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Chapter 3. Working with vtiger CRM

Table of Contents

General Remarks
Working with Lists
Send and Receive E-Mails
Working with the Sales Process
Working with Leads
Working with Potentials
Working with Helpdesk
Reporting and Analysis
Mass Mailing
Receiving mails
Synchronizing CRM with Office Environment

This chapter explains how to work with the vtiger CRM system. It gives hints for the usage within the sales process starting from leads up to after sales services. It explains in detail how to use vtiger CRM efficiently in the daily work.

General Remarks

Working with Lists

If you click on appropriate tabs at the navigation area you will see a list of all data stored at the CRM system in reference to the tabs. In the course of the time these lists can become very extensively and difficult to grasp. Furthermore, due to the limited screen size only a few columns can be displayed.

Therefore, it is appropriate and usually also necessary to adapt the list views to the respective needs of the users. Generally, each user can create individual lists. These are then also available to the other users.

The CRM system gives you various possibilities to arrange the lists following your criteria. Thus you have a very effective tool to manage larger data sets, to get informed about changes automatically or to select data for further use.

Customize Lists

By the example of the account list we will explain how to arrange an individual view. This is transferable for all other lists in a general manner.

In principle you can set the following parameters:

  1. the content of the columns (what suppose to be shown),

  2. the time interval in which data have been created or changed,

  3. various logical AND and OR operations between data stored in the CRM

To create a new list view for Accounts click on [Create View] as shown in Figure: Create List View.

Figure 3.1. Access the Create List View

Access the Create List View

The new window that opens, as shown in Figure: Create List View, gives you the opportunity to create your own list view.

[Tip]Tip

Individual lists facilitate the work with the CRM system very much. However, mistakes in the list composition, especially by AND and OR operations, can lead to unexpected results. Therefore, it is recommended to untrained users to begin with simple lists with simple logical filters and to examine the results carefully.

Figure 3.2. Create List View

Create List View

The following approach is recommended:

  1. Enter a short but unique name for your list.

  2. Select the content of the columns. Keep in mind that as more columns you select as more space on your screen is required.

  3. Set a time filter if required.

  4. Set logical AND or OR operations to filter your data further.

When finished click on [Save] to transfer you new list view to the CRM.

You are allowed to create an unlimited number of individual list views.

You may change the default list view by selecting the [Set as Default] check box in Figure: Create List View.

You may also select the created list view to be present at the Key Metrics located at Home by marking the [List in Metrics] check box in Figure: Create List View. The functions of the Key Metrics are explained in the following Section.

Key Metrics

The Key Metrics display is located at your Home page. It can give you a comprehensive view of the most important data stored within your CRM. This is done by providing a quantitative summary of list information selected by your criteria.

The content of the Key Metrics is defined by your custom lists views. For an introduction in custom list views you may look at Section: Customize Lists. If the check box List in Metrics is marked within a list, the CRM will consider this list as part of the Key Metrics. As a result the CRM calculates the data displayed at Key Metrics automatically.

You may use the Key Metrics to answer questions such as:

  • How many quotes are send to prospect customers?

  • How many tickets of a special customer are open?

  • How many deals have been closed this week?

  • How many sales potentials are in the last stage?

You may have other questions or you may find your own criteria. The possibilities for listings at the Key Metrics are only limited by the CRMs capabilities of creating list views.

[Tip]Tip

You may use the Key Metrics for critical processes, in order to recognize immediately, if somewhat has changed. For instance, a sales person can see immediately if the service team has to solve critical tasks with a special customer, a manager sees the progress in the sales cycle, a service coworker can see, if the company has won new customers etc.

E-Mail Marketing

You can send a common email from the CRM to several persons at the same time. You may use this function for mass mailings to your customers or to other contacts stored in your CRM.

[Note]Note

You may only use email addresses that have been stored at Contacts.

To create a mass mailing list you should follow these steps:

  1. Create a customs view of your Contacts. Use the filter operations to select the desired contacts. For an introduction to the creation of customized list views you may refer to Section: Customize Lists.

  2. Save the custom view.

    Figure 3.3. Edit Massmailing List

    Edit Massmailing List
  3. Edit the custom view again. You will see that a new button Create Custom Action appeared as shown in Figure: Edit Massmailing List. Click on this button and a new window will open as shown in Figure: Create Massmailing Email. Now you can edit your email.

    Figure 3.4. Create Massmailing Email

    Create Massmailing Email
  4. Click on [Save] to store your email and to open the list of receivers. Now you can select the receivers by marking the appropriate check boxes as shown in Figure: Massmailing Contact Selection. Click on the [Send Mail] button to send the email to all contacts you have selected.

    Figure 3.5. Massmailing Contacts Selection

    Massmailing Contacts Selection

Send and Receive E-Mails

The CRM system offers a multiplicity of possibilities to include emails in your work with your customers, suppliers and other contacts. You may

Send email to contacts directly from the CRM

This is explained in Section: Send Emails to Contacts.

Transfer received or sent emails from your office environment to the CRM

The CRM comes with an Outlook plugin as well as a Thunderbird/Mozilla email client extension. You may use these additional programs on your computer. Please refer to Section: Synchronizing CRM with Office Environment for more information.

Receive emails at the CRM from personal mail accounts

This is explained in Section: Receiving Emails.