CRM systems have excellent communication with prospects and customers. All information about the customers is bundled in one system and is passed from here to downstream systems. Processes close to the customer are initiated and provide the customer with the promised response. With the CRM system, companies increase the quality of their daily work and, at the same time, reduce costs. The big brother, the ERP system, is strong in order fulfillment. The CRM system complements the ERP in marketing and sales. Some systems also cover technical services.
A CRM system consists of numerous function blocks. The following ten basic properties describe the generic range of functions of a holistic CRM solution. If a CRM system has a highly functional and a high technological standard (web, app, and cloud), we refer to it as a premium CRM system.
The customer database is the central element of a CRM system. Customer data consists of three categories: individuals, companies, and the associated contact persons. The master data usually contains a name, address, and other contact details. In addition, a customer profile can be defined, sales from the ERP can be displayed, or a block can be transferred from financial accounting. For each customer, the system shows activities and appointments as well as the associated entities. The user can use these links to navigate to the active processes or find out about processes that have already been closed. Forwarding to downstream systems such as a shop, ERP or BI is also gladly implemented.
360-Degree Customer Perspective
The 360-degree customer view shows information about a customer at a glance. Every employee sees the customer information relevant to their task and can navigate the detailed views if necessary. The 360-degree customer view is individually adapted to user groups.
Activities fall into two categories. The closed activities (letter, email, phone call, visit) represent the history, and the open activities represent the tasks to be done (to-dos). Each task has a dedicated processor and a due date. Tasks can be created automatically by the system or delegated to an employee.
Appointments are a special form of activity because they are fixed for a certain period and can only be assigned once. A customer appointment consists of the subject, the location, the participants (internal and external), and the period. All appointments are visible to the employee in the calendar and are synchronized with the Outlook calendar. After the visit to the customer, the appointment can be converted into a visit report.
The company controls mass mailings such as letters, emails, phone calls, or other to-dos with the campaign. The action is a process with different phases. First, the header is filled with information about the campaign. The second step is to select the target group. At the same time, the templates for the transmission are stored. Once the campaign is planned, the broadcast can be started. Both the bounces and the customer reactions are now recorded in a structured manner. The success of the campaign is shown in a dashboard.
Leads are unqualified contacts for whom the contact details are incomplete, or the request is still undetermined. The lead is created as a static entity in the CRM systems. However, lead management is a process that leads to qualified contact. This requires activities to develop or close the lead for an opportunity.
The opportunity is at the heart of sales. Every qualified customer inquiry leads to an opportunity that bundles all sales activities. The opportunity is divided into sales phases: all activities, dates, buying and selling centers, offers, and a forecast. The owner of the opportunity and all employees involved maintaining the opportunity on an ongoing basis. The sales manager receives a comprehensive overview and can follow all activities down to the last detail. If an opportunity is won, lost, or canceled, the new status and reason are recorded.
Every complaint is recorded and processed in a service ticket. This is linked to the customer and the associated product or order number. The complaint is processed, and a decision is made as to which measure will be used to help the customer. Again, there may be queries with the customer. For this reason, activities and appointments are required. The pre-defined measures can be rejection, advice, exchange, or retrieval. An ERP order is usually required to move goods and assets. A ticket system enables a structured and transparent approach to complaints.
Every CRM system has reports that are presented in so-called dashboards. Modern CRM systems differentiate between two types of reports: Employees can use ready-made dashboards or create dashboards that map their area of responsibility. On the other hand, management uses cumulative evaluations that overview a department or the entire company. Dashboards have a drill-down function that allows you to filter the dashboards or change the display format. The most striking representation is the acquisition funnel. It shows the future business volume depending on the sales phase.
Almost every company uses MS Outlook for email communication. Modern CRM systems have an Outlook app installed once on the mail server and then embedded in all Outlook clients (including mobile). This app synchronizes contacts, emails, activities, and appointments with the CRM system. With a click on an incoming email, the CRM master data is already displayed in Outlook. If the contact is known in CRM, the email can be assigned to the customer or a related process with another click.
Also Read: What Are The Benefits Of CRM?