Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Salesforce.com - Requesting Updated Contact Information

Salesforce.com - 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Every so often it’s a good idea to reach out to your contacts and ensure that you don’t have outdated contact information.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.com!  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 (www.itduzzit.com).  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 https://www.zoho.com/books/ or contact us at The Marks Group for a free demo.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Salesforce.com - 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 Salesforce.com

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 https://portal.microsoftonline.com
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.

Salesforce - Creating Reports

You should be familiar with the Reports tab, if not its along the top as a tab. Once there you can click on New Report and you will see the following screen. Here you can select which Objects you would like to report on, you can see a few examples below. You can only report on Objects that are related to one another, if you cannot find the particular report you would like to work on then its you should ask your administrator.

Once you have selected your report and hit next you will see the report screen. Once you understand what the different sections of this screen do, its easy to create a report in less than 5 minutes and give you exactly what you are looking for. 

1. The first section is straightforward. This is a list of the available fields that you can report on from your selected objects. You can drag and drop these fields into different areas on the report page to add in filters and columns.. The icons next to the fields indicate what kind of field it is. The “a” represents text, the “#” a number and the calendar symbol is a date/time field.  If you cannot find a particular field then you might not have permissions to view it or you might need to ask your administrator. 

2. The second section is the filter section. This is where you can filter your report to only show the records that you need. We’ll use Opportunities as an example as this has the most variables. In the image below you can see the different filters available, from the drop down this is where you can filter whose records you see; everyone’s, your teams or just your own. You can also filter by Probability Percentage, for example below or above 80%.  Also Opportunity Stage (Open, Closed, Closed Won) you can also drag and drop Opportunity Stage into the section below if you want to report on more stages. Lastly you can report on the date ranges. You have two choices here, a fixed value which you can input manually or create a report, which is a bit more dynamic, if you click on the drop down which in the picture has Current FQ you can choose between values like Today, Yesterday, Last Week, Month, Year.

3.  This is the preview section. This area will give you a preview of your report if it is over 50 records, if it’s fewer than 50 records it will pretty much show you your whole report. You can interact with the preview area by dragging and dropping fields in from section 1 in the place where you would like them to appear. You can also interact by the fields by hovering over them and clicking the drop down menu, here you can sort the fields, group the fields and also summarize.

There are four types of reports you can create in Salesforce; Tabular, Summary, Matrix and Joined Reports.  

Tabular – The images in this post have all been from a tabular report. This is the simplest of reports and is suited to just showing lines of data and nothing else. 

Summary – Summary reports are probably the most commonly used and are great for showing groups of data. For example, if you want to see your recent account opportunities they will be grouped by account and you can see each opportunity under the account. From then you can do calculations, you can see the total amount of sales under an account, you can see the maximum, minimum and also average amount. 

Matrix – Matrix reports are very similar to Summary but they allow you to group by rows as well as columns to see different totals. Matrix reports aren’t commonly used unless you have to display lots of complex data. 

Joined Reports – Joined reports allow you to create two separate reports so that you can compare data. 

Salesforce - Creating Custom List Views

List views are ways of displaying small bite size chunks of data that are instantly accessible for different Objects (Leads, Accounts, Opportunities, Custom Objects etc).  The first thing to check is that you actually have the permissions to create custom list views. Salesforce Administrators have the ability to turn this ability on and off for certain users depending on their profile. There is no reason I can see to not let you create your own views so if the “Create New View” link you see below you is not there, talk to your Salesforce Administrator before continuing.

The first step is to name your list view. You want to give it a name so you can recognize it but it also needs to be pretty descriptive. It could be as simple as Tracy’s open opps to Tracy’s opps closing next month over $1M.

The next step is to choose you filter criteria. The objective of a filter is to include a field name an operator and a value. The field name is the field name in your object that you wish to filter by, the operator is the type of filter you wish to perform and then the value that the field should be tested against. There is also a filter by owner option at the top which makes your life easier, as the majority of the filters you will be creating will be your own records.

The field is very simple but the operator can be a bit confusing if you have not dealt with them before. Essentially you are defining how you want Salesforce to test the value against the Field. For example, if you want to exclude a specific Industry then you can say Industry NOT EQUAL TO Public Utility. 

After you have selected a field and how you would like to be tested you will need to enter a value. If the field is a text field you will have to enter your values manually. If you are selecting a field with a finite amount of values, for example a Picklist, then you will be presented with a lookup icon (Magnifying glass), here you can select one or more value.

The final part is to add in the fields you want to see. These are the fields that will appear in the columns of your list view. You want to have enough fields that the list view gives you all the information you need but not so many columns that its overwhelming. These columns can be adjusted to the order they appear in by using the buttons on the far right.

The final part before you have completed your list view to choose who you want the list visible to. “Visible to just me” is the option most of you will only see.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Crystal Reports : Programming Comments

I never do this, but I probably should. It's often that I'll be asked to modify a report I haven't looked at in years. So there is always some "ramp up" time spent just figuring out what the heck I was doing. This can help cut down on that;

Did you know that you can save programming Comments within your Formula Code? You simply prefix each commented line with "//", like this;

//Formula to choose correct descriptions - 04/23/2012 Justin Hill
//If we can't find the code, simply return UNKNOWN

This is a great way to comment very complex formulas, and really shines when you need to come back to them after time has passed and you might have forgotten what you did!

Crystal Reports : Percentages as Cosmetics

I don't know why I've always loved this trick. It's a silly hack on using a custom currency symbol to force a percentage sign as part of the field object. I abhor "combining" textboxes and field objects within the Crystal Designer, so I like this approach.

1. Right-click on the field in question, select Format Field.
2. Click the "Display Currency Symbol" checkbox.
3. Click the "Customize" button.
4. Click the "Currency Symbol" tab.
5. Change your currency symbol from "$" to "%".
6. Then change the "Position" to "-123%".

This forces the percentage symbol to appear at the end of the numerical value.

This will give you percentages thus: "87.22%".

Crystal Reports : Hiding Report Sections

Okay, so a report is made up of Sections, right? The Report Header/Footer, the Page Header/Footer, Details, etc. And we are able to Hide or Reveal any section we want within the designer by right-clicking and choosing the appropriate item.

1. Right-click on the Section name on the left hand section of the designer.

2. Select Hide or Suppress, depending on your need.

Hide will still allow you to "Drill Down" and see the section in question.

Suppress will not allow you to reveal the section at all until you right-click on it and select Show.

3. OK your way out.

A great use for this is when you're dealing with a Report made entirely of aggregates, that is, mostly Footers and Summaries. You can add columns to the Detail section to inspect and troubleshoot problems and simply Hide it again when finished.

Pro Tip: As always, you can drive these values with a Crystal Formula! For instance, you could even provide a parameter for the end user to be able to control Section visibility. 

Crystal Reports : Converting to the Numeric Data Type

Almost all conversions in Crystal are easy. Until you get to playing with dates. But I digress.

To convert a String to a Number, simply use the TONUMBER() function.

This will allow you to perform math upon the text field in question.

Keep in mind that Crystal will do the "best that it can" when converting. If something isn't obviously a pure number, the conversion may not work and simply return a blank or NULL. 

Crystal Reports : Converting Numeric data to Text

This couldn't be easier in Crystal. Honestly. It's nuts. Anyone who has struggled with any kind of explicit conversion in TSQL or programming languages will appreciate this.

Within a formula, convert to text by using the TOTEXT() function. 

This will allow you to use String functions (i.e. Mid, Left, etc) on any Numeric field.

This changes not only the formatting of the output but the underlying Crystal object data type.Try it and have fun!