What is a CRM?
A CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, app is intended to look after the interactions you have with customers from a sales and customer service point of view.
Traditionally, CRM apps are aimed at sales teams, recording sales opportunities as well as all communications between you and your customer. This information provide the base information from which sales analyses, forecasts can be produced - vital information for any business. Many commercial CRM apps also have features for managing customer services and support processes - although in many cases this is an add-on or even a separate (though integrated) app.
What we're going to 'build'
Having looked at the essentials of what a CRM is lets consider the data we may want to store in our database to support this:
CRM Functional Areas / Data Tables
- Companies - details of the companies we deal with, their locations, etc
- Contacts - the people we deal with either within Companies or as Individuals
- Products with pricing information, descriptions etc
- Sales Opportunities - complete with the ability to store multiple line items (many products in one sale)
- Support Tickets
- Activities / Interactions - these can be associated to any of the above areas as well as be assigned to staff members
- Staff - staff can be assigned to clients, opportunities, support tickets etc. Most are probably also users of your app