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2011 User's Guide Copyright

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Getting Started

Introduction to Microsoft Dynamics CRM

You can perform and automate many business tasks with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, including:

  • Keep and use all your customer information from one place.

  • Schedule and track activities, and send e-mail messages.

  • Analyze data using charts and dashboards.

  • Generate reports.

  • Manage marketing lists.

  • Track advertising and marketing campaigns.

  • Analyze customer responses to your sales and marketing initiatives.

  • Keep detailed notes and an activity history for each business record.

  • Run Microsoft Dynamics CRM from within Microsoft Office Outlook.

Sales Force Automation

Using Sales Force Automation, you can:

  • Qualify leads and manage opportunities.

  • Manage contacts and accounts.

  • Track quotes, orders, and invoices.

  • Manage and track e-mail, phone call, and other communication activities with customers.

  • Run direct e-mail campaigns and measure their success.

  • Create and access a database of products that your organization sells.

More information:

  • Managing Accounts and Contacts (on page 257)

  • Completing Sales Transactions (on page 330)

  • Creating the Product Catalog

Marketing Automation

Using Marketing Automation, you can:

  • Create targeted marketing lists.

  • Plan and run campaigns.

  • Track each campaign response and lead generated from campaigns.

More information:

Customer Service Management

Using the Customer Service area, you can:

  • Track individual cases and manage services.

  • Track and share common problems and solutions in a knowledge base.

  • Manage customer contracts.

More information:

  • Publishing Articles in the Knowledge Base

  • Creating Contracts (on page 431)

  • Supporting Customer Service with Microsoft Dynamics CRM (on page 438)

Appointment-Based Service Scheduling

Using Service Scheduling, you can:

  • Define the services you offer.

  • Identify available resources and equipment for service activities.

  • Define work schedules for individual resources, as well as their locations.

  • Navigating the Service Calendar (on page 415)

  • Booking Service Activities in the Service Calendar

  • Configuring Service Scheduling

  • Scheduling Users and Other Resources

Analyzing Data and Reporting

Microsoft Dynamics CRM has several features to help you analyze data and generate reports:

  • Create a chart.

  • Create a dashboard.

  • Run a default report.

  • Create an Advanced Find query to find a filtered set of records and then export the list for analysis.

  • Create a custom report using Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services or other reporting tools.

More information:

  • Understanding Charts (on page 135)

  • Using dashboards (on page 142)

  • Running Reports and Analyzing Data (on page 91)

  • Default Reports (on page 93)

  • Customizing and Organizing Reports (on page 91)

Customization and Solutions

By using the customization capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you can:

  • Create new Microsoft Dynamics CRM forms, entities, and fields without custom programming. The tools to create these are in the application.

  • Customize forms and views for enhanced integration with other Web applications, portals, and business systems.

  • Apply form validation and add client-side business logic through scripting.

A Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution is a software package made up of one or more components that extends the user interface or functionality of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. A solution component must come with Microsoft Dynamics CRM (native to Microsoft Dynamics CRM).

You can customize a solution component only if you can customize the component by default, or if the solution developer made the component available for customization.

Solution components include custom entities, processes defined in workflows or plugins, form customizations, Web resources, and templates.

More information:

  • Understanding solutions (on page 483)

  • Understanding entity forms (on page 540)

  • Customizing Entities (see "Understanding Entities" on page 499)

  • Permissions required for customization (see "Permissions required for customization tasks" on page 474)


Beyond the business automation included in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you can define processes, workflows, and dialogs to automate your organization's business logic and to ensure consistent customer interactions. Then, make your processes available as an on-demand process or, for workflows, an automatic workflow.

More information: Work with processes

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