The entire Microsoft Dynamics CRM is designed around the following functional modules.
- Service Management
These functional modules are often called as Work Areas.
Understanding CRM Functional Modules
The entire CRM application is divided functionally for different types of users and teams. Hence, if an organization is using CRM to manage its processes, the users from the Sales team would use the functionalities that come under the Sales module, while the users from the Marketing team would use functionalities that fall under the Marketing module.
All these three functional modules come together to drive the entire lifecycle of gaining a new customer (Marketing), selling them the services (Sales) and maintaining the existing customers (Service Management).
To understand this flow in a better way, consider a bank which sells credit cards to its customers. The typical lifecycle of selling a credit card to a customer would be as follows. In each step of this lifecycle, you will see how the Sales, Marketing and Service modules perform their role.
Sales & Marketing − The bank’s call center office executive receives data of potential customers; often called as Leads in CRM. These Leads are captured in the CRM system via marketing campaigns, sales drives, referrals, etc.
Sales − The call center executive communicates with these Leads either through phone calls/emails/etc. If the customer is interested in the credit card offering, the Lead record will be converted to an Opportunity record (won Lead).
Service − Once a customer becomes a part of the system, the company would assist him/her with payments, billing, refunds, etc. Whenever the customer has any queries or concerns, they will make a call to the call center and raise incidents. The executive will followup to resolve the case with the aim to provide quality service to the customer. These tasks fall under CRM Service Management.
Navigating CRM Work Areas
Step 1 − Open CRM Home Page.
Step 2 − By default, you will see the Sales work area as selected.
Step 3 − To change the work area, click the Show work areas option. You will see the options for selecting Sales, Service, and Marketing.
Step 4 − Click Sales. This will show you all the entities which fall under Sales such as Accounts, Contacts, Leads, Opportunities, Competitors, etc. Each of these entities are categorized by their business process such as My Work, Customers, Sales, Collateral, etc.
Step 5 − Similarly, if you click the Marketing work area, you will see all the entities related to Marketing business functionalities.
The Sales module of CRM is designed to drive the entire sales lifecycle of a new customer. The Sales module consists of the following sub-modules −
Leads − Represents a person or an organization that can be a potential customer to the company in future. This is the first step towards getting a potential customer in the system.
Opportunities − Represents a potential sale to the customer. Once a Lead shows interest in the offering, it gets converted to an Opportunity. An Opportunity will either be won or lost.
Accounts − Represents a company with which the organization has relations. Once an Opportunity wins, it gets converted to either an Account or Contacts.
Contacts − Represents a person, or any individual with whom the organization has relations. Mostly these Contacts are the customers of the organizations (e.g. all credit card customers of a bank). Once an Opportunity wins, it gets converted to either an Account or Contacts.
Competitors − Manages all the market competitors of the organization.
Products − Manages all the products offered by the organization to its customers (Example, all the credit card plans).
Quotes − A formal offer for products or services proposed at specific prices sent to a prospective customer (Example, yearly pricing of a certain credit card plan sent to the customer).
Orders − A quote that gets accepted by the customer turns into an Order (Example, out of all the plans that the organization offers you, you may go for a 6-month subscription).
Invoices − A billed order generates an invoice.
The Marketing module of CRM is designed to drive the entire marketing process of an organization for its existing and potential customers. The Marketing module consists of the following sub-modules −
Marketing Lists − Provides a way to group your Contacts, Accounts, and Leads and interact with them via sending promotional emails, event details, newsletters and other updates relevant to the target customers. You can define the criteria to create your marketing lists (Example, contacts aged between 25 and 35).
Campaigns − Campaigns are designed to measure the effectiveness and accomplish a specific result, such as introducing a new product or increasing the market share and may include various communication channels such as email, newspaper ads, YouTube ads, etc.
Quick Campaigns − A Quick Campaign is similar to Campaign however it can be related to only one type of activity.
All the above Marketing modules work in close co-ordination with the Sales module.
Service Management Module
The Service Management module of CRM is designed to focus, manage, and track the customer service operations of an organization such as supporting the incident-based services, supporting the customers using service scheduling, etc.
The Service Management module covers the following sub-modules −
Cases (Incidents) − Supports any customer requests, issues, or complaints to be tracked via incidents/cases. A case follows various stages of an issue resolution process and then finally gets resolved and is closed.
Knowledge Base − Maintains a master repository for all the common questions and answers that the customer frequently asks.
Contracts − Contracts work with Cases indicating all the active contracts that the customer has.
Resources/Resource Groups − Represents the people, tools, rooms, or pieces of equipment that are used to deliver a service. These resources can be used to solve a specific customer issue.
Services − Represents all the services that the organization offers to the customers.
Service Calendar − Used to schedule work timings and schedules of the users who work in the organization.
All the modules explained above use the Activity Management module of CRM. An Activity represents any kind of interaction with the customer such as a Phone Call, Email, Letter, etc. These activities can be related to any of the entities explained earlier such as Account, Contact, Lead, Case, etc. By default, CRM provides following types of activities out-of-the-box −
- Phone Call
- Recurring Appointment
- Campaign Response
- Campaign Activities
- Service Activity
- Custom Activities
In this chapter, we have learnt about the three major modules of CRM – Sales, Marketing, and Service Management. We understood how the work areas are organized in CRM and how the entire lifecycle of a CRM organization works. We also looked at the Activity Management module of CRM which allows to create Phone, Email, Fax and other types of customer interaction activities.