Microsoft CRM Feautres : Contract Management

By: Andrew Karasev

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 is powerful and at the same time very intuitive, plus it is web based, meaning that you can run nationwide company in MS CRM. Let's review the example on how to create, budget and log time against CRM contracts. All the functionality, we are describing here is available out of the box, no custom logic required:

1.Leads. Everything should be originated from the lead object: somebody called or emailed you with question about your services. You enter this call into CRM as the lead, assign to relevant sales person and follow up with her/him on what happened with this lead

2.Lead as Account or Opportunity. When your sales person classifies lead to become the customer, lead is transferred to account, or alternatively you can have intermediate step to classify lead as the opportunity

3.Contract. When you have account in CRM (more likely customer), you can create contract for this account. Contract Budgeting is realized in so-called contract lines. In the case of service organization we recommend you to consider allotment in minutes (which you will have to translate into hours via reporting)

4.Case against contract line. Then when you would like to open service ticket - you simply create the case against contract line. When case is created, it is ready for accepting your consultants time logs in the form of tasks

5.Contract Invoicing status nuances. Microsoft Dynamics CRM has several phases for the contract, and you need to release contract for becoming active via Invoice Contract procedure

6.Closing the case. When you close the case, you virtually update contract line budget and real time spent. In the case closing form you see the time spent and you need to accept or adjust billable time

7.At this step the case is ready to be exported from MS CRM to your accounting billing system to invoice your customer

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