Microsoft Dynamics® CRM Training
Understanding the Structure of CRM 2013
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Understanding the Structure of CRM 2013
Thank you for viewing “Understanding the Structure of CRM 2013.” Below, you will find a short practicum designed to help you reinforce this lesson as well as a summary of the material covered in the video.
Practice makes perfect! Complete the short assignment below to reinforce the material that you learned in this lesson. For guidance please refer to the instructions in this email and the “Understanding the Structure of CRM 2013” video.
Navigate to each of the four main areas in Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Sales, Service, Marketing, and Settings. Make a list of all the record types and functions that appear in each of the areas. Highlight the record types and functions that appear in two or more of the areas in CRM.
This lesson is designed to help beginners understand Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and Dynamics CRM Online by learning the user interface and how the application is structured. If you watched “What is Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013?” you learned that this CRM 2013 is not only a CRM application that’s designed to work from day one, but also a framework capable of being molded to your business practices. This lesson touches on some navigational features, but focuses primarily on the architecture of the application.
I want to clarify something before we dive into the application. This video is designed for Dynamics CRM beginners. If you are familiar with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, we recommend you watch “Navigating the Switch” to learn the differences between the two versions of the application.
We begin with what is called the “navigation bar”. It is the dark blue bar at the top of the window. It is what you use to locate different records in CRM 2013. It uses “breadcrumb” navigation to help you keep track of your location within the application. If you are unfamiliar with the term “breadcrumb”, an example of it can be found in File Explorer in Windows. A breadcrumb in File Explorer could look like this: Libraries > Documents > My Folder.
The widest lens through which you access data in CRM 2013 is a module. Modules are the heart and soul of this application. They are where you find data. When you hover your cursor over where it says “Microsoft Dynamics CRM” in the navigation bar, five tiles appear: Sales, Service, Marketing, Settings, and Help. With the exception of the Help tile, all of these are different modules. If you are a salesperson, you’ll most likely work out of the Sales module. If you want to see Dynamics CRM through the lens of a marketing user, click the Marketing module. If you are a customer service representative, you might want to work through the lens of the Service module.
Once you have selected a module, you’ll see it listed to the right of the home icon in the navigation bar. If you hover your cursor over the listed module, a new row of tiles appear. These are entities, which are essentially different kinds of records.
Within an entity, you can view records. CRM 2013 allows you to categorize those records in Views. This is important, because oftentimes users think they need to create custom entities to represent a type of record, when really they could use an existing one. For example, Account records can represent a customer business and a vendor from which you purchase supplies. However, that doesn’t mean you need to create a “Vendor” entity. File the vendor under the Account entity and use a field to categorize it as a vendor rather than a customer. This lets you take advantage of existing functionality rather than having to recreate it from scratch.
This brings us back to Views. Once your Accounts are properly categorized, you can then define a View to only display vendor accounts. Understanding the structure of modules, entities, and records not only makes you more effective with CRM 2013, it can save you time.
To learn more about what you can do with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, please refer to other lessons in the Success Portal, and blog.xrm.com.