1. Read Microsoft Dynamics CRM Blogs
Reading blogs is a great way to keep up with the latest functionality in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. CRM blogs will teach you new functionality, give you common development scenarios and resolve customer functionality you may need to implement. Blogs are bite sized and focused on particular topics.
A great list of CRM blogs can be found on the Microsoft Dynamics website here
I would recommend adding the blogs you like to an RSS feed reader.
Twitter is also a great way to find interesting CRM blogs, I have a CRM list
2. Try new CRM versions
Reading about CRM functionality isn’t enough, you have to get your hands dirty and try it out for yourself then you will have some first hand experience of the functionality. This exwill be able to judge if you can use it in customer projects. It’s always a good idea to try new functionality before you have to use it in a customer project, without time pressure.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM make this easy with free 30 days trials, so you have no excuse.
You can try CRM 2015 now and the new Microsoft Marketing has 30 day trial as well.
Check this link out for more details
3. What is your dream CRM Dynamics Job
Before you go anywhere, you need to know where you are going or you will never get there. The same can be said for your career, you need to decide what role in CRM your aiming for
The common Microsoft dynamics CRM roles are
- Senior/Lead Developer
- Solution Architect
Depending on what your current job is you will probably need to climb the ladder of Junior, standard and senior or you may need to be a senior developer before you become a solution architect.
4. Make a plan
Once you know what you want to do, you can make a plan how to get there. So work out what role you are aiming for and create a three year plan to get there.
If are you are not sure what skills you need for the role, you can see what skills and experience are mentioned in job adverts for the role.
Once you understand what skill and experience are needed for the role, you can make a plan to build up those skills and build up the experience.
It’s a good idea to let your current employer know you career goal and they will often help you get there because it will benefit the company by bringing an internal employee through because you have experience of the company, the employees and projects.
5. Get Certified
Lots of people don’t rate certificates but the bottom line is companies (people who employ you) do and customers do. This isn’t just because I have a bunch of certifications and wrote some material to help you pass MB2-703 CRM 2013 customization and configuration – https://crmbusiness.wordpress.com/mb2-703-crm-2013-customization-and-configuration-certification/
For lots of reasons why you should get certified read this
Quick summary of reasons
- Certified people get paid more and are valuable to companies (who need a number of certified people to get silver/gold partner status)
- certifications are great bargaining chip to take into your next review
- You learn new microsoft dynamics features and parts of CRM you haven’t used before e.g. increased CRM knowledge.
6. Read books
I love books, they are awesome and think everyone should read more.
Books offer more in depth thoughts on an area or topic and will show you thoughts on a subject by an expert in the field. I often find thoughts on other topics often shed light give me a different perspective on CRM issues, problems and work practices/processes
Recommended Books for Developers
Coding horror’s fantastic list of books for developers
Even reading books not related to CRM/Coding/projects will give you some benefit and get you away from the screen for a while.
7. Go for a walk at lunch
Going for a walk at lunch is not only good for your health but it gives you time to think. Going for a walk at lunch allows you to step back from your work and see the wood from the trees.
I often come back from my walk at lunch refreshed, energised and usually armed with some fresh ideas on problems I was wrestling with before I went for my walk.
8. Write a blog
Writing a blog is a great way to learn new and existing CRM functionality and CRM Development. Writing a blog will increase your profile in the CRM community and is great to show your current employer or new employees some of your CRM knowledge.
Writing a blog has some external benefits the biggest benefit will be yourself because you will be learning, analysing and sorting your thoughts on different topics. A great method of learning a subject is by teaching others about that subject, read this blog – why teaching is the best way to learn
I wrote about the reasons I started writing a blog in my new years resolution blog post
The reasons I started writing the CRM blog
- To help me learn about Microsoft Dynamics CRM (CRM 2011 at the time of creation).
- A place for me to easily find solutions to CRM problems I experienced
- To learn more about CRM development by blogging about it
- To help the CRM community
- To raise my profile in the CRM world.
Don’t know what to write
- Write about your last CRM customization, problems and solutions
- What blog posts do you find interesting
- Write about functionality you haven’t used before
9. Keep your social profile up to date
Keep your LinkedIn Profile up to date
Create profiles on
Create a Twitter account
The reason you should do this is it will help encourage people with similar skill sets to network with you. If you are answering and interacting in LinkedIn forums and any other forums/websites on the internet, people can view your LinkedIn profile to see what knowledge and experience you have.
A downside or side effect could mean you get InMail from recruitment consultants. This could be of interest if they offer you attractive roles it will give you some information to take into your yearly appraisal as to what salary (in a rough ball park way) bracket you are in.
10. Use social media to raise your profile
Write interesting and useful CRM blog, show your CRM skills
Tweet great CRM articles and interesting thoughts about CRM.
Social media is a way to interact with the Microsoft Dynamics community and get to know people who are knowledgable in this area.
if you are not sure about the benefits of Networking read this article
Networking will find you your next job
11. Watch less TV, Watch Good TV
Watching TV is passive, do something more creative and interactive. The problem with TV is most people watch too much and you get little back from watching TV.
Watch less TV and use the time to do something more constructive towards your career, otherwise you will have to look back on the year and think, what benefit did watching all the TV have.
You can either watch less TV each night or turn the TV one night a week
12. Research the new CRM add Products
Microsoft has recently released a number of Add in products which are not built into the core Microsoft Dynamics CRM product but offer tight integration. If you have time look at the products and try it out but definitely spend some time working out what each product does and the benefits/limitations of each product.
Ringing in the New Year with the Latest Release of Parature, from Microsoft
Microsoft Dynamics Marketing (MDM)
Connecting Dynamics Marketing to Dynamics CRM – Let the Sync Begin
Unified Service Desk
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Unified Service Desk
Overview of Unified Service Desk
13. What is social CRM
Social CRM will continue to gain popularity with Microsoft releasing social listening. You will see more and more articles about Social CRM and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
I believe social media projects will grow in number and size during the forthcoming years and it’s quite possible you may find yourself doing a social CRM project in 2015.
Read this article 15 social CRM predictions for 2015
The time to start researching and understanding social CRM is now.
14. Answer CRM Forum questions
Answering questions on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Forum will
- Learn about common problems people have using CRM
- Learn about new functionality and new releases of CRM
- help the Microsoft Dynamics Community
- Earn badges and raise your profile in the Microsoft Dynamics Community
- focused learning or learning with a purpose
15. Create a CRM slideshow
Put your Microsoft Dynamics knowledge into a slideshow and upload it. This will enable you to use it again and again.
You can add
You will raise your profile and show case your CRM knowledge
16. Side project – Create a CRM tool and put it on codeplex
Creating a CRM tool is a great way to get experience developer, create something useful which can save yourself and many other Microsoft Dynamics CRM users time.
It’s great to put on your CV you have created a tool because you are showing you are a good developer rather than just saying to people you are a good developer.
17. Keep going
It takes a long time to become a CRM expert, don’t expect to be CRM expert overnight. The key is to not get disheartened, write down your accomplishments this year.
- Experience gained
- new Skills learnt
- Task accomplished
Statistics are not a sign of quality but they can be a metric to measure progress in some areas e.g.
- Blog posts created
- Books/pages/chapters read
- Projects worked on
- Twitter followers
18. Start Networking
Get networking, meeting and chatting with people in the Microsoft Dynamics Community.
- Join some groups on LinkedIn answer peoples questions in LinkedIn groups
- Follow people on twitter.
- Comment on peoples blog posts
- Comment on interesting updates on LinkedIn
- Answer Forum questions
- Tweet interesting things, reply to interesting tweets
Build up people you know in the Microsoft Dynamics Community.
Don’t get hung up on the term networking, it all really means it chatting with people who have similar interests.
Networking could also find your next job
19. Stay focused
It’s important to make sure you are working towards your goals and haven’t been blown off course. This means you constantly need to check you are heading towards the correct goal and focusing your time and effort on activities which add value and are important. You goal could be promotion or learning new skills.
Check your goal is still the goal you really wan to achieve, analyse your plan to see where you are, what is and isn’t working, update your plan if necessary.
20. What opportunities are there at work
Most people wait for opportunities to be given to them but the problem is you could be waiting a long time. You have to make
Get the skills needed for the next job e.g
If you want to move to a senior role, what extra technical skills and experience do you need for the role, how can acquire these. It’s better to
21. Read the Hosk Dynamics CRM blog
I have great articles like this
12 Ways to become a better CRM Developer