If you don’t already have a good mobile version of CRM installed, then the process of following up on your phone call activities using your mobile phone usually looks like this:

(1) Open your task list
(2) Click the phone call activity (in your task list) that you want make
(3) See the contact that the call is being made to (uh oh, if you forgot to enter the contact name, then you may not even know who the call needs to be placed to!)
(4) Go to your list of contacts
(5) Find the contact
(6) Dial the number
(7) Go back to the Phone Call Activity
(8) Record notes
(9) Repeat for each call you want to make

Wouldn’t it be easier if you could just click on the task and all of the data that you need to make your call is right there? Then you just click the phone number and the call is automatically placed. But you don’t want to have to spend a lot of money on a mobile version of CRM to do all of this.

With workflow, you can setup CRM to do this in just a few minutes.

Here’s the basic process to setting up a workflow to handle this. I won’t go into all the details – but feel free to ask a question if you run into any problems. I will also upload the workflow to our library (register on www.customer-connect.com to get access to our library) so you can just download it and install it to your CRM instance (assuming you are using CRM 4.0 with Update Rollup 1 installed) and you’re ready to go!

(1) Create a new Workflow that is attached to the Phone Call entity (this means that the workflow will be triggered when something happens with a phone call). To do this, navigate to Settings | Workflows and click the New button.

(2) Name your workflow something like “Add Contact Data to Phone Call” and set the Entity = Phone Call. Now proceed to create your workflow.

(3) The first part of your workflow should look like the screen shot below. You may want to change a few settings depending on your preferences. The settings mean:
* Scope = Organization. This workflow will run for everyone in your organization (you can set it to just run for you, your business unit, all child business units or the entire organization).
* Record is Created. This means the workflow will run once whenever a new call is created. You don’t want to change this one or add any other checkboxes to it.


CRM_Phone_Call_Workflow_Setup


(4) Okay, now comes the hard part (which really isn’t very hard at all!). You need to create the “rules” that determine when this workflow will run, and how it will update the Phone Call. Below is a screen shot of how this will look when you’re done. Details for getting this done are below that:

Phone_Call_Workflow


(5) Click “Add Step” in the menu bar about halfway down the page. This will be a Check Condition step. We’re going to tell the workflow to only run if this Phone Call is regarding a Contact. Next to the word “If” click the hyperlink and make the “logic” look like the screenshot below. Click Save and Close when you’re done.

CRM_Workflow_Filter

(6) Now click on the “dot” below the If statement you just created to highlight the area directly below it and click “Add Step” again. This time, you are going to Update the Phone Call record to add the information from the Contact. Next to Update, you’re going to choose “Phone Call” from the picklist and then click the Set Properties button. Setting the properties works kind-of like creating a mail-merge document. You need to use the interactive tools in CRM to copy information from the Contact into the Phone Call description area. I’ll walk you through creating the first one and you should be able to handle the rest yourself.

(7) Type LEAD INFO at the top of the Description area and click the Enter key to go to the next line. Using the Form Assistant (right-hand side of the screen), enter the following information:
* Dynamic Values
* Operator = Set To
* Look For = Regarding (Contact)
* Full Name

(8) Now fill in the rest of the fields. You don’t have to use all the information I did, but the screen shot below will give you one idea for how to set this up. When you’re done, click Save and Close.

Update_Phone_Call_with_Contact_Info


(9) Back on the Workflow, click below all of the steps you have created and then repeat steps 5 – 8 using a Lead instead of a Contact. The images below should help you along.
Lead_Advanced_Find_Phone_Call

Lead_Phone_Call_Mail_Merge_Workflow_Data_Slugs


(10) Publish your workflow.

(11) You’re done! Create a phone call and regard it to a Lead or a Contact, then save the call. Open it up a few minutes later and note the new information that has been added. Bang … you’re more productive! A few items to keep in mind:

• Workflows take from a few seconds to 10 minutes to run. Be patient.
• Workflows are like writing “macros” or mini computer programs … they’re not too difficult, but you can create situations where the workflows fail. Understanding how workflows do their job is important if you want to be successful with them.
• The data in a Phone Call will only find its way into your mobile device if the device is syncing with Outlook and/or Exchange. The easiest way to do this is directly to Exchange (so you don’t have to dock your mobile device to your computer in order to receive updated information).
• This will work for any mobile device that syncs with Outlook or Exchange (Windows Mobile, SmartPhone, PocketPC, iPhone, Blackberry, etc).
• Not all phones automatically recognize the phone number and turn it into a link (Microsoft SmartPhones do, Microsoft Windows Mobile PPC phones do not, for example).  Though there are probably inexpensive add-ons for most phones that will make this work.

Think that’s cool? How about another workflow so you can automatically record the results of your call and setup a follow up phone call without having to manually create the record in CRM? And how about if that follow up phone call included the call notes from all your previous calls? It’s not too difficult to do – maybe I’ll write about that in a future entry.

Happy calling!

UPDATE: You can convert phone numbers within your tasks into hyperlinks in Windows Mobile 6.  The trick is to just prefix them with "tel:".  An example would be "tel:704-555-1212 ".  Note that formatting is important - you cannot have any spaces between the beginning of "tel" and the last number in the phone number - and you need to include a space at the end of the string.  By extension, it will also be important that you properly form phone numbers in CRM (using JavaScript) so that they will properly convert into hyperlinks in your mobile tasks.