Prospect CRM is a hierarchical database which can be explained visually with the tree structure shown below.

Company

At the very top of the tree sits the ‘Company’ level. This is essentially a label, or something to hook all the other information under; as well as offering a consolidated view of everything underneath it. An example of a Company might be ‘Browns Distribution’.

Division

Sitting under a Company label is where we then hold ‘Division’ information. You can have an infinite amount of Divisions underneath a Company and the rule of thumb is normally to create a Division for each different physical location. Using our earlier example, you might have every single Browns Distribution store created under the Browns Distribution Company as a separate Division.

It's also at the Division level where we integrate with the accounting/inventory management system. This is where the Sales Ledger and Purchase Ledger codes are held, which allows us to access important customer information and sales history.

Contact

From each of the Divisions that exist in your CRM, you can then manage all the Contacts that work at that Division (again, this can be infinite). You should have a Contact record for every employee that is known to you, so this might be all the people that work at Browns Distribution Manchester, for example.

Opportunity – Potential Sale Tracking

For every opportunity to sell to a client that occurs, an Opportunity should be created under the Contact you're speaking to.

Opportunities are used to track a sales opportunity from the moment you decide a client is interested in an offering of yours, through to them either ordering it, or not.

At the Opportunity level, we capture some basic information, such as a description of the Opportunity, the potential size and margin of it, the date you expect it to be ordered and the likelihood that the customer will order it by that date. The combination of all these things allows for great forecasting, so it’s important to fill in as much as you can.

Problem – Customer Service 

Should an issue arise, a support ticket needs logging or there is a customer service query a ‘Problem’ should be created. This can be done under a Contact or an Opportunity.

The Problem is used similarly to an Opportunity and tracks interactions and captures information regarding that Problem, such as description, type, analysis as well as customer and supplier reference. Using these categories allows for reporting to highlight potential service issues, in particular processes, and also for use in search and replace documents when communicating with the customer.

Interactions (Documents/Quotes etc.)

Underneath each Contact and Opportunity is where you can then start to log interactions. This might be by saving an email or a letter, or perhaps making note of any communication with them such as phone calls in and out.

At each level of the hierarchy, you see a consolidated view of all the child items. For example, at a Company level, you can see a summary of absolutely everything; all Divisions, all Contacts at all those Divisions, and all interactions with all those Contacts at all those Divisions.

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