Tuesday, September 6, 2016

GoldMine : Partial E-mail Quoting

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 that "Quote original message by default" is selected.

GoldMine : Changing E-mail Template Names

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.

GoldMine : Using Colors in Expressions

I would like to make certain fields more visible to users based on the importance of the field. Is this difficult?

If you have already identified what fields are important for users to notice, then it is actually very easy. One of the most effective ways to make fields stand out is by using color to grab the user's attention.

For example, there may be fields you want users to notice when it is filled in. For these fields, make the data red.

If you want users to also notice certain fields when they are not filled in, then make the label red.

Here’s how to do both:

The first example, making the data in a field a specific color is the easiest. Right click on the field and select Properties. In the Color tab, assign a 'Fixed Color' to the 'Data Color'.

In the second example, to make the label stand out if the field is empty, requires an expression that will remove a special label color when the field data has been filled in. Here’s the expression you need and where it goes.

Note: The following expression will make the Source field label red if it is empty and black if it is not empty.

Right click on the field > select Properties
On the Color tab, select Expression under Label Color

iif(Empty(CONTACT1->source), 255, 0)

Your expressions can be much more advanced, for example, controlling the color of one field based on the value in another field. So, instead of using GoldMine's default colors, use specific colors to catch your users’ attention.

Friday, August 26, 2016

MSCRM - Online 2016 Update 1 Features (Part 3)

I stumbled across the address autocomplete feature in one of my most recent CRM Online trials. When I set up the trial I was able to choose some of the newer add-ons like Field Service and Project Service.

I learned from other online blogs that the postal address autocomplete feature is added as part of the Field Service solution. Microsoft recommends that you get the trial here and then you can purchase it once you've tried it out. 

The basic idea is that it tries to fill in the address once you've provided some part of it. For example, after you fill in the street address, it will try to autocomplete the rest of the address by providing potential options. Then you can select the one that's correct or ignore it and fill in the address yourself. 

MSCRM - Online 2016 Update 1 Features (Part 2)

The second feature that I wanted to highlight was the addition of self-service portals for non-CRM users. Portals allow your customers to view CRM data, submit support requests, interact on your website forums, among so many other cool features. It can also be helpful if you have a sales team that needs some access to CRM data but not enough to warrant a CRM user license. Portals are an add-on feature to CRM Online but you can request a trial from here. All you have to do is provide some contact information and business justification and they'll send you a trial key. I received mine very quickly and I can't wait to try it out!

MSCRM - Online 2016 Update 1 Features (Part 1)

The first feature I'm going to review is the ability to create and restore backups on your own. Previously you would have had to involve Microsoft to obtain a backup of your CRM organization. Now you can create a backup on demand, although backups are still performed daily, and you can restore a backup at your leisure.

You can manage your backups in the CRM Online Admin Center which you can get to from the Office 365 Admin Center. You can only restore on-demand backups to a sandbox instance. Check out this TechNet article for full details.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

ZOHO CRM 2016 - Change is good!

Have you had the courage yet to try Zoho CRM 2016?  It can be disorienting sometimes getting used to a new user interface, especially if you've been using the application for a while, but I'm telling you it's really worth it!

Every day with the new system I'm finding little things that make using Zoho even easier to use.

Here are three  examples:

Favoriting Reports - Now you can click a little star next a report name and it will pin the report to the top of the report list so it's easier to find!

Template Versioning Notes - When you update a template, you now have the option to include notes of what updates you made.

Applying Discounts - you can now right click the arrow next to line item discounts and either enter a flat percentage, a flat amount or select a pricebook.

Switch over today and let us know what cool new features you find!

ZOHO CRM 2016 - Change is good!

Have you had the courage yet to try Zoho CRM 2016?  It can be disorienting sometimes getting used to a new user interface, especially if you've been using the application for a while, but I'm telling you it's really worth it!

Every day with the new system I'm finding little things that make using Zoho even easier to use.

Here are three  examples:

Favoriting Reports - Now you can click a little star next a report name and it will pin the report to the top of the report list so it's easier to find!

Template Versioning Notes - When you update a template, you now have the option to include notes of what updates you made.

Applying Discounts - you can now right click the arrow next to line item discounts and either enter a flat percentage, a flat amount or select a pricebook.

Switch over today and let us know what cool new features you find!

ZOHO CRM - Where are all my custom buttons?

Custom buttons got a little bit of a make-over in the 2016 version, and this is the case whether you have switched to the new version of not...

BEFORE, each custom button would be a visible button in the area you selected (List view, View or Edit)

NOW, they are together in a drop down list with ONLY the name of the first button showing.

Also, for buttons placed in the list view, in the new version you must now select at least one record before the buttons become visible:

ZOHO CRM - Version 2016 - Where is the record history?

Two "Record History" changes in the 2016 version:

The new location of the 'last items' button (the one that gives you clickable links to the last 10 records you viewed) - it used to be centered off to the left on the screen, now its located at the bottom right of your screen:

This area received a really nice make-over!  When viewing a record, you can now access this information in the new left nav panel, by clicking Timeline.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Salesforce.com - The Process Builder Pros and Cons (Part 1)

The tips for this month will be all based off of the new Process Builder of Salesforce that adds a whole new element to workflow in Salesforce.  Before you were limited to alerts, updates and emails with workflow, but with the Process Builder we can now create new child records, other objects and other tasks much more easily in a much more visual designer.


  1. The Process Builder can combine multiple workflows into single process and can have chain of criteria (if-then statements).
  2. It can associate multiple actions for each criteria.
  3. It can have child records updated.
  4. The builder can access apex code and simple tasks can be replaced with process builder.
  5. Notifications can be applied to both chatter group and email alerts.


  1. Criteria is if-else based and will not move to downstream criteria if top criteria is not met (subsequent criteria), however there is a recent change allowing for the process to re-evaluate.
  2. The action cannot be re-used (with the exception of email alert) and needs to be redefined for every criteria. 
  3. Editing a process (after creation) entails cloning and editing, you can not edit a process once it's saved.
  4. Some standard fields (activity due date) for instance are still not able to be updated if they cannot be updated via standard workflow.

For our examples, we're going to create an email alert to contrast the method via the new process builder vs. the old standard workflows.....

Written by Prabha Krishnamurthy

Salesforce.com - Using Process Builder and Creating an Email Alert (Part 2)

To show how the process builder works as opposed to the standard workflows, we will create a notification or "email alert".  However, unlike the standard workflow, you have to create the email alert before you create the process.  Before, we could create criteria and then create the email alert message.  In the new process builder, it's much easier to add it in before and simply reference it in the process.  There is a button however to make a new alert, it just leaves the process builder which can seem a bit odd and disconnected.

Go to Setup and search for "Email Alerts" (select it).  If you have to pass by the splash page of "what is a workflow", that's fine, otherwise you'll see your list of existing alerts.  Click the "New Alert" button at the top to get to the creation screen.

Here you'll provide a description, the object that the alert performs or is triggered by and the email template that is used (you may have to create that one in the template area as well first).

Once created, it will look like this in your list.

From here we'll now spend time on the process builder and reference this email alert based on the order changing status...

Written by Prabha Krishnamurthy

Salesforce.com - Using Process Builder for Norifications (Part 3)

At this point, we'll now jump to the process builder to finalize our process.  There's a lot in here and we're only doing a brief process.  As you work with this part of the system you'll inevitably discover more and more things that you can do with the new builder.

Go to Setup and search for "Process Builder".  Click the resulting link and you'll be brought to the builder itself (which in a way seems very separate from Salesforce but it's more like diving deep into the platform).

Once it loads, you'll see some existing processes (2 of which are just samples).  You want to click New on the right hand side of the page.

Give the process a name and description...

Once saved, you'll now get the "flow chart" designer that allows you to define the process including the object it's working on (triggered by), the criteria and the actions.

Click "Add object" to choose which object this is triggered upon.  Here we will chose the "Order" object (this object is fairly new and also has to be enabled - maybe a future tip on the orders....).

After clicking next, you can now select the criteria and set the criteria.  In this case, we've chosen the criteria to be when an order equals draft.  What I personally like is that you have the ability to have multiples like "Is Changed" and now "Equals" to actually create a "Changes to...." scenario.

Finally, add in the action or select the action of what happens when the criteria is met.  Here it is an "Email Alert" where we'll chose the alert made in our previous tip.

Once saved, you'll then activate the process.  To test you can create an order with status of draft and the email will be sent.  For protections, we may want to have other criteria in place to prevent the same email going out with each order edit as well.  Maybe not draft but "activated" for status and have the "is changed" flag as well.  A copy of our email is below:

Be sure to join our webinar this coming month (or see our Youtube page afterwards) as we'll explain everything above a bit more in depth.  Until then though I invite you to explore the new builder -- it's worth a look.

Written by Prahba Krishnamurthy/Corey Babka

MSCRM - Quick Way to Reopen an Activity

Last month I posted about creating workflows to re-open activities. This month I'm writing about a quick and dirty way to do the same thing but using JavaScript.

1. Open the closed activity that you want to re-open.

2. In the URL field of the browser, enter the following text:

javascript: var form = $("iframe").filter(function () { return ($(this).css('visibility') == 'visible') })[0].contentWindow;form.Mscrm.CommandBarActions.activate(form.Xrm.Page.data.entity.getId(), form.Xrm.Page.data.entity.getEntityName());

3. Before hitting 'Enter' check to make sure "javascript:" wasn't stripped from the beginning of the text. You can manually type it back in. 

4. Hit 'Enter' and the activity will automatically update to be open. So cool! 

MSCRM - CRM for Outlook & Firewalls

A client recently came to me with a problem where they could not login to MS Dynamics CRM via Outlook. I discovered that they had a network firewall enabled so I went about researching which ports are used by CRM for Outlook. This TechNet article shows that port 80 is used for HTTP and port 443 for HTTPS. I went back to my client with this information but it turns out that they don't block either of those ports. We learned that the problem is only with the initial login so they temporarily disabled the firewall and was able to login. Once the firewall was enabled again, it was still working.

MSCRM - Change Biz Process on Existing Opportunities

If you create a new business process for your opportunities in CRM, the records that already exist do not update automatically. It may appear that you have to update each individual record to use the new process but there is a way to do this in bulk. Once you have your new process set up and your old process deactivated, you'll start seeing a message like this on your existing opportunities. This is a good reminder that you need to switch the business process. 

If you have several opportunities to update, you can do it all at once using a simple view. Create a view of opportunities that includes the field Process.
Make sure the results include at least one opportunity that is using the new process. This way, you'll be able to clearly see the ID for the new process vs. the old.
Next, you'll want to export the results to Excel or edit directly in Excel Online. Copy the ID of the new process over the ID of the old process.

In Excel Online before changing the Process ID:
In Excel Online after changing the Process ID:

Then import your changes and all of the opportunities will now be using the new process!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

GoldMine : Commenting Picklist Items

A GoldMine user asked: I’ve customized my Lookup Lists, but is there an easy way to keep track of what the codes and initials mean?

Within a lookup list, a double forward slash (//) will separate your actual data from comments you want in the lookup list. Nothing to the right of the slashes will apppear in the data field.

* Pull up the Lookup List you want to add comments to
* Choose the field entry to modify, and click Edit
* After the data in the Enter the F2 Value box, add a space
* Add // and another space, and then a comment about the data.

It might look something like this:

IEM // Internet Email Function

Click OK to save. In the example above, while the comment ‘Internet Email Function’ would show when the user brings up the Lookup List, only the field data ‘IEM’ would go into the actual field on the contact record.

GoldMine : Logging field History

A GoldMine user asked: Someone is changing our database! How can I track who it is?

It can be frustrating trying to figure out who changed the information in a field and trying to remember what the previous value was. A name changed, a company misspelled, addresses changed incorrectly can all be a problem.

Fortunately, there is a quick and easy solution.

Right-Click on the field in question and select Properties on the field label. Then select the Security tab and check Log changes in history. This setting is universal (affects all users and all contacts).

Now, whenever changes are made to that field, the user making the change, the date, the old value, and the new value will be logged on the History tab.

GoldMine : Defining Mentitems

It may sound a little strange; why would we ever want to remove Menu Items from GoldMine? If anything, we are usually looking to add items, have it "do more" for us.

Sometimes, however, less is more. Especially if we are now talking about a new user. Especially if we have put into place a good data model with supporting standards and practices. Certainly, at the least we need to "lock up" the sharp tools to prevent catastrophic mistakes from happening.

Here's how it works; one a per-user basis, you may remove specific menu items.

1. Select Tools | Users Settings

2. Select the user you'd like to Edit, select Properties

3. Select the Menu Tab

4. Use the Menu Tree to Enable or Disable single menu items for the User

5. You may save this Menu "Template" by clicking Save. This makes it easy to create one "end user" Template and then apply it to other users.

ZOHO CRM - Set Permissions at the field level

Within a module, you have the capability to restrict access on a field by field basis.


Select a module to open the form for editing

Hover over the field in the form and click the gear wheel, then click Set Permissions:

You can then set the permissions for all Profiles currently defined:

ZOHO CRM - Manage Data Sharing

If you have a multi-user system, you may want to segregate your data such that for example, your sales people can only see their own data, but sales managers are able to see all sales people's data.  You can achieve this using ROLES.

Settings-> Users and Permissions

Click Roles

There are two default roles, CEO and manager, where Manager reports to CEO.

Rename Manager to Sales Manager (hover over manager, and click on the center clipboard icon to edit)

Create Sales person Role:

  • Click New Role button
  • Enter Sales person as Role name
  • Choose Sales manager as reports to
  • Leave 'share data with peers' box unchecked
  • Save

Assign roles to the appropriate users.  

Also - make sure your Data Sharing Settings (Settings->Users and Permissions->Data Sharing Settings) are set to Private.

ZOHO CRM MOBILE - NEW Check-in Feature!

Any trust issues with employees being where and when they say they are?  Zoho's new Check-in feature gives you the tool you need to verify an employee's where-abouts!

Simply instruct your employees to "Check-in" to their appointments using the Zoho Mobile app.

First step is the appointment needs to be set up as an "Event" Record in Zoho CRM.

Then, for your employee to check-in, they simply open the Event Record and click the Check-in Icon at the bottom of the screen (shown below).  A note will be created with the time and place the check-in occurred, with a pin drop on a map!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

GoldMine : Customizing Tab Names

One of the unsung functions of GoldMine allows you to change the actual Contact Tab names.

To do this;

1. Open up any Contact Record.

2. Click the arrow just to the left of your tabstrip, select "Customize".

3. Select the Tab you'd like to rename, then click "Rename".

4. Give the new Tab the name you'd like it to have, hit Ok.

5. If you want all GoldMine users to have the same renamed tab(s), click "Customize Tab Labels Globally", otherwise leave this unchecked and hit Ok.

This is a really nice feature if your business uses very specific terminology that your end users would be more comfortable with. Try it!

GoldMine : Display two Contacts Simultaneously

Did you know you can view multiple GoldMine records simultaneously?

By default, GoldMine displays one contact record at a time. If you also want

to open other contact windows simultaneously, follow these steps:

Select Window | New Contact Window. This will bring up the Contact List.

From the contact list, select the second contact you wish to see and
double click on that contact.

This opens the second contact window. You will see a second record tab at
the top of your screen. Then, select Window | Tile Horizontally for a side
by side view or Cascade Windows for a Vista-style window display

This option is particularly useful when you wish to compare two contact
records in GoldMine. It saves time by eliminating the need to alternate back
and forth between the two records.

GoldMine : Simple Duplicate Record Queries

Here is an easy way to determine how many potential Duplicate Records you might have in your database.

Open the SQL Query window by selecting Tools | SQL Query from the top level menu.

If you want to see duplicates based on, for example, Contact and Phone1, paste in the following Query text and run it:

select count(*), contact, phone1
from contact1
group by contact, phone1
having count(*) > 1

If you'd like to include the Company field in the query as a duplicate check, use this:

select count(*), contact, phone1, company
from contact1
group by contact, phone1, company
having count(*) > 1

Try it! You might be surprised at how many duplicates there might be in your database.

Monday, June 27, 2016

MSCRM - Updating Disabled Users

It may not happen often but if you ever need to update the record of a disabled user, it might involved assigning a license temporarily. If you don't have extra licenses available or if you don't want to add a new license to your subscription just for this purpose, there is a way around it. Like other record types in CRM, you can import changes to user records. All you  have to do is export the specific user and the fields that need to be changed, make the changes in Excel, then re-import your changes. It's that simple! You could also achieve the same results by using a workflow to update your records.

Keep in mind that some fields can still only be edited in Office 365, like first and last name, title, etc.

MSCRM - Re-Open an Activity

If you often work with activities in MSCRM, you've probably noticed that there is no way to re-open an activity once you've marked it as completed or closed. This can be frustrating for users because they may want to simply edit the notes after they've closed the activity but there is no out-of-the-box functionality to do this. In almost all CRM implementations that I do, I create workflows to re-open the most used activity types, like phone calls and tasks.

It's a very simple on-demand workflow. Keep in mind that you'll have to create separate workflows for each activity type. Set it up to run "As an on-demand process" and uncheck the boxes under "Start when."

In the steps area, add a "Change Status" step and set it to Open.

You could also use a check condition step to confirm that the activity status prior to updating it but that may not be necessary for everyone.

MSCRM - 3 Personal Settings to Update

When customers first get started with Dynamics CRM, there are 3 specific personal settings that you can update to make your life easier. You can get to your personal settings by clicking on the gear icon in the upper right corner than choosing Options from the menu that opens.

The settings are all located on the General tab:

The first one is to set your home page. By default, it's set based on your user role but you can change it to a specific area of CRM. When you're first starting out, you may not know what to choose so you can leave this one for later if you'd like. Once you have a better idea of where you'll be spending  most of your time, you can come back to make the change.

Next, set the number of records per page to 250. This my not be everyone's preference but I find it very helpful so that I'm not spending time flipping through pages of 50 records at a time. That could take a while if you have a lot of records!

Finally, change the default mode for Advanced Find to Detailed.

This will change your Advanced Find from looking like this:

to this. In the original view, it's not obvious which fields can be edited. It also doesn't give you the option to add more lines. In the detailed view, you can add/remove lines and change the existing queries as needed.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

ZOHO CRM - How to create product "Groups" using Custom Modules

In Zoho CRM there is the Product module where you can maintain an inventory of all your products.  Sometimes, though, a business wants to offer a product "Group" which is simply made by grouping already existing products.

Here's how we can set this up in CRM.

Use the Product Category or Unit field (or create a custom field) to distinguish between single products and product groups

Create a Custom Module with two Product Lookup fields (and any other fields you may need):
  • Product Group (Related List name: Group Members)
  • Group Member (Related List name: Product Groups)
To add a product to a product group, create a record in the custom module - select the Product Group in the Product Group lookup field and select the individual product in the Group member field.

When you view the Product Group, you'll see the list of Products in the Group - something like this:

ZOHO CRM - Quickly and Easily add an email sender as New Lead or Contact from email received

In Zoho CRM, with Zoho Mail configured, you can quickly and easily add an email recipient as a contact or lead in your crm if they are not already there.

When viewing the email there will be a small tool palette at the bottom right hand corner - click the CRM icon:
The result is something like this if the sender is not already in your system:

select Contact or Lead from the drop down and click the Add now button

You'll be presented with a form like this (for contact) to fill in and click save:

If you're using Chrome, you also have the option to download Zoho's Contact Extractor which we discussed in an earlier tip.


Feeds is a great tool to keep yourself up to date with the happenings in your CRM, as well as communicating with your co-workers through the group chat.  The downside is that, currently there is no way to receive a notification that someone posts in a group chat unless you are specifically mentioned in a comment.

A great workaround for this solution is to create a group and mention the group - then everyone will receive an alert!

The Post:
The resulting Email:

SalesForce.com - Reporting on Converted Leads

Well, we've got a bunch of leads converted which of course means that I can't see them anymore in the lead area and they seem to have entered the void.  What's interesting about Salesforce.com is unlike other CRM systems (Microsoft CRM for instance), I can at least go look at "inactive leads" and see which ones were qualified and converted.

For Salesforce.com, we can only report on the converted leads which is fairly useful but a little bit tricky to get there.  A client and I just recently made this voyage together as they wanted to see "how many leads were converted in a month?"  That might seem easy, looking at creation dates but it's actually not if you have conversions to existing contacts to which a neither a new contact record nor a new account is created.  That was the case here.   So what did we do?  We built a report....

In the reports area, we clicked "New Report" as there are really no out of the box reports for this type.  In the type of report area, we selected "Leads>Leads with converted lead information".

Click create.  Now you'll see the typical tree of data fields on the left, but we have other fields like "Converted" (true/false type) and "Converted Date"which allows me to see the when.  I used both of those fields in the upper part of the screen to filter the report.

Like any report you can also add other columns or even schedule the report to run weekly/daily/monthly.  Because this does with converted leads, data the resulting contact (certain fields) and opportunity is also available at the bottom of the field tree.

SalesForce.com - Public Groups and Why

So had a client recently that needed to segregate out their accounts, but wanted true visibility across all accounts when needed.  Normally we might use ownership to do this, but if we use ownership we run into the issue where we've locked down the entire databases, using the hierarchy where only management can see all records.  As I said, in this situation we want to "territorial-ize" Salesforce, but also keep it open.

Here's where we started....  We started by creating account and contact views for every territory.  Not too bad as there are 10 or so territories, but it gets a big uglier if we start breaking out further by customer type.  For instance, "NY/NJ Accounts" isn't bad -- "NY/NJ Prospects" and "NY/NJ Customers" just created 3 different views.  Multiply that by the 10 territories and we've now got 30 views.

Is this a pain, not to create as it's a one and done and whatever's easier for the client.  However, if we don't limit the viewing of those views, we'll have every user seeing 30+ views each -- that's a pain.  We then created a group for every territory:

  1. Click Setup, then search for "Groups", you'll end up with "Public Groups".
  2. Click that to see your groups or create new ones....
  3. When creating a new group, you'll name it, the add in the users (or other groups) that are within.

Once we've got our group saved, let's go look at a view.  If we want to restrict the view (usually it's all users or only me as an option), you also have the option to share it with different groups.  That's how we're going to get a user to not see 30+ views, but instead just see the few views that means something to the rep.

When in the view, edit the view and bring up the typical criteria and columns screen.  Scroll to the bottom, then in the restrict visibility area, choose who sees that view.  We also have an admin team and "all data" team that is also able to see this view.

It's not perfect but it's pretty good.  A little bit hard to manage on the administrator side but on the user side it's MUCH easier for them and that's what counts.

SalesForce.com - Viewing "My Delegated Activities"

So you assign a bunch of stuff to other people (one of the fun things about any CRM system if you can't call it "fun") but you need to show the status.  There are a couple of ways, my favorite way is listed here.

Where I start is always on the home page.  I can then view my calendar, my tasks, and a few dashboards.  However, in the calendar area (a little used feature in my experience), you do have options to see multiple calendars, your calendar or a task list.  For these purposes we're going to go the task list but feel free to explore the multiple user calendar as that's very helpful to see what your colleagues are doing today.

Once in the tasks area, you have views just like a normal object, but there's something a bit different in the view area.  By default there's something called My Delegated Activities which is great.

This view is based on a particular item that's only there for views that are based on activities.

Feel free to make your own views like "My Delegated - Open" or "My Delegated - Closed" for instance, whatever works for you.

Keep in mind you could always create a report (with activities as the base object) as you do have "My Team's Activities", "My Activities", or "My Delegated Activities" as the option.