September 29 2015 10:37
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:
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
i. Click the middle (arrow) button
ii. Then click Add to home screen
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September 2 2015 11:56
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.
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.
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
July 29 2015 08:15
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:
parent: child business unit
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.
June 8 2015 16:36
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 email@example.com.
May 27 2015 17:31
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-880-1960.
May 11 2015 14:04
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.
March 18 2015 14:58
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 email@example.com for more ways to improve your productivity in CRM!
March 13 2015 11:50
One key differentiator among Microsoft Dynamics CRM and its closest competitors is deployment flexibility. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, businesses can choose from three powerful deployment options: partner-hosted, on premise, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM online.
For a large organization with abundant infrastructure and resources, this flexibility allows them the opportunity to compare and implement the most cost-effective solution, while leveraging their existing resources. When analyzing cost effectiveness of deployment options, it is important to consider all of the variables.
While it is fairly easy to evaluate costs such as software, software maintenance, installation and implementation; it is a bit harder to predict the cost of the hardware required to operate the CRM system along with the technical expertise required to maintain the system over time. In addition, future hardware and software upgrade costs must be considered.
For a small or medium size company with 10 to 100 users, the return on investment (ROI) for a hosted CRM solution is a very attractive choice. Choose partner- or vendor-hosted deployments to join the millions of CRM users in the cloud. At TopLine Results, we provide a partner-hosted option to our clients which includes many benefits over a vendor-hosted option, including personalized US-based service. Taking the time to compare your options is well worth the effort.
For more information or to receive a personal CRM comparison for your business, contact us at 800-880-1960.
February 12 2015 08:07
The latest release of TopLine Maps for Microsoft Dynamics CRM includes some exciting new features.
· Select and map or route multiple contacts
· Print your map now with optimized text driving directions
- Use the print button next to the search bar to get accurate directions
· Add locations from the search bar and they are automatically added to the route
· Easily import TopLine Maps to CRM
· Free and easy-to-follow installation instructions and tutorial.
Best of all, it’s still free! To install, use the link below to download:.
February 4 2015 15:38
To get the most out of your CRM, you need to use it for looking back as well as for looking forward. The obvious value in CRM is to track your potential sales funnel – leads, opportunities, deal stages, orders and sales. Whether you are selling products, services, or complex solutions, using your CRM to record your sales – including details regarding your installed base – will increase the value of your CRM investment significantly.
Unless you are starting a new organization or business venture, you are likely to have some history of legacy sales. Should you bother putting these into your CRM or simply start with new sales that you achieve after your CRM is implemented? In addition to contemplating that question, you’ll need to consider how much detail you should include.
I suggest you give as much thought to the structure and inclusion of your installed-base data as you do your sales funnel. Begin with the end in mind; how will you use this data? Here are several thoughts which only scratch the surface:
- Good data on your (and your competitors’) installed base can help you develop marketing campaigns that are specific to a customer segment, an aging product fleet or a software upgrade opportunity. Get your marketing team involved in the design of your installed-base data file! Ensure you capture the level of data they need while avoid making the information too complex to maintain.
- Good installed-based data can help you predict future opportunities which, in turn, can help your sales managers develop more appropriate territory-level sales targets. Sales managers should be given the chance to provide input on what kind of sales data should be captured and at what level of detail.
- Excellent sales reps can use good historical data to better serve their current customers. Make sure your top 2-3 sales reps are involved in your CRM installed-base planning process. They will become early adopters and can help others see the value in the tool. They will lead by example!
- New sales reps will be happy to inherit good data from their predecessor – potentially making their learning curve shorter and smoothing their transition. This could significantly reduce the costs associated with a new hire.
Once you have a good sense of how much data to capture and how you will organize it to meet your objectives, start capturing this data on new sales. Do it for a quarter. Integrate it with your sales system where possible, so that data feeds into your CRM automatically with no manual intervention required. Check in with your sales team, sales managers and marketing team to see if this installed-base data is meeting their expectations.
Once you are comfortable that you have an appropriate data structure and a consistent process for ensuring new sales information is integrated into your CRM system, find a way to import historical sales data. Make sure it is good, clean data, so that it is believable and valued by the teams which will use it. This may not be trivial, but is worth the time and investment. If your data is not clean or believable, then don’t put it in your system. Even a little garbage data may instill a sense of distrust with your teams. It is not worth it!
Lastly, you need to ensure that your sales and marketing teams understand the value of keeping this data current. As they see competitive products in use, they need to record as much detail as possible, so that it can be included in the CRM system. You may even want to create a reward or prize for capturing excellent competitive intelligence to increase their motivation for participating in this process. In addition some market research organizations provide installed-base services. They will do the research for you and will provide you with data that you can import into your CRM. However, remember that market research data is accurate for a single point in time. You’ll still need a process for keeping competitive data current, if you don’t already have one. Old, outdated data is as bad as garbage data, so keep it up-to-date!
CRM systems are an investment of time, money and human resources. Make sure you are getting the most out of your CRM by capturing, reporting and analyzing installed-base data, so that you can turn it into a competitive advantage and create programs that will drive a strong, positive ROI for your organization!
Melanie R. Varin is a Sales, Marketing and Business Process Consultant with TopLine Results Corporation. She has 25 years of professional experience across a variety of business functions with General Motors, Eastman Kodak, and General Electric. For more information about Melanie, please find her Linked In profile here.
TopLine Results Corporation is a full-service consulting firm specializing in customer relationship management (CRM) solutions using industry-leading CRM software. TopLine Results serves clients throughout the United States and internationally including Canada, Australia and Europe. They are based in the Midwest region of the United States with offices in Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri.