Microsoft provides free trials of Dynamics CRM Online. The trials provide you access to all of the features and functionality of CRM Online, last for thirty (30) days, and allow up to 25 user licenses, which you can assign to other users in your company. After 30 days, your trial organization expires. Microsoft gives you another thirty days to convert your expired trial organization to a paid account before it deletes your data and customizations from its servers.
The CRM Online trial can be an excellent tool for determining how well Dynamics CRM Online meets your business’ needs. The trial gives you access to all CRM Online features and lets you import your data and contacts and customize it to incorporate your business logic and workflows. However, while Dynamics CRM has a reputation for being one of the easiest CRM applications to use, mastering it during the trial can feel a bit like translating ancient Greek if you don’t have much experience with CRM. Fortunately, Microsoft provides a few resources to help you get started with your trial.
The first of these resources is the “Get Started” pane. When you first log in to your CRM organization, you will see the Get Started pane presents options that can help guide you through important setup and configuration steps for Users and Administrators. In the “For Users” section, you will find links to guide showing you how to add Accounts and Contacts, set up email accounts, and a “More” link that will take you to additional guides that explain other common tasks in CRM Online. In the “For Administrators” section, you can learn how to add Users and customize their privileges and settings, as well as how to perform other critical administration tasks. In the “Configure” section, you can learn how to configure dashboards, turn off the Get Started pane, and install or remove sample data. Until you disable it, the Get Started pane appears at the top of your Dashboard each time you log into your CRM organization. If you have already hidden it, you can show the Get Started pane by clicking the small arrow above “what’s new.”
The Get Started pane is a great starting point, but it is not the only resource that Microsoft provides. Through its Microsoft Dynamics CRM Customer Center, Microsoft offers product support resources, including a support blog, community forum, and knowledgebase of articles that cover frequently asked questions and common issues. You can access the Customer Center by selecting Help from the FILE tab in your CRM Online organization.
The final resource that Microsoft offers is online training as part of its Business Ready service plans for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Unless you have already invested in Dynamics CRM, you are not likely to want to invest the time and money into Microsoft’s online training program.
If you sign up for your Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online trial with a Microsoft partner, your partner may provide you with additional training resources. For example, xRM.com offers three training resources that can help you get up and running quickly with CRM Online.
The first of these resources is the free “Introduction to Microsoft Dynamics CRM” webinar. The webinar covers the basics of navigating around Dynamics CRM and using its most common features. At the end of the webinar, the CRM instructor from xRM opens the forum to questions that the webinar attendees have.
The second resource is the Success Portal. The Success Portal is an online library of more than 250 training videos dedicated to Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Success Portal accounts are free if you indicate xRM as your Partner of Record, which only takes a minute and is free to do.
The third resource is xRM Quick Start CRM Training. xRM Quick Start CRM Training is an affordable and customizable training program designed to help new CRM System Administrators or company trainers master specific tasks or functions in Microsoft Dynamics CRM quickly. Visit the xRM Quick Start CRM page for more information and current pricing.
xRM is a Microsoft Partner that specializes in CRM and private cloud solutions. Visit www.xrm.com to learn more about its Microsoft Dynamics CRM training and other services.