Can't Get Started With Advanced Finds? Basics for Newbies.

I'm a Sales Assistant at Rockton Software (www.rocktonsoftware.com), and I work in CRM all day. I’m no super user, for sure, but through a combination of training by a generous colleague and a lot of exploration on my own, I can almost always get where I need to go and find what I need to find. When we recently upgraded to CRM 2011, I found that my limited knowledge of Advanced Finds was no longer enough, so I set out to investigate how Advanced Finds should really be done.  I learned a couple of things that were so basic they truly surprised me, but they have made a difference. If you have never had much success with using Advanced Finds, invest five minutes here to read on.

 CRM has a tendency to try to think for you, which can be confusing if you’re not expecting it (or if you grew up in the punch-card era, like me, and are regularly surprised how intuitive software has become). Where you ARE in CRM when you click that Advanced Find button has an impact on what the first screen you will see looks like, so you will have to be clear about your desired end result. For example, if you want a list of customers or some detail pertaining to customer records, then you would want to start in Accounts. Go to Accounts, then click on Advanced Finds—CRM will default to “Accounts” and your current view. If you start in the wrong place you can always change things in the dropdowns.

 At this point in CRM 2011 you wonder, Where the heck are those boxes where I tell it what I want to search for? You have to go up in the ribbon and click on Details in order to have a search function. You can now select any of the fields that are tied to Account Records. If you cannot find a field that you want, then you are in the wrong area. For example, if you want to search for a detail that is tied to a contact record rather than an account record, you won’t see that field in the dropdown.

 Doing a simple search is pretty self-explanatory from here. Fill in the rest of the fields for your search term, add any additional fields you want to search, and then click Results. If you wish to go back and make changes to your search, simply click on the Advanced Find tab.

 If you think you would use this search again, save it as a view. On the Advanced Find tab, click Save As, give the search a descriptive name, and click OK. From now on, whenever you are in the same area of CRM (in this case, Accounts) the new view will be in the Saved Views dropdown for you to select.

 Have you heard about Rockton's Connect for CRM? Connect is a Microsoft Dynamics CRM-based financial management product that provides a real-time view of your business's vital statistics so you can manage your business more efficiently and effectively.

  By Sue Roe, Sales Assistant at Rockton Software.

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