In my previous post I discussed the concepts of lead, opportunity and contact for a B2C. As promised today i will be writing about the accounts. You can read my previous post here : http://raotayyabali.wordpress.com/2010/07/05/crm-for-dummies/
As mentioned in the previous post you can have opportunities associated with contacts and these opportunities are essentially representing things you sell. However some compnies have other companies as their customers. Companies that are in business with other companies would convert their leads to opportunities, accounts and contacts. In this case the opportunities might be related to accounts and the contact details are used to reach out to decision makers in these companies (accounts). Again as mentioned in the previous post its entirely upto the BA to decide when to convert a lead to account and if the lead should convert only to an account or to an account, opportunity and contact. However mostly a lead converts to both an account and contact, as its the contact that you get in touch with to sell your product to accont. To build on the previous example of selling soaps consider that you sell soaps to retailers. So we have a Lead (Subject : sell soap, First name: Tom, Phone: XYZ, Company: KeepClean) that converts to Contact ( Name : Tom, Phone: XYZ), Account(Name: KeepClean) and opportunity (Subject: sell soap to KeepClean). Now sales team works on the opportunity to sell soap to account(‘KeepClean’) (performs tasks like phone calls to contact, follow-ups with contact, mails to contact..). Once they are able to sell the Soap they change the opportunity status to ‘WON’. Now ‘KeepClean’ has actually purchased something so it is a customer. Again as explained an account is not necessarily a customer. However a customer in CRM can be categorized as an account with atleast one Opportunity with status ‘WON’.
One thing that confuses most of the people when doing the analysis for CRM implementation is how to map the existing entities to the entities with in CRM 4.0. Most of the examples that are available on internet show CRM as either a catalog with lots of products/services for various customers or with just a single product. However in real world a company sells certain products that they manufature and mostly analysts want a generic way to categorize their accounts in terms of the products. I think the best solution is to add a field to all the entities in CRM to classify each entity in terms of the product. This is the simplest solution for handling multiple products. That is all for today.
In my next post I will walk you through basic customization for creating a CRM solution that you will be able to use to handle entities in your company. I will also write more posts and take you through the creation of tasks to work towards opportunity closure. Essentilly i have just given a brief introduction about my soap factory. In my next post i will be working on selling some soap:)