Accounts are a foundational entity within Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement, so it is extremely important to understand how to work with accounts.
Accounts are one of the entities that will appear across any of the Customer Engagement apps that you have purchased. They also come with a parental hierarchy out of the box, which means any activity on an opportunity, case, or project will be visible on the account page as well.
Let’s review some account basics.
Accounts are designed to be organizations that you work with, whether they are customers, vendors, partners, competitors or anything else you want to track in CRM.
Parent accounts allow you to set-up a hierarchy within accounts. This is helpful with companies that have multiple locations.
- Parent accounts can have multiple child accounts.
- Create parent accounts first and then create the child accounts with the name of the parent account placed within the parent account field.
Relationship with Contacts
Contact records are individual people that can be related to an account. An account can have multiple contacts associated with it. To associate a contact to an account, place the account name in the company section of the contact record.
A primary contact for an account can also be identified. Select from the list of associated contacts that have been created.
Configuring Default Fields
There are quite a few default fields available out of the box that are option sets ready to be configured. Generally, I do not recommend using all of them as a few can overlap on usage. Let’s review them and identify some common uses.
- Account Rating: Identify high priority customers or give your accounts levels of importance.
- Business Type: Use instead of industry if you want a smaller option set or use to identify what they may want from you.
- Category: Use to identify relationship you have with an account.
- Classification: This is another way you could identify high priority customers or levels of importance.
- Industry: A default list is within the system, but you can change, add or delete the list to fit the industries you want to see.
- Relationship Type: Identify if an account is a customer, vendor, partner, competitor or other type of relationship.
Beyond the basic set-up there are a few things you can do to make the account entity work better for you.
- There are a lot of default fields available that are not on the out of the box forms. Take some time to custom the form and add-in some of those other fields that you will want to use.
- Custom Fields
- If you have more data that you want to enter within the system that are not available out of the box you can create a new custom field. Custom fields can be simple entry or calculated based on other fields within the form and can include option sets, date and time, numbers or text entry.
Accounts are a high priority when setting up your CRM system and generally one of the first things you begin entering. I highly recommend spending some time reviewing what is available out of the box and comparing that to the data you want to track to determine what needs to be configured, what needs to be created and how you want the form to look.
-Jerica Coleman, CRM and Power BI Consultant