Capture Leads from Your Mobile Phone Straight into Dynamics CRM

By now, you've probably heard of the PowerWebForm add-on for Microsoft Dynamics CRM (if not, you may be living under a rock). This tool lets you capture leads from your website directly into Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Well, PowerWebForm can also provide you with a quick way to capture lead information from a mobile device, such as a mobile phone (iPhone, Windows phone, or Android for example) or tablet. This would provide your outside sales team with an easy way to quickly enter information from leads into your CRM while they're out and about.

To get started, you first need to import the PowerWebForm add-on into your Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Remember, you must have a CRM online OR an on-premise CRM with ADFS OR a partner-hosted CRM for PowerWebForm to work.

After you've imported the PowerWebForm add-on and registered for your free 30 day trial, you'll need to build the form. When you create a simple lead generation form within CRM, it may look something like this:

Capture Leads from Your Mobile Phon

After you've built your form and tested it to ensure that the leads are being successfully created in your CRM, click on Preview & Deploy in the upper ribbon of the web form record, and then click Copy URL.

Then, create an email, paste that URL into the body of the message and send it out to your sales team, or anyone else who will be entering leads into your CRM on the go. Sales people will want to create a shortcut on their mobile device for this URL, by associating the form to an app. When they want to enter a lead, they will click on the shortcut's icon, a form will display, they will fill it out and submit, and that lead will show up in your CRM system.

For iPhones

On an iPhone, navigate to the URL from the email in your browser, and select the button on the lower toolbar that looks like a forward arrow coming out of a box. Choose "Add to Home Screen" and give the shortcut a name. That shortcut will be added to your home screen. Now, when you choose that shortcut, the form will be displayed.

For Androids

On an Android, you will want to click on the link in the email so that it opens in your mobile browser, and bookmark that page. Then, go to the home screen you would like to add the icon to and hold down in an empty space to bring up the "Personalize" menu. Select Shortcuts > Bookmarks and choose the form's bookmark. The icon associated with the shortcut will automatically be the "bookmark" icon. When you choose that shortcut, you will be brought to the web form.

For Windows Phones

On a Windows Phone, navigate to the URL in the email, and click the "…" at right of the screen. Choose "Pin to Start" and a shortcut tile will be created on your home screen. Select that tile, and it will bring you back to the form.

windows_phone_img1

Now you have a quick, easy way to enter leads while you're out and about in the world. Remember PowerWebForm is available for a free thirty-day trial on our website!

Happy CRM'ing!

Round Robin Lead Assignment in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

Here's a scenario involving a sales team dealing with round robin lead assignment. Let's say a sales department is currently receiving leads via their website using a custom Web-to-Lead component. When these leads are received, they are assigned to a Sales Coordinator for distribution to the sales team. The business receives hundreds of leads per day via their website so a lot of the Sales Coordinator's time is spent assigning these leads to the sales folks. The sales leaders are concerned that too much of their Sales Coordinator's time is being devoted to assigning leads.

Let's say that the leads are assigned on a rotating or 'round-robin' basis. After a lead is assigned to Salesperson #1, she goes to the 'back of the line' and the next lead is assigned to Salesperson #2. After being assigned the lead, Salesperson #2 goes to the back of the line and Salesperson #3 get the next lead, and on and on it goes…

Our first instinct is to create a plugin to solve this issue. With a plugin we could reference a 'counter file' which would keep track of the next salesperson to receive the created lead. Plugins can (sometimes) be costly to develop, though, so is there another way to do this type of automatic assignment?

This may seem like a difficult request since a workflow doesn't have any 'context.' The workflow doesn't know if it is the first time that it is running or the fiftieth. We also can't access a reference file via a workflow (out of the box). Surely a plugin would be the only way to do this, right???

Sounds like a business problem! Let's solve it!

THE SOLUTION

As stated above, a workflow doesn't have any 'context'. There is no way to specify in the workflow that if this is the third time the workflow is running assign the lead to Salesperson #3 and if it is the fourth time it is running assign the lead to Salesperson #4. One thing a workflow CAN do, however, is access a related parent record.

With that piece of information in mind I was able to do the following:

Create a new entity called 'Counter'. This entity only has one attribute: Counter Number.

round robin lead assignments

> This new entity will have a 1:N relationship to the lead entity
> There will ONLY ever be 1 counter record in the system. We will update this record in the workflow

With this new parent entity in place, we can now create a workflow that does a CHECK CONDITION on this counter entity.

> If Counter = 1, assign lead to Salesperson 1
> If Counter = 2, assign lead to Salesperson 2
> If Counter = 3, assign lead to Salesperson 3

Before we can do the check condition in the workflow we first need to relate the lead to the counter entity. We do this by doing an UPDATE step as the first step in the workflow

Note that we hardcoded the reference to our Counter record. We DID NOT use a dynamic value.

Now that we have the connection to the counter created, we can now do our check condition as the next step in the workflow:

After the check condition, we then do our ASSIGNMENT step

After assigning the lead, we now need to increment the COUNTER by 1:

NOTE: notice that we did not do a dynamic value here, we hardcoded the value.

We now would create check and assign conditions for when the Counter equaled 2, 3 and so on…

When finished, your workflow will look something like this:

Finally, set your workflow to run automatically on record create and you are all set!

So there you have it: a round robin workflow assignment process created easily with a workflow. No need for custom plugins or extensive development. If you think this is cool and want to work with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Experts at PowerObjects – let us know we'd be happy to be your experts as well!

Happy CRM'ing!