One of the main tasks of any CRM is the ability to aggregate the various details of a customer.
For example, say that you have a factory producing furniture, and you are selling it through a retail network, a web-based store, where people can buy some items from you online. Along with that you are partnering with several interrior desing studios—they buy in bulk directly from your factory in compliance with a purchase agreement.
This way, you are selling to individual clients in a store and online, and you are also selling to other businesses. In order to keep your business successful you need to manage all of these sales efficiently.
When a sale takes place between two businesses, a potential client may announce a bid or address the contractor directly, asking for a proposal. In many cases the two parties will discuss specifications and details of the future deal. If the proposal meets the client’s needs, the agreement is signed, under which the goods are delivered to and accepted by the client. Usually the contractor will also provide some warranty obligations and after-sales support.
Success of such deals requires keeping track of various information all the way through the process. Understanding the needs of the client, having all the specifications at hand and providing high-quality support will help to gain the client’s loyalty, an insight in the history of previous arrangements (if any) can help win new contracts. If there are several ongoing and perspective projects with partner, you also need to keep the details of each project, understand who the project managers are and what their position in the company is.
Individual customers just visit the store, look through the items offered, and make a purchase it they are interested. In order to to this, they put the item in the cart and make their order. Usually they can leave you their personal, contact and shipping details. If there is a problem after the delivery, they address your customer-support.
If they are buying online, they can login to use profile details they have previously saved in your store.
With all of this in mind, you should ask yourself what kind of information you need in order to have successful relations with your customers and how you can get them to come back to your store. With their purchases and after-sale request, you can understand what they are interested in, and then provide some targeted proposals, in an online store you can also keep track of pages or products they have viewed and items that they have added to their cart but haven’t ordered.
If it is possible that the same person is buying both from your online store and retail outlets. Moreover, in some representatives/partners of the business may also be the web-store clients (for example, if managers of the interior-design studio have their profiles and can by individual items from your web-store, or,if end-clients of the interior design studio are granted a discount in your web-store).
On one hand, you will want to keep all this information properly allocated and arranged according to the source it comes from, as well as any other relevant factors. However, in order to have the most comprehensive understanding of your customers, you will also require the ability to view of all their information at once, including purchase activity and prior agreements.
In OroCRM, all of this data is tracked using three types of records: channels, customers, and accounts.