Monday, March 2, 2015

ZOHO CRM - NOTES OPTIONS: Title and Attachments

With Zoho CRM you can add multiple Notes to any record by opening the record, scrolling down past the detailed fields (or hiding the detailed fields by clicking the ... symbol) and dropping your cursor inside the top, empty note field.  The NOTE you add is automatically time-tagged and you are automatically identified as the generator of the NOTE.

You can also

  • add a Title to the note by clicking the "Add a title" link,
  • add an attachment to the note by clicking the paperclip icon


Zoho CRM now has an Outlook Plug-in for MAC users.  To download the plug-in:

  • Setup->Apps and Add-ons->Other Apps
  • Choose Outlook Plug-in
  • Choose Microsoft Outlook for MAC 2011 and click the download button to download and install:

Once installed, open Outlook and click on the "Z" icon to access the Zoho CRM tools:

ZOHO CRM - Choose your Colors!

Go from Boring to Branded with Zoho CRM's Organization and Personal Settings!  Upload your Logo and choose the colors of your Navigation Bar and backgrounds to make your Zoho CRM feel like your own.

Upload a Logo: Setup -> Organization Settings -> Company Details Tab -> Edit button (on right)

Scroll down to the bottom and click Choose file:

A browser window will open and you can select an image from your computer to use as your company logo.  Logo image should be 190:65 pixels in size, cannot exceed 20KB and must be in one of the following image formats: .jpeg, .png, .gif.


Choose your colors: Setup-> Personal Settings ->Theme
  • Set Tab Bar Colors and font colors
  • Set background color

Monday, February 2, 2015

Crystal Reports : How hard should Crystal work?

If you're stuck with a report, if you can't seem to claim that last inch towards the finish line, you might be working Crystal Too Hard. This happened a lot to me when I was first learning Crystal. I had a strong programming background and all I wanted to do was get to where I wrote the IF THEN statements. But if you find yourself writing too many, chances are there is an easier way.

Let us consider a bunch of Customer Type Codes;

C - Client
P - Prospect
V - Vendor
R - Personal
O - Other

So, the idea is to convert these to text in Crystal. Here is the formula;

IF {TABLE.FIELDNAME} = "O" THEN "Other" ELSE "Unknown"

That would work, but suppose your list of IF THEN tests needed to be, say, 50 elements large? Maybe you need to convert a numerical code into a State Name. Or convert a Product Code. The last place you want to be is evaluating hundreds of IF THEN statements.

A very powerful option is to create what I call a "Helper Table". Instead of using IF THENs, create a table that holds the values. The table needs two columns, one for the Code and the other for Description.

Table CustType
Code     Description
C           Client
P            Prospect
V           Vendor
R           Personal
O           Other

Now add that table to the Crystal Report. JOIN your source data to CustType via CODE. Now, just call CUSTTYPE.DESCRIPTION within your report surface to automatically render the plaintext description.

Not only is this faster, but it's a much easier way to manage lists of transformations. It also leaves more "room" in Crystal to do what it does best (i.e. Summaries, Grouping).

Crystal Reports : Using Drill-Down in the Groups Tree

Here is a thing that always drives me nuts; seeing actual Crystal Reports printed out, like on paper. For a meeting. A copy for everyone. Stapled. STAPLED. It's enough to make me swoon. Why? Because the moment the report leaves Crystal, it's dumb. Immutable. Un-searchable. Un-refreshable. And someone at that meeting is going to want to Change the Report. Use different dates, maybe add some fields.

I guess the moral of the story could be to just use a projector. And while you're at it, don't forget;

You can Drill Down Groups, even within the Crystal Viewer.

1. Right-click within your Groups Tree on the left hand side and select "Drill Down".

2. This "breaks out" the right-clicked Group into a separate tab within the viewer.

3. From here, you can choose just to print the currently open Tab.

Keep in mind that Refreshing the report will close all tabs.

Crystal Reports : What you need to know about SQL Expression Fields

I'll be honest, I rarely use these. But they can be really powerful on a MSSQL back-end. The first thing you need to know is that they allow you to submit TSQL directly to the server.

So, if I was after the Year value of a date field, the Crystal Formula would look like this;


...where the SQL Expression would use native Transact SQL, like this;


The big difference is how these two recordsets are generated. If I plug this into the Select Expert using Crystal Formulas, ALL records are downloaded from the server, and THEN the formula is processed. If you use the SQL Expression, it becomes a part of the Crystal SQL Statement, and only SELECTs the appropriate rows.

But it wouldn't work with, say, Access, or Interbase. The SQL Expressions are server-specific. What works with MSSQL may need a different syntax for Oracle or mySQL. But if you're reporting against millions of rows, this could dramatically reduce refresh times.

I've also seen it used in hyper-specialized environments to call Custom SQL Functions, as the SQL Expression is just a code-delivery system. Any exposed SQL object, including three-part qualifiers, should be allowed. I.e. DATABASE.DBO.TABLE.

GoldMine : Knowing What's Going On

This happens; a user defined-field will someday get "screwed up". And it will be an important one. Like one day, Customer Type will magically switch from "Customer" to "Vendor". Or a complete street address will go missing. It is inevitable, certain as the fact that no one will fess up to it. 

If this happens a lot, it might be worth enabling Logging Changes to History. This is done on a per-field basis and is done in Field Properties;

1. Right-click the field in question, select "Properties".

2. Click on the "Security" tab. 

3. Check the box labeled "Log Changes in History".

4. OK your way back.

Every time this fields' value changes, a History item will be written against the Contact Record. It actually tracks a lot of detail about the previous values, etc. You may find that it "Junks Up" the History tab a bit, and may only wish to keep this enabled until you figure out what's going on with your field updates.

Have fun!

GoldMine : Filtering Last Contact Date

The Summary tab, is there nothing finer? At a glance, you can see;

Creation Date / User
Last Update Date / User
Last Contact : Last SUCCESSFUL call
Last Attempt : Last UNSUCCESSFUL call
Prev Result : Reference from the most recent Completed History
Next Step : Reference from the closest upcoming Pending Activity
Comments : Free form text field to record a thoughtful note about the Client

That Last Contact Date is especially juicy. Just think, if you had been recording all of your calls in the Notes tab, this wouldn't be possible. So, let's show off a little and generate a list of everyone who hasn't been Contacted This Year.

1. Open your Search Center. Yes, really.

2. Select "Lastconton" from the Search By list.

3. User "Lesser or Equal" (the idea is to return anyone with a Last Contact Date before the New Year. Past Dates are "Less Than" Future Dates).

4. Enter in 01/01/2015 as the search value.

Easy, right? If you feel like Getting Fancy;

1. Feel free to right-click and Output to Excel.

2. Don't forget you can add Columns via the "Columns" button.

3. Use the Filters/Groups button to save this as a re-usable Filter/Group.

Try it!

GoldMine : Setting Up AutoFill

When is the last time you were typing something in a box and DIDN'T see it start to automatically fill itself? I'll tell you when; the last time you used GoldMine.

Until now! Rejoice, for Auto-Fill can be enabled on a per-field basis.

1. Click into the field in question, and bring up the lookup window by hitting F2 or clicking the grey arrow to the right. This is why sometimes you will see these referred to as "F2 Lookups".

2. Click the "Setup" button.

3. Check the box labeled "Auto Fill", then OK you way back.

You'll notice that now as you type within the field, it will try and predict which picklist item you are trying to select. Keep in mind the Auto Fill is only as smart as your picklist; it can only predict against items within that list.

Fun Fact : Back "in the day", you could also invoke F2 lookups by right-clicking within the field. Anyone running GoldMine BEFORE version 8 should be able to do this.

Friday, January 2, 2015


Even though we all try our best to be green we find, every now and then, that we need to print some of our data.  There are several ways to print in Zoho CRM...

To print a single record (ALL fields in Layout format, related lists)

  • navigate to the record and open it
  • Under the Record Tools bar (upper left)
  • click More Actions
  • select Print Preview option
  • Click Print Page

  • Click the module name in the top nav bar
  • choose the VIEW that will list the records and columns you need 
  • click the Printer Icon (far right)
  • Click Print Page


You know those related lists that appear below your record details?  Did you know you can add, remove and re-order them?  Its easy to do right from inside a record! (NOTE - you must have admin privileges to do this)


  • Open a record (I've opened an Account)
  • click on the gear wheel to open up the option list
  • Select Organize Account Details
  • Use the middle arrows to add or remove a list
  • Use the right arrows to change the order the lists appear.
You can also change the columns that are shown by selecting the Related List Columns Option.  Choose the Related List in the Modules List Drop-down, then use the middle arrows to select which fields you want to have displayed as columns.  You can also re-order the columns using the up down arrows on the right.  Save your changes.

ZOHO CRM - Calendar Settings

Trying to change the calendar, settings but can't find where to start??  We are here to help!  The first step is to actually open the calendar.  Click the calendar icon on your top navigation bar as shown in the diagram then click on a day, or on any of the words at the bottom (Day Week Month):

Once open, click the Options drop down menu and select Preferences to open the settings window:

Friday, December 26, 2014

MSCRM 2013: Setting Up Automatic Campaign Responses

Campaign Responses may be generated automatically when an email response to a marketing campaign is received if the email is being tracked in CRM.  Note: SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR role is required.

If you're using the CRM Web Applications, Navigate to Settings>Administration>System Settings.  Select the Marketing Tab and set Create campaign responses for incoming email to Yes:

If your using CRM for Outlook:   In the Navigation Pane, expand your organization if necessary, and then click

Settings > System > Administration > System Settings > Marketing tab.

Set the Create campaign responses for incoming email option to Yes.


MSCRM 2013: How to Create a Quick Email Campaign from a Marketing List

Quick Campaigns are fast and easy to set up.  Here's how:

Select the records you wish to send an Email to.  You may use a Marketing List or select the records from a View or Advanced Find.  In this example, we'll use a marketing list.  Select Create Quick Campaign from the More Commands area or Click the “+” Add New icon from the Quick Campaigns subgrid:

The Quick Campaign Wizard will guide you through the process.

Note: Checking the box "Select Whether email activities should be closed" will cause emails to be automatically SENT to the Marketing List members upon creation of the Quick Campaign.  If you do not check the box, the emails will remain in Draft form and will NOT be sent:

When the Campaign Wizard is completed, the Quick Create Campaign is also completed.


MSCRM 2013: How to Create a Dynamic Marketing List

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Marketing Lists are used to send marketing materials to prospective or current customers.  Marketing Lists can be targeted at Accounts, Contacts, or Leads.

Create a Marketing List 

Navigate to Marketing==>Marketing Lists

Click the “+ NEW” button and enter the required fields on the form.  For List Type, select Static if you prefer to add or remove members manually.   For our purposes, we'll select Dynamic to use a dynamic query that retrieves the updated list of members.  A Static copy of a Dynamic Marketing may be made, more on that later.

Note: Members cannot be added to a Marketing List until it is Saved/Created.

Once you have saved your Marketing List,  Add Members either by clicking on Manage Members or clicking the “+” (add New icon):  

Create a new query or use an existing View.  In this example, we want Active Contacts in PA: 

Click "Find" to preview the list of records returned by the query.  When you are satisfied, Click "Use Query".  Now the current members of the Marketing List are displayed on the form:

Individual members cannot be added or removed from a Dynamic Marketing list, only the Query can be modified.  Since this list is dynamic, it will change as your Contact records change.  To preserve at "snapshot" of the Contacts in the Marketing List at a given time, click on the COPY TO STATIC button:

A copy of the Marketing List with the date/time appended to it is created.  

That's it, N'joy!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - Requesting Updated Contact Information - Requesting Updated Contact Information

Every so often it’s a good idea to reach out to your contacts and ensure that you don’t have outdated contact information. Salesforce provides a useful Stay-in-Touch Requests feature that allows the contact owner or administrator to send an email to the contact requesting updated contact information.

To request updated information, follow the steps below;

Navigate to the contact you want to request updated information for. Click on Request Update button.

You’ll then be able to customize your email message to the contact. Once you’ve done that hit send.
After clicking send, the contact will receive an email from Salesforce. This email will have a link that will open a contact details form. When the contact fills the details and clicks Send, the contact information for that contact will automatically get updated in the Salesforce organization.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Crystal Reports : Viewing Selection Criteria

When the Selection Criteria becomes very complex for any given report, I often find it helpful to display the whole Selection Criteria right on the report.
To do this, you need to insert a "Special Field" from the Field Explorer.
Select Insert | Special Field.
Drop down the Special Fields list.
The field we want to insert is Record Selection Formula.
You will also notice that the Group Selection Formula is also available here.

Crystal Reports : Decimal Precision and You

In the case of "calculated" fields, especially where division is involved, the result can sometimes be a number like "10.25" or "13.53".
Crystal will default the formatting of such a result to include the decimal places as the calculation requires.
If you only wish to see the "integer" portion of the field in question, you need only to change the field formatting.

1. Right-click on the field in question
2. Select "Format Field"
3. On the "Common" tab, click "Customize"
4. Drop down the "Decimals" list to select your desired precision.
5. "Ok" your way back out.

Note : These Field Formatting options are only available on numeric fields. If your formula is returning a string, try using the ToNumber() Crystal function to convert it.

Crystal Reports : Deriving the Day-of-Week from a Date Value

A client asked: I would like to display the day of the week on the detail line along with the date. How do I do this?

Using the example of CREATEON in Goldmine Contact1, you would do the following:

Create a formula using the DayOfWeek function called DayPosition as follows. This will create the numerical position of the date (e.g. 1=Sun, 2=Mon, etc)

DayOfWeek ({Contact1.CREATEON})

Then create a formula called DayName. This will add the name to the report (Mon, Tue, Wed). Use the function WeekDayName and add the DayPosition as the function detail

WeekdayName ({@DatePosition})

Drag the DayName formula to the detail row next to the CREATEON date. It will list the weekday name of the CREATEON date.

Crystal Reports : The "automagical" Multi-Element Parameter

When using a parameter that accepts multiple values, you will notice that you can't just drag it onto the report. We must pass it to the "Join" Crystal Function to "split" the values out.

Our parameter field is called {?UserID}, and accepts multiple values.

Create a formula with the following code:

Join({?UserID}, ", ")

This will return all UserID values within the {?UserID} parameter, separated by commas.

Crystal Reports : Pasting Formatting

In order to shorten the time it takes to make a report look nice, we can use the format painter to first, "copy" the formatting from one field, then "paste" it onto another. Formatting includes everything under the formatting options menu, including things like decimal places, currency symbol, etc.

1. Click on the object you want to "copy" the formatting of.
2. Go to Format | Format Painter on the top level menu
3. Click on the object you want to apply the formatting to

Note: Some versions of Crystal will not have this menu option, but will instead provide a format painter toolbar icon, in the form of a little paintbrush.

GoldMine : Scheduling for Multiple Contacts

Did you know that you can schedule the same meeting for multiple contacts using GoldMine? You can schedule multiple contacts from the calendar in the same scheduling window.

Here's how:
1. Open the GoldMine Calendar and click Schedule Appointment
2. Click the icon next to the Contact shown
3. Click New > Add. Select contacts to add
4. Click Schedule and multiple contacts appear on the Calendar

To complete the appointment:

1. Open the Calendar, right click and select Complete
2. Enter any information and click Complete All Activities

The activity is completed for all contacts scheduled.

GoldMine : Activity Roll-overs

Those of you who use the GoldMine calendar will know what I'm talking about.
Each morning, when you log into GoldMine, you see it whiz trough a bunch of pending activities, essentially moving them all to today's calendar.

This is a good idea; it makes sure nothing falls through the cracks.

However, you may wish to pick and choose what kinds of Activities roll over, and which ones do not.

Go to Tools | Options | Calendar

Check (or uncheck) the "Auto Roll Overs" checkboxes on the right hand side. Each checkbox corresponds to an activity type.

GoldMine : Using Partial E-mail Replies

If you use and love GoldMine email like I do, this is a nice little tip.

When replying to an email you may only want to quote part of the original text.

To do this, select the text you would like to quote with your mouse (highlight it).

Then hit Reply. You'll see that only the selected text is now quoted at the bottom of your reply.

If your GoldMine email doesn't quote by default, go to

Tools | Options | Email | More Options

Make sure thet "Quote original message by default" is selected.

GoldMine : Using Custom Tab Names

Here's how to change the default names of the GoldMine "Tabs" (lower half of the Contact Record);

1. Click the arrow to the left of the tabstrip.

2. Click Customize.

3. Single click to select a Tab Item in the list, click Rename.

4. Enter in your new Tab Name, hit Ok.

5. Now OK your way out!

Pro Tip: Click "Customize tab labels globally" to affect everyone.

GoldMine : Organizing E-mail Templates

Did you know that you can change the name of any E-Mail Template at any time? This is useful, as when creating a new template, it's usually not obvious how you want the name to look.

1. Select GoTo | Document Templates from the top level menu.

2. Find the template in question, right click on it and select Edit.

3. Simply replace the text in the subject line with your new name.

4. Hit the "Save" button in the upper left hand corner.

Pro Tip : If your version of GoldMine is "new" enough, you should be able to rename right from the Document Templates window by selecting the template and hitting the F2 key.


Zoho has recently pulled support for their Quickbooks Desktop Plug-in due to low interest. If you're one of the ones that WAS interested and now find yourself in a bind - here's the solution...!  itduzzit, together with your intuit sync manager will integrate your desktop quickbooks account with your cloud-based Zoho CRM account.

You can find the intuit sync manager under the file menu (Or Online Service menu for 2012 or older). If you don't already have an intuit account, you can set one up from here as well.  Once you get your intuit sync account established and your Quickbooks company file sync'd you are ready to go...

Create your itduzzit account (  Click on Connections in the main navigation bar, and connect both your Quickbooks Desktop (via your intuit sync manager) and your Zoho CRM.  Once you have your individual accounts connected to itduzzit, you can now establish the integration.

The integration can be built through a super-easy-to-use user interface.  Its a simple matter of
  • When this happens (source application)
  • and these conditions are met (optional filter)
  • Do this
Pricing is very reasonable. See price chart below:  Try it for free!!

ZOHO CRM MOBILE - Find Contacts near your location with a tap!

Did you know that your Zoho CRM mobile application has a great little feature on the view menu called "Map View - Contacts Near Me" that will show you the contacts in your CRM within a specified radius... on a map!  This is a perfect feature when you're on the road and you find your self with some extra time.  

To access the feature, go to your contact module then tap on your view list at the top of the screen (the default is All Contacts).  Tap on Contacts Near Me under Map views.

To change the search radius, tap on the settings gear wheel and scroll down to Search settings.  Use the drag bar to change the distance to be searched.


If you're a ZOHO CRM user and are interested in integrating your accounting software with your CRM you should look into using the cloud based Zoho Books application.  Its a nice little accounting application that does pretty much what a small business owner uses out of Quickbooks, and it integrates very nicely with Zoho CRM.

Some key features are the ability to auto-charge a client's credit card (requires the use of external payment gateway account) and a built-in client portal where clients can login, view their invoices, pay their bills and update their account information.

For more information visit or contact us at The Marks Group for a free demo.

Sunday, November 30, 2014 - Understanding Relative Date Values for Filter Criteria

Understanding Relative Date Values for Filter Criteria

In Salesforce you are able to build a report with a rolling or relative date range. Here are some examples of what that means;

All Opportunities closing in the next 60 days
All Completed Activities in the last quarter
Number of Accounts created last month
Contacts with no activity in the last 90 days
Number of Opportunities lost last fiscal year

Salesforce officially calls these types of date range filters Literal Filter Criteria, and has over 40 available date filters. Salesforce also refers to these filters as Relative or Rolling date filters. They allow you to write a dynamic report that looks forward or backward for a set period of time based on when you ran the report. For example, if you have a report to return all Opportunities created Last Month(based on the Created Date field) and ran that report in March, you’d see Opportunities created in February. If you ran that same report in February, you’d see Opportunities created in January. In many cases this type of dynamic date filter can be desirable versus hard-coding a date range.

You can use a literal date range filter on any date field available in your report. Keep in mind if the date field is filtered elsewhere in your report, you may get unwanted results. 

Dependent Picklists in

Dependent Picklists in Salesforce

Dependent picklists are used to help your users enter accurate and consistent data. A dependent picklist is a custom or multi-select picklist for which the valid values depend on the value of another field, called the controlling field. Controlling fields can be any picklist (with at least one and fewer than 300 values) or checkbox field on the same record.

To set-up a dependent picklist:

  1. Navigate to the fields area of the appropriate object. For this tutorial we’ll use a standard object. 
  2. Go to Setup, click Customize, select the appropriate object, and click Fields.
  3. Click Field Dependencies.
  4. Click New.
  5. Choose a controlling field and dependent field.
  6. Click Continue.

Use the field dependency matrix to specify the dependent picklist values that are available when a user selects each controlling field value.

I recommend you click Preview to test your selections. If your organization uses record types, choose a record type to test how it affects your controlling and dependent picklist values. The record type controls what values are available in the controlling field. The record type and the controlling field together determine what values are available in the dependent picklist. For example, a dependent value is only available if it is available in the selected record type as well as the selected controlling value.

Click Save and you're done!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

MSCRM 2013: Change Password Expiration Policy

Too many passwords, so little time....
By default, Microsoft Dynamics is set to prompt you to change your password every 90 days.  If you have System Administrator or Password Administrator privileges, you can change this to a maximum of 730 days.  Here's how:

1. Login to the Office 365 Portal at
2. Navigate to Passwords and set the interval to the desired number of days:


MSCRM 2013: CRM for Outlook Behaviors

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Customer Center has a great article detailing what happens when records that have been tracked with CRM for Outlook are deleted.  Here's an excerpt which details what happens when you delete tracked Contacts and Emails:
  • Deleting a tracked email message in Outlook does not delete the email message from Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
  • Deleting an email message in Microsoft Dynamics CRM does not delete the tracked message from Outlook.
  • If you stop tracking an email message in Outlook, CRM for Outlook asks whether you want to delete the email message in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
  • Deleting a tracked contact in Outlook does not delete the contact record from Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
  • If you are not the owner of the contact record, deleting a contact from Microsoft Dynamics CRM deletes the tracked contact from Outlook.
  • If you are the owner of the contact record, deleting a contact from Microsoft Dynamics CRM does not delete the contact from Outlook.
  • If you are the owner of the contact record, and you stop tracking the contact, CRM for Outlook asks whether you want to delete the contact record from Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
  • If you are not the owner of the contact record and you stop tracking the contact, Microsoft Dynamics CRM deletes the contact record.
Click on the Link below for additional information- including information on Appointments and Tasks:


MSCRM 2013: Assigning Records

When changing the Owner field, it is very easy to accidentally end up in the User record of the Owner- frustrating!!  Why? The first step in changing this field is to click on the search icon (magnifying glass) to view a list Users to select from.  The issue- It is very easy to accidentally click on the User's name instead of the search icon.  Now you're in the User's record and need to navigate back.  Ugh!

Quick Tip: Use the ASSIGN command instead.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Salesforce - Creating Dashboards

Creating dashboards is simply a drag and drop job. One thing you do have to make sure of is that you have created the correct report type. Tabular reports are not going to work with the majority of components unless they have a row limit, then they can work with chart or table components. The majority of the time you are creating reports to work in dashboards you are probably going to be working with summary reports as you are summarizing a certain value and then displaying these values in a bar chart, pie chart, pipeline chart etc.

To start,  navigate to the reports tab and hit “New Dashboard” directly next to “New Report”. If you don’t have this button here you probably don’t have the correct permissions, you'll need to contact your System Administrator to have get access.

You will then see the layout design manager for your dashboard. On the left hand side you will be able to see the different components you can add to your dashboard. The top two starting from the left are bar charts, a line graph, pie chart, doughnut chart, pipeline funnel, scatter chart, gauge chart, metric and table.

Once you have chosen your selected component you can simply drag and drop it to your chosen column. This is the first step. The second step is to populate that chart with some data. On the tab next to components you will see data sources. This is a list of all your reports in Salesforce. Just a tip; if you are building a big dashboard it is best to create a new folder so everything is contained in one place. Once you have found your selected report you can simply drag and drop it onto the component and you’re done. 

The last step is to simply customize your dashboard.  If you click on the wrench (circled in the image below) within the component you will be direct to a page with two tabs. 

You can change the Component data and formatting here as well as a change of graph type.