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New to CRM 2011 is a process called Dialogs. Dialogs are a question and answer format that can be run on-demand or as a child to another process. As the user answers each question, the information can be stored in a record, used in a search or a number of other possibilities. Dialogs are often thought of as a solution for call centers but can be used in many other situations as well. Below we will step through creating a dialog in CRM 2011 for a lead entity.



We will create a very simple dialog with two questions that could be used by a CRM user in a call center to update a lead record. The dialog will allow the CRM user to update the First Name and Industry fields with ease. We will be using the lead entity as it is out-of-the-box.

Click Settings > Processes > New

Creating a Dialog in CRM 2011

In the window that appears:

  1. Give your dialog a name in the Process Name field.
  2. Choose Lead as the Entity.
  3. Choose Dialog as the Category.
  4. Click OK.

At this point, a window will appear where we can start the creation of our dialog. If you are familiar with creating workflows, much of this screen will look familiar.

Dialogs are a collection of “pages” in CRM so our first step is to create a page. Create a page by clicking Add Step and in the dropdown list, choose Page.

Give your page a name and then click the Select this row and click Add Step line. Make sure only that line is highlighted.

We will now add our first question to the page. In Dialogs, these questions are referred to as Prompt and Response. Click Add Step and then from the dropdown list, choose Prompt and Response.

Give your question an easy to recognize description and then click Set Properties.

The page that appears is for us to define our question. The Statement Label is pulled from your description in the previous step. The user will never see the Statement Label. The Prompt Text is the question that you want the user to see and answer. The Tip Text is a reminder for the user or clarification to make the question clear. Add your question and a tip if necessary.

Next we will choose our response type. The response types of a dialog are loosely dictated by the field in CRM that you want to populate. Since we are populating the first name, which is a single line of text, choose Single Line as the Response Type.

A few new options are available after choosing the response type. Log Response is the option of whether or not CRM will remember the answer. Data Type should match the data type of the field you are populating. Default Value will be used if there is not an answer provided when the dialog is run.

We will use Text as the Data Type and Yes to Log Response. We won’t have a Default Value in this example.

Click Save and Close and we have created our first question.

We will now setup a prompt and response to populate the Industry field on the Lead form. Follow the steps from earlier to add another prompt and response. Also fill in the Prompt Text and Tip Text.

For the Response Type choose Option Set (picklist) from the dropdown list.

We will again choose Yes for Log Response but for Data Type we will choose Integer from the dropdown list. Since Industry is an option set within CRM, we must match the values or our prompt and response in our dialog to the values of the Industry
option set. The prompt and response in the dialog does not have to contain all the options from the Industry option set so we will just use the first three. The key to making this successful is to ensure your values match. The labels don’t need to match. Notice that the Value and Label fields are reversed in the prompt and response when compared to the Industry option set.

Click Save and Close.

The last step of creating a dialog is to take an action with the information we gathered. With this dialog we will update the lead record that it is run from.

Click to the left of Page to highlight the entire area.

Click Add Step and choose Update Record. The step will default to a lead record so we will just add a description and then click Set Properties.

Click in the First Name field on the lead record and on the right pane set the Look for: values to the description of your First Name question and Response Text. Then click Add and then click OK. It should look as follows after clicking OK.

Click in the Industry field and on the right pane set the Look for: values to the description of your Industry question and Response Option Set Value.

Click Save and Close.

The dialog is now complete. To test the dialog click and then OK. From within an existing CRM lead, click and choose the dialog we just created from the list.

This is just the start to what dialogs are capable of!

If you need help with more advanced dialog capabilities please reach out to the CRM Experts at PowerObjects!

Happy CRM’ing!

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