Friday, January 22, 2010

Teams in CRM

I've been asked a handful of times what Teams are in CRM and when it would be appropriate to use them. I couldn't find all that much documentation around when a Team should be used, just how to set up and reference Teams. So, this is my take on the usefulness of Teams.

According to the CRM Help files, teams are "a group of users who share and collaborate on business records. A team can consist of members who all report to one business unit or members who report to different business units".

In essence teams are an easy way to share records. And sharing within CRM are ways to make exceptions to security roles. Security roles limit what users can and cannot do within or outside of their business unit. However, sharing creates exceptions by allowing specific privileges to specific records.

As an example, two sales reps cannot see each other's contacts within CRM. But for a joint deal that they are working on one rep may need to see some of the other rep's contacts in order help get the deal closed. The necessary records are then shared and the deal can advance more efficiently as both reps can now use the necessary data to get their jobs done.

Teams are groups of users that can have records shared with them, to facilitate sharing records in mass with groups of people. That is the primary role of Teams within CRM. Please note that Teams cannot be deleted in CRM (why I don't know, that's just what they chose to do when they programed the system) and in order to "deactivate" them you need only to remove all of the members from the Team.

Teams may also be used when setting up "Resources" for a given "Service", within the Scheduling Calendar. There may be a repair team that makes up people qualified to repair bikes. By adding users to that Team, the Users are seen as available Resources through the Team to perform a given Service. Depending on availability and other Resources, the Scheduling Calendar can then find available times for repairs to be made by certain individuals. A very powerful tool, but also a lot of set up and a lot of linking that has to be understood to make it all work.

David Fronk
Dynamic Methods Inc.