Published: 6th May 2016

May saw the Customer Relationship Team go ‘live’ with our new CRM software bolt on, to enable us to build existing customer relationships and maximise on sales opportunities, winning new business.

Existing customers here at Ford will see our team much more engaged with their accounts, as we bring the CRM system to life. The CRM system enables us to track orders at any stage of the pipeline, keep track of the best contacts on the account – who is the best contact for accounts? Who is the decision maker, and track campaigns that we attach to customer accounts. All these factors will keep us more engaged with our customers and potential new customers resulting in better customer satisfaction.

The CRM module provides the means to register all opportunities for additional work and to follow it through with a series of tasks and automated triggers.

We speak to numerous customers each day and this enables us to store all the information we gather for when we next speak to them. The new CRM system also provides the means to register all opportunities for additional work and to follow it through with a series of tasks and automated triggers; this will enable us to track exactly where an order, or potential order is, and at what stage in the process.

Customer and prospect activity management is controlled through a number of key features.

Prospect Database: This allows existing and potential customers to be recorded, along with other contacts who may be involved with long-running projects, such as engineers and architects.

Opportunities: Any opportunity to ultimately make a sale can be recorded; the record is as extensive as required, with an infinite number of user-defined fields added automatically or selectively, to suit specific projects.

Activities: Details of communications such as phone calls, conversations and emails can be registered against prospects, customers, opportunities, quotes and sales orders, all optionally linked to any other part of the CRM system, for total cross-source analysis.

“The activities log is the glue holding the entire module together, as activities can be tasked to individual employees, and link any kind of information – external files, CAD drawings, pdfs – so there’s a full history of everything that takes place regarding prospects, opportunities, quotes and sales orders.

“The system has some key trigger points. For example, entering an opportunity automatically triggers an activity such as a task for someone to follow it up. Raising a quotation can trigger a task for a named employee to progress it, and follow it through with the prospect. This is a key aspect of the CRM module – ensuring employees never forget to pursue an opportunity.”

Email alerts can be sent to users tasked with these actions, and incomplete tasks are placed on the individual’s ‘To Do’ list, displayed on demand, or when they log in. Key business functions, such as confirming opportunities, printing quotes and revising sales orders, can also automatically trigger activities and follow-up tasks.

We believe that with the new CRM system in place we will be in a much better position to build on the existing customer relationships we have and be more proactive in looking to build new ones.