I had an interesting Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online design review with a client today. The client is with a Business to Business (B2B) Chemical Testing and Analysis Lab and they are tracking their Microsoft CRM Opportunities “Potential Customer” to the Account’s Contact and not to the Account. For example: Brain LaMee is part “Advanced Components” Account, the Opportunity is tracked to Brain.
When they look at the Brain’s Contact record – they see all the related Opportunities. When they look at the Brain’s Account “Advanced Components” – they see all the related Opportunities also (auto rollup).
This all looks great – so what is the caution?
Since they are B2B company, here are the concerns:
- What happens if the Contact is no longer with the Account? If you remove the Contact record from the Account, then any Historical Opportunities will no longer rollup to the Account. Any sales reports involving these opportunity records will be flawed
- What happens if the Contact joins another Account record? Besides the above impact. The Account that the Contact is now part of will have the Historical Opportunities rollup to it even when those Historical Opportunities belong to the Contact’s previous Account – another flaw.
What is a good solution?
I would suggest for B2B companies to use the CRM Opportunities “Potential Customer” field to track CRM Accounts (not Contacts). Then create a new N:1 Contact lookup field to track the Contacts. This way it will avoid any historical rollup and reporting flaws yet still tracking of both the Account and Contact related to the Opportunity.
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Frank Lee, Microsoft CRM MVP since 2006