In some cases, small features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM mean a lot.  I recently learned this while doing a training for a group of salespeople currently using Salesforce.com.

Then I got a question, ‘so what is the email address that I BCC in order to have an email tracked in Dynamics CRM?’  I thought I had a great answer.  I stated, ‘You no longer need to use the BCC in Microsoft Dynamics CRM because the Outlook client will be installed and give you a Track in Dynamics CRM button.’  I went on to further explain ‘this is a better feature because not only can you track against a contact, you can also track against an opportunity, case, or any record you want.’  I was very satisfied in my answer, but it became clear that I took for granted that the user wanted to work within Microsoft Outlook.

The answer I got back was, ‘Perfect!  Does this button exists on my iPhone?’  There you have it, the crux of the problem.  For a remote sales force, this function is critical.  The salespeople were not interested in a mobile app or any kind of workaround.  All they wanted was an email address to track emails.

After working through this problem, our solution was to simply establish our own email address in which the user could add as a cc to an email.  The user can now use [email protected] which is monitored through the email router and brought into a queue.  If the email address is recognized as an account, contact, or lead, the email is tracked against that record.

While this was the solution for this customer, I feel in many ways this was a second rate solution.  As we train, we talk about tracking to the lowest level.  For example, if we are communicating with a customer about an opportunity, track the email against the opportunity.  This allows the user to essentially be able to filter to a specific conversation by going to the record.  We also tout that Dynamics CRM has the rollup feature where any activity on a child record can be viewed on the parent record.  For example, if a customer is listed on an opportunity and the email is tracked to an opportunity, the email will be viewable on the opportunity as well as the customer.  This is lost for the solution we presented.  The ease of use outside of Dynamics CRM trumped designed functionality!

If you need support services for Dynamics CRM, contact our professionals at [email protected].  RSM has been implementing Dynamics CRM since version 1.0 and can support solution that are the basic “out of the box” model to a complex architecture featuring automation, dashboards, system integration and custom development.

By: Bob Kanzler – Philadelphia Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner