Commence CRM User Guide
This guide is designed to help you to become familiar with the CRM software. It provides an overview of the system and instructions for performing many of the most common operations.
Commence CRM is a powerful web-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution for managing client and sales related information. It provides a comprehensive suite of tightly integrated applications that manage accounts, contacts, marketing, sales, leads, opportunities and customer service.
Since Commence CRM is a web-based service, you log on in the same way as other web sites requiring a Username and Password. Like other sites on the World Wide Web (WWW) you will access Commence CRM by using a web address called a Uniform Resource Locator (URL). Your address will be provided to you by your Commence sales representative or your organization’s System Administrator.
The CRM Dashboard is your “home page” when using the CRM software. This is the first screen you will see when logging onto the system. Here you will find a quick snapshot of daily activities such as e-mail, calendar, opportunities, alerts and company news. To access this page from other modules, click on the House icon at the top left of your screen.
A “Lead” is considered a name of a person or business that is not yet a qualified account. Some companies may use an inside sales team to qualify leads then pass the “hot ones” on to the sales team. Sales people may be doing this task themselves from imported lists, trade show guests or other sources. Having a separate repository of Leads is critical to ensure that your “Account” lists are not cluttered with hundreds of less valuable records.
Maintaining Account and Contact information is central to every Commence CRM activity. Sales, Leads, Marketing, Support, Calendar appointments, etc., all revolve around your accounts. In most cases, entering account information is the first thing you will want to do as a new CRM user. Then, you may wish to build a database of other information associated with those accounts.
The Calendar module provides you with the ability to schedule appointments, meetings, activities, and events. Your calendar can be viewed in daily, weekly, monthly or yearly formats. You may share calendar items with others or mark them as private so they only appear on your calendar.
During the course of a business day, many events can be happening simultaneously, whether they’ve been scheduled or not. Activities may or may not appear in your calendar. If no time is associated with an activity, it will appear on your Activity list, along with scheduled items. Items that had no time associated may be given a time at a later date and then appear in the calendar.
The Sales module offers a comprehensive solution for efficiently managing and tracking each stage of the sales cycle from lead through closure. Extensive reporting and graphical analysis provide management with timely accurate sales and pipeline reporting. This enables the effective management of new leads and new opportunities.
There are several types of marketing activity:
- Mail Merge
- Literature Fulfillment
You may work with any one of these by making the corresponding selection from the Marketing Module Action panel. Promotions, Literature Fulfillment, and Events record information for reference and function in a very similar manner. Mail Merge allows you to launch a mailing or Email campaign from within the CRM.
Commence CRM is designed to help your customer support efforts in three key areas:
- Tickets – specific customer support issues
- FAQs – Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
- Knowledgebase – A database of articles containing information about your products and services, which are helpful to existing and potential customers.
- Analytics – Graphical charts to track the resolution of tickets.
The Documents module represents a library of company related documents. Documents are grouped in folders which may be nested creating a tree of folders similar to the folder tree found on a typical PC hard drive. Each user within your organization will have their own folder for retaining documents. Other folders (and nested folders) may be created as desired.
Various charts and other graphics may appear on your screen when the “Analytics” module is selected. These graphs present data based upon the information in your Commence database.
Various reports are built-in and your administrator may create new ones, allowing you to manage a wide range of activity about your business.
Saved Searches and Lists
There are many effective ways to manage records by name, grouping or other categorical descriptors. Commence CRM enables your company to share a range of accounts lists, and also allows individual users to create and save “Saved Searches” from any of those lists. The lists come in handy when doing mail merge, emails or reports.