Account and contact records store much of the information that you and your team collect from your customers. You store data about companies you do business with in accounts. Similar to Microsoft Office Outlook or other email programs, you store data about the people you know and work with in contacts.
Usually, an account has more than one contact associated with it, especially when you’re working with a larger company with many departments or locations and you deal with several people to manage the account.
Leads are for potential sales, and most organizations get leads from many sources. For example, you can enter leads manually from business cards, generate them from marketing campaigns or inquiries from your website, buy them in mailing lists, create them automatically from posts on Facebook or Twitter – the possibilities are almost endless.
If all goes well, after you nurture a lead, you’ll be able to promote it to an opportunity, which is another name for a deal you’re getting ready to close.
What are cases?
You store all the data about customer issues or questions in a case. Cases can originate from phone calls, email, inquiries on your website, or even from posts on Facebook or Twitter. (Some organizations call cases “incidents” or “tickets.”)
Cases store the details that service reps need to know as they resolve an issue. When you look at a case record, you’ll see the case priority, where it originated, whether the customer has other recent cases, how much service the customer is entitled to, and how much time you have to resolve it.
Bonus : What is a Record and what is a Record Type?
Although you don’t need to know a lot about databases to start working with Microsoft Dynamics 365, it’s helpful to know a few things about how data is organised in the system.
In particular, there are two definitions you should know because they are used many places in the system: record and record type.
Every day, you’ll work with different customer records and record types as you move customers through your business processes, collecting the data you need to fill in the fields for their records—and ultimately to win their business.
What’s a record?
In Microsoft Dynamics 365, a record is a complete unit of information. Think of it like a single row in a table, with multiple columns (or fields) to store the pieces of info that make up the entire row.
For example, for accounts you could have a column for Company name, Address, and Contact name for the person you call when you want to check in on the account. Each time you add a new account to the system, you’re creating a new record in the Dynamics 365 database.
What’s a record type?
Each record you add to the system belongs to a certain record type, such as an account, contact, lead, opportunity, or case. (Microsoft Dynamics 365 has several other types of records besides these, but these are the ones you’ll probably work with most often.)
Record types give you a way to group and organise similar data. For example, in Microsoft Dynamics 365 you’ll find your contact records grouped by the icon for the contact record type.
Case records are grouped by the icon for the case record type, account records are grouped by the icon for the account record type, and so on.