This section introduces what will be discussed in this module training.
CRM stands for customer relationship management and it is your business strategy that aims to understand, anticipate, and manage the needs of your organization’s current and potential customers. In other words, CRM is a comprehensive approach that provides seamless integration of every area of business that touches your customers, and this what the CorporateStack Sales & CRM module is all about.
It is an extremely powerful tool that will allow you to manage every aspect of your customers from when they start as leads who are simply potential customers to when they are actually qualified as customers and even during the opportunity stages. So before a customer is considered a customer, they are simply a lead, and CorporateStack helps you manage and keep track of all the stages of your leads very seamlessly and with minimal effort.
After your lead has been qualified to be a customer, CorporateStack will also be by your side to assist you with keeping track all your customer contact information so you never lose them and also help you manage all of the opportunities related to your customer in all stages
After an opportunity has been identified and you’re at the proposal stage where you need to send your customer a quotation, CorporateStack will do all of the work for you. All you have to do is enter the details of the quotation and CorporateStack will automatically generate a fully formatted and designed quotation containing your company logo, letterhead, footer, and even your signature and company stamp. You can even create different quotation templates for each of your sales teams separately for them to use as-is and simply enter the quotation details without worrying about the formatting every time they create a new quotation.
Once you’re at the negotiation stage of an opportunity, CorporateStack also allows you to create revised versions of previously created quotations which also saves you a considerable amount of time when taken care of automatically by CorporateStack.
Once you’re awarded the opportunity, CorporateStack will then help you in managing all of your sales orders, invoices, and payments.
To take your whole sales experience to the next level, CorporateStack provides you with a number of extremely helpful features. It allows you to create multiple sales teams with the option to fully isolate them from each other and this is mainly helpful for businesses with several different business lines.
Team leaders also have the full flexibility in managing the privacy and the visibility of their teams’ sales pipeline. They also have full control when it comes to assigning tasks to the salespersons, defining approval workflows and so much more, and the really great convenience that CorporateStack provides is that sales managers can view all of this information in a number of interactive charts through one dashboard. Last but not least you can also automatically generate advanced reports that are customized as per your requirements.
In this article, we will be discussing leads, and how you can use CorporateStack to manage your leads effectively.
Your leads are your potential customers, so before a customer is considered an actual customer, they’re simply a lead. Some people might think that leads are not a very important part of the sales process but that’s a critical mistake because leads are the main source from which you acquire new business and that’s why you should never ignore them.
Your leads can come from many different sources so for example, any business cards that you collect from events or exhibitions are leads, so instead of just tossing them in the drawer and forgetting about them, a better idea would be to input their details into CorporateStack and add them to your pool of potential customers that you can go to whenever you need. Regardless of the source of your leads, CorporateStack is always ready to accept your next lead entry to store it for you so you can access it when you next need it.
The lead stages that are recommended by CorporateStack are already predefined and they are as follows:
- Untouched: you obtained information about the lead but haven’t yet tried to contact them
- Cold: you have contacted the lead but you got a cold response from them meaning that they’re not very interested
- Warm: you contacted the lead and had a little chat with them and they showed you mild interest
- Interested: you contacted the lead and they explicitly showed interest and want to know more about your products or services
- Qualification: this is where you either qualify your lead as customers and create an opportunity or disqualify them when you realize that they are not potential customers
These are the stages that we at CorporateStack recommend that you follow, but your admin can tweak them however you need in order to meet your company requirements.
To add a new lead, click on the add lead button and this will redirect you to the new lead creation form.
The left column contains information specific to the lead itself such as the contact person details. The right-hand column contains more critical fields such as the lead stage, source, and type. You also have to provide the team that is to be assigned to this lead and the scope that you find most relevant to the lead. You can then choose the employees who are assigned to and delegated to work on the lead. Finally, you can set the next action that CorporateStack will automatically remind you of. You can also add a description to the lead and attach any relevant documents.
Existing leads can be found on the leads list page where you can view all of the leads that you’ve entered into the system in all of their different stages, and you can also filter them by stage. If you want to see the leads you have in any specific stage, you can simply click on that stage and the list of leads in that stage will appear below. The screenshot below shows the “Untouched” stage selected.
Besides filtering your leads by their stage, you can use more advanced criteria so you can filter your leads by the team in charge or the salesperson in charge. CorporateStack provides a great way for collaboration between the team members and the team leader. For filtering by salesperson, a team leader can either enter a sales person’s name or click on the funnel icon and specify more search criteria such as “created by” or “delegated to” and more, and they can even choose the accuracy of the search results. The sales team leader is allowed and authorized to see all of the leads for all of the salespersons, but a salesperson is only allowed to see the leads that they’re assigned to work on, and this provides added privacy and security.
You can also filter based on the services involved and even the year and month the lead was created. To access even more advanced date filtering criteria, click on the calendar icon.
Some more criteria you can filter your leads by are things like the lead source which refers to where your leads were generated from and even the country.
To view the full log of actions for each of your leads, you can click on the small cloud icon that is located on the right-hand side of each lead entry in the list. This will open up the window below that shows you a full log of all the actions that were done to this specific lead in addition to the date of the action and the person responsible for the action.
To add a new entry to the log, click on add. Here you can enter your notes and even set a next action date, that CorporateStack will use to automatically remind you of in your reminders section and even display the action on your homepage dashboard to make sure you don’t forget to take this action.
This feature is great as it makes sure that you actually take action with your leads and never forget about them which should ultimately result in a higher lead conversion rate. The log items have different types so you can either add a general note, a meeting, or even a call. Before you finish creating your log items, you can choose to automatically send an email notification to your co-workers who are working on this same lead.
You also have the option to edit the information of an existing lead, or fully delete it from the system.
CorporateStack also allows you to make bulk actions to multiple leads at a time so if you go to bulk action, you see that you can send awareness campaigns about your products or services to multiple leads at a time. You can also add bulk notes, edit the stage or delegation, or even bulk delete leads.
To keep you in full control of your leads, CorporateStack provides a fully dedicated page with a number of interactive charts that display important statistics related to your leads. To access this page, click on the Dashboard button at the top of the leads list page.
Below is the interactive dashboard page for your leads.
In this article, we will be exploring the various features that CorporateStack provides you for fully managing your opportunities and your sales pipeline.
Effectively managing your sales pipeline is key for feeling more organized and being in control of your sales figures and this is exactly what this article is about.
A very important question you need to ask yourself is, how much are your opportunities worth, and which stage are you currently at in each one? To show you how CorporateStack can help you answer these questions very clearly, let’s go over to the opportunities page.
On this page, you can manage just about anything related to your opportunities. At the top, there are the opportunity stages that you can click on in order to view the opportunities that are at each stage. These are the stages that we at CorporateStack recommend, but your admin can change the naming however you like.
- Create awareness stage is usually when an opportunity exists but further investigation is needed.
- Qualification stage is when you understand the customer requirements and all the other necessary details, and then qualify the opportunity against your capabilities.
- Meeting stage is when you’ve finally identified the customer needs and budget, and you’re having a lot of meetings with the customer.
- Proposal stage is when you have to send your customer a proposal with what you have to offer.
- Negotiation stage is the final stage and this is when the customer has accepted the proposal but you’re still agreeing on the final pricing and the terms and conditions.
After the negotiation stage, if you successfully win the opportunity, it goes to won stage and if you lose it, it goes to the lost stage. Other stages also exist in case you need them so if your opportunity will be on hold for a while, there’s a stage for that, or if halfway through the opportunity you decide not to proceed, there’s also a stage for that which is the canceled stage.
If you click on any of these stages, CorporateStack will display all of the opportunities that are at this specific stage but if you want to view all of your opportunities in all of their stages, you can click on “All”.
CorporateStack does not only allow you to search for your opportunities based on stages, but you can also search based on the teams that are involved, salespersons, services offered, the accounts involved, or even by the specific opportunity.
Since an opportunity can have multiple child opportunities, CorporateStack allows you to easily manage this by displaying an identifier below the opportunity stage. If an opportunity is a child opportunity, you will see the “show parent” button which displays the parent of this opportunity when you click it. Similarly, if an opportunity is a parent, CorporateStack will allow you to view its child opportunities.
To view the full log associated with an opportunity, click on the cloud icon located on the right-hand side of an opportunity entry, just as explained in the leads section above
Adding a new opportunity
On the main opportunities list page, click on the “Import Opportunities” link that is located at the top of the screen
Click on the “Download Opportunity Template” link as shown below, fill it in and upload it by clicking on the “Upload Opportunities”. Next, choose whether you want the uploaded opportunities to be linked using the account number or account name. Finally, choose if you want to allow duplicates or not. When you are done, click on import.
Manually creating opportunities
To manually create an opportunity, click on the “New Opportunity” button located at the top of the main opportunities list page.
The first section allows you to enter the basic information of your opportunity, so give a meaningful name to the opportunity, and choose the customer account that this opportunity is related to. If this is your first time doing business with a customer, it’s most likely that their information will not be already stored in the system so you can quickly add the customer account by clicking on the + sign located next to the account field as the below image shows.
Moving on, choose the current stage for your opportunity based on the stages we discussed earlier and decide on an estimated win probability for this opportunity then choose the currency and the current pipeline value for the opportunity and the margin in percentage.
The source field is used to specify where the opportunity originated from and the submission or the closing date is an estimate of when this deal should be closed. Make sure to choose a team that will be responsible for this opportunity and specify the scope of services that you believe will be most suitable for this opportunity. Finally, you can assign this opportunity to someone or delegate it to someone else and even set a next action with a reminder.
The project details section lets you specify the job type so whether it is a job in had or a tender, and the opportunity type sections let you specify the type of opportunity so is it a new business? Is it upselling? Is it cross-selling?
Next section is the description section where you can write a short description to help you remember important information about the opportunity
Finally, there are the key contacts and relevant documents sections.
In this article, we will be exploring the various features that CorporateStack provides you for fully managing your quotations. In previous articles, we talked about how CorporateStack helps you manage your leads and opportunities, and now it’s time to talk about quotations and how CorporateStack empowers you and makes quotation management very easy and simple.
You should be familiar with most of the features we will discuss in this article because there is a lot of overlap with the opportunities article. Without further ado, let’s jump right in.
Like opportunities, this page allows you to manage just about anything related to your quotations, and by the way, this layout should look very similar to the opportunities page. At the top of the page, there are the usual stages in addition to the search filters.
The first stage a quotation goes to after being created is the pending for approval stage. CorporateStack applies workflows to anything that requires approval so any quotations that require approval will appear in the notifications center of the employee or supervisor who is authorized to approve or reject quotations. After the quotation gets approved by the authorized employee, it goes to the approved stage but it is not yet sent to the client, and the name of the stage clearly states this.
After you send the quotation to the client, you can click on the “mark it as sent” button, which automatically takes the quotation to the following stage which is the sent to client stage.
Usually, after a quotation is sent to the client, there’s a lot of back and forth communication to negotiate the details and the price, so this is the negotiation stage and by the way, CorporateStack allows you to create multiple revisions of any quotation. After negotiation, quotation is either awarded or lost.
Like opportunities, you can mark a quotation as hot and you can filter by hot quotations in addition to other filtering options like currency, invoice, and job type.
Creating a new quotation
To create a new quotation, click on “Create Quotation”.
Each section on this form represents a section on the quotation that you’re creating so for example there is a section for the basic information about the quotation. Also note that CorporateStack will only display the information that concerns the customer and not any other internal information you fill in the form so for example, things like the win probability and margin percentage are only there on the form for your own reference but will not be displayed on the quotation.
Besides the basic quotation information, there are some more details which include things like the date of creation, the external and internal validity of the quotation, the sales team in charge, and the signatory or in the other words, the person whose signature will appear on the quotation. The company stamp appears automatically. Also, note that you can also add a next action reminder as you create a quotation.
The project details section contains information specific to the opportunity that this quotation belongs to so things like the job type, opportunity type, location, start and end dates, and even parent opportunities. You can also choose a project classification, and add your competition if any.
The line items section above is where you specify the breakdown of the products/services you are offering. Each line item has a description, a unit, a quantity, and a price. After filling all of these details for a line item, simply click on add and should it appear as shown below
Next, you will need to specify the payment terms. You can choose to specify it using a percentage, an absolute amount, or customize a unit on your own. If you check the custom payment terms box, you can type in the payment terms in sentences without having to specify fields.
The cover letter section lets you type in a cover letter, or choose from a number of templates that you can add beforehand to make your life easier.
CorporateStack also provides a wealth of additional quotation sections to meet the needs and requirements of just about any industry.
Following the steps above and filling in the fields is one way of creating a quotation. Another easier way would be to create a clone of a previously created template. Once you choose the quotation you want to clone, CorporateStack will automatically fill in all of the fields accordingly so all you have to do is click on save.
This section explains how the CorporateStack CRM module settings can be configured and tweaked to meet the requirements of your organization.
Only admin users will be authorized to carry out the steps explained in this section.
- CRM Settings
- CRM User Permissions
In this article, you will learn how to manage all of the CRM module user permissions.
Please note that to carry out the following steps, you need to have an administrator account.
While logged in, hover over the gear icon in the header menu and click on Permissions.
You should be redirected to the page below. From the left-hand side menu, choose the Sales module as shown below, and then select a specific permission. For example Contacts –> Viewing Contacts.
Upon selecting a permission, you should be able to see a list of all of your employees’ name, with a checkbox next to each one. Users with a check next to their name means that they are permitted to do the action, and users without a check means that they are not permitted.
After you’re done configuring user permissions, click on Save and the changes should be applied.
Please note that upon changing permissions, users need to log out and log back in for the permissions changes to be updated.
In this article, you will learn how to manage your CRM module settings.
Please note that to carry out the following steps, you need to be logged in using an administrator account.
While logged in, hover over the gear icon in the header menu and click on System Setup.
You should be redirected to the page below. To get to the CRM module settings, select CRM from the top menu as highlighted below in red. Under CRM, there are 7 sub-sections for which you can adjust settings.
This page allows changes to the following:
- General CRM settings
- Sales Orders
- Email Settings
Let’s start with the general CRM setting.
The first 3 fields in the screenshot above allow you to choose the number of decimal places that CorporateStack will display for the quantity, price, and total fields throughout the CRM module.
Next, you can choose to hide or show the default lists that appear for industries or client types that appear on the several forms on CorporateStack.
The maintenance mode option allows you as an admin to perform bulk select and delete for Customers, Opportunities, and Quotations. Use this option cautiously.
The “Fiscal Year Starts in” field allows you to set the specific month during which your company’s fiscal year starts. This field accepts a number between 1-12, where 1 corresponds to January, and 12 corresponds to December.
The accounts tab gives you control over how CorporateStack displays and processes your accounts. The first section on the form above allows you to choose from one of two options regarding the visibility of your Accounts. Choosing “Restricted” will allow salespersons to only view their own accounts. Choosing “Unrestricted” on the other hand will make all the accounts viewable by all salespersons regardless.
CorporateStack numbering works in the exact same way for Accounts, Leads, Opportunities, Quotations, and Sales Orders. You can either choose to do it manually or let CorporateStack handle it for you (recommended). If you choose “Automatic”, you will have to specify a prefix convention with the option to include the automatically generated account number, in addition to the year and country code if you’d like. The following example is for account numbering. Writing “C-NUM/YY” in the account prefix field will result in account names like “C-12/2020” so 12 here refers to the automatically generated account number, while 2020 refers to the year in which this account was created. The account starting S/N lets you specify the number which CorporateStack will use to start numbering your accounts beginning with the first one.