Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the most robust way to manage your customer relations and internal sales operations. A new feature called Hierarchy Visualizations was introduced in CRM 2015 update which enables creating an organizational chart of your contacts right within your CRM system.
The purpose of Hierarchy Visualizations is to help sales personnel understand where a specific contact in their CRM stands in their organization. This further helps them to interact with the right person in an organization while working on an opportunity. Several firms have already reaped the benefits of using this feature in terms of contacting people who have the authority to take decisions pertaining to timeline, budget, scope, etc. If you’re looking to enable Hierarchy Visualizations in your CRM system, consider partnering with a Dynamics CRM development company or refer to the below tutorial.
The tutorial focuses on how hierarchies can be enabled on a CRM entity. Though Hierarchy Visualizations feature is available for Account, Contact, Case, Campaign, Order, Product, Opportunity, Team, Quote, and User entities, it can only be enabled out-of-the-box for Account, Product and User Entities. However, it can be enabled for custom entities or any other system.
Currently, Hierarchy Visualizations works with a single entity on a one to many basis (1:N). Ensure that each hierarchy member has a similar type. In contacts entity, a hierarchy can include multiple contacts, but adding an account or any other CRM entity into the structure is not possible. Plus each of these contacts can have their own entity specific hierarchy.
On the contact form, you must add a new self-referential field called ‘manager’ which will define the hierarchy structure between the parent and child records.
In the contact record above, George Kaplan is set as Fernando De Souza’s manager. As only one parent needs to be set, you cannot define an additional manager for this contact. However, as it’s a 1:N structure, you can connect multiple child contacts to a parent contact. For example, George Kaplan consists two individual reporting as shown below.
The CRM supports multiple hierarchy levels, so while George Kaplan is a parent contact to Fernando and Natalie Pence, he is also a subordinate to Karen Hawes, the managing director of this organization.
The hierarchy levels on an expanded structure are displayed below:
You can access an existing hierarchy visualization from any record by clicking on “view hierarchy” that appears on the CRM ribbon or in the top right corner of a record.
To enable a hierarchy structure, you first need to define a self-referential field for the entity which tracks the parent: child relationship. After setting the field, a database administrator must navigate to Customizations from CRM settings and select Customize the System.
Now that you have applied the CRM 2015 upgrade, a new ‘Hierarchy Settings’ option will appear when the entity component is expanded. In this example, the hierarchy option is displayed in the contact entity list:
Now define the parent: child relationship rules by clicking on “New”. A screen will open up where you need to define a new hierarchy name and select the contact form you want to apply it to. Previously, a self-referential field named ‘Manager’ was created which will look up other entity specific records and the same has been selected for hierarchy relationship settings.
Now enable relationship for hierarchies by clicking the link below the options and update the settings if the settings for relevant schema is not set to ‘Is Hierarchical? = ‘True’.
Once you do that, publish the customizations to start creating hierarchies on this entity via selected form.
For further information, you can check out other Dynamics CRM enhancements or leave your feedback or queries regarding the tutorial in the comments section.