One of the selling points of Dynamics CRM (and most CRMs with a marketing module) is the ability to use mass-communication and then track the sales opportunities against that communication to figure out whether the cost and effort was worth it in the first place.
How Campaigns Work
For CRM, the mechanism to associate an Opportunity to a Campaign is the Campaign Response record. Essentially, the process goes like this:
- Campaign is set up
- Marketing List is associated to the Campaign
- Campaign Activity (mass communication) is set up and distributed to the Marketing List
Generally speaking, whatever channel you use for your Campaign Activity (email, phone call, Word mail merge etc.) an activity gets associated to each recipient in the Marketing List. This activity record can be converted to, in the case of a Phone Call, an Opportunity record or a Campaign Response.
However, if you convert it to an Opportunity, CRM is not smart enough to pick up the Campaign and it must be entered manually.
The better option is to promote the Phone Call to a Campaign Response and then convert this to an Opportunity
This process works fine but, sometimes we may want to take a shortcut. For example, what do we do if we want to associate an Opportunity directly to a Campaign without going through the effort of setting up a Campaign Activity, distribute it, promote the activities to Campaign Responses and convert these to Opportunities? Maybe we are using Campaigns to hold an event and we simply want to record what Opportunities were generated from the event.
The Shortcut Problem
We know there is a direct link between the Opportunity and the Campaign via the Source Campaign lookup field on the Opportunity record but, no matter what I do through configuration, I cannot make the field editable.
***STOP PRESS*** George Doubinski, CRM MVP and personal editor notes that I obviously did not try too hard as unticking the ‘Read Only’ box on the Source Campaign field does release it. I am sure I tried this but perhaps I forgot to publish. Either way you have two ways of linking them directly now. Thank you George :)
Going the other way, usually, it is a case of adding Opportunity to the navigation pane of the Campaign but when we go to do this Opportunity is nowhere to be found.
Fortunately, with CRM 2011, we have one more trick up our sleeve; the form grid. If we add a grid to the Campaign form, the Opportunity is available.
By adding this to the Campaign form we can now add Opportunities directly to the Campaign without messing about with Campaign Activities or Campaign Reponses.
I am a big fan of the traceability of Campaign Responses for linking a Campaign to a sales opportunity but sometimes it is too much. If, for example, I am running an event and using Campaigns to hold the event information, the mass-communication functionality may be irrelevant. In this case linking the Opportunity directly to the event/Campaign record makes a lot more sense. Using a grid on the form gives us the ability to do precisely this.