A record is a complete set of information: for example, all the information about a customer. There are many types of records in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. There are several core record types, but accounts and contacts are used in most work areas. The Sales process focuses on leads and opportunities. Cases and queues are central to the customer service process. Customer communications are captured in activities in all work areas.
- [Instructor] One way to think about Microsoft Dynamics CRM is it's a really great database with a lot of really stunningly good workflows. So let's take a look at the database aspect here, and begin with a conversation about records and record types. A record is a complete set of information about something. For example, if you have someone fill out a membership form, and we then capture that information, it would look something like a row in an Excel table, or a SQL Server table, or an Access database table.
And that is a record, a complete set of information about something. The types of something that you create and work with depend on your role in Dynamics CRM. There are a handful of core record types. For example, we have accounts and contacts that are used by almost everyone regardless of their role. If you're in sales, if you're in service, you're going to have accounts and contacts because accounts are organizations and contacts are the people who work for them. And you put those two things together, and those are our customers, and more, because accounts don't have to be customers.
They can be vendors, or they could be competitors even. Now, in your organization, if most of the sales are directly to individuals, you may not be tracking accounts at all. Your customers may solely be contacts. But if you're doing business-to-business selling, or you're selling to organizations that have multiple locations, or multiple people who can order, this is exactly what your customers look like. And because we are selling products to organizations and their contacts, we are providing service to organizations and their contacts as well.
So accounts and contacts are important not just to sales, but they're also important to service and to marketing. They are a couple of record types that are really specific to sales. The first are leads. And leads are requests for information, or perhaps, in terms of really soft leads, simply lists of names that we've purchased or we pick up from a trade show. The job of sales is to turn leads into qualified leads, leads, in other words, that we know really want something from us. And those then become opportunities.
Opportunities are potential sales for a specific customer. This customer wants to order this particular part at this particular time. Or this is customer is looking to purchase a service next quarter. Those are opportunities. And the sales process is all about taking leads, qualifying them as opportunities, and then closing the sale. And that's what's called a win. Not all sales organizations qualify leads. So if your folks are focused more on opportunities, that's just your sales process.
Let's take a look then at the record types that are specific to service because this is where we're going to spend our time. Just as sales folks are focused on taking leads, and turning them into opportunities, and then closing them as sales, we have cases. And cases are issues that our customers face or questions that our customers have. And our job with those is to resolve them. So our process is to close cases in the same way the sales folks are closing opportunities. We have queues, and the queues are used as holding areas for our work.
So if we're working a particular issue for a customer, we can keep track of that in a queue. But it may also be the case that customer questions that have been raised, or customer issues that have come in, that no one is working on yet are sitting in a queue waiting for someone to pick them up. So queues are holding areas, or waiting areas, parking lots for work. Whether you work in marketing, sales, or service, you have interactions with customers, and we're going to track those. All of our customer interactions will be tracked in what are called activities.
All important conversations, whether they're e-mail or phone, that we have with our customers, and then all of the communication that we have with other members of our team while we are trying to resolve a case for a customer should be documented. And activities are the place where we document them. Because cases, queues, and activities form the core, because cases, queues, and activities are the most common records types we will be interacting with, we will be looking at cases, queues, and activities in the next three movies.
- Working with records
- Configuring case forms
- Creating cases and merging cases
- Adding activities to the timeline
- Researching the knowledge base
- Monitoring the dashboard
- Managing queues
- Documenting solutions as articles
- Running and exporting reports