Today we are covering the next key areas that can improve you effectiveness in using CRM - groups.
Segmenting all types of information into intelligent bit-size, digestible pieces of information.
What are Groups:
Groups are collections of records which can help manage your workflow in more manageable ways. You can use groups to work with a subset of records, select data to print on reports, and to send mailing, e-mails and faxes using Mail Merge feature. A record can be in more than one group. Additionally you can export group records to Excel and share your groups with other users.
Typically out of the box there will be an "All.... ' group for each main table/entity. For example, there is a "All Accounts", "All Contacts", and "All Opportunities" group that would list all the records for that accounts, contacts and opportuntities, respectfully. There also are "My..." groups where the My relates to you as the account manager of the account, contact or opportunity when you are logged in to Infor CRM.
There are three types of groups:
- Ad Hoc groups which are created from user selected records. Typically this is where you select specific records such as your Key contacts and save them to your own contact sync group - which is then used to synchronize with Outlook contact list.
- Lookup groups based on a lookup you perform. For example you do a lookup for all contacts in the state of Michigan or all accounts with the type of Customer
- Advanced Query groups based on Query Builder conditions which gives you the most power and is most helpful in creating a dynamic list. A good example would be Key customers in Great Lake states where you use the Query builder to select accounts with type of Customer and have an address in certain states in the Great Lakes region. It is dynamic because if you add a new account that matches these conditions then the account is now automatically and dynamically a member of the group. Another example may be Large Open opportunities where the Opportunity status is Open and the sales potential dollars is over 50K.
Creating and working with a Group:
Now you probably won't be able to change the logic behind any of the current system groups that the CRM administrator has setup but you can copy an existing group, give it a name and then modify that new group's layout and conditions.
First highlight the current group that is similar to what you want such as "All Open" opportunities and right click of the mouse will pop up this menu of options. Select "Copy".
Next the Query Builder pops up with the listing of the main table, Opportunity, and then indented list of related table entities such as Account, Activity, Attachment, etc. In this case I have clicked on the account to expose the address table which has the state which each account belongs to.
Under the Properties tab enter the Name you want for your new group and then click on Conditions.
Now for conditions we want accounts from only certain states in the Great Lakes. In the top right panel for Address field move down to "State" and click state. This will pop open the Assign condition dialog where you select Operator of equal to and value is IL or the state you want. Use Browse button to see more actual values used for Account addresses. Click Ok to save this state condition to the group.
Perform the same steps for other state you specifically want till you have something like the following"
NOTE: because there is an AND for each state no records will be found since no account have all of these states, so the use of a set of Parenthesis is added to define the group of states and the AND conditions are switched to OR as follows:
Click OK to save the changes and now you have your own Open Opportunities group of accounts in key Great Lake states.
Hiding columns you don't need...
Often there are columns you don't need to see, in this case the Status field since you know these are all Open anyway. So highlight any column and a pop up list of column names are shown. Uncheck any columns you don't want to see. To unhide do the same step to show the pop up list and check the field to show it.
Another more permanent way to show or hide fields is with the Query builder. Right click on your highlighted group and select "Edit". Click on the Layout tab which shows all the columns in the group query. Navigate over to the right to find the "Status" column and press the <Edit> button. Up pops open the Assign Query Layout dialog. Here you can uncheck "Visible" to hide the column.
Press OK and the result shows the Status visible status is "Hidden". Press OK to close Query Builder.
Remember you can easily add other fields from any of linked table such as account type, account industry, account web address.
Managing all your groups
In the top right corner of any main entity such as accounts, contacts, opportunities, tickets, etc. there is the Groups Icon and the + key to add a new group. Click on the Groups icon link to view the Group manager. It will show all groups that you have access to view.
Click on the "Show Hidden" check box to show any hidden groups you have chosen NOT to see. To bring back a group to visible status check the box by the group name such as "My Open Opportunities".
TIP: Use this group manager for accounts, contacts, and opportunities to hide the clutter of groups that you do not need. Keep it simple is what productive sales people will want. Also use the HELP ? icon to access the online help system and find answers to many of your questions.
Other Tips when dealing with Groups:
Groups are the core data source for your management dashboards. So the Biggest Opportunities widget listing, the Won business pie chart and the Sales Pipeline graph get their data from defined groups. Use the "View Group" link to see the detailed records that make up the group records. When creating any new dashboard widget you will need to supply the name of the group.
Groups can apply to filter a report.
In this report a condition is being applied where the records must match what is supplied by the group "Great Lakes Open Opportunities"
Under the main entities, like Opportunities, in the bottom right corner of a group's list view are common tasks. For example, you can take a group or even selected records from a group to Save Records as a Group, Promote to Dashboard as shown previously or Export the group records to an Excel file.
For Opportunities there are specific tasks that can use the current group or selected records from the group to Update Opportunities for an Account Manager, Add to Forecast, Close Probability percentage, Estimated close date or Comments with a specific value.
Likewise you can pick an opportunity group or highlight specific records for the Opportunity Statistics quick snapshot view:
When naming a group I suggest keeping it limited to normal letters, dash or number.
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