Worth a thousand words? Let us know!

As Renee Wesberry blogged here a couple weeks ago, we recently released a series of articles centered around diagrams for the Using Microsoft Dynamics CRM site, based on common questions and feedback from day-to-day users of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

As passionate as writers and editors are about words, we know that different people learn differently, and sometimes an illustration can help explain a concept or process much more easily. With that in mind, we're trying out a new approach. You might call it a "Charts & Graphs" segment -- a little different from our usual talk show format. Sadly, I can't promise a series of "Will it Float?" articles in the future.

So far, we've released four diagram-based articles. When we set out, we thought that whipping up a flow chart would be incredibly easy (and maybe a little bit boring), but distilling abstract concepts and multi-step processes down to just a few elements has proved to be a fascinating, rather exciting challenge. I won't say that documentation in the year 2035 will be completely visual, but this is certainly something we'd like to try doing more.

But what's most important is that these work for you and your users. With that in mind, we really want to know what you think. Are they helpful? Detailed enough? Too complicated? Hate the colors? Check out the articles I've linked to below and please let us know!

What's the difference between campaigns and quick campaigns? answers a common question we get from users, highlighting the key differences between these two features of Marketing Automation:


A case from call to closure follows a new case through the Services process, from the point an organization receives the case through its resolution:


Follow a campaign response through the marketing process illustrates how a campaign response gets created and how it can be converted to several other entities, including leads:


Finally, Follow a lead from creation through closure picks up where the campaign response diagram leaves off, and illustrates how a lead can be converted to entities such as accounts, contacts, and opportunities, and how the opportunity can be closed.


Andrew Becraft

Comments (9)

  1. Peter Lynch says:

    For me anyway, they are just right and very effective overiews. Thanks and keep up the good work!

  2. Van yang says:

    A barrelful of kudos for the effort put into these diagrams.

    As an IT company that focuses on small businesses, our clients have limited budget and time for training purposes.  With that said, adoption is the #1 most critical factor in gauging a CRM project’s success.

    These diagrams will not only aid us during classroom time, but can be a part of a New Employee Guidebook, even a 101 guide to best practices!

    Your hardwork will definitely be included now in all our training.  Thank you.


    1) More color into the people icons.  The blue spacesuits would look great on the International Space Station, but on a diagram make my vision slowly blur out of focus.  

    How about using some of the nice bright colors in the CRM logo?

    2) Future diagrams

    a) basic flow of track email –> create followup activity

    b) flow within the opportunity cycle (create opportunity, evaluate, create followup activities)

    Keep up the fantastic work enriching a fantastic product.

    Van Yang

    Lite Technology, Inc

    Vernon Hills, IL

  3. Van yang says:

    A barrelful of kudos to you all.

    As IT consultants that concentrate only on small businesses, we put a lot of resources into training in a CRM implementation.  While most corporate workers have at least brushed with something similar, the concept is alien to most small business employees, so it’s tough getting people into the habit of creating activities.

    Adoption is the #1 hurdle to a CRM’s success, so these diagrams help us tremendously:

    1) Useful in classrooms

    2) Useful in "New Employee Guidebooks"

    3) Useful as a mini 101 lesson in best practices


    1) The pale blue spacesuits are slick, but how about some bright uniforms for the people in the diagrams? Maybe some of the greens and reds of the CRM logo itself?  Will definitely brighten it all up.

    Future diagram ideas

    1) Opportunity cycle

    2) Basic track email –> Followup activities and record notes

    We all love the dedication towards making fantastic enhancments to a fantastic product.

    Van Yang

    Lite Technology

    Vernon Hills, IL

  4. Tim Long says:

    I found the diagrams useful. When I first started using MSCRM, the hardest part was understanding how the various entities inerrelated and flowed through the system. The diagrams would have been a big help then.

  5. Jan Vanek says:

    The pictures are really very helpful. My question is, whether or not are they available in their "source format" (Visio?). I’d like to translate them into local language, if it is possible. It is not very convenient to use them in English for Czech end-users. Thanks.


  6. A CRM Riff says:

    A couple of friends of mine in the Microsoft Visual Studio Team System team are doing some ground breaking

  7. Pmarius says:

    What would be more helpful would be to give out the vsd files.  Because what you need to allow for is changes of lables, and additional workflow steps that might be done out of the context of CRM.

    So we use this all the time for teaching users how do understand the overview.  But I am adding some company specific details to charts like this.

  8. In a continued bit of discovery, other teams are using a similar approach to the scenario topics we proposed

  9. In a continued bit of discovery, other teams are using a similar approach to the scenario topics we proposed

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