You have relationships with customers, and you need to manage these relationships. Since eWay-CRM integrates directly with Outlook, you now can make Outlook your one-stop shop for all your CRM needs. So, we must ask, just what are your CRM needs? What does your CRM software look like? Let’s help you answer these questions and then design Outlook around your needs.
Companies and Contacts
We will begin with what you use every day in Microsoft Outlook: Contacts. This is your Rolodex. It’s the first place you go for an e-mail address or a cell phone number. It’s where you keep contact information for your customers, suppliers, vendors, and of course, your friends and family.
First, you want to have a centralized and easily accessible place for your employees to manage your company’s contacts. Why not make Microsoft Outlook this centralized location? Makes sense. But after spending hours trying to figure out how to effectively share information with members of your team, you are no closer to a solution. You’ve tried granting others access to your contacts. You even know about public folders. But does everyone really need to know your mom’s home address? Logically, it should all work just the way you need it to work. But it doesn’t. And after spending hours trying to figure it out, you have given up.
Next, you want to add your own fields to Microsoft Outlook. So, maybe you want to keep track of who referred the client. Or, maybe you want to see an internal control number or a birthday for a key decision maker or total sales for the customer or the last time you communicated by e-mail or by telephone. Let’s go all the way here. Let’s say that you want the ability to add whatever information you want about a contact and you don’t want to have to hire a team of coders to make the changes you need. Oh yeah, and you want this flexibility inside of Outlook.
Welcome to eWay-CRM Software. You now have one place for all your contacts with all the information that is important to you. In addition, eWay-CRM allows you to set different permissions so that you can share your contacts with just the right people. Finally, you are now able to view all this information on your cell phone.
Track Phone Calls and Meetings
Let’s say that someone on your staff has a call with a customer (the Vice President at Company A) to collect some information. It’s not information that requires immediate action by you, but it’s information that you want to be able to review at the end of the week or the engagement or whenever. With your current setup, where does this information go? Does the staff member write it on a sticky note and hand it to you? Or send you an e-mail? Or, even worse, tell you in passing at the coffee machine? What are you supposed to do with the information at that moment? You can’t understand why you pay for an Exchange Server or Office 365 given that you have never been able to figure out how to make these things work in a team environment.
Welcome to eWay-CRM Software. You always thought that Microsoft Outlook was the obvious solution. You were right. Now, you just have the staff member type out a brief note in Microsoft Outlook: “Telephone call with Vice President at Company A. He wants to talk in a few weeks about some additional work that his company may need.” The information will then automatically be associated with “telephone call” and the Vice President’s contact and Company A’s contact.
So, if you ever want to look at all telephone calls with anyone at Company A or the specific Vice President, you just need to go to the contact information for Company A or the Vice President. Or, and here’s where it starts to get cool, eWay-CRM Software lets you review the notes from any telephone call made by any person at your company to any person or company in your business contacts. And, once you get over the excitement of being able to use Outlook your way, then maybe you will get out of your comfort zone and want to see all telephone calls just for the past week or for the past year or on a specific day 3 years ago.
Save E-mails to Contacts Automatically
But, what about e-mails? You and your staff are overwhelmed by e-mails. Occasionally, you just want to briefly scroll through every e-mail that your employees sent or received from your business contacts. Of course, you could do that now. Just ask every employee to cc or bcc you on every e-mail ever. Not feasible. But here’s what is feasible. Without leaving Microsoft Outlook, you go to any contact for any individual to see all the emails, notes, phone calls and meetings associated with that individual. And if you want to see all emails, notes, phone calls and meetings with anyone who works at Company A? Well, and again without leaving Microsoft Outlook, just go to Company A and there they are: all communications between your company and Company A.
Plan Follow-Up Communications
And, since we are at it, let’s add in tasks and calendar (yes, that’s Microsoft Tasks and Calendar) as well. Remember that phone call that your staff member had with the Vice President at Company A? The Vice President wanted someone to follow up with him in a few weeks. At the time, your staff member created a task to follow up and assigned the task to you. When you look at the task, you automatically see the notes from the phone call and any other information associated with the Vice President or Company A or even the staff member that made the entry.
Companies and Contacts
Have you ever wanted to look at a history of your communications by customer or by supplier? If you work with companies, then you want to be able to see a history of e-mails, phone calls and documents on a company-wide basis. You may also want to be able to see these communications organized by the individual contact within the company. Just imagine being able to quickly search through all communications with every individual contact at the customer.
Welcome to eWay-CRM Software. With our Company’s module, just attach an e-mail, document or journal to the individual contact and the very same e-mail, document or journal will be available in the company’s record as well.
How to track Sales and Deliveries in eWay-CRM Software
Before you make eWay-CRM into your CRM, you need to be able to describe your processes. And to do that, you need to start with the basics. So, let’s look at the common characteristics of all businesses. In any business – whatever the business – you must Sell and Deliver. That’s it. As you already know, most CRMs attempt to cover both processes. The problem is that the processes are not exactly on point to the processes you use, and they don’t necessarily permit you to focus in on where your business fits within these processes.
We work with a prominent law firm in the United States that specializes in a unique area of the law. Potential clients are referred to this firm by other attorneys to handle a specific type of case or matter. This law firm‘s “selling process” takes, at most, a phone call, an e-mail and an in-person meeting. At that point, the potential client will become an actual client or will look elsewhere.
At the other end of the spectrum, we work with a company providing IT solutions. The selling process for this business is different:
- The sales representative plans a meeting with the potential customer.
- They meet to talk about the customers’ requirements and how to satisfy them.
- After the meeting, the sales representative enters all the information into eWay-CRM and makes a proposal for the customer. The proposal is sent by e-mail and saved into eWay-CRM. eWay-CRM automatically generates a task to remind the sales representative within few days to follow up with the customer.
- Negotiations may take days or weeks and will likely invoice e-mails and telephone calls.
- An agreement is reached, and the company begins to deliver the products and services.
eWay-CRM Software can help both. It can cover various needs. In deciding how best to describe your selling process, consider the following: While every business has a process for converting prospective businesses / customers into actual jobs / customers, you need to decide if your business will benefit from dividing your selling process into multiple stages. By creating these individual stages, you will have the ability to:
- View your potential businesses / customers by stages to help you obtain a macro view of your business at any point in time.
- Take specific action – automatically – for a particular lead as the lead moves from one stage to the next.
So, would you describe your selling process as more like the IT consultants or more like the attorney?
Once the sale is made, you need to deliver. Are you providing a professional service or manufacturing a custom-built product? Or are you delivering office supplies? If delivering your product or services may be described by stages, you will work with the module Projects.
In the Projects module, you define your unique work process by capturing the things that need to get done at each stage of the delivery. Your team will benefit from having certain actions happen automatically as you move the project from one stage to another. For example, you may need an e-mail sent at the beginning of the project letting your team know about the sale and what needs to get done. In addition, perhaps you need to automatically generate and assign a series of tasks at the same stage of every delivery so that your team does not miss any important component of the project. And, of course, we cannot forget the e-mails, calendar entries, notes from meetings and phone calls and unexpected tasks (read: small and large fires that you put out each day). All this information will be associated with the project so that all the information about a project is available to your team.
Let’s say that you operate a hardware store. „Delivering“ as we are using the term here takes place at the front counter when you give the customer a hammer in exchange for the customer giving you the proper amount of money. While there may have been significant effort in getting the hammer from the distributor to your shelves and while you may want to track a variety of metrics regarding your sales, you do not need a CRM to help you physically push (read: deliver) the hammer across the counter.
At the same time, the general contractor purchasing the hammer will need a CRM to help keep track of the company’s inventory of work in process. How many home constructions are waiting for foundations to be poured? How many buildings are waiting on framing? How many of all kinds of jobs are overdue on electrical and plumbing? This type of business requires the constant tracking of tasks and deadlines based upon internal and external constraints imposed by lenders, customers, and vendors.