What is CRM?
Let us begin with a brief history before we delve into the specifics of the modern CRM or Customer Relationship Management system. Approximately thirty years ago, the sales force used what we referred to as a Rolodex System. Customers and potential customers and their detailed information were recorded on paper cards. A sales person would scroll through the rolodex in order to source information regarding their customer, update their information or use it to contact a potential new customer and so the cycle went. We then had files divided into Quotations, Invoices, Orders and so on all containing the customer’s information.
Three decades later, this process has evolved a few times over with the intervention of the personal computer and a software application known as CRM (Customer Relationship Management).
Now imagine a centralised system, where all the information on the rolodex including the quotations, invoices and orders all reside on a single database. In other words, this CRM strategy is for managing all of your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers all in one place. No more searching for files, attachments, e-mails, sales history & meeting notes, simply enter the company name and everything you need to know regarding the particular company is immediately available.
Within ERP terms, this generally translates to a company workflow, which we mimic and enhance with your particular ERP implementation. The beauty of a fully end-to-end system means that all of the CRM data is inherently linked to all other system transactions, so there is no data duplication. This means that you are always working on the very latest system data, which displays the information via a ‘single version of the truth’. Good-bye to duplicate data.
Whenever we work with clients, we find that there are many variations to the CRM terminology that is used. Therefore, the first thing I would like to do is clarify what the terms mean within our Enapps ERP System. Since we have a very flexible system, this is not to say that we cannot accommodate your specific way of working, but by outlining our definitions you can better understand our standard workflow process.
|Contacts||Everyone in the ERP database:|
Customers, Suppliers, Leads, Prospects, Employees
|Leads||This is a potential sales contact for your business. Examples are a ‘bulk upload’ of leads to the system via a purchase from a B2B/B2C marketing company, contact details from a trade show or from your website|
|Prospects||A qualified lead which has expressed some kind of interest in the products or services you supply. We often convert leads to prospects; however, you can also create a prospect from scratch. It is also probably worth mentioning here that you can only create a quotation or opportunity against a Prospect or Customer|
|Opportunity||An opportunity is an ‘entity’ which we attach to a Prospect or a Customer. You can also have multiple Opportunities against both customers and prospects|
In conclusion, a CRM module withing your ERP system ensures that less time is spent on finding data, sales are easily generated and you can focus on growing your company.
By Ron Martin