CRM (customer relationship management) is a revenue generating software for companies of various sizes. It is a powerful tool to monitor and grow sales , enhance support and augment marketing function, all in a single place. It has features like dashboards which help the users collaborate betters and take appropriate action on the open items.

The usual reason behind implementing any CRM is to streamline sales, marketing and customer support.  In this article, we will focus on learning these process within the popular open-source CRM application named SuiteCRM.

End to end CRM business process in SuiteCRM

There are many CRM software available in the market. Some of them are Salesforce Cloud, SugarCRM, Microsoft Dynamic.  Some of these are paid (usually on a user per month basis). However for small and medium companies, open source CRMs also make solid business sense.  SuiteCRM is an Open source customer relationship management solution built on PHP. It can be hosted on premise or on cloud. SuiteCRM can also be heavily customized  based on business requirements.  In this subsequent section we will look at various features of SuiteCRM.

Marketing Module in SuiteCRM

In there marketing module we can create campaigns and reach out to market in an organized fashion. Campaigns are meant to feed leads into the system. Some sample campaigns could be a Google ad, print advertisement, trade shows or a roadside hoarding. For email marketing, you may also create Target lists based on attributes (example Geography) and send the email campaign to them.

Screenshot of Marketing Module in SuiteCRM

Running the campaigns have costs associated with it. Hence we need to understand how many leads are generated and subsequently closed into successful deals. This determines the returns on investment of the campaign.

Accounts are B2B customers who are interested in goods or services provided by the company. Lead and contacts are associated with the respective account.

Sales Module within SuiteCRM

The Sales module of CRM is intended to accelerate the complete sales life-cycle of a new client,  Sales module consists of leads, contacts, accounts and opportunities.

Screenshot of sales Module in SuiteCRM

  • Leads are prospect buyer and it can be converted to an opportunity and may be won or lost
  • Account represents a company or organization we have a business with. , if we won the opportunity it can be converted to an Account and contacts
  • Contact are persons associated with an account.  For example, if Mr Tom Smith works at Agile Enterprises, Tom is a contact associated with the account “Agile Enterprises”.
  • Once lead is converted to an opportunity it will create an account and a contact.
  • Opportunities are deals we are chasing with the end customer. They may or may not translate into actual sales. However, each opportunity has an amount, account and a stage. The stage defines the sales funnel of the company.

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Tracking Activities within SuiteCRM

In CRM one the important features is to show follow ups and organize the open items lined up for the day of a user. CRM automatically sends a reminder of a particular task according to the the due date. For example, if there is a scheduled meeting with a contact, it will automatically pop-up a reminder for the same.

Activities module in SuiteCRM contains calendar, call, meetings, email, tasks and notes.  This set is sufficient enough to manage sales process for most business and automate their follow-ups. In the below screenshot, the activity section of SuiteCRM is shown.

Screenshot of Activity module in SuiteCRM

In SuiteCRM we can also track the activities of a user. For example, if your sales manager created a lead and converted it opportunity so admin can monitor changes in “My Activity Stream”. This is shown in the screenshot below.

Screenshot of my activity Strem in SuiteCRM

Support Functionality within SuiteCRM

Support section helps to track customer issues. Each customer complaint is registered either as a case or a bug. The latter is used often by software companies. Cases can be associated with an account or a contact. It can also have activities related to it. When case is closed within SuiteCRM, we have a complete history of what has been done to resolve the case. The below is a screenshot of support section of the solution. Get to know how to Install SuiteCRM in a step by step manner.

Screenshot of support module

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