I’ve seen several posts on the web about new features of CRM 2011, but not a lot on the functional application enhancements, so I thought I would spend a little time summarizing what’s new in the way the CRM application works:
User Interface and general:
- Form Tabs replaced with in-line sections that can be closed and opened
- Outlook preview pane now works for CRM lists.
- The ribbon is now even more functional with contextual controls and improved tooltips
- Getting started panes for every entity to help new users get started
- Recently visited dropdown to get you back to records and views used
- New shortcut menus to get you to views and records. Less clicks to target information!
- User defined default views. Override the system default view of any entity for each user.
- Sticky views. Any changes you made to a view, width, sort, etc. during a session will be retained. I.e.: If you widened a column and sorted on a different column, it will be remembered when you leave that entity folder and return during the same session. This is not saved in the database, however.
- Lookups have been improved to remember ‘Must recently used’ records as you type.
- The form assistant has been removed from most forms.
- Appointments: Recurring appointments now supported
- Total records now displays on list panels. No more paging thru to figure out how many there are!
- Visualizations (Charts) now built in to On-Premise CRM. Each entity can have multiple charts created either using a wizard or by a programmer for more sophisticated needs.
- Dynamic Marketing Lists: ML have been enhanced to support a Dynamic list which uses an advanced find to manage the list members automatically in addition to the existing static list methodology.
- e-mail attachments now supported on E-Mail templates. An E-mail template can have attachments defined.
- Bulk email activities can use E-mail templates
- Negative Pricing and quantities now supported on Quotes orders and invoices, effectively supporting credit memos.
- Opportunities now support write in products and pricing overrides, making Opportunities more consistent with Quotes, orders & invoices. Support for discounts, tax & freight amounts also included.
- Sales Goals now enhances and built in to base product without installing an accelerator. You will also be able to change the fiscal period information at the organization level. New charts & reports have been added to make this even more functional.
- A new ‘Connections’ entity and ‘Connections Role’ entity have been added to replace the ‘Relationships’ and ‘Relationship Roles’ entities which have been deprecated in CRM 2011. It can connect between any entity and is customizable. You can continue to use the old Relationships or manually convert to the newer, more functional Connections.
- Teams can now own records. In CRM 4.0, only users could own records which forced a number of interesting gyrations for team based organizations. This has been addressed!
- Sales Literature can be send via an email. Only accessible via the sales literature page however, not a full implementation.
- KB Articles entity search and grid have been enhanced to act more like other entities. It is also customizable now.
- Queues have been enhanced to take on a more central role and given a better security model. All entities can be enabled for sending via queues. Users and teams will now have default queues. The queue entity can be customized. Queues and queue items are supported in workflow processes. Finally, there is a separation of Queue assignments (‘working on’) and record ownership that will simplify the management of tasks by other than the record owner.
- E-mail editor and email templates now have buttons to insert hyperlinks and images
- Email enabled entities. While we had Activity enabled entities in CRM 40. one problem was that you could only send an email to a User, Lead, Contact or Account. Now any entity can be ‘E-mail enabled’, helping those sites who dedicated the contact entity to something specific and then found out they couldn’t send email to any one else….
So there’s my list for the end users stuff. We’re pretty excited about the new features and working hard on our products and classes to be ready!
Stephen V Noe, CRM Consultant and MCT