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.