Monthly Archives: January 2012

Training, Training, Training

Earlier in the month I participated in an MVP Roundtable with the xRMVirtual Users Group where I discussed the importance of training in overall success of your CRM implementation. 

Let us review some of the key points:


Who to Train

Well, everyone, actually.  Starting with the people who will be using it most.

One strategy that works fairly well is to identify and train power users who will be available to answer simple questions. Power users can remove a huge burden from your help desk staff ( which is probably already over-whelmed ) and get the user’s questions answered in a timely manner.

If you are using a Dynamics CRM partner to help with the design and roll-out of the software, make sure you build-in knowledge sharing between their staff and yours so that the people who are running your systems have a good understanding of how things work, where to go to solve issues, and how the general trouble-shooting process works. This helps them do their job easier and makes them feel better about what they are doing which is never a bad thing.


What to Train

The basic training needs to cover just enough of the system to help the users do their jobs.  Most will come with questions similar to the following:

  • What is it?
  • How does it work?
  • What button do I push to "make it go?"
  • Who do I call when I have a problem?

You can start by showing them the Dynamics CRM interface, where things are located, the areas in which they will be spending the most time, etc.

Then you further formulate your training to cover the tasks that the user does most frequently.  If possible conduct your training sessions with groups of people who have the same or similar jobs so that the context of the training makes sense to each of the students.

By starting small and keeping it simple, you do not run the risk of over-powering your user community with information. The sheer depth of the Dynamics CRM product can be quite daunting to users so don’t try to teach every feature at once. 

Keep it simple, keep it direct, and have hard-copy or electronic "cheat sheets" that can be used to help refresh their memory when they are trying something for the first time.


When to Train

You need to start training as close to the roll-out or go-live date as possible, so that people have their training fresh in their minds.

Again, keep it simple.


When to Retrain

Technically, your training really never ends. You should schedule frequent sessions to show the users a new topic or area of the system that they may not fully understand or that has been newly added to the system.


Selling your users on Dynamics CRM

I want to bring this point up because it happens all of the time and is the key reason why a Dynamics CRM deployment will fail:

Users need to be "sold" on using the new system and "use it or get fired is not how you gain user adoption!

Instead of threatening them with employment, why don’t you try to incorporate the following points into their education process ( listed in no particular order ):

  • How does this make my job easier?
  • What will it do for me?
  • How will it help me sell more?

Getting these questions addressed in the training, in formal discussions, and by the water-cooler will go a long way in helping your implementation succeed.


Other Tips

Here are some additional tips that I’ve gathered through the years:


Management by Wandering Around

The best-kept secret to a successful implementation of anything. Just wander around the office, if you have that capability, and ask people how they are doing. For remote users or distributed workers, a quick phone call, note email, will work in a similar manner.

Don’t make it official, just casually wander around and ask people how they are doing; answer questions when possible, and generally show them that you care.


Lunch and Learn

Part of your follow-up training plan should always be to have group learning sessions to either:

  • Present new information
  • Collect new information

So you are either helping them learn more, or they are giving you feedback. Providing lunch takes the formalness away from the interaction and (hopefully) allows people to open up a bit more.


Free Food

Somewhere during the middle of your implementation, have lunch or breakfast catered as a reward for having to deal with what is inevitably a hassle that is a new piece of software.

Update Rollup 6 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Released

You can download it here.

For more information about this release, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 2600640:

Update Rollup 6 is available for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

To maintain parity between the application components of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, this update rollup includes packages for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server, Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Language Packs, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM E-mail Router.

1 Changing the Lead Qualification Status Values

The Lead Entity within Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is used to track your relationship with prospective customers. At some point in the relationship, they change from being simply a Lead into either a customer or someone who is no longer a prospect.

The Lead Qualification Process

Here is how leads are generally worked by a salesperson:

New Lead

When a Lead is first entered into the system, you may not know much about them so the status is simply New:


First Contact

After you make the initial contact, via email or phone, for instance, you change the Status Reason to Contacted:



If the relationship progresses to the next step, or if the relationship doesn’t progress at all, you can Qualify the Lead as either Won or Lost by clicking the Qualify button on the toolbar:


This will display the Convert Lead dialog:


At this point you have two choices:

  1. Qualify the Lead
  2. Disqualify the Lead

Both offer you a status to help further identify the reasoning behind the qualification/disqualification.

Now the dialog you see above cannot be changed because it is part of the CRM itself, but we can change the values of the Status’ to better match your business and its processes.

Let’s walk through the steps required to change the Status Reason fields:


Changing the Lead Status Reason Field

1. Click Settings, Customizations, Customize the System.

2. Click the Entities group:


and the list of Entities within Dynamics CRM will be displayed.

3. Scroll down until you find the Lead Entity. Double-click the Lead Entity:


4. Click Fields, to show the field list:


The list of fields found within Lead will be displayed.

5.Scroll down the list until you find the statuscode (Status Reason) field. Double-click the field to view it’s properties.


The Lead statuscode field has three status’:

  • Open
  • Qualified
  • Disqualified

Each status has a variety of sub-status’:


Status Sub-Status
Open New
Qualified Qualified
Disqualified Lost
  Cannot Contact
  No Longer Interested


You can change any of these status’ to match your business processes.

DO NOT delete any of the built-in status values. If you need to add your own, consider simply changing the name of an existing status.

Deleting a built-in status can lead to very bad things happening to your system and you can’t replace the deleted value without a lot of work.



6. After you have made your modifications, click the Save and Close button on the toolbar.

7. When you have returned to the Lead field list, click the Publish All Customizations button to activate your changes.

8. Test your work by opening a lead and clicking the Qualify button on the ribbon and verify your new values are in place.