We all know that CRM can perform a lot of fancy functions and automations that do a lot for our business. However, today we’re going to be focusing on basic CRM functions.

In the video and post below, I’ll show you some of those basic functions, and hopefully get you started with using CRM.



Track accounts

Probably the most basic function of CRM is that it allows us to track accounts, which are companies and could be either customers or prospects, and contacts, which are the people we talk to at those companies. As we meet or learn more about customers and prospects, we can add information to their account records.

Let’s say I’ve started talking to ABC Company. To create a new account record for ABC Company, I can click on New (the + icon on the top right of the menu bar), look under Records, and select Account. I can put whatever information I have in this new record, and then track that information.


Track contacts

I can also add a primary contact. So at ABC Company, let’s say I’ve been talking to Jill Jones, and she’s the president over there. Once I click on the Primary Contact field, I can link my new account to an existing contact, or create a new contact with the + New button. From there, I can enter in whatever information I have about Jill Jones.

So, the nice thing is that I’m already starting to put information into my CRM that I can hopefully get use out of later. Because I’ve added a prospect to my system, rather than keeping track of them in Outlook, in a file on my server, or on a pad of paper on my desk, I can actually access that prospect’s records from anywhere. I can be walking through an airport, looking at my phone, and I can pull that record up. I can even click on the phone number to call Jill, see how everything’s going, and I don’t need to have access to my desk or my computer.


Track activities

So, I’ve got a new account in the system for ABC Company. I also have Jill Jones in the system as a contact. Another thing I can do is I can capture and track information on my activities, so I have a history of all my interactions with my accounts and contacts.

I can track emails, and I can also track phone calls. So if I have a phone call with my contact Jill, I can Add Phone Call from the Activities tab and describe what happened. So let’s say we talked for 40 minutes. I might write, “Talk to Jill for 40 minutes about what she needs. See notes below.” I can enter whatever information I need in there, and capture that record. I can keep this history so I don’t need to remember everything I’ve done with Jill. I’d see it all inside of the system.

Also, other users would see what I’ve done, which is really important. So let’s say your customer service rep takes a phone call from Jill, who’s trying to reach you. You’d be able to tell by looking at the CRM record, in addition to getting notified by the employee. So, we’d be able to tell how many touch points we had, which is also really great.


Search records

So, I have all this information. I’m capturing any history I have with my accounts and contacts, including those phone calls. And then, I can look up those accounts, contacts, and activities later using my search functionality.

I might find out another phone number for Jill Jones, search up her record, and do some basic contact management. When I add the new phone number to her record, I actually don’t need to explicitly save these pages. They’ll save themselves, and then I’ll have that information for later, when I can search, add to, or report on it.


Access anywhere

With modern cloud-based CRM like Dynamics 365 for Sales, you don’t need to take care of a server like we used to have to do when we just had on-premises CRM solutions. So, we don’t need to manage servers or have IT folks that are helping us.

I have access from the road on my mobile device. And I don’t need any fancy software installed. I can simply install an application on my Android or my iPhone, and pull up the records, and even track more information directly from there.



I can see the records in the system and look at my information from different views. I can drill down into those records. I can add more records by clicking the plus symbol. And, I can search on those records. So, as I click through, I can find the records and go back, and also add those phone calls, and memorialize what I’m doing.

So, hopefully this was helpful, and you can find a use to really get started with CRM, in the basic functionality, and then hopefully graduate to higher levels, and more features.

That's all for this episode, but you can continue your CRM education with our CRM 101 series on Channel Q!

For specific questions, or to find out whether CRM is a good fit for your business, contact us!

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