Creating a Query for Closed Opportunities in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

February 15 2016 10:51 by Chuck Wojciuk
Visibility into lost opportunities is just as important as won and open opportunities in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  Each plays a vital role in predicting your future sales pipeline.  Analyzing your lost opportunities allows you to change your sales strategy based on why you are losing opportunities.  For example, if you see a trend in lost opportunities from a referral partner, you may want to review your onboarding process of a referred lead.  This article will teach you how to view your closed-as-lost opportunities in CRM.  Because Microsoft CRM classifies the action of clicking Close as Lost as an activity, this opportunity query will be performed based on activities.  To start, first open the advanced find dialog and under Look for choose Activities.  Then you will want to select Activity Type equals and then choose the Opportunity Close activity type.      To be sure that you are only returning the most recent or final Opportunity Close activity for each opportunity, add to the query that the Activity Status equals Active. We will further narrow our query by showing only Opportunity Close activities where the Regarding (Opportunity) was closed as lost.  To do this, we will need to filter on Regarding (Opportunity) under the related section of a select statement.  We will then filter on Status equals Lost.  We can also add other Opportunity related filters such as Actual Close date and Opportunity Type. Select Regarding (Opportunity) from the related section of the select dropdown. Then click the select dropdown under the newly added Regarding (Opportunity) section. This will allow us to select Opportunity fields to add to the filter. Lastly, create the statement for Status Equals Lost.   Our query now contains all the Opportunity Close activities that are related to a lost opportunity.  We can also add additional filtering to give us better insight.  In the example below, we see my lost opportunity close activities in the last 90 days in Milwaukee. For more tips on using Microsoft Dynamics CRM, subscribe to our email newsletter.

Three Tips for Using Notes in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

February 5 2016 19:05 by Fred Varin
Below are three quick things to consider when using Notes in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  Notes are available on both the Contact and Account level in CRM.  1.       Although Notes are available at both the Contact and at the Account level in Microsoft CRM, it is important to remember that notes entered at the Contact level do not natively appear at, or roll up to, the Account level.  Keep this in mind when recording notes in CRM.  If it is a note that applies to an entire account, you may want to record it at the Account level rather than on a specific contact.  Or alternatively, record the information on the contact as an Activity, which does appear on the account. 2.       As a workaround to this ‘roll up’ issue, your database administrator can create an additional sub-entity in the Account view for tracking all notes entered at the Contact level for that Account.  This Notes sub-entity essentially rolls up all contact notes for that account to the Account view, allowing you to view all notes in one location. 3.       One last consideration, the latest versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM provide OneNote integration, a smart solution for effectively recording notes in CRM.  Learn more in this helpful video from Microsoft:      For more quick tips on using Microsoft CRM, subscribe to our email newsletter. 

TopLine Results Hosting Datacenter Completes SOC2 Type 1 Audit

October 26 2015 11:10 by Kimberly Goulet
As more and more of us move our digital lives to the cloud, we want the assurance that we are doing business with organizations who are committed to online security.  As a cloud CRM provider, TopLine Results recently completed a biennial SOC2 Type 1 audit of its datacenter hosting operations.   TopLine Results is committed to maintaining the security, confidentiality and availability of our customers’ information.  The most-recent audit was completed by A-Lign CPAs of Tampa, Florida, in 2015.   SOC2, which stands for Service Organization Control, is an audit performed by a certified public accounting firm for the purposes of examining the security, availability and confidentiality policies of the organization.  The standards for the SOC audit have been set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).  After completion of the examination, a report is issued by the examining CPA on the company’s description of the organization’s system and the suitability of the design of the controls.   During the examination, policies and procedures for TopLine Results were examined relevant to the security, confidentiality and security of the CRM hosting (cloud) services in the categories below. Control environment - Integrity and ethical values - Commitment to competence - Subservice organization examination - Management’s philosophy and operating style - Organization structure and assignment of authority and responsibility - Human resources policies and practices  Risk assessment - Process to identify and manage risks which could affect client organizations  Monitoring - Management monitors controls to ensure proper operation and evaluate for needed modification  Information and communications systems - Information systems including anti-virus and spam filters and network monitoring - Internal communication within the service organization Complementary user entity controls - Clients are required to establish their own controls to ensure they are benefitting from the established policies of the control organization - Such controls include understanding and complying to contractual obligations with the service organization, establishing their own internal controls such as user ID and password protection and disaster recovery planning. For more information or to view a copy of the TopLine Results SOC2 report, please contact us at

Accessing Microsoft Dynamics CRM on a Mobile Phone

September 29 2015 10:37 by Chuck Wojciuk
To open Microsoft Dynamics CRM on your mobile phone, open your phone’s browser and go to the URL for your organization’s CRM web client (Note: not available for local only installations).   You can add a bookmark for this URL to your mobile phone’s homepage in a few quick steps:   1.     Open your phone’s browser 2.     Navigate to the URL for your CRM 3.     Once there, follow the instructions below for your type of phone: a.     Android                                           i.    Click the menu or options button on the left in options                                          ii.    Samsung browser 1.     Click Add shortcut to home                                         iii.    Firefox browser 1.     Click Page 2.     Then click Add to home screen                                         iv.    Chrome Browser 1.     Click Add to home screen b.    iPhone                                           i.    Click the middle (arrow) button                                          ii.    Then click Add to home screen For more tips on CRM, subscribe to our email newsletter. 

Tips for Email Marketing

September 2 2015 11:56 by Kimberly Goulet
Many businesses, large and small, employ email marketing as part of their marketing strategy and as a key way to communicate with existing or prospective customers.  Whether you use Swiftpage emarketing for Act!, Constant Contact or another email marketing program, the following tips will help you build a successful email marketing presence for your organization.   Fonts If one font is good, then two fonts are better…right?  And how about six fonts?  Wrong!  Keep your audience in mind when composing your email.  People are very busy and have a limited attention span.  They may only look at your email for a few seconds.  Keep your message clear with a simple, easy-to-read font, so they do not have to expend any of those precious few seconds just trying to read your email.  Choose a classic, readable font such as Arial and make that your go-to font for all of your email templates.  You can choose ONE other font to use as heading or accent…but only one.  And, keep it consistent with every single email.   Colors Do you love color? Me too, but with email marketing, you have to reign in your color tendencies.  Choose colors that are easy-to-view on a monitor and smart phone, especially font colors. Choose colors that coordinate with your corporate logo and image.  Most of all, choose colors judiciously — only three plus black in an email.  And, stick with the scheme.  You can have additional colors in photos, but for your logos, text and background, go with no more than three colors.   Watch this space for more email marketing tips.  Next time, we discuss building a brand identity and creating a master template.  Don’t miss it!  Click here to subscribe to our CRM email newsletter

Record Level Security in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

July 29 2015 08:15 by Dan Boehm
Record level security in Microsoft Dynamics CRM refers to a user’s permissions regarding a record in CRM.  First, below are a couple of definitions relating to permissions: Entity – You can think of an entity as a database table.  An example would be contact or account.  Each “table” in Microsoft CRM is referred to as an entity. Record – This is a single account, contact, activity, lead, opportunity, case or other entity with which you can open and work.  For example, each individual contact in your database is considered a single record. Privilege – A privilege refers to what you can do with a record.  The most common options are create, read (or view), write, delete, append, append to and share. Access Level – This is applied to each privilege to indicate what degree of privilege you have.  There are a few options: none user business unit parent: child business unit organization Business Unit – This is a hierarchical structure to which users can be assigned.  A user can only belong to a single business unit in the hierarchy.  There is always a root business unit at the top of the hierarchy with the same name as your database. Record Owner – Most records have an “owner” field.  The owner field must be set to a Microsoft Dynamics CRM user or team.  This article only covers situations where the owner is a user.  Since each user can only belong to a single business unit, we can safely say that each record belongs to a single business unit.  An example would be for a contact.  A contact can only have a single user as the owner.  Since a user can only belong to a single business unit, we can say that a contact belongs to the same business unit to which the user belongs. In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, permissions are set via security roles.  See below for an example. A security role is made up of many rows similar to the above.  The entity in this example is activity.  There will be rows for many different entities including accounts, contacts, leads and opportunities.  The circles to the right indicate the user’s permission for records at that entity.  The degree to which the circle is filled in indicates the access level. A full circle indicates organizational level access, meaning that a user can perform this action for any record in the database regardless of the owner of that record.  If you look at the example above, the read circle is completely filled in which means that a user who is assigned this security role can read every activity in the database regardless of the owner of that activity. If the circle is empty, this indicates that the user has no access at all.  In our example above, if the read circle was completely empty, this would mean that the user could not view any activities in the database at all. If the circle is a quarter-filled, this indicates user-level access, meaning that the user can only perform this action on records where that user is the owner of the record.  In our example above, the write circle is a quarter-filled, so a user with this security role can only write (or edit) an activity record where they are the owner of that activity. If the circle is half-filled, this indicates business unit level access meaning that the user can only perform this action on records where that user, or any other user in the same business unit, is the owner of the record.  If the write circle is half-filled, this would mean that a user with that role could edit any activity where they, or any other user in the same business unit, are the owner. If the circle is three-quarters-filled, this indicates parent: child business unit level access, which is similar to the business unit level access.  The difference between the two levels is that in addition to the ability to perform an action on your own records or the records of others in your business unit, you can also perform actions on any record where the owner is a user who is below you in the business unit hierarchy.  This level would be a great option for a manager who supervises many other departments. This article provides only a very high level overview of security in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, covering the most common area to manage security levels.  However, keep in mind that there are many other aspects to managing CRM security.  Setting the proper record-level security can a difficult task and making mistakes can cause headaches for your users.  We recommend that you rely on an experienced Microsoft Dynamics CRM professional to guide you in your security settings.  Contact TopLine Results for more information about CRM security, 800-880-1960.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013-2015: Creating Mail Merge Templates Part 2

June 8 2015 16:36 by Jackie Brajner
In part one of Creating Mail Merge Templates, we reviewed accessing mail merge templates and storage.  In part two, we will cover creating a mail merge document directly in Microsoft Outlook from contact records.  This process saves time as it allows you to perform a needed mail merge and save the document for future use with minimal clicks.    Select the contacts for the mail merge from your Microsoft CRM database in Outlook. Once the contacts have been selected, click on the Add ribbon and the Mail Merge icon. A new window will open.  From this window, select the mail merge type, i.e., letter, labels.  Then select Blank Document to create a new document.  The next step is to confirm that the mail merge will be completed on the selected records on the page.  You can also choose to create a mail merge for all contacts or all contacts on all pages.  To complete a mail merge on a view, select ‘all records on all pages’ to mail merge on all the contact records included in the view. Click on the Data Fields buttons to select the data fields available for mail merge in the document.  A new window will open where you can select data fields.  The standard mail merge fields will be pre-selected such as address, name and phone number.  To add fields, click on the checkbox next to the field name.  The maximum number of mail merge fields allowed is 62.  The record type will also default to contact for field selection, but a different record type can be selected from the drop down if you need to select fields available on other record types. Once the fields have been selected click OK to exit the data fields view. Click Download from the Mail Merge view to open your mail merge document in Microsoft Word.  If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact TopLine Results at 800-880-1960 or 

Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Creating Mail Merge Templates, Part 1

May 27 2015 17:31 by Jackie Brajner
Creating mail merge templates can save your company time when creating letters, labels and envelopes.  You can create templates from Microsoft CRM 2013 or 2015 via the web client or in your Microsoft CRM database within Outlook. In part one of Creating Mail Merge Templates, we will review where to access and save templates.  Select the Settings tile from the main Microsoft Dynamics CRM menu.    Select the Templates tile from the Settings menu.    Click on Mail Merge Templates.  To create a new mail merge template, click on the New icon.      A new window will open where you can name the template, provide a description and associate the entity.  Note, associating the entity dictates for which entity you can perform a mail merge.   Click the Save icon.    Once you have saved the template, your menu options will change.  Select Create Template in Word to open a Word document and complete your merge document.   Watch for part two where we will review creating the mail merge letter and uploading it to Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  If you would like more information on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, contact us at or call 800-880-1960.

Three Reasons to Work with a Certified Consultant for your CRM Implementation

May 11 2015 14:04 by Kimberly Goulet
Why should you work with a certified consultant for your CRM implementation?  Outlined below are three of the most important reasons.   1.     Experience.  Many companies assume that because they have an IT department or work with an IT consultant, they do not need to hire a certified CRM specialist.  While it’s true that most IT professionals are very knowledgeable and competent regarding computer networks and commonly used software packages, they often have not had a great deal of experience in CRM.  With a successful CRM rollout, experience is key.  A veteran professional who specializes in CRM can help an organization navigate the process to avoid pitfalls and keep the project within budget specs.         2.     Support for IT.  Information Technology department resources are often stretched thin.  The department bares many responsibilities for the company’s operations and cannot devote a full measure of attention to the CRM implementation.  Further, an in-house CRM system can require additional investments in IT infrastructure, such as servers and corresponding software, along with ongoing maintenance and support.  A CRM consulting firm can supplement those in-house resources with technology and training support.  In addition, hosting your CRM with a trusted partner, like TopLine Results, eliminates the need for costly infrastructure investments.   3.     Knowledge.  As a Microsoft Silver Certified Partner, TopLine Results has completed many hours of training and work dedicated to customer relationship management.  Our team has passed rigorous exams and met annual requirements set by Microsoft to insure its partners are well equipped to counsel and guide organizations to a successful CRM solution.  With experience, comes knowledge.  For more than fifteen years, TopLine Results has led the way in implementing CRM for clients in wide-ranging industries – from financial services to manufacturing, and local governments to healthcare.   Experience, support for IT and knowledge – these are three keys to unlocking CRM in your organization.  We will work together with your IT professionals to deliver a CRM system tailor-made to your organization.  Call us to get started today, 800-880-1960.

Create Quick Shortcuts for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Pages

March 18 2015 14:58 by Dan Boehm
While working in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, do you find yourself repeatedly creating new phone calls or other types of records?  In version 2013 or 2015, you can easily create quick shortcuts for your commonly used MS CRM pages. Start by going to the New Phone Call page by clicking on Quick Create button and choosing Phone Call. Next, click on the Pop out button which will open your New Phone Call record in its own window.   The address bar in your web browser now contains a very long set of words and characters. You can now either: 1.     Save this web address to your browser favorites. 2.   Or, click on the icon just to the left of https:// and drag that to your desktop. Now every time you open that shortcut either from your browser favorites or by double-clicking on the desktop icon, it will launch the page you saved. Remember, an important key for this shortcut is that you must go to the desired quick-access page in CRM and click on Pop-out button.  You can save almost any page in Microsoft Dynamics CRM this way. Contact TopLine Results at for more ways to improve your productivity in CRM!