Monday, September 30, 2013

Crystal Reports : Embedding Hyperlinks

Within a Crystal Report, you have the ability to make any field a hyperlink to a Web Site, Disk File, E-Mail Address or another Crystal Report file. This can be handy if you typically view the report within the Designer and want to provide easy access to commonly used items.

1. Right-Click on the field you'd like to hyperlink (text fields are by far the most popular for this).
2. Select the "hyperlink" tab.
3. Choose your hyperlink "type", as outlined above.
4. Provide the actual hyperlink address (ie. in the "Hyperlink Information" text box.

Crystal Reports : Creating a Custom Parameter Choice

Let us consider our {?UserID} parameter, which accepts multiple values.
Let us further consider that the end-user will need to occasionally print the report for all UserID's. They could simply add each UserID to the parameter before printing the report, but in cases of many UserID's, this becomes cumbersome.
A better solution is to give an "all" option in the parameter choices, then use the following code:

if {?UserID} not like "*all*" then {SALES.USERID} = {?UserID} else true

Here is what's happening:
IF our parameter DOES NOT have he word "all" within it, we execute the Selection Criteria normally. The trick here is that our ELSE clause ends in TRUE, which means that we "skip over" this part of the Selection Criteria, therefore returning ALL UserID's.

Crystal Reports : Conditional Font Color

You can specify the color of any font in your report to change based upon a "condition".
A typical example would include making a sales total field "red" if it drops below a certain value.

Let's assume our Sales Total field is called "SalesTotal".

Step #1 : Right-click on the field in question and select Format Field.

Step #2 : Click on the "Font" tab.

Step #3 : Click on the "x-2" (formula) button next to Color.

Step #4 : Use the following fomula: if SalesTotal < 100 then crMaroon else crBlack

This formula forces the sales total to be drawn in red if it drops below 100, oherwise it stays black.

Pro Tip: When testing a condition to change the font, any fields on the report are available to use.

Crystal Reports : The Oft-Neglected Zoom Tool

Within Crystal, you may change your Zoom perspective to easier see all objects on a page. This makes it easier to arrange the report to be aesthetically pleasing.

Within Crystal select View Zoom from the top-level menu.

Then enter in your desired zoom level. Typically, a level of 50% will allow you to see the entire page. I find this invaluable when formatting and polishing an extra dense report.

Crystal Reports : The Specified Group Sort Order

When selecting sort options for your Group, select Specified Order. Notice that a Specified Order tab appears when you do so. Simply choose in which order you’d like your Group printed. This is helpful in situations (for example) when the Group named "Thirty Days" must come before "Sixty Days", yet "Ninety Days" must be the last. Note that neither Ascending nor Descending order will solve this problem.

GoldMine : Using the Personal Base

One of the most unsung areas of GoldMine; the Knowledgebases.

You can access the Knowledgebase by selecting Go To | Knowledgebase from the top level menu.

This is a great area to store all kinds of information. Typical things we see in the Knowledgebase are Employee Handbooks, Driving Directions (for easy repeating to customers), Best Practices, general things like that. As a general rule of thumb, if you need to look something up more than once, put it in the Knowledgebase!

However, I find the Personal Base infinitely more useful. As you might imagine, the Personal Base is just for you. Anything you add to this isn't seen by anyone else (excepting of course other MASTER users).

So I add lots of stuff to my personal base. Credit Card Numbers, Programming Examples, GoldMine compatibility notes, the list goes on and on and on.

Just remember, if you need to look at something more than once, it might just belong in the Knowledgebase!

GoldMine : Change 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 : Changing 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 : Using Color 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.

GoldMine : Partial E-Mail Response 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 thet "Quote original message by default" is selected.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Zoho CRM - Tips and Tricks - Recent Items Tab

Use The RECENT ITEMS On The Left Side Of Your Screen.

(...that little brown tab on the left side)

The RECENT ITEMS tab on the left side of your screen saves many clicks.
It shows the most recent records you have accessed.
It makes it easy for you to go back to the screen you were just viewing.

You no longer have to RE-NAVIGATE from the top menu bar to get back to where you were.

Helping you save time, one click at a time.

Happy Selling!

Zoho CRM Tips and Tricks - CRM Pulse

Use Zoho CRM Pulse To Follow What's Important To You.

The Zoho CRM Pulse module allows you to track and follow KEY Activity for:


You can define up to 5 key elements per entity you wish to follow.
You can set time intervals per entity you follow.
You Follow or Unfollow each entity as your priorities change.

Now it's easy to focus on you top priorities with one click.

Happy Selling!

Zoho CRM Tips and Tricks - Mail Magnet

Use Zoho CRM Mail Magnet To View Customer Emails ONLY


The Zoho CRM Mail Magnet displays ALL your CRM Contact emails on one page.

It is in real time and is displayed in order of arrival.

It eliminates having to view each contact record to view recent email activity.

Simply click on the mail icon on the top right of any screen you are on.

Now you have quick access to the most recent email activity to and from ALL of your contacts!

You can still view the complete email histroy under each contact.

Happy Selling!

Friday, September 20, 2013

MSCRM: Reasons to be Excited About the 2013 Release

For the next couple months I’m going to write about some of the new features on the “Fall” release of MS Dynamics CRM 2013.  This month’s ‘New Exciting Feature’ can be summed up in three words:  Simplified Data Entry.

Inline editable grids are coming! 
You’ll be able to make edits right from the view rather than opening the form – and you won’t have to purchase an App to do it.  This will be a huge timesaver!

MSCRM: Keyboard Shortcuts

I hate the track pad on my laptop, which is why like keyboard shortcuts.  A lot.  Here are a few CRM timesavers that I can’t live without:

Save the record: CTRL+S

Close the record: Esc

Find: CTRL+F

Select All: CTRL+A

Copy: CTRL+C

Paste: CTRL+V

MSCRM: Remove the ‘Get Started With’ Pane From Screens

If you haven’t gotten rid of the ‘Get Started With’ Pain, I mean Pane, your MS Dynamics CRM screens look something like this:


Remove this pane by clicking on the 'File' tab then click on 'Options':

The 'Set Personal Options' screen opens:

Uncheck 'Show Get Started panes on all lists' and click 'OK' at the bottom of the screen.  That's it!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

MSCRM: "Neglected Reports" in the Report Area and the "Not" Condition

A client recently asked how they could determine which Leads in his CRM system had not been acted upon in the last 30 days. 

This is an interesting topic because there is really no short answer to this question and the answer is really dependent on your needs and the level of detail that you are looking to reach.

First, there are reports that come out of the box: Neglected Accounts, Neglected Leads and Neglected Cases. These reports, display only active leads, with no activities or notes, in the number of days specified by the person running the report.  

These reports have the following limitations:

1.     These reports ONLY look at activities and notes, and do not take into account changes on the record itself. So if the primary contact, address and phone number were all updated yesterday but there haven’t been any activities or notes in a year, it would still be “neglected”.

2.     They also do not take into account non-standard activities. For example, if in your database, there are email activities actions for a third-party email add-in, these records are considered neglected even though they have email actions (opens, clicks) during the period.

3.     The actual queries that these reports are running is defined  behind the scenes and there’s no way to see what’s being included or tweak it, and certainly not to create it for different entities.

So, we are back to the question on how to report on Leads (or any other entity) that have truly not been acted on in a specified time frame.

Another limitation in Microsoft Dynamics CRM is allowing you to do queries on NOT conditions. For example there is no way through the User Interface to determine which Leads have had no activities during the last 30 days.
There is a workaround in which you could use marketing lists as follows:

1.     Build a Marketing List for all Open Leads that have had activity in the last nine months.

2.     Open the Marketing List and then Remove the members that have had activity in the last 30 days. This will leave you with Open Leads not contacted in the last 30 days.

One of the drawbacks of using this method is that it only works with static marketing lists and you would need to repeat the process any time you want an accurate count.
The best solution for getting an accurate picture of your neglected records would be to create a custom field on the record (i.e. Last Activity Date) and then update that field through a workflow when an activity regarding that record is closed. The Workflow would need to be written on each of the Activity types that you are tracking (i.e. Phone Call, Appointment, Any custom activity etc.)
In conclusion, there is no short answer to the question of identifying neglected records but hopefully this post gives you a better understanding of your options.

MSCRM: Lookup Filtering Based on Another Lookup

A Client recently asked ‘Can I filter the choices in a Lookup based on the value selected in another Lookup field?” The answer is “Yes”. MSCRM includes filtered Lookup fields.
In the example below, I will show how to filter the “Responsible Contact” Lookup on the Case form to only include the contacts associated with the selected Case account.
In “Settings”, “Customization”, “Customize entities”, choose the Case Form.
On the Form, select the “Responsible Contact” field.
By clicking the “Change Properties” button, you will see the field properties for the “Responsible Contact” Lookup field. 

Under the Related Records Filtering section of this form, check the check box “Only show records where”. This will filter the available values of this Lookup field to records related to the value selected in another Lookup field. Choose the “Account (Accounts)(Cases)” in the top drop down box. In the “Contains” choose “Company (Accounts) (Contacts)”. This will only show the Contacts that are related to the Account chosen in the Customer field above.
Please note that you can also select whether or not to allow users to turn off the filter—this gives the  user  the ability to choose whether a filter is “hard,” limiting users to just the filtered records, or “soft,” allowing users to select something outside of the filter. This is important because some filters are there to prevent users from selecting invalid record combinations, while others are there for user convenience, but may need to be overridden for exceptions.
This works well for straight-forward filtering of Lookups but for more complex instances, java script might still be required to remove values from the second Lookup.

MSCRM: Bulk Editing

Are you changing the same information in multiple records? Save some time making those changes to many records at once by using bulk edit. Whether editing 3 records or 250, bulk edit is a great feature to use to save time.
To edit more than one record at a time, select multiple records from any entity list at once by using the check box located on the left side of each record or hold down the “Shift” key to select multiple records at once. If you’d like to select all of the records on the page, place a check in the checkbox on the top leftmost corner of the records display. Each record selected will be highlighted.
Then click the Edit button - located on the ribbon at the top of the page.
This will open the Edit Multiple Records window. At this point there are multiple fields from the entity that you can make edits to. Bulk editing has endless limits and can save you much time in the long run.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Zoho Tips and Tricks - Renaming Menu Tabs

Renaming Menu Tabs in Zoho CRM Helps the Sales Team by Using Terms / Jargon They Use.

Menu Tabs or Modules Names in the top menu can be changed to reflect the terms and jargon your Sales Team actually use on a daily basis. 

1) To change the Menu Tab Names, simply click on Setup from any screen.  In the Setup screen, click on Tabs, under customization.

2) In the Tabs screen, click on Rename Tabs option.  Then click Rename on the tab you wish to change.

3) Enter the New Name in both fields.  Then Click Save.

4) Your Tab has now been changed to a term your Sales Team understands.

You can change the names of any tab to help your Sales Team better identify using terms and jargon they are used to using on a daily basis.

Note:  The Views and Reports will also display these new names as well.

Happy Selling.

Zoho CRM Tips and Tricks - Convert Leads

Converting Leads Saves Time and Does the Mundane Work For You.

1) On a lead record, simply choose Convert on the top of the screen.

 2) An Account and a related Contact will be created for you.  You can optionally create a new Potential as well.  Click Convert when finished.

3) The Lead will be REMOVED and now you will have 3 new records that replace the Lead.  All three records are connected and related to each other.

If you choose not to CONVERT a Lead, you will be required to create each record separately and then relate each record to each other manually.

Converting Leads simplifies this process and creates all three records for you automatically.

Happy Selling.

Zoho CRM Tips and Tricks - Leads from Emails


Add a Lead into Zoho CRM from your email

If you are using Zoho CRM Mail Add on, you can add a Lead or Contact right from your emails.

1) Simply open the email. At the bottom right of the email, you will see a group of icons.  Simply click on the 2nd icon for the "Add to CRM" option.

2) Choose to add the email information as a Lead or a Contact in Zoho CRM, then click "Add Now".

3) Enter the Lead or Contact information as available.  Then Click Save.

4) Your Lead or Contact information is now available in Zoho CRM.

Happy Selling!