Folder-level Tracking in CRM 2015 Online

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Online Spring Update introduced a new tracking feature: folder-level tracking. This means that any device that supports the Microsoft Exchange feature can have a seamless way to track email activities. Today's blog covers both methods, so let's dive in!

For Quick-Tracking, follow the steps below:

1. Create a folder in Microsoft Exchange and link it to the same Dynamics CRM record.

2. Now, when users move emails to the Exchange folder, all those emails will automatically be tracked into CRM. This all gets done without having to set regarding for a record in CRM.

This works with inbox email rules as well, which are set to redirect all incoming email to the Exchange folder automatically, and we can track the activities easily. Now, you don't need the CRM Outlook Client installed any more just as a tracking tool.

For Folder-level Tracking, follow the steps below:

Administrative level steps:

1. Navigate to CRM > Settings > Email Configuration Settings.

2. Set the Outgoing Email to Server-Side Synchronization or Email Router.

3. Enable "Use Folder-Level Tracking."

End user level steps:

1. Create an exchange folder.

2. Select the CRM records and the folder within by navigating to Personal Options to set the email configuration settings it needs to track.

folder-level tracking

folder-level tracking

With these new tracking techniques, quick tracking and folder-level tracking, users will have an improved experience for tracking email records within CRM, and that's something we can all get behind!

If you haven't made the jump to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016, what are you waiting for? The latest version is chock full of even better features than before. Make sure you check out our library of Webinars on Demand to see demos, feature profiles, our favorite features, and more on this topic and many, many more!

Happy CRM'ing!


Track Outlook Email in Dynamics CRM 2011

One of the many benefits of Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook is the ability to track valuable email interactions in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Several items can be tracked from Outlook, including emails, appointments, tasks and contacts. In this blog we'll focus just on emails.

The beauty of tracking emails is that if the user deletes the tracked message in Outlook, there will still be a copy saved in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

To track an email, you have two options. You can select "track" or "set regarding".

Track Outlook Email in Dynamics CRM

OR

To decide which option you should choose, you first need to determine whether or not there was an entity (an account, contact, lead, opportunity, case, etc.) that your email can be linked up with. If it can't, then you want to select "Track." This will create a linked record in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

On the flip side, if there is an account, contact, lead, opportunity or case the email can be linked up with, you would select "Set Regarding." When you select this option, a "Look Up Record" box appears. Let's say, for example, you want to look up a specific account. You would select the drop down box (which will show recently used records and record types), then select the appropriate record. This will link the email to the record you choose. This is the preferred method of tracking emails.

You can tell if an email is being tracked in Outlook by looking at the bottom of the email. Below is an image stating it was saved and where it is located in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Note: You can untrack an email from a string as well. If you select "untrack" for a particular email, that email will not be saved in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

If this post was useful, you might want to read more about email preferences in Dynamics CRM. Or, if you are looking to enhance your email capabilities, you may want to research PowerObjects PowerPack option in PowerMailChimp.

Happy CRM'ing!

How to Find the Date of an Email Activity Tracked in CRM

The Track in CRM feature with the Outlook client is one of the most used features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. PowerObjects has numerous blogs already published on various tips and tricks on CRM and Outlook integration, but today we'll focus on a tip to figure out the actual date or timestamp of an email activity record and how that relates to tracking in CRM.

As soon as an email is sent or received, it is up to you to track it in CRM. Typically, the timestamp is recorded when you perform this action—in other words, when you click on an email. However, if an email was sent last week and you Track that email in CRM today, CRM will timestamp it to your current date and time.

Essentially, CRM thinks of the Created On date as the date the record was created in CRM, NOT the day the user created the record. Hence, if you want to know the date when the email was sent, you'll need to look at the Actual End field. The Created On field is populated by CRM when the email is created or tracked in CRM. This will always reflect the time when the email record was actually created in CRM—the moment the email was tracked in CRM.

If you have these columns configured on your email activities view, you'll see the difference, shown below:

Email activity tracked in CRM

Was this helpful? You might want to check out our other blogs:

As always, stay tuned for more tips and tricks from Dynamics CRM world. Happy CRM'ing!

Dynamics CRM 2011 Goals and Advanced Sales Management

Goals were introduced in CRM 4.0 as a part of Extended Sales Forecasting. In CRM 2011 Goals come out of box without the need install any additional solution. So what are Goals? How do these augment Sales Forecasting and the built-in opportunity pipeline report?

Let's look at the opportunity sales pipeline. This funnel chart visually depicts the opportunity potential value as the opportunities move through the various sales stages. It's great for getting a quick glimpse at how the sales organization is doing. Though this chart comes out of box, we can build similar charts for each sales manager and salesperson.

Dynamics CRM 2011 Goals - Sales Pipeline

Let's say you want to assign each salesperson and sales manager a quota or target. One way to do it would be to have a customer entity or an Excel sheet to define targets. The spreadsheet could calculate the potential value for open opportunities and the actual value for all closed opportunities. We could also use this to compare the actual value to the target for each salesperson. Then the actuals for each salesperson can be summed up to get the value for the sales manager, and then summed up again to get the target to the actual for the whole sales organization. There are probably a few organizations that have a full-time employee or two dedicated to running these numbers every week, month, and quarter.

But what if this entire process could be automated? That's what goals in CRM 2011 do. Let's examine these in more depth.

Opportunities

Opportunities drive numbers, compensation, projections, R&D, expansion, and much more. They need to be tracked, managed and ultimately converted to a Sale. Salespeople should be tracked and compensated based on the opportunities that they manage and convert.

A chart indicating opportunities arranged by top customers.

The most common parameters for tracking opportunities are Potential Value and Actual Value. The stage the opportunity is in and the close date are also important parameters, and they also drive the funnel chart. For our purpose for tracking target or goals, we will look at the potential value, actual value and close date.

A chart indicated actual value in terms of revenue.

Goals

Let's say an opportunity is closed by a salesperson. The actual value of the deal would be added up and compared to the salesperson's target. CRM 2011 Goals allow you to define those targets. But before we do that, we need to add a couple of parameters to the Goals.

  1. Time period. Usually goals are defined for a specific period.
  2. Targets. Let's say you need to meet $50,000 in sales for the month of January 2013 or $250,000 for Q1 2013 or something on similar lines. You need to define a period for which the goal is to be tracked. So now, all opportunities closed in Jan 2013 will be tracked against the Jan 2013 goal of $50,000.

  1. Stretch targets. If you are an extraordinary sales person, and you negotiated an additional bonus if you exceed your target, you can also define a "stretch target" in Goals in CRM.
  2. Goal owner. This is who the goal is created for.
  3. Goal manager. This is who the owner of the goal reports to.
  4. Goal metrics. Here the Metric is actual value for closed opportunities. The goal metric can also be defined as the number of opportunities closed, number of tickets/seats sold, revenue collected through ticket sales, and so on. Dynamics CRM 2011 also allows you to define multiple metrics for a Goal.

To recap, we can define in CRM the following in the Goal Entity—Period, Target, Stretch Target, Goal Owner, Manager and Metric. Based on this, the actual revenue will be calculated and tracked against the goal as a Percentage Achieved.

So, let's say we just defined a target and asked the system to get the actual revenue for all closed opportunity in a specific time period. What if we do not want all Opportunities? What if we just want the opportunities which are owned by the Goal Owner or the Salesperson for whom the Goal is defined? That's where we can use the Goal Criteria, which can be found at the bottom of the Goal entity form.

For each rollup field defined in the Goal Metric, you can specify a Rollup query to selecting the set of records to be used in the Goal calculation.

So that covers the basics of Goal Management (or Extended Sales Forecasting) in CRM 2011!

What about other reasons for using goals?

Goals for Case Management

Let's say you have implemented CRM for your customer service team. It may seem like your customer service representatives (CSRs) have nothing to do with Opportunities. Fear not, for you can use goals for managing and tracking your customer service team! Instead of tracking opportunities, we will track Cases. One of the simplest metrics to track is the number of cases closed in the specific period. That would be the Goal for the CSR. To make things more interesting, you can also set goals for average open case time, average or absolute customer satisfaction points on cases, negative goals for cases open for too long, and so on.

Goals for Custom Entities

Ok, so can we do the same for anything else? Maybe you use CRM for something other than sales or customer service. Good news! Goals and metrics can be defined for custom entities too, offering truly limitless tracking. Maybe you should create a goal to see how many goals you have in the system? Let us know how you use goals in the comments!

Check out some of our other blogs on the topic of goals:

Happy CRM'ing!

Accelerate and Enhance CRM: Tracking ROI in Dynamics CRM

One of the powerful aspects of CRM 2011 is the ability to track ROI, and we’ve already covered some of this territory in our blog posts on tracking opportunity revenue by keyword. But there are a lot of other aspects to tracking ROI in Dynamics CRM. Things like…

On November 13th, PowerObjects consultant Doug Furney will be speaking about tracking ROI in Dynamics CRM at our annual PowerConnect event, and he’ll be covering all of these topics. (PowerConnect is our one-day CRM educational event of the year, and it is well worth going if you use CRM. Registration still open.)

If you go, we also have a great session on CRM Tips & Tricks, which will appeal to all types of users. It will cover hints, tips and tricks on how to gain productivity from CRM and become a CRM expert. We’ll also discuss free tools available for download that can enhance your CRM. The session will end with a Q&A session with a panel of PowerObjects consultants ready to address any challenges you’ve encountered.

Detailed agenda available here.

Sponsor highlight

PowerConnect is proud to have sponsor Broadlook as a gold sponsor. Broadlook offers research solutions that pull in real-time information from the internet automatically. Microsoft Dynamics customers can use Broadlook for CRM to mash fresh data from social profiles, corporate websites, blogs, SEC filings and press releases with existing CRM leads, contacts and accounts.

See you at PowerConnect!

Learn about tracking ROI in Dynamics CRM

Lead Forms for CRM 2011 Rock

How nice would it be if when a lead submitted a form on your website the information just appeared in Dynamics CRM? And even better, wouldn't it be great if this was an out of the box feature?

Well, in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 it is. CRM online users get access to something called "Internet Lead Capture," a cool feature that allows a Microsoft Dynamics CRM user with no programming or development experience to create a web-based, personalized lead capture landing page that is tied directly to Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

For example, a basic landing page you might want to create is a "Contact Us" form where you ask your prospects basic contact information and a question or two about their business needs.

Then, as long as you're using an Internet Lead Capture landing page, when your prospect hits, "submit" the lead information flows into the "Internet Leads" area of Dynamics CRM where the lead is then assigned to a salesperson and followed up with.

And, of course, when the salesperson opens up the lead record for the first time, the corresponding CRM fields from the form are already populated.

Another plus, is that within Internet Lead Capture there are metrics that measure information like leads per month and landing page performance.

To get started creating your landing page, select the Internet Lead Capture icon in the Sales area of Dynamics CRM 2011 and select "Create a new landing page."

And…you're done! As soon as you select "finish" you'll have a live landing page out on the internet (which even helps improve your organization's web presence).

Now it's up to you to decide what to do with the leads. Assigning the leads to yourself or divvying them up among other users will create actual lead records in CRM (at this point the leads are in a kind of "lead limbo" until you make the next move and assign them). You also have the option to simply delete them from Dynamics CRM.

Full disclosure; once you dig into this you'll realize it's just the tip of the iceberg. After you start putting your custom CRM lead fields on personalized internet landing pages that in turn automatically populate your Microsoft Dynamics CRM system, you'll start to wonder what else is possible.

Whether it's creating alerts to notify users when a new lead capture record is created, designing a landing page for registration to events, creating surveys for your customers that add the results directly to their CRM record or creating a custom portal for your clients that they can use to update their own CRM records… the sky is the limit.

If you need a little inspiration let us know, because CRM is all we do. You can find your Microsoft CRM Experts here

Happy CRM'ing