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The Contact Card in Business Central - Not Just a Depository for Names, Phone Numbers and Emails

June 3, 2020 | New View Strategies

In my last blog, “The Great Debate: Who owns the information on the Customer Card in Business Central?  Accounting or Sales?”, I encouraged organizations to take an extra step with their Marketing Setups.

If you’ve now accepted the Contact on the Customer Card is property of the Accounting Department and you’ve let your sales staff create their own Contacts, you’ve already begun segmenting your contacts.  Market segmentation is a critical component of target marketing.

If your business sells round widgets that fit into round gaskets and square widgets that fit into square gaskets, you don’t want to waste time and money trying to sell round widgets to customers using square gaskets and vice versa.  Marketing the wrong products to your customers may seem harmless, but it gives the impression that you don’t really know their business or that you don’t have an efficient marketing program.  We are all recipients of junk mail and spam email.  If you continually bombard your customers with useless information, they will do what I do with meaningless emails.   l block emails from those domains.  And now none of your emails will get through.

Allowing your sales staff to create their own Contacts is just the first step of Segmenting in Business Central.  Business Central offers six way to segment your Contacts.   The Basic method is simply using the standard fields on the Contact Card.  But the Contact Card is more than just a depository for the Name, Phone Number and Email Address of your Contacts.

Screen Shot of Business Central Contact Card

Four additional methods allow you to set up Values in Tables that are linked to the Contact.  The final method for segmenting your Contact comes from the Profile Questionnaire that can be attached to the Contact.

The Basic method gives you a high-level view for segmentation.  Focusing on the key segmentation fields on the Contact Card, you can market to Contacts based on the Territory they are assigned, the Organization Level they are assigned, the country in which they reside, the Language they speak, the Sales Rep who serves them, or any of the fields in their address.

Additional Tables linked to the Contact include Job Responsibilities, Industry Groups, Business Relationships and Mail Groups.  These Tables allow you to define Values the Users / Sales Reps can use to further classify their Contacts.  Contacts can be assigned multiple Values within the same Tables.

Examples for multiple Job Responsibilities could have a Contact that both a Buyer and a Planner.  Within the Industry Groups a Contact could be in Oil, Gas and Electricity, or simply classified as Energy.  Contacts with Business Relationships could be both a Customer and a Vendor.  The Mail Group allows greater flexibility.  One Contact could be assigned to all the following Mail Groups: Certified Professional, Android User, Decision Maker, Golfer and NAV 2017.

Using the Profile Questionnaire, you can really get your segmentation down to centimeter accuracy.  You can decide what questions you think your Sales Reps should be asking their Contact that will allow them to be better prepared for the next new thing your company has to offer.  Questions can be simple. Hardware preference? Handheld or Desktop.  Questions can have a range of answers.  What is your crew size? 1 to 2, 3 to 5, 6 to 10, Over 10.  Questions can also provide insight on what is needed to work with the Customer.  What level of Government Clearance is needed for onsite work?  None, Photo ID, Government Issued ID.

Profile Questionnaires can be very simple.  Many years ago, we had an Open House for our top customers.  We knew who we invited.  The Profile Questionnaire had one Yes or No question: “Did you attend the Open House?”  For those Contacts who attended, we updated their Questionnaire with a Yes and for those Contacts who did not attend, we updated their Questionnaire with a No.  From there we built a Campaign around those who attended and another around those who did not attend.

We were able to tailor each Campaign with a personal touch.  In the follow-up communication to the attendees, they were asked what they liked most about the Open House and which special deal they were most interested.    In the follow-up communication to those who missed the Open House they were asked what we could do to encourage their attendance at the next Open House and on which products would they like to receive special pricing.

Users can apply multiple Profile Questionnaires to each Contact.  You may create a Profile Questionnaire to track professional information about the Contact and then create a Profile Questionnaire to track personal interests.  These personal interest questionnaires give your Sales Reps a quick reference about their contacts before they reconnect.

Using the segmentation methods described above, your Sales Reps start their conversations on a friendly, personal basis with the correct Contacts.  Business is about building relationships and Business Central’s Relationship Management assists you in building those relationships through segmentation.

Look for my next blog on using Segments to slice and dice your Contacts for pinpoint marketing.

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The experts at New View Strategies are experienced Dynamics NAV and Business Central trainers and business process consultants who have walked in your shoes as former Corporate Controllers, Directors of IT, and Solution Architects, and believe increased utilization of your business systems is critical to the continued success of your company.
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