Keep CRM Contact Lists Clean with Excel Automation

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Dynamics CRM automates many aspects of list management; for example, when opportunities are closed and marked as "won", Dynamics CRM can automatically update accounts from prospects to customers. Additionally, Dynamic marketing lists can automatically update. For example, when your business development team closes accounts, Dynamics CRM will automatically remove the contacts and companies from your list. The relationships between entities make it easy to keep your contact lists clean: Dynamics CRM can automatically propagate updates to related entities.

However, keeping contact lists clean can seem to resist automation. Cleaning contact lists often requires some amount of user interactivity. You need a little more control over the automation to be able to make decisions based on email events like Invalid Recipient and Bounce. Sometimes you really need an Excel formula, or even a macro. Sometimes it's just easier and faster to work with many contacts in a spreadsheet.

The CData Excel Add-In for Dynamics CRM enables you to create spreadsheets linked to Dynamics CRM, solving the problem of working with Dynamics CRM from Microsoft Excel, without losing the relationships among your data. The add-in adds a CData ribbon to Excel that makes it easy to pull lists into a spreadsheet, search, make edits, and push the changes back to Dynamics CRM.

Search Dynamics CRM from Excel

One way to keep marketing lists clean is to start from scratch, rather than repurposing another list. This ensures that your list is comprised of only customers who want to be contacted. The add-in makes it easy to automate day-to-day tasks like generating spreadsheets based on a search, for example, getting all contacts from New York.

As you select tables and columns you want to import in the CData Data Selection wizard, the add-in builds the SQL query to be executed against Dynamics CRM. You can execute standard SQL to quickly generate a spreadsheet based on a search. For example, use the query below to get all contacts from New York:

SELECT * FROM Contact WHERE  Address1_City='New York City'

You've now got a spreadsheet linked to your Dynamics CRM contacts from New York. Before you attach the spreadsheet in an email, simply refresh to get any changes to the contacts.

Bidirectional Access from Excel

Removing invalid email addresses like "" or role accounts like "" can reduce spam complaints and the bounce rate during a campaign. Spreadsheets make it easy to work with contacts in bulk. You can use the add-in to quickly update many records, even perform bulk operations. As you make inserts, updates, and deletes the modifications are highlighted in red. And, you can refresh on demand.


Use Excel Formulas and Macros

The CData add-in integrates with Excel's powerful automation capabilities. Any of the functionality of the CData ribbon can be accessed in macros and VBScript. You can also execute SQL from VB script and macros. With the CData add-in, you can use Excel macros to transfer spreadsheet data into Dynamics CRM: Simply enter a formula that references the cells in your other sheet, and drag the selection across the matching columns.




by CData - See the World as a Database

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