Perhaps no other area generates more questions than the Leads, Contacts, Accounts and Opportunities modules. To some, the data contained in some of those modules seems redundant, especially the first two as they both contain data about individuals. In other cases, their usage seems like overkill. Yet others are confused as to their need, due to semantics, for example, to some a Lead and a Contact are synonymous with each other.
Lets try to unravel some of this confusion and answer some of these questions.
If we quickly analyze sales procedures at a variety of businesses, we discover some commonalities across many industries, regardless of the size of the business. Here is a summary:
- Someone, typically in marketing, is in charge of attracting potential buyers of your services/products.
- A potential buyer responds and is screened/qualified, to determine their specific interest and purchasing power.
- Lastly, a deal is worked and if won, the potential buyer becomes a paying customer.
Modern CRM systems, such as SugarCRM, are designed with the above principles in mind. As a result, they include functionality aimed at helping users more clearly differentiate the type of customer information they are looking at to fit in within those various points listed above. More specifically, an application like SugarCRM clearly draws a line between a potential customer and a paying customer, as well as what deals are in the works.
That, in short, is the reason why the various modules exist, but lets talk some more about their usage.