Tuesday, February 8, 2011

E-mailing Attachments En-Masse in CRM

At a pre-sales meeting recently, a client mentioned they deal with foreign students and sometimes need to send all attachments associated to a contact to a government department for reporting purposes e.g. visa records, passport information etc.

This had me stumped because, at the time, I could not think of a simple solution to get around this. Certainly you can add attachments to a contact record but to attach them to an e-mail would require saving each one to the desktop and then attaching them one-by-one to an e-mail (or a bunch of custom code). Even with the new integration to SharePoint in CRM 2011, one would need a custom solution to gather all the documents in the document store and add them to an e-mail.

When I got back to the office I had a flash of inspiration; what about sales literature? A new feature of CRM 2011 is the ability to send all the attachments associated with a sales literature record with one click.

Sure enough, not only can I create a relationship between contacts and sales literature but I can rename sales literature to something more appropriate (Student Documents).


To print, we open up the sales literature record and click the ‘Send as E-mail’ button


Now this solution is not perfect. The two biggest downsides are that you have to retype in contact’s e-mail address once you click the ‘Send as E-mail’ button and I can find no way to rename the ‘Sales Attachments’ label. However, given the potentially expensive alternatives, this provides a lot of bang for minimal buck. As an added bonus, we can use this technique to cluster different kinds of documents for the contact and only print one cluster at a time. Perhaps the clusters are different reporting bodies or perhaps we want to have a set of official documents and a set of internal documents. for each one we simply create a new sales literature (student document) record.


Unknown said...

Thats a handy tip to know. I had a play with trying to change the display name of the "Sales Attachements" and did find that you could reset this entity to be custommizable by setting the IsCustomisable field in the MetadataSchema.Entity table to true, as well as the IsRenameable field - easy enough on an on-premises install (not sure about teh online version).

Would be nice if they allowed display name changes on even the locked entities, not sure why they wouldn't? That way you wouldn't need to fiddle in the database directly.

Koncis said...

Thanks for sharings this

you can read my article about custom email solution