In Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, you can manage, share, and collaborate on accounts and contacts within your organization. The logging and tracking features benefit the person who makes the sale, his or her sales team, other supporting teams, and their management. All activities, such as e-mail, phone calls and meetings, are logged and a running history of every activity with the account or contact is kept.
You can enter accounts or contacts individually or you can use Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to import lists of these records into the database. You might already have customer records in Microsoft Office Outlook or Microsoft Office Excel that you can import using the Import Data Wizard, and then use the account list or contact list to view or open the records to make sure that all the information is imported successfully. You can bulk add Microsoft Office Outlook contacts into Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online with the Add Contacts Wizard. More information: Resource Center
Accounts are companies that you do business with, whereas contacts represent individuals or specific representatives for an account. Therefore, if you have mostly businesses that you sell to, then you will primarily create account records. However, if you typically provide goods or services to individuals, then you will want to create contact records.
Even if you only sell to individuals, you might still find accounts useful for tracking your competitors or vendors. You can have one or more contacts associated with a single account, but only one of the contacts can be designated as the primary contact. You can create and edit accounts or contacts from the Workplace, Sales, Marketing, and Services areas.
You can create a relationship between accounts and contacts, specify the type of relationship between them, and define the relationship role that the account or contact has with regard to the primary record. For example, if you add a contact as a relationship to an account, anyone who views the contact data will see that the individual can influence the purchasing choices of the account.
You can start a sales transaction, such as a quote, order, or invoice, from within an account or a contact record. The advantage of starting sales transactions this way is that much of the information is automatically entered based on the account or contact data. You can also view any sales transaction records from within these customer records to track the overall sales process and expected revenue.
You can create a case or contract from within an account or contact record. When you save the record, it is automatically linked to the account or contact. This information provides sales staff with important details about the type of service the customer is entitled to receive.
You can add customer records to marketing lists that already exist as part of your marketing efforts directly from the account or contact form. You can also view related campaign information from within a customer record. In addition, you can use a quick campaign to run an activity for either a selected customer record, a page of customer records, or all customer records for a particular view.
If you are working offline, you can create a relationship between two records and specify details about the relationship. However, you must go online before the changes take effect.