Table of Contents
This chapter explains how to work efficiently with the CRM system. It includes hints for the usage within the sales process from leads to after-sales services.
If you click appropriate menus at the navigation area, you will see a list of all data stored at the CRM system. In the course of the time these lists can become very large and difficult to handle. 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 other users.
The CRM system gives you various possibilities for arranging the lists according to your needs. Thus you have a very effective tool for managing larger data sets, getting informed automatically on changes or to selecting data for further use. You are allowed to create an unlimited number of individual list views.
Using the account list as an example, I will explain how to arrange an individual view. This view can then be transferred to all other lists in a general manner.
In principle you can set the following parameters:
the content of the columns (what will be displayed),
the time interval in which data have been created or changed,
various logical AND and OR operations between data stored in the CRM system.
To create a new list view for accounts click [New] as shown in figure: Access the Create List View.
The new window that opens, as shown in figure: Create Custom List - Edit View, will give you the opportunity to create your own list view.
Individual lists make working with the CRM system much easier. However, mistakes in the list composition, especially by AND and OR operations, can lead to unexpected results. Therefore, unexperienced users should begin with simple lists and simple logical filters, and should examine the results carefully.
The following approach is recommended:
Enter a short but unique name for your list.
Select the content of the columns. Keep in mind that the more columns you select the more space on your screen is required.
Set a time filter if required. Set logical AND or OR operations for further filtering your data.
You may include check boxes in your advanced filter options. If you want to check whether a check box is marked, user the terms "yes" or "1" for comparison. If you want to have a list of entries with unmarked check boxes use "no" or "0" for comparison.
You can change the default list view by selecting the [Set as Default] check box. You can also select the created list view to be present at the Key Metrics, located at Home, by marking the [List in Metrics] check box. The functions of the Key Metrics are explained in the following section. When finished, click [Save] to transfer you new list view to the CRM system.
The Key Metrics is located at your Home page. It can offer you a comprehensive view of the most important data stored within your CRM system. This is done by providing a quantitative summary of the information selected by your criteria.
The content of the Key Metrics is defined by your customs list 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 automatically calculates the data displayed at the Key Metrics.
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 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 CRM's capabilities of creating list views.
You may use the Key Metrics for critical processes, in order to recognize immediately whether something has changed. For instance, a sales person can immediately see if the service team has to solve critical tasks with a special customer; a manager can watch the progress in a sales cycle; a service coworker can see, whether the company has won new customers etc.
If you have many entries in your list views of leads, contacts, accounts etc., a search function helps you to find a specific entry fast. Click the magnifying glass icon in the list view to open the search display, as shown in figure: Basic Search at List View for leads.
The basic search function searches for entries related to first name, last name, company name, phone, website, e-mail address, and owner of the data. In addition, you may search by the alphabetical order.
If you click [Goto Advanced Search], a new search window will open that allows you a more detailed search based on logical combinations, as shown in figure: Advanced Search at List View.
You may add as many search criteria you need. You may switch between the basic and the advanced search at any time. Click the [Search] button to start your search.
Tag Clouds are designed to improve the usability of the CRM. They help you categorize CRM entries based on an user's judgment or rating, independent from categories set by the CRM system. Tag Clouds are based on the assumption that humans tend to pool objects based on subjective or other values. Such a pooling is in fact a new categorization of data stored at the CRM system.
To meet such a requirement for categorization, the Tag Clouds provide users the capability to build categories which are not limited to a single CRM module. These categories are independent from the categories defined at the master data of each CRM entry, usually the pick list entries. For instance, a sales person may consider a meeting, a customer and a service request as important.
These new categories or groups can be defined freely. You may use any terms such as important, Proposal ,Berlin , private or Spring. You may add such a term with the Tag it function at the Tag Clouds to any CRM entry that can be considered to be in the same category. A tag cloud entry is shown in figure: Tag Cloud.
Tags are always single words! Do not use sentences or combined expressions.
Use the term listed in the Tag Cloud to find all CRM entries which have the same tag. On the Home page, all the tags will be displayed. Tags for a corresponding entity will only be displayed in the detail view. On clicking the tag, in both the detail view and the Home page, the entities tagged with the corresponding tag will be displayed. You can delete the tag from the detail view tag cloud. You can also delete a tag by deleting the entity.
The more CRM entries are labelled with the same tag, the bigger this tag will be displayed in the tag cloud.
To delete a tag, move your mouse pointer above the tag word. An "x" icon will appear. Click this icon to delete the tag. Alternatively you can delete your data entry. With this entry the tag will also be deleted.
Tag cloud entries are assigned to the user who made such entry. You can not share tag cloud entries with other users.
If a user does not intend to use the tag cloud this function can be switched off as explained in section: My Preferences.
The chat functions offered by the CRM system provide instant messaging capabilities in a form of real-time communication between two or more CRM users based on typed text.
The CRM system offers public as well as a private chat capabilities in so-called chat rooms. The public chat allows all CRM users to share a common chat room where each user can read all messages and can contribute if desired. The private chat room serves as a platform for the communications between two users.
To open a chat room click, in the [Chat Icon], which is available at every list view. An new browser window will open, as illustrated in figure: Chat View.
To contribute to the chat, enter your message and click [Send]. You message will be displayed at the chat room. Besides the chat room, you see the list of logged-in users. To open a private chat, click the appropriate user name. A private chat room will then open.
The CRM offers a set of additional tools which are useful for the daily work with customers.
RSS is a Web feed format, used for Web syndication and stands for Really Simple Syndication. Web feeds are widely used by the weblog community for sharing the latest entries headlines or their full text, and even attach multimedia files. Some providers allow other websites to incorporate their syndicated headline or headline-and-short-summary feeds.
RSS is used for many purposes, including marketing, bug-reports, or any other activity involving periodic updates or publications. Many corporations are turning to RSS for delivering their news, replacing e-mail and fax distribution. The news media is also utilizing RSS by bypassing traditional news sources.
CRM users are able to have news constantly fed to them instead of searching for them. In the Tools > RSS menu the CRM system provides an RSS reader - which can check a list of feeds on behalf of the users and displays any updated articles that it finds. You may search the Web for RSS feeds you are interested in. Every RSS feed has a unique address similar to Web URLs. To watch an RSS feed, you have to enter these addresses into the CRM system.
You may link the CRM system with other web sites which are of any interests for your business. Users do not need to leave the CRM system to access third party web sites or other Intranet or Internet sites. You may use this function, for instance, for watching important customers, your own web site, or the websites of your competitors. It is also very useful for tracking shipments, or conducting web based communication with vendors.
Before you can see any website at the Tools > My Site menu, you need to bookmark a site. Click[ Manage Sites] to enter a new web site. Click the [My Sites] to see the bookmarked web sites.
Notes are a practical tool to add further information to Contacts, Accounts, Leads, Potentials, Products, Invoices, as well as Sales and Purchase Orders. You may enter a note by using the Quick-Menu or the Plus Icon at the list view of the Tools > Notes menu. You may also add notes directly at the detail views of certain CRM modules. As displayed in figure: Note - Edit View you may also attach files to notes.
You may use this function, for instance, to collect documents important to your companies operation.
The CRM system offers a variety of methods for including e-mails in your work with your customers, co-workers, suppliers and other contacts. You may
The CRM comes with an Outlook plugin as well as a Thunderbird/Mozilla e-mail client extension. You may use these additional programs on your computer. Please refer to section: Synchronizing CRM with Office Environment for more information.
The functions offered to receive e-mails are explained in section: Receiving Emails.
For outgoing e-mails you have to configure a common mail server access as explained in section: Outgoing Server. You will also need to configure the access to the individual receiving mail servers for each individual user as explained in section: Receiving Emails.
If you want to use the CRM system for outgoing e-mails you have three options:
You may create an e-mail from the detail view of one of your leads, contacts or accounts. By using the contact details already stored at your CRM system, the system makes sure that the sent e-mails will be stored in reference to the existing contact entries. You may see such e-mails at the contacts detail view as shown in figure: Email listing at Contact Detail View.
You can select the receiving parties at the list view as exemplary shown in figure: Mass Mailing Selection or you may select your receivers at the Compose Email menu as exemplary presented in figure: Compose an Email.
You may select the receiving parties at the list view as shown in figure: Mass Mailing Selection.
You may create an e-mail directly at the Emails menu. In this case the reference to a contact has to be made manually. An example is shown in figure: Compose an Email.
To be able to send an e-mail, the CRM system needs to access your outgoing e-mail server. The setup of the server connectivity is explained in section: Outgoing Server.
At the composing menu you may use the entry fields based on the following description:
Table 3.1. List of common entry fields for outgoing e-mails
|To:||Here you may enter the e-mail addresses of the recipients.|
|CC:||CC stands for Carbon Copy. The recipient entered here will receive a copy of the sent mail.|
|BCC:||BCC stands for Blind Carbon Copy. This means the same as CC, however the recipients entered here will be invisible for the other e-mail recipients.|
|Subject:||You should enter a subject for this e-mail.|
|Attachment:||You may add an attachment to your e-mail.|
|Description:||You may enter your e-mail message here. Note that the e-mail will be sent as an HTML mail by default. You can use the design tools to enhance the layout of the e-mail.|
The CRM system can store your standard e-mail signature and add it to your message automatically. The signature is set by the My Settings menu at the CRMs Login Area. You may also find further explanations at the section: Users Configuration.
Beneath the description field, the buttons serve the following purposes:
Table 3.2. List of supporting buttons for outgoing e-mails
|Select Email Template:||The CRM offers you to work with e-mail templates. These templates must be designed and stored at the CRM system as explained in section: email Templates.|
|Send:||The e-mail will be send. A signature will be added
automatically if defined before.|
|Save:||You may save this e-mail without sending it. The e-mail will be stored and get listed when you click the My Home Page > Emails menu.|
|Cancel:||You may cancel the e-mail operation. All changes will be lost.|
You can send a common e-mail 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 system. For mass mailing it is recommended to create a mail from the list view.
Create a customs view of your leads, contacts, or accounts. Use the filter operations to select the desired contacts. You may refer to section: Customize Lists.
Save the custom view.
Display the custom view. Select the contacts which are to receive your mass mailing. Click the [Send Mail] button at the bottom of the list as shown in figure: Mass Mailing Selection.
The e-mail creation window will open as shown in figure: Create Mass Mailing E-Mail.
Edit your e-mail. You may also add further e-mail addresses which you have not selected before.
Click the [Send] button to send your e-mail immediately, or the [Save] button, to store the e-mail at the CRM system without sending it. With the Select Email Template button you
A reference to a copy of the sent e-mail, will be stored at each individual contact and is displayed in the detail view.
If you generally receive your e-mails at your office, you may use the Outlook Plugin or the Thunderbird extension to transfer selected e-mails to the contacts stored at your CRM system. Please refer to section: Synchronizing CRM with Office Environment for further descriptions.
In addition, you have the possibility to receive e-mails directly at the CRM. Before you can receive any e-mail at your CRM, you must have setup the access to your receiving e-mail server. The necessary precondition for this, the user must have an entrance to an e-mail server outside of the CRM system.
To configure the access to the receiving mail server click [My Home Page > Webmail] menu at the navigation area. You do not need administrative privileges for this operation. The e-mail client menu opens, as shown at figure: Webmail Menu.
Click the [Settings Icon] to open the e-mail server configuration menu as shown in figure: Incoming Mail Server Details.
You have to enter all configuration data as described in the following table. Please ask your e-mail service provider for the necessary access information.
Table 3.3. List of settings entry fields for incoming e-mails
|Email ID - Display Name:||You should give each mail server an unique name. This name will be displayed at the mail server account list.|
|Email ID - Email||You must enter the e-mail address you use at your receiving mail server.|
|Mail Server Settings - Mail Server Name or IP:||You must enter the address of your mail server. You may use a name or the IP address.|
|Mail Server Settings - User Name & Password:||You must enter the user name and the password you use to access the mail server.|
|Mail Server Settings - Mail Protocol:||At the current release only IMAP is supported and fully functional as your e-mail protocol. The POP protocol will be available in the future.|
|Mail Server Settings - SSL Options:||You must select whether you want encrypted communicate with your e-mail server.|
|Mail Server Settings - Certificate Validations:||If you use encryption to access the mail server, you should select whether the certificate is validated.|
|Mail Server Settings - Use Internal Mailer:||If configured by your service provider, you might use the internal mailer to send e-mails.|
|Mail Server Settings - Refresh Timeout:||You may change the refresh rate.|
|Mail Server Settings - Emails per page:||You may select the number of e-mails (webmails) you want to display on a single page.|
Click [Save] to configure the mail function at the CRM system.
All your e-mails are organised at the My Home Page > Webmail menu as displayed in figure: Webmail Menu.
The buttons at the top of this figure provide the following functions:
This opens the compose window.
This opens the settings window for your incoming e-mails. Note that the administrator configures the outgoing mail server.
The CRM comes with a set of standard mail folders:
This folder lists all you incoming e-mails. Thereby, the following cases are distinguished:
If an e-mail comes from a contact which is not related to any of the campaigns, on qualifying the e-mail will automatically be moved to the Qualified Mails folder and related to that contact.
If an e-mail comes from an undefined user, on qualifying the CRM system will create a new contact and associates the e-mail to the newly created contact.
If an e-mail comes from a lead of a Campaign, on qualifying the e-mail of the corresponding Lead will be converted to a contact related with the Campaign. The CRM system traces the conversion ratio of Leads to Contacts on a per campaign basis to judge the effectiveness of a Campaign.
If an e-mail comes from a Contact of a Campaign, on qualifying the e-mail will be added and related to that Contact.
All qualified e-mails will be moved into the Qualified Mails folder automatically.
This folder lists all your sent mails organized by the type of contact.
You may search your e-mails by the subject or sender or both.
E-mails are received in unprotected mode. That means that the CRM does not check for any viruses other threads frequently transmitted by e-mails. Even if these threads cannot cause any damage to the CRM, it is advised to take protecting actions at the receiving mail server, especially if you plan to download e-mail content to your computer.
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