Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is nothing new.
The concept has existed for many years but in the last 5 years the adoption of CRM systems has significantly increased and more businesses are realising the benefits of CRM.
Traditionally CRM systems have had a specific focus on the management of the sales process, managing leads and opportunities and tracking the interactions with these important business records. Ultimately, the goal being to close more deals and increase sales revenue.
Breaking the status quo
CRM systems, and specifically in this post, I am referring to Sage CRM have the ability to be much more than just a sales and marketing tool. I can assure you Sage CRM has a great sales and marketing functionality but I want to highlight some of the other possibilities for the system. Drawing on my own experience of implementing Sage CRM for many years I have seen some really great business benefit of using the system in more creative ways. Using the ‘Main Entity Wizard’ and other core customisation features, Sage CRM has almost endless possibilities for managing real business needs.
Sage CRM can be easily extended to manage a debt collections process. Using custom entities to record and track outstanding debt, then leveraging the core communications and document entities to manage the interactions and paperwork. A custom workflow can be created to ensure users follow a standard process and escalations and reminders help the process become more efficient. Integrating the CRM directly to an ERP system can take the solution to the next level.
Sage CRM has also been extended in a number of cases to accommodate property and tenancy management. Managing specific tenancy details and lease agreements is simple with custom fields and basic document management. Using Sage CRM’s workflow and escalation rules, simple alerts and reminders can be configured to inform users of important upcoming dates such as lease expiries or rental payments due. This business usage again is also even more powerful when extended and integrated to a financial or ERP system.
Membership management is another great example of extending Sage CRM. Workflow within the system is excellent for managing and tracking a membership application process or assigning records to other team members throughout the application process. Workflows can also trigger automated responses to members, applicants or staff via emails or SMS. Again using escalation rules, alerts can notify users or external persons at critical events. This allows team members to be proactive with membership management and retention.
Extend and Exceed Expectation
This post has outlined just a few examples of how I have extended Sage CRM’s functionality beyond normal sales and marketing functionality. Keeping in mind that all of these extensions can be used side-by-side with the strong sales features which make the CRM solution exceed typical expectations. Ultimately this type of system extension can be applied to almost any modern business system today. Using core customisation tools, software development and the right system experts on your side, your business system can reach into areas previously never dreamt of.