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: - 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 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, 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. - 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. - 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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 -- Creating a Custom App To Add Your Company’s Logo or to Create Default Tabs

This one here is a little longer than our standard tip, so let’s call this Tip 1 & 2. 

Ever want to get a default “company wide” set of tabs, or maybe display the company logo in  While we all like seeing the latest logo in the upper left depending on the time of year, sometimes you want to show your company logo instead.  How do we do both?  Well, you have to create a custom “app” or list on the app launcher (that thing on the right that says “Sales”, “Service”, etc.).  Here’s how:

Go to Setup, then search for “apps” in the search menu.  Click on “Apps” below the create menu on the left.

This is the list of Apps.  Click New here.

Give it a name and click Next

The next screen, you’ll need your logo (for those that want this part).  There are some instructions on the sizing and such, which you have to be careful so as not to shrink or “squish” it.  The worst part though is you can’t just upload your photo.  The logo has to be stored somewhere in SalesForce (like the documents area – that’s what I use).  I think you can also do external references to docs (URL’s), but never really messed with that.  Just a note though, you do have to mark it as “externally available”.

If you like the seasonal logos, just click next to move on.  Now choose the tabs you want available to the users when they choose this app. 

Finally you should choose which profiles and away we go.  Click Save and you’re done.  Voila! – Editing Quote Templates

Kind of a continuation of the tips last month, this month we’re going to look deeper into the quote template that is used to print out your quotes.  Assuming at this point we know how to create a quote and the inner workings of the quote (such as syncing to update the parent opportunity), we’re going to look deeper at editing the PDF that comes out of the quote dialog.

Go to Setup and search for “templates”.  That’s easiest for me.  Find “Templates” under the Quote heading.  Go ahead and click on that….  Here you’ll see the standard quote and even options for new quotes. 

Here we’re going to click New, so we can leave the standard one alone and then just copy/edit/change the standard (a clone of the standard as that’s where they start you anyway).  Here we’ll base our new one off the Standard and just rename it.  Then Save it.

The good news on the next page is that it’s similar to the form designer.  The bad news is that you have other items like “header” and you have other options to add and remove fields from other objects (like the account or opportunity).

On the image above, I’m going to click the quote items related list to add a column (much like you would do on a form).  Once on the screen, I’ve made some changes (moving things around, adding the description, etc.).

Save the form and only one last step.  We have to activate this new quote at the quote template screen we were at before. 

Once activated, you’re all set.  A little tip, if you only want to use one template you should deactivate the standard one.  However, if you have more than one active you’ll have the choice of which template you need.  When I test it, it looks like this now:

GoldMine : Driving Color with Expressions

Back "in the day", GoldMine was the king of dBase. All of those expressions are still available, even within Field Properties;

One of the truly unsung features of GoldMine is the ability to conditionally change a data value color based on what the data value is.

Let us take the Source field for example. We'll imagine that if a Contact Records' Source field is set to "Direct Mail", then it should be in red.

We need to first get into the Field Properties:

1. Right-click on the Source field (on the word "Source", not inside the field)
2. Select Field Properties (your GoldMine user must have "master" rights to do this)
3. Go to the Color Tab

Now we need to provide the expression to control the color based on Field Value.

4. Click on the Expression radio button near the bottom, under "Data Color"
5. Paste the following text into the Expression textbox:

iif(CONTACT1->source="Direct Mail", 255, 0)

6. Ok your way out

Now, whenever "Direct Mail" is chosen for Source, the Field Value will be in red.

ProTip: The "255" represents the color red in the above expression. To see the numbers for the other colors, simply use a "Fixed Color". Select the color you want; you'll notice that the corresponding color number is displayed in the Expression textbox.

GoldMine : Lookup.ini with Conditions

What you can do with the LOOKUP.INI is simply amazing. I find that once someone "gets a handle on it", they take off running with this kind of conditional replacement.

Let us consider the Key1 update. Let us now suppose we want to auto-fill the name of whoever created the record based upon who was logged into GoldMine at the time. And since GoldMine usernames can only be 8 characters long, we sometimes want to see the "real name"

This is how it's done;


JHILL=Justin Hill
CBABKA=Corey Babka
GMARKS=Gene Marks

Again, our NewRecord entry triggers the Key1 "block".

Then GoldMine "looks at" the &username macro (which returns the GoldMine username currently logged in).

Then, based upon THAT value, returns an item in the list. If no such username is found, our Otherwise is a "catch-all", marking them as Unknown.

ProTip: For a list of GoldMine dBase expressions, Google "GoldMine dBase Expressions" and look for "Using dBase Expressions" by FRS.

GoldMine: Lookup.ini Refresher

Still, one of the most under-used aspects of GoldMine! Enjoy.

One of the most powerful yet under-leveraged functions in GoldMine is the LOOKUP.INI, which has been available since the good old days of GoldMine for Windows. Think of it as a script file that GoldMine uses to update fields automatically. A "poor-mans" SQL trigger, if you will. It can also be used to "default" values on new contact records.

Let us suppose we want to make every newly entered record a "Prospect" by putting that value in our Key1 field.

If you have no LOOKUP.INI, then we must create one. Open Notepad and paste in the following text:



The NewRecord entry under the [AutoUpdate] header specifies what fields should be evaluated when a new record is created.

Then the process skips to [Key1], the first item in our list.

When evaluating Key1, GoldMine then uses the Otherwise value, as no other instructions exist under [Key1].

As Otherwise=Prospect, the value of "Prospect" is autofilled into the Key1 field upon record creation.

You can add more default fields/values to your Lookup.Ini thusly;

NewRecord=Key1, Key2


Otherwise=House Account

When you are finished creating your Lookup.Ini, save it into your GoldMine folder with the specific name "Lookup.Ini", then restart GoldMine to affect the changes.

ProTip: Lookup.INI instructions are also processed when importing contact records.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

MSCRM - Quickly Filter a View

This is a nice trick to quickly filter data with only a couple of clicks, especially if you're not exactly sure what you're looking for. Say, for example, that you need to find a company and you can't remember their name but you know they're based in PA. Instead of doing an Advanced Find, setting up your filters and columns, etc., you can sort and filter a view in place.

First you would go to the Accounts area and select the view you need. In this example, I want to see all accounts and I need a column for state. Click on the state column so that the view is sorted by state. Then choose the letter 'P' at the bottom of the page to see only states beginning with 'P'. Done!

MSCRM - Email Sent Date

Have you ever noticed that there are several date and time fields associated with activities in CRM? It can quickly become confusing to the user. One thing most people want to see is the date when an email was sent. By default, CRM provides the Modified On date in most of the email views. In some cases this may be the same as the sent date but not if you're tracking an older email from Outlook. To help with this issue, you can use the Actual End date as the email sent date. I will usually add this column to all of my email views.

MSCRM - Office 365 Password Policy

As an Office 365 administrator, you can determine how often your users need to change their passwords and when they are reminded. Once you're logged into the Office 365 Portal, choose Settings > Security & Privacy if you're using the new admin center (Service Settings > Passwords if you're on the old admin center).

Then you can edit the password policy so that passwords never expire or you can specify the number of days before a password expires. You can also specify when the user is notified to change it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

ZOHO CRM - Options for scheduled calls

You can easily reschedule, cancel or mark as complete, a scheduled call, right in your Open Activities related list!

Simple hover over the More link to the left of the call, and click on the desired action in the pop-up menu.

ZOHO CRM - More Custom Fields and Modules!

Ever find yourself constrained by Zoho CRM's customization field and module limits?  Well good news... these limits just got increased!

Custom Modules were previously limited to 5, but are now limited to a minimum of 10 (Enterprise Edition), with one additional available for every 10 users up to a total of 30!!  Opens large new vistas for what you can do with CRM!

Likewise limits on custom fields have been raised... in the Enterprise Edition, the total number of custom fields went from 300 to 500, with individual limitations being increased accordingly.  For example, checkboxes went from 50 to 80.  For the full list of new limitations check out the capability matrix.

ZOHO CRM - Trigger workflow when an event is cancelled!

A relatively new CRM feature is to be able to trigger workflow actions when events are cancelled.  Setup->automation->workflow->New Rule

  • Select Event as the module, name your rule and provide a description
  • Select 'A Record Action' as the Trigger Type:

Sunday, May 1, 2016 - Adding Topics to Chatter

Much like records, you can add topics to chatter posts to quickly pull up and identify all chatter posts with the same topic.

On the right hand side of the chatter post, click the down arrow to select "add topic".

Create your topic here, or if you've already created some start typing and choose from the list.

Once posted, you can later click on the topic and find all chatter posts with the same topic.

Written by Prabha Krishnamurthy - Using Topics

Topics in Salesforce are much like tags.  However, slightly different:

  • Topics are words to associate or group records on a common theme.
  • They can be used to create views lists (tags definitely cannot).

Issue for most users is that once you enable topics, public tags disappear from the main screen as expected (personal tags are still available though).  Personally, just recently I had a hard time figuring out where my public tags were with a client, -- yup, they had topics enabled.

To enable topics, to go setup, then search for "topics".  You will find the link to “Enable and configure topics for objects”.

This next screen allows you to choose which objects you want to enable topics for.  You can then choose which fields are available for suggestion.

Once on a record, click the link at the top of the record to add a topic to the record.  Here we've added a "test topic".

Written by Prabha Krishnamurthy and Corey Babka - Using Quotes

For this tip, there's a lot for this one so we'll just start with enabling quotes and getting started.  Quotes are an excellent way of expanding the opportunity module in Salesforce, much like the opportunity products.

To enable quotes, go to Setup, then do a search for "quotes" (remember, don't hit enter when searching -- it's just easier).  Find and click "Quote Settings".  Note: on the image below, you'll notice a lot of other options for quotes.  These are only available if enabled.

On the next screen, enable the quotes and save it.

Once enabled, you'll notice that quotes are now an option on the opportunity, working much like opportunity products.  These quotes allow for printing (through templates) and allow for the revenue to be calculated based on the products added to the quote.

We'll explore more of quoting such as template creation in future tips (but may expand on this on our monthly webinar where we demonstrate our tips.