What is a Business’ Most Important Asset?
Ponder that question and you may come up with a plethora of answers. But the bottom line is that… customers are the heart of any business. Without customers, a business simply wouldn’t exist. Next question, how do you keep track of your most important asset?
Many companies use spreadsheets to keep track of their contacts and leads, but spreadsheets can become lost, or outdated. Spreadsheets, Post-it notes, business cards sitting on the desk might be feasible for the first few years, but as your business grows, you’ll find yourself needing more – a better way to keep track of important data, but what?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Sure spreadsheets are an easy to use and well-known way to organize your data, but they also have many shortcomings. You need different spreadsheets to track different types of data and not everyone in your organization has access to all of them. Wouldn’t you love one location to store all of your company’s important data? This online database is accessible to everyone in your organization on any device at any time.
More and more companies are turning to CRM to gather and analyze customer data as a way to improve their understanding of their customers. This allows them not only to provide more relevant marketing messages but also to improve the overall customer experience. If customers are the heart of any business, shouldn’t we be investing in more efficient ways to reach our customers?
CRM Glossary of Commonly Used Terms
We’ve put together a quick reference for common terms used in Dynamics 365 Sales, Customer Service, and Marketing. Our CRM Glossary will ensure that everyone in your organization is on the same page regarding CRM knowledge. Our glossary is a great introduction and also a reference document. The first three terms in our CRM glossary are basic common CRM terms.
- Account – Accounts represent organizations that you have established a relationship and are the backbone relationship in Dynamics 365.
Accounts can have different relationship types – Vendor, Customer, Prospect, Partner, Competitor.
- Contact – For a B2B CRM, contacts generally represent the people at the Accounts.
Contacts can have a role – decision maker, employee, cheerleader, etc. Dynamics 365 contacts sync with Outlook contacts.
- Activities – Activities such as email, tasks, phone calls are the ways to document your interactions with other records – primarily contacts and leads. Activities are “Set Regarding” to records in Dynamics 365 and can bi-directionally sync with Outlook.
The following terms in our CRM glossary are commonly used in Dynamics 365 Sales
- Lead -Leads are the first step in the buying cycle. The buyer has identified themselves to you, but you have yet to qualify whether they are a match to your business.When sales can meet the lead qualification criteria, the lead is qualified to an Opportunity.
- Opportunity – An Opportunity is a qualified lead – generally one that has identified budget and a timeframe for purchase.
Opportunity value can be calculated from opportunity products OR from the estimated value.
- Business Process Flow Ribbon – Business Process Flow ribbons allow users to document the steps in completing a business process.
For example, an opportunity might have several stages – Qualify, Propose and Close.
Each of those stages has steps required so complete that stage. Stages are reflected in the pipeline reports.
The following terms in our CRM glossary are commonly used in Dynamics 365 Customer Service
- Case – Cases are sometimes referred to as tickets or incidents are usually an interaction with a client where you try to resolve a problem that the client might be having.
Cases can include customer complaints, billing issues, technical problems. Cases can also be created in Dynamics 365 from emails to a support email address, from a quick create form or through a customer support portal.
- Knowledgebase – A Knowledgebase is a collection of articles usually built around standard responses to customer issues. KB articles on resetting passwords or more difficult processes can be used by support agents to work through issues or can be emailed to clients.
- Entitlement – An entitlement is similar to a service contract. The entitlement sets the beginning and end of the obligation, the specific allocation of support cases and Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
The following terms in our CRM glossary are commonly used throughout the Dynamics 365 Infrastructure
- Entity – Entities are different record types in Dynamics 365 – comparable to a database table.
Out of Box entities include case, accounts contacts whereas custom entities can be created to track information not collected out of the box.
- Attribute – Attributes are the field that you enter data into – These fields can be text fields, dates, checkboxes or numeric fields.
- Form – Forms are the windows in the Dynamics 365 application where users can create, view, and edit records. Account forms display attributes – i.e. fields, as well as sub-grids showing related entities, for example, a contact sub-grid on the account form.
- Views – Views are how Dynamics 365 displays records in a tabular format. “Active Contacts” is an example of a view.
System Views are created by administrators, but personal views of data can be created by users by using Advanced Find. Data can be exported to Excel through views.
- Dashboards – Dashboards are collections of views and charts designed to allow users to quickly determine information and trends. They can also be used to determine the next steps including my tasks for the day or which opportunities should I be pursuing.
- Business Unit – A Business unit is a segment of users who meet certain criteria. Business Units drive user security and reporting. Examples include East Coast Sales or European Support BU.
- Security Roles – Security Roles are applied to Dynamics 365 users and enable the user to perform actions against CRM records.
Users can have multiple security roles and permissions stack.
- Teams – Teams are groups of users, but different from a Business Unit. Teams have a security role and can own Dynamics 365 records
- Flows – Flows are workflows to automate repetitive business processes and can integrate with services outside of Dynamics 365, which opens up many possibilities. An example of a flow would be automatically creating a follow-up call on the assignment of a lead to a salesperson.
The following terms in our CRM glossary are commonly used in the Marketing realm
- Marketing list – Marketing lists are groups of contacts, accounts or leads that share specific criteria – for example, “All active contacts that have purchased from them in last 90 days.” Marketing lists can be used as part of campaigns to distribute activities – i.e. mail blasts
- Campaign – Campaigns are a record to track the costs and activities related to longer-term marketing endeavors. Leads and opportunities should be linked to a Campaign for tracking successes of marketing efforts. Campaigns can be specific events – such as a trade show or be tied to a marketing asset including a web form.
- Campaign Automation – Campaign Automations are a feature of ClickDimensions – Campaigns allow marketers to build specific marketing paths for leads and other records to follow. For example, a lead fills out a form on our website. A Campaign Automation might trigger against that lead to send a set of emails at targeted intervals to continue interacting with the prospect.
- Marketing Automation – Marketing automation includes services that integrate internet-based marketing with Dynamics 365 to gain further insights into prospects and contacts. Marketing automation activities include targeted email blasts, web analytics and forms, SMS marketing and event management.
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