Friday, October 25, 2013

Activities - Assigning / Linking Correctly - Zoho CRM

  Be Sure To Link Your Activities To The Correct Module.

(...Accounts, Contacts or Potentials)

Assigning or Linking your activities correctly ensures they will display under the correct Customer or Deal they pertain to.

Assign to Correct Contact, Account or Potential when adding new Task, Event or Call

By properly selecting the associated Contact, and Account or will be able to track all activities by Person, Customer or Deal.

You can view these activities under Views or Reports.

If you don't Link or Assign activities correctly, you will have orphaned activities, decipherable by Subject only.  Thus, reports for sales activities/effort, cost of sales, and customer activity will all be skewed.

Happy Selling.

Three Ways To Add Activities in Zoho CRM

  Three ways to add activities?

(...Whatever works best for you)

There are three ways to add activities into Zoho CRM:

1) Activities Module - Add New Task, Event or Call

2) Activity Short Cut Icon- Accessible from any screen

3) Under Each Form (Account, Contact, Potential etc...) - also known as related items under each form.

Choose whichever method you desire and Zoho CRM will track and manage the rest.

Happy Selling.

Activity Type Basics in Zoho CRM

Which activity TYPE should I use?

(...what's the difference?)

Activities are broken into three categories:

1) Tasks - To Do's, with a deadline and to whom delegated.
2) Events - Meetings with a specific PLACE/Time to be with Invitees.
3) Calls - Phone Conversations with Notes and Duration and with Whom.

Tasks - A List only - No Calendar

Can be completed from anywhere at anytime by anyone.
Has a Creator and can be delegated to any company team member.
Can be associated or Linked to any Account, Contact or Potential.
The due date can easily be rescheduled or changed with no coordination.
Requires you to change the status to "In Progress" or "Closed".

But...Does not require you to be at a specific place or with anyone.
Does not have specific time duration.  Can take 5 minutes or an entire day. 
And Tasks do not show up on a calendar.

Events - Shows up on a Calendar or on a List

Requires you to be at a specific place at a specific time.
Has a specific time duration in terms of hours and minutes.
Has invitees, or those with whom you will meet.
Can be internal only - with only company members.
Can include invitees who are Customer Contacts.
Shows up on a calendar and requires resource availability coordination.

But...can't be easily changed or rescheduled....without coordination with all invitees.
Doesn't require you to change the status or close the event.  It is either in the future or has passed.

Calls - Conversations with customers "As They Happen"

Mostly used for Cold Calling or tracking Billable time.
Captures InBound and Outbound conversation details.
Captures actual "Timer" duration or Start and End Time.
Used for External Customers only.
Shows up on a List or Report.
Can track all calls and their duration.

But...Can't be scheduled in advance.
Does not show up on a calendar.

Happy Selling.

Crystal Reports : Hours and Minutes from Minutes

Let us suppose we would like to summarize the amount of minutes in a phone call report, but express the grand total in hours and minutes. This is more easily accomplished using the "Display String" of the field in question. This allows us to create the summary field as normal.

1. Create a summary field to SUM your {CALLS.MINUTES} field
2. Right click on the summary field itself
3. Click on the "X-2"button to the right of "Display String"
4. Paste in the following formula :

local numbervar Hr := Truncate(CurrentFieldValue/60);

local numbervar Mn := Remainder(CurrentFieldValue,60);

Totext(Hr,0) + "Hours " + ToText(Mn,0) + "Minutes"

Pro Tip : The CurrentFieldValue function returns the current field value of the field being formatted. This allows easy code reuse.

Crystal Reports : JOIN Types

Within the Visual Linking Expert (Database | Visual Linking Expert), we can modify JOINS between the tables that make up our report.

For those of us that have more complex needs or a more modular (relational) database (i.e. many tables) may need to use different kinds of JOINS. The "default" JOIN type is INNER.

1. Within the Visual Linking Expert, right click on a "link" (right on the line).
2. Select "Options".
3. At the bottom right of the window, you may select a JOIN type. All the expected types are listed (i.e. LEFT OUTER, RIGHT OUTER, etc).

Note: Changing this will impact your expected record counts. It is advisable to be familiar with all the JOIN types before modifying.

Crystal Reports : Using DayOfWeek()

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 : Font Color and Conditions

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 Groups Expert

You may need to change the existing report "Groups" after defining them.

To do this, select from the top-level menu, Report | Change Group Expert.

Here, you will see all your defined Groups. You may select any of them and use the "up" and "down" arrows to change the Group order.

This is a nice way to regroup the report without having to do a lot of work.

GoldMine : Using the Peg Board

Did you know that you can see who is logged into GoldMine via the Peg Board tab of the Calendar?

1. From the top level menu, select Go To | Calendarf.

2. Click on the "Peg Board" tab alongside the bottom edge of the Calendar.

From here you can see who is in GoldMine, and how long (if at all) they've been inactive. This is very handy for seeing who is "still in" before running database maintenance or rebooting the server.

GoldMine : Using Auto-Fill

Did you know that fields can be set up to auto-fill when a user starts to type in the field?

1. Go to the field you want to have auto filled.

2. Click on the arrow at the end of the field box to give you the pop-up box with the drop
down list.

3. Click on Setup.

4. Check the box next to Auto Fill and click Okay.

5. Anytime anyone starts to type in that field it will automatically fill the field from the list.

GoldMine : Viewing Users' Calendars

Did you know that you can view the Calendar of any GoldMine user?

Go to your Calendar view. At the top is the Users drop-down box; choose Multiple Users. From here you can specify which users you wish to view by double-clicking on each user name in the left-hand box to move it to the right-hand box, then hit OK. Each user’s activities will appear on your calendar, color-coded for ease of viewing.

GoldMine : Using GoldAlarm

The GoldAlarm option runs the alarm options in GoldMine, even when you are not logged into the application - just Windows.

To activate the GoldAlarm options in GoldMine, select Tools>>Options and go to the Alarms tab.

Select Place GoldAlarm icon on my desktop and Run GoldAlarm when Windows starts. Click OK to save the settings and close the User's Preferences.

Exit GoldMine.

Double-click on the GoldAlarm icon on your desktop to launch the notification service and place the GoldAlarm icon in your System Tray.

If you right-click on the GoldAlarm icon in the System Tray, the local menu appears. You can select the following:

GoldMine: Launches GoldMine
About: Opens the GoldMine About window.
Exit: Closes GoldAlarm and removes the icon from the system tray.

GoldMine : Placing a Notes Indicator

Here’s a handy indicator to put on the top half of the contact window.

First, while logged in with master rights do a Right-Click>New Field.

Select dBASE Expression from the drop down list and click OK.

Move the field to an area of the screen where you have open space, then Double-Click on it.

In the Field Data Expression area, type in "Has Notes" with the double-quotes. You don’t need a Field Data Name in Database for this function. Choose the Color tab, and in Data Color select Expression. Type or paste in

iif(trim(notes) > ' ', 255, 16777215)

Finally, in the Layout tab, set the Field Label to be 0 and the Data Size to be 10. Then click OK.

The “Has Notes” field will only appear if there are notes in the Notes tab.

One word of caution in GoldMine Premium Edition. If you put a note in, then delete it, it actually stays in the database so the indicator may still say "Has Notes" even though the tab looks empty.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

MSCRM: Dynamics 2013 and Mobile devices

One of the exciting features of the fall release of Dynamics CRM 2013 is that it is extending its ‘reimagined user experience’ to the mobile client.  The Dynamics CRM 2013 ipad app was released October 8, 2013.  It runs on iOS 6  (if you own a first generation ipad, you’re out of luck).

The Windows 8, Iphone and Android phone apps are not available yet, but are promised to be along shortly.  All the Microsoft Dynamics CRM mobile apps are free.  I’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, I’ve been using the free crm app called MobileCRM by  One of the best features of this app is that it can create a map with your contacts, accounts and/or leads shown as color coded pushpins.  Very handy for planning your travel. 

The only downside is that the latitude and longitude of the location must be known to display on the map.   Latitude and longitude are default fields in Dynamics CRM, but most of us enter a street address.
You can easily get the lat/lon from the address of your entity by clicking on the Bing map displayed in the entity record.  When the map opens up in the new tab, the latitude and longitude are shown beneath the address:

I'll explore ways to populate the latitude and longitude fields ‘automatically’ in a future blog.


MSCRM: Merging Dynamics CRM 2011 forms with the New 2013 Forms

If you are using the 2013 release of Dynamics CRM, you’ve probably noticed that all the main entities have a new form design.  The default form name is now the name of the entity, as opposed to ‘Information’.  You may be wondering what happened to the old forms.   The old forms are still in the system, but they need to be transitioned into the new format.  If you had customizations, you probably don’t want to re-create your forms from scratch, and luckily, you don’t have to.

You can view all the forms available to an entity by navigating to customizationsèForms and selecting ‘all forms’ as the view:
Note that the Contact form from the 2011 version of Dynamics CRM, ‘Information’, is still in the system in a Deactivated state.  If you have a form from an earlier version of Dynamics CRM that you’d like to continue using, you can bring all the customizations of your old ('Classic') form into the new form using the Merge Forms command.
Here’s how.  From the new form, select Merge Forms:

All existing  Classic forms, both active and inactive, will appear in a list:
Select the form you want to merge and click ‘add’.  The merged content appears at the bottom of the form.  All tabs from the previous form will also be appended to the current form.
Note: The ‘Merge Forms’ button is only active on main 2013 forms – you can only bring Classic form into a new (‘Orion’) form.


MSCRM: Syncing Outlook With CRM Contacts Owned By a Team

In my CRM system, contacts are often assigned to a team rather than a specific user.  You can ensure that all your contacts, those that you own and those owned by a team that you are a member of are synced to your Outlook contacts by changing the synchronization filter in your Outlook.

 Here’s how:

1.       In Outlook, Navigate to FileèCRMèSynchronizeèFilters as shown below:

2. Select My Outlook Contacts:
3.  In the New Filter pop up window, Set Look For: to  Contact

4. Select Owner as the field:
5. Select ‘Equals current user or user’s teams’ as the value:
6. Save the filter and you're all set!