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Dynamics NAV 2015: Confusingly Brilliant Dating using NAV CRM

Man proposing to woman

Having worked in the Microsft Dynamics NAV (Navision) community for more than 12 years, I have seen many changes in the software, but none more confusing, yet strikingly brilliant in its marketing prowess, than the name change to “Dynamics.” Now when I say confusing, I mean confusing in the sense that it is ridiculously confusing to try to explain to someone that the software that provides the basis for my extremely decadent lifestyle (well, it really isn’t that extreme, but definitely decadent to what I can afford!) has four other completely distinct sister software solutions that bear the same exact name!?!?

Let me try to illustrate how confusing this can be. Here’s how a typical conversation goes at the bar… (This is assuming I can get a girl to converse with me.)

Girl: ”What do you do for a living?”

Me: ”I implement ERP software.”

Girl: ”Oh yeah? What kind?” …now this part of the conversation is a complete exaggeration; usually the girl leaves my side after finding out I work with ERP software in search of someone more exciting, but let’s continue anyway…

Me: ”Dynamics NAV”…now at this point, I have clearly stated that I work with NAV, but that always falls on deaf ears…

Girl: ”Oh yeah, my company uses Dynamics and our sales reps love it!”

Me: ”Oh great! How does your staff like the accounting and purchasing functionality?”

Girl: ”Huh? Dynamics has accounting functionality?”

Me: ”Yes…you said you were using NAV…”

Girl: ”NAV? I said we were using Dynamics. I’m going to find someone else to talk to. Clearly you can’t listen…you will not make a good spouse.”

And so we are back at square one. It was confusingly brilliant that Microsoft rebranded five distinctly different products into one name to brand them as a suite of Microsoft offerings—sort of a “we have a solution for every business”—but also to get people talking; however, it wreaked havoc on the nearly impossible ability to vaguely impress women when describing the career path I have chosen.

So, what is the purpose of this narrative introduction? To tell you that despite many people’s misconceptions or lack of knowledge, let it be known to all the gods and good people of this fine planet Earth, that Microsoft Dynamics NAV has its very own CRM functionality that is completely separate from its sister solution, Microsoft Dynamics CRM (one of the five aptly named “Dynamics” solutions)! And for an ERP solution that was developed with accounting in mind, it provides great CRM functionality out of the box for most of your basic contact and opportunity management needs!

Let’s take a look at some of the key features of just one area of NAV CRM - Contact Management:

If you have CRS (Can’t Remember Squat) disease like me, then having strong contact management functionality is your tool to keep track of pertinent information regarding your clients and prospects (or potential girlfriends). Let’s take a look at the General and Communication FastTabs of the NAV CRM Contact Card. Here you can see that it stores all of the basic information you would expect to know about your contacts, such as their name, address, phone and e-mail address. You can also specify whether the contact is a company or a person working at that company, and it automagically keeps track of both the last time you interacted with the contact and when your next to-do date is.

To stick with the dating theme of this blog, I will be using a Person contact as my example, since it would be extremely hard to date a company indecision.

 Screenshot: Contact Card General and Communication FastTabs

Figure 1. Contact Card General and Communication FastTabs.

Besides all of the standard address and communications fields, you can assign a salutation code that can be used in marketing mailers that are integrated with Microsoft Word so that you can properly address someone as Ms., Mr., Dr., Hottie, etc. in your mailers.

Clicking on the blue hyperlink of the Date of Last Interaction field you can see details of the last time you contacted them:

Screenshot: Contact Interaction Log Entries

Figure 2. Contact Interaction Log Entries.

And clicking on the blue hyperlink of the Next To-do Date field you can see details of what your next task is for this contact:

Screenshot: Contact To-Do List.

Figure 3. Contact To-Do List.

In the Lines and Segmentation FastTabs of the Contact Card, you can enter information to profile or segment your contact further. The Lines FastTab displays your custom-created profile questions and answers, and the Segmentation FastTab keeps track of various pertinent information about the contact such as what Mailing Groups you want them to be part of, what industry group the company belongs to, or what Job Responsibility the person might have:

Screenshot: Contact Card Lines and Segmentation FastTabs.

Figure 4. Contact Card Lines and Segmentation FastTabs.

Clicking on the blue hyperlink in the No. of Mailing Groups field, you can see what Mailing Groups you have assigned them to:

Screenshot: Contact Mailing Groups.

 Figure 5. Contact Mailing Groups.

And clicking on the blue hyperlink in the No. of Job Responsibilities field, you can see what type of job the person holds:

Screenshot: Contact Job Responsibilities.

Figure 6. Contact Job Responsibilities.

Now the beauty of capturing all of this information is that you can easily create a list or segment of contacts based on any of these field or groups. So, for instance, you can create a list of all prospects to market to in the Hartford, Connecticut region by filtering on the address fields, or create a list of all of the C-Level people in your sales territory to market to by filtering on the job responsibility codes, or in my example, find all prospective girlfriends that Love Live Music and Smile a lot by filtering on your custom created profile questions and answers!

The last feature I want to highlight is the ability to store unlimited comments on each of your contacts:

Screenshot: Contact Comments.

Figure 7. Contact Comments.

But what’s even more useful about these comments is that you can turn on the ability to search the comments, so if you remembered something unique about a contact (like they have a dog named Biffy) and you captured that information in the comments, you can easily search by that keyword, and NAV CRM will find the contact for you.

I have only scratched the surface of what Dynamics NAV CRM can do for your dating life (or your business, if that is what you really desire). My initial thought is that I will highlight some other NAV CRM areas in a future blog, but now that I have begun to create my dating contact database, I might find myself too busy dating to write another blog! Oh wait, I forgot that I am an ERP consultant trying to impress women… I will have plenty of time after all. wink.

If you have questions about this or any other CRM functionality within Microsoft Dynamics NAV, please contact the NAV experts at ArcherPoint.

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