Saturday, April 18, 2015

Sales Rep CRM Quick Tip: Make CRM Your Rolodex

CRM for Contact Management Sales Rep AdoptionLooking for a way to expand usage of your company's CRM?  Here's a simple idea: commit to making it the one and only place that you use to manage your list of contacts. It sounds simple, but it's amazing how many contact lists are spread out over a pile of business cards, in our mobile devices and handwritten on notepads.  This article shares some practical ideas on how to get all of your contacts into CRM.

Are you creating value, or just worried about ROI?

imageWarren Buffet once said that “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”  In our daily work, we talk a lot about value. However, the truth is, a lot of organizations spend a lot of time, effort, and money trying to measure ROI – the precise financial impact of an initiative - without first understanding the value to the business. This blog entry breaks down how to generate both organic ROI and real business value.

Data Migration from CRM 2011 to CRM 2015

One blog reader recently asked us about affordable options for migrating data from CRM 2011 to CRM 2015 when upgrading.  This article provides a number of options to consider.

Beware of the Phantom Web Resources in your CRM system

Have you ever wondered where some of those "missing components" come from when adding an entity to a solution? Check out the rest of this blog for some insight into this common predicament.

Data Encryption Feature Isn’t Activated - Prevents Outlook Client Sync

Encryption key is required

You know how the story goes... We were prepping for a CRM 2013 on premise client going live and it was Outlook client configuration time. I was doing some last minute Outlook client testing and hit the sync button to test my Outlook filters when I got this message. Read more to find out how to activate data encryption when syncing Outlook to CRM.

CRM vs ERP: Where to Handle Quotes and Order Entry?

CRM vs ERP for quotes orders pricebook catalog

Are your customer care or inside sales reps straddling CRM (customer relationship management) and ERP (enterprise resource planning, or accounting) systems in order to get their jobs done?  Is it slowing them down?  Are they missing opportunities to collaborate with your field sales reps because they don't have enough time to keep things updated in CRM?  Are your outside sales reps asking for more information about order history to be visible in CRM?

This article takes a look at the benefits of handling these processes in CRM rather than in an ERP solution.

4 Reasons Why You Should Use Excel to Create a Survey

SNAGHTML13b5de3Maybe you didn’t even know, but if you are using Office 365 or OneDrive, you can use Excel to create a survey, share it with others, and easily get the results.  This blog details why you should use Excel to create a survey.  Using Excel won’t be for everyone depending on your requirements, but it does serve a purpose in the landscape of survey tools. Find out what you didn't know before! 

Dynamics CRM – Spring 2015 Related Products Roadmap

Dynamics CRM 2015 - Related Products RoadmapMany improvements to Dynamics CRM were announced last week at Microsoft Convergence 2015. But CRM isn't really just one application anymore - there are a host of things that companies need to consider in order to work together better both externally with customers and internally with employees who are striving to serve those customers.  This article looks at recent and upcoming improvements to Microsoft Dynamics Marketing (MDM), Social Listening, Parature and Unified Service Desk; as well as some of the more standard products such as Excel, SharePoint and Outlook.

Dynamics CRM Roadmap – Spring 2015 and Beyond

New CRM Spring 2015 SiteMap Menus

Get ready ... CRM 2015 just came out, but the spring release is just a few months away.  Microsoft is including a lot of new features in this release that you'll want to take advantage of including: new (easier) navigation, OneNote integration and Power BI dashboards.

Collaboration at Microsoft Convergence

A lot of exciting information is being shared this year at Microsoft Convergence in Atlanta, GA.  This post summarizes the highlights of day 1, with a focus on the sessions that discussed working together better inside and outside of the organization - customer and employee engagement.  We will pay particular attention to the discussions around collaboration in this post.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Mobile/Tablet Express : Part 3

Screenshot (2)In the first two blogs of this series we discussed how to enable Microsoft Dynamics CRM entities for Mobile/Tablet and how to access Microsoft Dynamics CRM online 2013/2015 via a mobile phone. Here is another blog in this series that will discuss how to access Microsoft Dynamics CRM online 2013/2015 on tablets. For demonstration purposes, we will be using a Microsoft Surface.

Gotchas When Using Power Query to Retrieve Dynamics CRM Data – Part 2

imageWelcome back to part 2 of my review of tips and gotchas for using Power Query with Dynamics CRM OData feeds. Let’s continue our review and talk about how ugly the option set numeric values are, and how you can improve your query times by tweaking (filtering more specifically) the OData URL used in Power Query.

It’s All About The User Story. Are You Successful In Getting From “Once Upon A Time” to “The End”?


User stories are the most important aspect of delivering a successful agile project that meets (or even exceeds) the expectations of the client. The story can serve as the vehicle for determining scope, sprint planning, requirements gathering, specification documentation, as well as test script creation and training documentation. So great care must be taken to elicit, document, and gain consensus on and approval of the client’s needs before executing.

Gotchas When Using Power Query to Retrieve Dynamics CRM Data – Part 1

imageIf you have been following the Excel business intelligence space lately, you are familiar with all of the slick add-ins Microsoft has introduced with Power Query, Power Pivot and Power Map.  We work with a lot of Dynamics CRM clients, and I recently set out to use some CRM Online data to create some visualizations and dashboards in Excel.  I encountered a few different situations I had to deal with, so in this post I want to walk you through some of the gotchas I found when you use Dynamics CRM data with Power Query. 

    What is CRM Gamification and Why Do You Need It?

    Inc. magazine recently published an article in which it predicts the top 10 hottest industries in 2015 and one among them has caught my attention: Gamification software. You probably have the same first reaction as me: What the heck is it?! 

    The following is the definition that I found from Wikipedia: Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems and increase users' self contributions.  

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013/2015 Mobile/Tablet Express : Part 2

    IMG_8503In this blog we will cover how to access Dynamics CRM on mobile devices. For the purpose of demonstration, this post will discuss how to install and access Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013/2015 on the iPhone 5.
     

    Optimizing CRM Security by Team

    thumbnailThere’s more to the concept of Team Ownership in Microsoft Dynamics CRM than you may originally think, which means you’ll want to give that topic significant consideration and understanding before embarking on a security model that utilizes team permissions or team ownership. In releases prior to 2011, the concept of Teams existed but Teams were simply groupings of users. Since version 2011, a Team can actually own its own records, and can have its own security role(s), giving CRM architects more options for building more complex security schemes. Let's talk about these options now!

    Thinking About Launching a Loyalty Program? Consider These Five Components Before Making a Decision! Part Two


    imageA successful loyalty program not only allows companies to reward their customers but also enriches the business with valuable customer data and feedback. In this entry, we will review the three important program components: operations, platform selection, and vendor selection. 

    Sales Rep CRM Quick Tip: Take a Long-Term View

    CRM Quick Tips for Sales Reps In spite of what you may have heard from CRM software vendors, a customer relationship management system is not a "shot in the arm" or "30 days to productivity". In all but a few teams (those that are highly process-driven) a CRM project takes time to fully adopt.

    Sales Rep CRM Quick Tip: Index


    CRM Quick Tips for Sales RepsDoes your organization have a CRM system, but you struggle with making it a useful tool for getting your job done? You're not alone! Sales Rep CRM Quick Tips from C5 Insight are an ongoing set of 5 minute tips that a Sales Rep can use to transform any CRM solution into the most valuable tool in their personal sales toolbox.

    Dynamics CRM Contact Form On_load Error Without Any JavaScript

    I'm not sure when it happened. I was happily going along, doing some configuration work for a new Dynamics CRM 2013 on premise client, when my test users began experiencing an on_load error when opening contact records.  When I reviewed the two scripts I had on the contact record, I realized I didn't have an on_load script on the contact form. So I disabled my JavaScript, but still got the on load error. What the heck?!!

    This blog details my chat with Microsoft, how we discovered the problem child, and the fix for the error!  

    How to Selectively Sync Folders to OneDrive for Business

    OneDrive selective folder syncWhile recently working with some users who are migrating to OneDrive for Business for SharePoint 2013, I was in a discussion about how to use the OneDrive for Business client.  After walking through the capabilities and how to use the sync client, the question was asked about how to selectively sync only certain folders from OneDrive for Business and not the entire library.  Users started uploading a lot of documents, and didn’t want to sync ALL of the files in their OneDrive for Business library.  They only wanted to sync some of the folders offline.  This is possible right?  Okay I must admit I misled you a little bit by the title.  You can’t use the OneDrive for Business sync client and only choose certain folders.  It will only sync the entire library or nothing.  But fear not, the point of this blog is to offer a few viable solutions as stop gaps until Microsoft adds this functionality. 

    Early Adopter Issues with Sandbox Instances in CRM 2015 Online

    Many companies choose to defer the upgrade to the CRM 2015 Online version from 2013 in order to complete adequate testing of customizations. Should you find yourself in this situation and have the need to stand up a new sandbox instance of 2013, you can do it but it’s going to be a multiple step process. This blog details the CRM Online Instance Manager.

    How Do You Sway?

    imageIn my recent blog post “Microsoft Can Do Cool”, I mentioned a new app Microsoft has in beta / preview called Microsoft Sway.  Read on for more about Sway and to be inspired!

    Thinking About Launching a Loyalty Program? Consider These Five Components Before Making a Decision! Part One

     
    Finding the right mix of requirements for a customer to participate in a loyalty program versus the reward payout to help grow that existing customer base and bring on new customers is the “secret sauce” of loyalty. In a pair of blogs, we will discuss some of the benefits of a loyalty program, and five important areas of consideration when planning a launch - program structure, operations, platform selection, and vendor selection. In part one of two we will look at benefits and program structure.

    Working with Dynamics CRM 2013 Plugin Profiler

    Clients often ask us to customize their CRM implementation beyond the original out of the box capabilities. There are many options you can use as a developer to eXtend CRM (xRM). For the sake of this blog, we'll focus on plugins; and in particular how to circumvent an issue when working with Plugin Profiler.

    Why Collaboration?

    Why Collaboration is Changing the Business World 

    There is a lot of discussion about collaboration in the workplace, but little explanation as to why it is becoming increasingly important.  This infographic explains the four primary business-drivers behind the movement towards collaboration between employees, customers and suppliers.  

    Guidance for Updating Multiple CRM Online Orgs with Customizations

    Is migrating your full production schema to a new sandbox instance in CRM Online difficult to manage due to customizations? If so, keep reading! This blog provides some guidance on how to migrate your full production schema to a new blank sandbox instance in CRM Online to include managed versus unmanaged components.

    Back to SharePoint Basics: Part 3–Working With Views

    imageIt’s been awhile but I am back to continue on my SharePoint Basics series for SharePoint.  Let’s see where we are:

    Back in Part 2, I touched on SharePoint Views briefly in the context of creating content.  In today’s post I want to go a lot deeper with views and show you how to work with them while will help any SharePoint user work more effectively and efficiently.

    From CRM 2011 to CRM 2015: Multi-Device and New Integration

    Cortana - Voice Recognition in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015

     Meet Cortana, your new CRM personal assistant.

    This is the sixth and final part in a series exploring the upgrades available when moving from CRM 2011 to CRM 2015.  In this article, we will be looking at the new mobile versions of CRM as well as some of the improvements to other products such as SharePoint, Yammer, Lync and Skype.  Included in our discussion will be an overview of Cortana - Microsoft's new voice-activated digital assistant - and how she gives you voice access to create and lookup records in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015.

    How to Add Existing Office 365 Users to an Azure Subscription

    Microsoft AzureMaybe you’ve heard of Microsoft Azure, maybe you haven’t.   In today’s article, I’m going to walk you through the process of wiring up your Azure subscription to work with your Office 365 Organization accounts as well as Live ID. 

    From CRM 2011 to CRM 2015: Settings and Administration

    imageIf you’re still using Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, now is the time to consider an upgrade.  With CRM 2015, you can teach your CRM to do all sorts of new tricks that will make your team more productive. In this article we will look at the new administrative features that you can use to expand what your team can do with CRM.  Don’t worry, we’re not going to get too technical.

    From CRM 2011 to CRM 2015: Sales, Service and Marketing

    image

    This is the fourth in a series of articles discussing the CRM upgrades available to organizations who are on CRM 2011, and are considering the leap to 2015.  This entry takes a look at the new functionality specific to the sales, service (aka customer care, inside sales, customer support) and marketing.  All three of these functional areas received upgrades in both CRM 2013 and again in CRM 2015.  That's a lot to cover - let's dive in!

    OneNote – The Most Important Tool in My PMO Toolkit

    taking-great-meeting-notes[1]In this entry, C5 Insight's Project Manager sheds some light on a most effective way of working together and easily managing team notes. If you're not using OneNote, consider this entry a great place to start! (And if you already are, check out these tips to ensure you're getting the most out of this handy tool.)

    Microsoft Can Do Cool!

    Mobile SurfaceLove them or hate em, like them or not, it can’t be ignored that Microsoft has been making some big splashes lately. We've started to reflect on how the software giant has been putting out some pretty cool stuff that truly improves someone’s daily life or job. Let us share some Microsoft tech that impresses us.  Read this blog to get the list.

    2014 C5 Insight Best Of Blog Round Up

    Everywhere you look on the internet these days, you see Best of 2014 lists. And rightfully so – as we prepare to embark on 2015, it’s natural to gaze back across our most recent journey around the sun. In the spirit of helping you navigate through the more than 80 blogs we published in 2014, we’ve compiled a quick round-up of some of our most helpful and popular entries.

    From CRM 2011 to CRM 2015: 9 New Form Features

    CRM 2015 Has Maps on Forms

    Welcome to the third in a six-part series on the new features available to you if you are upgrading from CRM 2011 to CRM 2015, with a focus on changes made to CRM forms.

    In this article, we will look at 9 new features available on the forms within Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015.

    8 Features in Outlook 2013 You Probably Aren’t Using

    Outlook-2013If you’ve worked anywhere and had a cubicle in the last 15 years, you likely use Outlook to get and send email.  Even though we all use Outlook, there are features (some new, some not) that if you take the time, can help your day to day be a LITTLE easier.  I’m not saying this features will make you coffee or solve world peace, but every bit helps right?  Let’s look at 8 great features in the latest iteration of Outlook (2013).   

    From CRM 2011 to CRM 2015: The User Experience

    Upgrading from CRM 2011 to CRM 2015 - the User Interface

    If you're upgrading from CRM 2011 to CRM 2015, there are some game-changing upgrades to the user experience that will radically improve your teams performance, and your ability to ensure that everyone is using a consistent (but flexible) process.  

    From CRM 2011 to CRM 2015: Introduction

    Still working with CRM 2011?  Working with CRM 2013, but wondering if you should go ahead and jump to CRM 2015?

    This blog series outlines the many upgrades available to you by upgrading to the latest version of CRM 2013 - the latest version of the MIcrosoft Dynamics CRM application.  The upgrade is due to be released in December, 2014.

    Making Your Visio Drawing More Valuable with Live Data and Data Graphics

    imageWhen it comes to Visio's high quality, yet static content, can we make that flat data more interactive and fresh?  Sure, with Data Graphics!  Some people refer to drawings like this as having data-behind.  You might have seen the Supply Chain example from Microsoft in a number of demos, and think that it must be some overly complicated configuration.  It’s not!

    How to Add the ID Column to SharePoint Email Alerts

    imageGenerally the out of the box provided ID column is used as the “Issue ID” since it auto-increments by default.  Invariably, users need to be notified whenever issues are created or updated, so they subscribe to alerts on the list.  When they get their notification email, they notice that the Issue ID is missing, so they aren’t sure exactly which issue got updated. 

    We can fix this by adding the ID field to the email alert file.  Let's take a look how.

    Add icons for customized entities in CRM 2013


    thumbnailMicrosoft Dynamics CRM doesn’t have an icon library that can be shared with customized entities, instead rendering them as blank green tiles. In this blog, we will show you how to add icons for these custom entities.

    What Am I Missing from SharePoint 2013?

    105824_strip

    The purpose of this article is to try and compile a list of features removed or discounted features, not list all of the changes or improvements in SharePoint 2013.  This list will vary somewhat depending if we’re talking SharePoint on-premise or SharePoint online, but I’ll try to call out the differences where applicable. 

    Export and Synchronize Contacts from Outlook to SharePoint


    Export Outlook Contacts to SharePointLet's say you’re a member of a sales team and you need the ability for your sales peers and managers on your team to be able to see your contacts. Did you know you can use SharePoint to store and share Outlook contacts?  This blog will show you just how easy this is to do!

    “It’s not me, it’s you”: 4 reasons why your CRM is failing


    CRM10Failure, at its core, can take on many forms. When it comes to CRM, failure can mean a low adoption rate, un-integrated platforms that lack of one view to customer/partner/prospect data, or a costly investment with no return. Many assume that as technology has evolved, failures have decreased. The C5 Insight team set out to find out the truth about CRM failure. Is it on the decline, or are we kidding ourselves in thinking it possibly could be?

    Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? The SharePoint Edition!

    Are you a newbie when it comes to SharePoint? Are you lost in the lingo, or trying to make heads or tails of how to incorporate the tool into your day-to-day operations? If so, this blog is for you!

    Fix the Attempted Operation Failed in Outlook with RSS Feeds

    rss_error

    This blog covers the simple fix for the common issue of no new items in the RSS feeds feature in Outlook.  Have you tried to just right click on RSS Feeds and add a new feed, only to get lovely error “The attempted operation failed.  An object could not be found”?

    Insert A Little LUCK Into Your Channel Strategy To Optimize Your Partnership

    In order for a channel strategy to be successful, the investment does not end with implementation. It takes a lot of hard work and a little LUCK along the way.

    Let Your SharePoint Users Be Heard With the C5 Insight Feedback Solution!

    SharePoint Site Feedback How do users communicate their SharePoint frustrations, feedback, and questions?  If the answer is “they send an email” or “they open a helpdesk ticket” then this is for you!  We have created a solution for SharePoint 2010 on-premise and SharePoint 2013 on-premise and Office 365 that provides a powerful yet simple mechanism for users to provide feedback.  Best of all, it's free!

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    The information herein may be used solely at your own risk.  No warranty is made by the author or by C5 Insight, Inc.

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