HomeBUSINESSGuide To Business Processes From A CRM Perspective

Guide To Business Processes From A CRM Perspective

A company’s success revolves around market knowledge and customer relations (better management and communication between people). And it is for this reason that sales should not be seen as a stage in the company’s value chain but as a process that can involve all company departments, from the commercial area to marketing, from the back office to administration, from the technical office to assist.

Companies manage multiple information and data with tools that do not facilitate the management, such as Excel sheets, mail, address books, and paper agendas that do not connect the parties involved. In an era where it is essential to have punctual and updated data, management with spreadsheets and systems that are different from each other and difficult to aggregate does not help in strategic choices.

What Is CRM, And How Can It Support Companies

CRM (Customer Relationship Management ) is a system that can support companies in these areas:

  1. acquisition of new customers
  2. punctual marketing activities to increase loyalty
  3. customer management, negotiations, offers, orders, and collections
  4. activity and workflow management
  5. support ticket and complaint management

As seen from the four areas, the goal is to optimize customer management because it is the cornerstone of business success. We can therefore decline three pillars of CRM:

  1. Operational, related to customer management
  2. Analytical, relating to data and integration between CRM data, other management systems, and BI (Business Intelligence) practical on the one hand to be able to get to know the customer better and provide products and services based on his needs, on the other hand, they are necessary to set and review business and corporate strategies in a broader sense.
  3. Collaborative in the management of activities between external and internal figures of the company

The additional benefits of CRM:

  1. paper reduction
  2. transparent workflows with specific activities per person/department
  3. better communication
  4. externally updated data and more direct contact between agents and the company
  5. sending from CRM info for customers
  6. automation of processes such as (email sending and lead generation)

The Basics Of CRM In Business Processes

Let’s see the different business areas necessary to be able to define the basis of CRM in business processes.


Before talking about sales and customers, it is essential to know the company, its organization, its products and services, and the business model. So you won’t have to deal with the dynamics relating to the commercial network but will understand how processes develop throughout the company.

Sales Network

Depending on the type of company, its business model, and the different markets, there may be a different commercial structure: here are some examples:

  1. sales network with people hired directly by the company
  2. network of single-firm or multi-firm agents
  3. network of distributors and resellers
  4. export manager and temporary manager
  5. commercial management composed only of owners or partners of the company
  6. commercial secretary or commercial back office
  7. business partners formed by other companies with which agreements have been stipulated or are part of a business network

In addition to these points, it is necessary to clarify the function of the network, i.e., whether they perform one or more of these functions (or whether they are assigned to other company departments):

  1. Acquisition of new customers
  2. Customer management understood as scheduled visits, training meetings
  3. Management of offers and orders
  4. Approval and authorization of orders (by one or more figures/departments)
  5. Collection management and credit recovery

Clearly understanding how the structure is made up is necessary to define roles and responsibilities within the CRM by defining the profiling of the various users, the access policies, the functions connected to one’s activity, and the visibility the various people have of the data in the system.

Customer Acquisition

There are many ways of acquiring customers, and they are often intertwined with other business areas, such as marketing with both online and offline activities, especially as regards the search for potentially interested parties:


  1. social
  2. website contact form
  3. landing pages
  4. blog
  5. mail
  6. newsletters
  7. lead generation
  8. ecommerce
  9. app


  1. telephone
  2. direct visit
  3. shop
  4. partner
  5. exhibitions
  6. events and training

Companies don’t just use one channel; many times, the different channels can be managed by different internal and external figures specialized in the specific channel. The integration of these sources into a single system and also the collection of further information and data for a more targeted activity towards possible interested parties is the key to avoiding losing opportunities and also to refining the various strategies, identifying the optimal ones on the basis by sector, type of customer, location, type of product and service. 

The CRM should therefore collect contacts with the strictly necessary personal data and further information relating to the business line of interest, the source of the contact, and notes collected if there has been direct contact with the possible interested party. 

The next phase will therefore be the management of these contacts, which can take place directly with the commercial network or through a department such as telemarketing or back office which verifies the genuine interest, to prevent the salesperson from making an appointment where it is already known in advance that is not successful (it will be essential to understand why that person is not interested or why he is not in line with the company’s business).

CRM, Offer And Order Management

The management of offers and orders concerns both potential customers and existing customers, and the company figures who deal with it may differ for various reasons:

  1. The sales network makes the offers while the management of the approval and confirmation orders is carried out by the back office, which, based on the production and logistics, checks the availability and timing of the products and services.
  2. Order management is the responsibility of the sales network in customer acquisition and is subsequently delegated to the back office.
  3. There may be authorization and approval processes that involve not only the back office but also the sales management, who must approve or not approve exceptions, discounts, and conditions other than standard company policies.

The orders arrive directly in the company with systems that automate the process by sending the order directly to the company management system, without going through the sales network, but by figures in charge of this management. There are cases where the technical office is involved in those non-standard projects, products, and services that need a feasibility analysis, cost and time evaluation, and whose management must pass directly to this department with the competence to give the correct answers to the customer’s needs. 

The primary communication problems are concentrated in this area, and efficiency makes it possible to avoid subsequent problems not only in commercial but also in production and logistics. Furthermore, the companies with the design area should monitor the development times, consider the cost, and consider this activity in the offer, given the added and recognized customer value.

Understanding the dynamics between the various company figures allows you to easily manage standard flows by setting up and automating processes to provide the information necessary to give complete and correct answers to the other company functions and the customer.


Indeed one of the aspects that allow you to maintain a lasting relationship is to satisfy new needs. Furthermore, this is an area where companies risk not tracking activities relating to assistance and ordinary and extraordinary maintenance in the best possible way, thus reducing the company margin with costs that are not tracked or punctually monitored (managing reports, expense reports in Word and Excel).

In some realities, especially those that produce machinery and plants, assistance involves both the management of spare parts and the technical office to deal with problems relating to special machines for which the intervention responses must go through the evaluation of the office.

The definition of a module that manages the processes where distinguishing the activities that must be managed commercially from the technical ones avoids wasting information and overloading with information figures who are not always to be directly involved.

Cash Management

In some sectors and companies, the salesperson’s role is also to manage receipts and outstanding payments. This area is critical for a company because the parameter and objective of turnover alone do not allow to guarantee business continuity. The liquidity ratios and the exposure to customers determine corporate sustainability: increasing turnover by 10% and bringing in 20% more outstanding payments can lead to problems that impact the entire business process. Here a direct relationship is created between the commercial area and the administration where the former can be involved in various ways:

  1. The management of the collection is up to them.
  2. They are involved after an initial verification by the administration which reports the debt collection activity to the agent in case of a negative outcome.
  3. It is communicated through blocks and commercial credit lines not to proceed with new orders.

Therefore having an updated situation of the maturity date and, first of all, a situation of the economic and financial reliability of a customer or potential customer (through systems and companies that provide this service) supports choosing to have reliable customers in the company and to reduce the risk of having liquidity problems.

Data Analysis

In a phase of study and analysis for a CRM, one of the fundamental aspects is to determine which data are necessary for the different profiles that use it, what the sources are, and how such data should be processed, displayed, and managed: To immediately have a precise vision in a CRM, we will therefore have dashboards that summarize the trend of the commercial network or the individual commercial:

  1. based on your goals
  2. according to the different product lines
  3. based on sales, orders, and both general and individual customer margins with possible reference to the previous year
  4. The activities that are in progress, due, and due to be done

Why data is so important:

  1. To understand promptly how the commercial activity is going and to intervene if any changes occur.
  2. to have a punctual situation for the customer
  3. To make prompt responses and anticipate customer needs
  4. to identify areas for improvement
  5. To set up discussion and training activities that can help improve results
  6. to provide the commercial and corporate management with a straightforward situation to define and implement the different strategies not only in the commercial field

We will then define statistics, reports, and graphs supporting the various figures in the analysis phase of the customer and their own business. Setting up this area is one of the most critical because the data is not only present in the CRM but also in other systems such as ERP and BI: the difficulty lies in being able to make the different systems (and different software houses) communicate involved), synchronizing the various information and data promptly.


Connected to the last aspect covered in the data, the integration of the CRM with the various company systems, from the ERP system, Marketing Automation (e.g., mail marketing, lead generation), email, Business Intelligence, etc., is crucial for the success of a CRM project:

  1. improves communication between different departments
  2. It avoids uploading manually or importing data already present in the system.
  3. facilitates time management by the various company figures
  4. easily integrates the different data, as seen in the previous point
  5. You have the updated situation of the system in case of variation of information and data.


In addition to the advantages highlighted in the various paragraphs, CRM in the company will also bring these advantages:

  1. paper reduction
  2. transparent workflows with specific activities per person/department
  3. Externally updated data and more direct contact between the commercial area, which is very often located outside the office, and the company
  4. sending quick notifications to customers
  5. automation of repetitive and low-added-value processes

As can be seen from the guide, it is not enough to buy a CRM and start using it. Before choosing, you need to understand how the company is organized, its processes, its systems, the objectives and critical issues it wants to improve, and the figures involved. Only later, from an Agile perspective, will a system be developed that will be essential for increasing customer satisfaction and helping to optimize both the commercial area and the entire business process.

Read Also: CRM Microsoft Dynamics: Increase Your Commercial Effectiveness

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