microsoft Dynamics, 11
Microsoft Dynamics Code Gallery, 362
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4. See also CRM
accessing, 34
accessing via offline Outlook client
defined, 21, 25
overview, 18
synchronizing data, 25–26
accessing via online Outlook client
CRM menu options, 24–25
CRM toolbar, 22–23
defined, 21–22
Outlook Shortcuts folders, 23
accessing via Web client, 21, 26
add-on products
to access instant expert advice, 354
to automate processes, 351–352
c360, 271–273, 352–353
CanDoGo, 354
criteria for selecting, 349–350
to display data graphically, 354
FusionCharts, 354
to generate alerts, 351–352
Google Toolbar spell-checker, 350–351
to import/manipulate data, 353
to increase productivity, 352–353
to integrate with Web sites, 271–273,
352–353
KnowledgeSync, 68, 116, 351–352
Neocase, 354
Powertrak from Axonom, 274, 353
product review site, 349–350
SalesCentric, 354
Scribe, 353
TaskCentre, 351–352
to upgrade customer service, 354
warning, 350
allowing external access to, 271–274
application modules, 34–36
business processes setup, 12–13
contact tracking, 10
context-sensitive elements, 29
customer communications, 10–11
customer retention, 14
evolution of, 9
goals for implementing, 14
implementing pilot programs, 15
integration with accounting, 11–12
integration with Web sites
creating cases from e-mail in queues,
268–270
creating leads from e-mail in queues, 270
creating records using MS CRM SDK,
271, 274
overview, 267
Index
sending customer e-mail to queues,
267–268
warning, 271
via Web portals/connectors, 271–274,
352–353
limitations, 180–181
Live versus On-Premise versions
data access, 16–17
defined, 15
overview, 1, 15–16
security, 16
total cost of ownership, 17
migrating to
cleaning the data, 370–371
considering reporting, 368–369
defining expectations, 367–368
designing the system, 369
evaluating current system, 366–367
implementing the design, 370
importing the data, 371–372
overview, 365–366
testing the system, 370
training the staff, 372
mobile functionality, 18
needs analysis for, 14
offline data access, 18
Outlook client enhancements
Convert Utility tool, 27
data entry, 27
Diagnostic Tool, 27
Export to Excel features, 28
mail merge, 27
offline synchronization, 28
overview, 26
record searches, 27
Regarding feature, 27
Report Wizard, 27–28
reporting services, 27–28
synchronizable data types, 27
user interface, 27
overview, 1–2
personalizing
advanced searches, 50
currency type, 51
default calendar view, 52–53
default start page, 49–50
default work hours, 53
display contrast, 51
e-mail templates, 54–55
e-mail tracking, 55–56
error reporting to Microsoft, 56
language, 57
number/currency/time/date formats,
53–54
overview, 47–48
records per page, 50
roles, 51
time zones, 50–51
workplace, 51
Planning Guide, 13–15
pop-up blockers and, 34
Resource Center, 44
server licenses
Enterprise, 19
migrating to other versions, 19
overview, 18
Professional, 19
Workgroup, 18–19
signing on, 33–34
terminology, 10
user profile settings
addresses, 59
Details group and, 59
general information, 59
overview, 57–59
security roles, 60
Service group and, 59
team assignments, 60
work hours, 60–61
workflows, 61
using successfully, 20
using without Outlook, 180–181
warning, 180
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Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 For Dummies
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 (continued)
workflow rules, 12–13
workplace screen
context-sensitivity of, 30
defined, 29–30
editing appointments, 37
getting back to, 34
navigation buttons, 30
navigation pane, 30–31
posting announcements, 37–38
scheduling appointments, 36–37
status bar, 31
windows, 30–33
as XRM system, 367
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Dev Center, 362
Microsoft Outlook. See Outlook
Microsoft service/support plans, 363
Microsoft software assurance plan, 363
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting
Services, 124, 130
migrating to MS CRM. See also Microsoft
Dynamics CRM 4
cleaning the data, 370–371
considering reporting, 368–369
defining expectations, 367–368
designing the system, 369
evaluating current system, 366–367
implementing the design, 370
importing the data, 371–372
overview, 365–366
testing the system, 370
training the staff, 372
mobile functionality, 18
modifying. See also editing
leads, 152
report display size, 123
Monitor module. See also workflow rules
defined, 102, 113
monitoring rules, 113
setting monitoring options, 61
•N•
navigation buttons, 30
navigation pane, 30–31
needs analysis, 14
Neocase add-on product, 354
nesting subjects, 295
.NET assemblies, 116
networked mode, 1
newsgroups, 358–361
notes. See also attachments
adding as attachments, 194–195
creating, 191–193
defined, 191
deleting, 195
grammar/spell checking, 192
warning, 191
Notes and Article tab
Case: New window
defined, 285
Knowledge Base Article area, 286–287
Notes area, 285
Notes tab
Account: New window, 170–171, 192–193
Appointment: New window, 185
Campaign: New window, 247
Contract Line: New window, 343
overview, 191
number format options, 53–54
•O•
object-based security. See security, internal
offline data access. See Outlook, offline
client
online Outlook client. See Outlook, online
client
On-Premise versus Live versions. See also
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4
data access, 16–17
defined, 15
overview, 1, 15–16
Index
security, 16
total cost of ownership, 17
operators, Boolean, 173
opportunities. See also leads; sales
forecasts
adding customers to, 162
assigning, 159–160
associating quotes with, 203
closing, 162–163
converting leads to, 149, 155–156
creating records, 149, 156–158
defined, 149
deleting, 164
linking to activities or files, 161
Relationships function and, 162
reopening, 163–164
sales processes and, 219
sharing records, 159–160
updating records, 158
warning, 160
workflow rules and, 162
Opportunities window, 35, 141–142
opportunity reports, 145
orders. See also invoices; quotes
accounting software and, 206
converting quotes to, 204–205
generating invoices from, 205
overview, 197
Outlook
client enhancements
Convert Utility tool, 27
data entry, 27
Diagnostic Tool, 27
Export to Excel features, 28
mail merge, 27
offline synchronization, 28
overview, 26
record searches, 27
Regarding feature, 27
Report Wizard, 27–28
reporting services, 27–28
synchronizable data types, 27
user interface, 27
offline client
defined, 21, 25
overview, 18
synchronizing data, 25–26
online client
CRM menu options, 24–25
CRM toolbar, 22–23
defined, 21, 22
Outlook Shortcuts folders, 23
•P•
Parent Account fields in contact
records, 166
parent account records, 171
partners, MS CRM, 361
Peri, Jagan, 268
phone numbers
Axonom, 353
c360, 353
pilot programs, implementing, 15
PIMs (personal information managers), 9
pipeline reports, 145
Planning Guide for MS CRM, 13–14, 15
pop-up blockers, 34
Powertrak add-on from Axonom, 274, 353
price lists, 82–85
Price Lists window, 83
price quotes. See quotes
printing
as exporting, 124
overview, 11
quotes, 203–204
reports, 124
processing, defined, 323
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Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 For Dummies
product catalogs
adding products, 85–88
creating
discount lists, 77–79
price lists, 82–85
in Product Catalog window, 76–77
unit groups, 80–82
overview, 75–76
product kits, 86
product substitutes, 86
products
associating campaigns with, 253
related to subjects, viewing, 309
relating to subjects, 308–309
vertically-oriented products, 353
Products window, 309
Professional Server license, 19
profiles. See user profile settings
proposals versus quotes, 198
prospects, 149
Published articles folder, 315, 319–320
publishing duplicate detection rules,
377–378
•Q•
Queue: New window, 327–328
queues
accepting activities/cases assigned to,
331–332
activities auto-assigned to, 329
assigning activities to, 328–331
creating, 326–328
creating cases from e-mail in, 268–270
creating leads from e-mail in, 270
defined, 65, 323–324
designing, 324, 326
personal/public queues, 325
sending customer e-mail to, 267–268
service managers/CSRs for, 324, 329
Queues window
accessing, 326
My Work queue, 325
Queues area, 325, 326
quick campaigns. See also campaigns
creating, 263–265
defined, 226
versus marketing campaigns, 226
viewing results, 265–266
Quick Campaigns window, 265–266
quotas. See sales quotas
Quote: New window
accessing, 198
Addresses tab, 201
Administration tab, 201–202
General tab, 198–200
Shipping tab, 200
quotes. See also invoices; orders
accounting software and, 206
activating, 202
associating with opportunities, 203
converting to orders, 204–205
creating, 198–202
overview, 197–198
printing, 203–204
versus proposals, 198
•R•
recording campaign responses, 260–262
records. See also data
accessing in application modules, 35–36
assigning, 95, 99
creating using MS CRM SDK, 271, 274
filtering, 32
per page, personalizing, 50
previewing, 32–33
related to reports, 130
search enhancements, 27
selecting, 33
sharing, 95–98
sorting, 33
Index
unsharing, 95–99
viewing, 32–33
warning, 225
Regarding feature, 27
Related Campaigns window, 262–263
relating. See also associating
campaigns to each other, 262–263
opportunities to activities or files, 161
to subjects
articles, 305–308, 316
cases, 302–303
overview, 301–302
products, 308–309
sales literature, 310
Relationships function, 162
removing. See also deleting
marketing list records, 236–239
reports from report area, 132
subjects, 301
Report: New dialog box, 125
Report Wizard
accessing, 125–126
creating reports, 117, 126–129
editing reports, 131–132
enhancements, 27–28
overview, 117
reporting
on business processes, 13
enhancements in, 27–28
in migrating to MS CRM, 368–369
reports
adding report categories, 117–118
built-in report categories, 118
on campaigns, 263
creating Excel reports, 132–134
creating report snapshots, 122
creating with Report Wizard, 117, 125–129
drilling down into, 123
editing default report filters, 119, 122
editing with Report Wizard, 131–132
exporting, 124
filtering, 119, 121
modifying display size, 123
navigating pages in, 123
navigating report area, 118–123
opportunity reports, 145
parent reports, 130
pipeline reports, 145
printing, 124
related record types, 130
removing from report area, 132
running without filtering, 119–120
for sales forecasts, 145–146
saving and running, 131
searching for text in, 123
setting general options, 130
sharing, 122
SQL Reporting Service reports, 130
types of, 130
view options, 123
reports for, built-in, sales forecasts, 145
resolving cases, 292–294
Resource Center, 44, 357–358
resource groups, 64
resources. See add-on products; Web site
addresses; help
role-based security. See security, internal
Roles settings, Relationship, 65
roll-up summaries, 352
•S•
SaaS (software as a service), 15
sales force automation (SFA) systems,
9, 277
sales forecasts. See also opportunities
entering new, 141–143
exporting forecast data to Excel, 146–147
importance of, 146
reports for, 145–146
updating, 144–145
sales invoices. See invoices
403
404
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 For Dummies
sales leads. See leads
sales literature
adding, 207–211
associating campaigns with, 253–254
associating with competitors, 212–213
editing, 211–212
overview, 207
related to subjects, viewing, 310
relating to subjects, 310
usefulness of, 214
Sales Literature window, 208–211
Sales module, 34–35
sales opportunities. See sales forecasts;
opportunities
sales orders. See orders
sales processes. See also business
processes
opportunities and, 219
planning, 218–220
Solution Selling process, 218
typical sales cycle, 219–220
workflow rules and, 162
sales quotas
defined, 137
setting fiscal year options, 137–139
setting saleperson quotas, 139–141
warnings, 138, 139, 140
sales reports, 118
Sales Territories window, 65
SalesCentric add-on product, 354
Salesforce.com, 16
saving data, 31
scheduling activities
appointments, 36–37
for others, 186
without Outlook, 184–186
for yourself, 184–185
Scribe add-on product, 353
SDK (Software Developers Kit), Microsoft
CRM, 271, 274
searching. See also Advanced Find feature;
Find feature; Look For field
versus filtering, 39
with Form Assistant, 40–41
for knowledgebase articles, 286–287,
321–322
in lookup fields (magnifying glass icon)
autocomplete feature, 282–283
defined, 40
search enhancement, 27
overview, 38
using Search for Records/View fields, 39
security, internal
defined, 90
object-based security
defined, 90–91
defining access levels, 91–92
setting user privileges, 91
role-based security
assigning roles to users, 94
defined, 90
predefined roles, 92–94
setting up roles, 34, 51, 60
viewing roles, 60
sharing data with team members
assigning records, 95, 99
defining teams, 95
overview, 95–96
sharing records, 95–98
streamlining, 100
unsharing records, 95, 98–99
security, physical, 89
security in Live versus On-Premise
versions, 16
Security Roles window, 92–93
Select options in Advanced Find, 304
Select a Template dialog box, 305–307
server licenses. See also Microsoft
Dynamics CRM 4
Enterprise, 19
migrating to other versions, 19
Index
overview, 18
Professional, 19
Workgroup, 18–19
service activities, 181
service cases. See cases
Service group in user profiles, 59
service managers, 324, 329. See also CSRs
Service module, 34–35
service plans, Microsoft, 363
service reports, 118
services, defined, 65
Set Personal Options tabs
Activities, 52–53
E-mail, 55–56
E-mail Templates, 54–55
Formats, 53–54
General, 48–51
Languages, 57
Privacy, 56
Workplace, 48, 51
Settings module, 35, 64–65
SFA (sales force automation) systems,
9, 277
sharing
accounts, 176–177
data with team members. See also
security, internal
assigning records, 95, 99
defining teams, 95
overview, 95–96
sharing records, 95–98
streamlining, 100
unsharing records, 95, 98–99
opportunities, 159, 160
report snapshots, 122
Shipping tab in Quote: New window, 200
Show Details button in Advanced Find,
303–304
single tenancy, 19
sites, 65
snapshots, report, 122
software assurance plan, Microsoft, 363
Solution Selling: Creating Buyers in Difficult
Selling Markets (Bosworth), 218
sorting
activities, 183
cases, 280
contract lines, 343
spam, 54
SQL (Structured Query Language), 371
SRS (SQL Reporting Service) reports,
124, 130
start page, default, 49–50
status bar, 31
subaccounts, 166, 171
Subject field, 297, 316
Subject Lookup dialog box, 299
subjects
accessing subject trees, 298, 303
accessing Subjects window, 297
adding, 298–300
defined, 295–296
defining subject trees, 296–297
drilling down into, 299–300
editing, 300–301
nesting, 295
relating other entities to
articles, 305–308, 316
cases, 302–303
overview, 301–302
products, 308–309
sales literature, 310
warning, 303
removing, 301
subject buckets, 295
versus Subject field, 297
viewing entities related to
articles, 308
cases, 303–305
products, 309
sales literature, 310
warning, 300
405
406
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 For Dummies
support plans, Microsoft, 363
suspects, 149
synchronization, data, 25–28
System Jobs Information page, 386
•T•
Task: New window, 249
TaskCentre add-on product, 351–352
tasks
assigning, 12
escalation and, 13
giving customers feedback on, 13
planning campaign tasks, 248–250
TCO (total cost of ownership), 17
teams
assigning to business units, 72–73
assigning users to, 60, 73–74
versus business units, 69
creating, 72–73
defined, 58, 63
defining, 95
overview, 71–72
telephone numbers
Axonom, 353
c360, 353
templates
contract, creating, 334–336
e-mail, personalizing, 54–55
knowledge base
creating, 312–314
default templates, 312–313
defined, 311
selecting, 305–306, 316
territories
adding user/members to, 67
assigning accounts to, 67–68
defined, 59, 63
Sales Territories, 64–67
setting up, 64–67, 168–169
warning, 68
testing
automatic workflow rules, 108–109
duplicate detection rules, 379–380
manual workflow rules, 112
migration to MS CRM, 370
third-party products. See add-on products
threads, newsgroup, 359
time zones, 48, 50–51
time/date formats, 53–54
toggle switch, 100
training, 362–363, 372
•U•
unit groups, 80–82
Units window, 82
updating
exported data, 386–387
opportunities, 158
re-importing updated data, 387
sales forecasts, 144–145
Use Advanced Find to Evaluate Members
option, 237–239
Use Saved View field in Advanced Find,
41–42, 43, 303–304
user interface enhancements, 27
user profile settings
addresses, 59
general information, 59
overview, 57–59
security roles, 60
team assignments, 60
work hours, 60–61
workflows, 61
users
adding to territories, 67
assigning accounts to, 175–176
assigning cases to, 288–289
assigning opportunities to, 159–160
assigning roles to, 94
assigning to teams, 60, 73–74
Index
setting privileges, 91
viewing managers of, 217
•V•
vaporware, 350
vertically-oriented products, 353
View field, 39
View menu in Activities window, 183
View menu in Cases window, 280
viewing
activities, 182–183
calendar without Outlook, 181–182
cases, 272–273, 280
entities related to subjects
articles, 308
cases, 303–305
products, 309
sales literature, 310
leads, 152–153
managers of users, 217
previewing records, 32–33
quick campaign results, 265–266
reports, 123
roles, 60
views, default calendar, 52–53
•W•
Web client, accessing MS CRM via, 21, 26
Web portals, 271–274
Web services, 9
Web site addresses
authors, 364
CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, 54
general CRM resources, 364
Microsoft CRM
Code Gallery, 362
Community, 89
dealers, 361
Dev Center, 362
Implementation Guide, 89
planning guide, 14
SDK, 271
service/support plans, 363
TCO comparison spreadsheet, 17
Team Blog, 357
training, 363
workflow blog by Jagan Peri, 268
Microsoft CRM add-ons
c360, 271, 353
CanDoGo, 354
FusionCharts, 354
Google Toolbar spell-checker, 350
KnowledgeSync from Vineyardsoft, 351
Neocase, 354
Powertrak from Axonom, 274, 353
review site, 349
SalesCentric, 354
Scribe, 353
TaskCentre from Orbis, 351
Web portals, 271, 274
Microsoft SQL Server Reporting
Services, 124
Web site integration with MS CRM
creating cases from e-mail in queues,
268–270
creating leads from e-mail in queues, 270
creating records using MS CRM SDK,
271, 274
overview, 267
sending customer e-mail to queues,
267–268
warning, 271
via Web portals/connectors, 271–274,
352–353
work hour settings, 53, 60–61
workflow blog by Jagan Peri, 268
Workflow Manager window, 103–104
Workflow Monitor window, 113
407
408
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 For Dummies
workflow rules. See also duplicate
detection rules
actions and, 115–116
activities and, 179
automatic rules
creating, 103–108
overview, 12–13, 101–102
testing, 108–109
warning, 108
business processes and, 12–13, 215–216
conditions and, 114–115
creating cases from e-mail in queues,
268–270
creating leads from e-mail in queues, 270
defined, 101
events and, 114
KnowledgeSync and, 116
limitations, 102, 351
Manager module
accessing, 103
creating automatic rules, 103–108
creating manual rules, 110–112
defined, 102
Monitor module
defined, 102, 113
monitoring rules, 113
setting monitoring options, 61
.NET assemblies and, 116
On-Demand (manual) rules
calling, 109–110
creating follow-up rules, 110–112
defined, 109
testing, 112
sales processes and, 162
Workgroup Server license, 18–19
workplace
accessing application modules, 34–35
accessing record level, 35–36
context-sensitivity of, 30
defined, 29–30, 51
getting back to, 34
navigation buttons, 30
navigation pane, 30–31
personalizing, 51
windows
defined, 30–33
records in, 32–33
toolbar, 32
•X•
XRM system, MS CRM as an, 367
Notes
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