This section explains what CRM is, and introduces the main concepts and terminology. This section is intended for users and business managers unfamiliar with CRM and CRM concepts.

What is CRM?

CRM(Customer Relationship Management) is a computer system to basically do two things:

  • Contact management

  • Programming of commercial activities, ie track and schedule actions to achieve sales over time.

 A CRM system essentially provides a central place where businesses can store customer and prospect data, track customer interactions, and share this information with colleagues. It allows businesses to manage relationships with customers, helping the business to grow.

 With a CRM system in place, every question, every service request, every preference and every past contact details about every customer is instantly available, which means that every new interaction with them should always be personalized, relevant and up to date.

 As well as tracking every phone call, email sent, meetings held and presentation delivered, CRM systems can also be used to add notes, schedule follow-ups and organize the next steps that need to be taken. This ensures that opportunities to close deals or grow customer accounts won’t be missed.

 Not all businesses use all CRM system capabilities, and certainly many small businesses do not use a CRM system at all. Moreover, businesses that use CRM systems often use them in many different ways. For example, a business may use CRM for sales management while not using any CRM systems for customer service or marketing, while another may use a CRM system only for customer support. CRM systems, therefore, need to support a wide range of usage scenarios as required by diverse businesses.

Common CRM Terms and Concepts

 The following are some of the common terms you will encounter as you use coreBOS CRM and other CRM systems

  • Lead: A lead is a prospective customer. In a CRM system, prospective customers are first entered into the system as leads. You may collect leads from your marketing events such as conferences, advertisements, trade shows, etc. The goal is to convert a lead into a customer. Not all leads will result in a sale and be converted into a customer. This lead will contain all the information about the contact or the account available at this sales stage.

  • Potential (also known as Opportunity): A potential is an opportunity to make a sale, i.e. a potential sale. When you determine a lead could generate a potential sale, the Lead will be converted to a Potential. Also, an Account and Contact entries for this lead will be automatically created in the CRM system. Each business will determine when a lead should be converted to potential. For example, a business may decide a lead that requests a quote that can be converted to a Potential. The Lead entry will be deleted to avoid confusion and duplicate entries. All the information collected for the Lead is still available in the CRM system, but will now be presented in records for Contact, Account or Potential.

  • Account(also known as Organization): An Account is a customer account record for a customer or prospective customer. When a Lead is converted to a Potential, an Account for the prospective customer is automatically created in the CRM system.

  • Contact: A Contact is the contact information for a given customer or prospective customer. When a Lead is converted to a Potential, a Contact for the prospective customer is automatically created in the CRM system

  • Quotes: A Quote is record information for a sales quotation, i.e. price, quantities, and other terms, for a potential sale to prospects. The CRM system supports you in the creation of quotes for potential customers. A quotation can be created for a Potential, for easy and automatic transfer of customer data to the quote.

  • Purchase Order: A purchase order (PO) is a commercial document issued by a buyer to a seller, indicating types, quantities, and agreed prices for products or services the seller will provide to the buyer. The Purchase Order is a formal notification and approval for a customer order and kicks off the next stage in the sales process when the PO is received

  • Sales Order: A Sales Order is a document used internally by businesses to track and complete a customer order. A sales order may be for products and/or services. A CRM system allows you to record and manage Sales Orders and related information as part of your sales process. Once a quotation is approved, a Sales Order can be created directly from a Quote detail view. All the relevant data from existing records will be automatically populated in the Sales Order.

  • Invoice: An invoice is a commercial document issued by a seller to the buyer, indicating the products, quantities, and agreed prices for products or services the seller has provided the buyer. Once a quotation is approved, an Invoice can be created directly from a Quote detail view. All the required data will be automatically added to the Invoice

  • Campaign: A Campaign (or Marketing Campaign) is a marketing effort to increase sales through a set of marketing activities. The goal of this effort is often to generate new leads and help convert them to new sales. A campaign can have other goals, e.g. improve the awareness or brand of the company. A CRM system can help manage, execute and monitor marketing campaigns.

  • Product: A Product is a business offering from a business to its customers. A CRM system allows a business to record it's Products and related information so that sales staff and other CRM users can use product information fully and correctly in their business activities.

  • Vendor: A Vendor is a supplier of a product. The Inventory Management portion of a CRM system allows tracking of inventory being supplied by multiple Vendors.

  • Price Books: A Price Book is a named collection of products and pricing created to serve a specific purpose, e.g. a segment of the market. For example, a business may have a Price Book for government sales, where the prices are discounted, or include additional charges. Price Books in a CRM system allow sales staff to more easily quote prices when serving different types of customers that need differentiated pricing strategies

  • Trouble Ticket (sometimes called Service Request): A Trouble Ticket is a record of information related to a customer issue or service request. A CRM System, as well as many other Help Desk and Issue Tracking systems, use Trouble Tickets to capture, track and manage customer issues or service requests.

  • Profiles: Profiles are a set of security privileges for executing CRM operations, and can be assigned to users. Profiles make it easier to control detailed security privileges without having to specify them individually for each user. Specific security privileges can be granted once in a Profile, and then assigned to users as needed.

  • Roles: Role-based security allows security setup using hierarchical roles that capture user and manager responsibilities in an organization. Each Role is primarily one or more Profiles, i.e. a set of security privileges. These Roles are then assigned to users. Security administration with role-based security consists of determining the operations that must be executed by persons in particular jobs and assigning Roles to users as needed.

  • Groups: In addition to restricting security privileges for each type of data, coreBOS CRM provides some security control to permit access to specific subsets of data. For example, you may need to set up access to data for a specific customer account so that specific people can see the data. For better manageability, the CRM allows collecting users and Roles in Groups. Specific data, e.g. a specific Account, can be assigned to the group so that everyone in the group has access to that data.

  • Sharing Access: Sharing Access controls are used to determine what level of data sharing is enabled between users, e.g. can one salesperson see another lead. By default, the sharing access settings may allow all users to see all CRM records, even if the record is not assigned to them. Sharing Access allows you to restrict or allow such access for each type of CRM data.

  • Field Access: Field Access is used to control the visibility of specific fields in each module to users of the module. You can use this function to either show or hide particular fields to the entire organization. Default field access settings include custom fields you may have created before. By default, it is configured to display all data provided in the CRM system.

  • Tag Cloud: Tag Clouds are a convenience for CRM data access that has been tagged with labels. They are designed to improve the usability of the CRM by making it easier to access. They help to categorize the records based on a user's requirement from categories set by the CRM system. Tag Clouds are used to pool objects based on subjective or other values.

By understanding customers better, opportunities become clearer too, giving organizations a much better chance to win new business from existing customers.

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