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A bit of theory before describing roles in the system.
In the life-cycle of acquisition and preservation of a client, one may enumerate several phases:
  • The phase of acquisition of knowledge about potential new clients.
It usually takes place via marketing undertakings or our own activities, e.g. we obtain information among our friends about a person or company, we have been recommended by a client, we have been given a business card on a conference etc. In order to make the sale happen, we must have many such contacts. At the same time, during this phase we do not collect extended information – usually address data is required for further steps. A contact of this type is called a  Lead in CRM systems.
  • The phase of identification of the client and his needs
The next step taken by a salesman is identification of the client and his needs. During this phase, we attempt to learn as much as possible about the client (by browsing the Web, press, gathering information among friends) and store the obtained knowledge somewhere – usually in form of notes in a calendar or a notepad. In such system of work, problems emerge in the future, pertaining to finding information, ordering it in chronological order or transferring it to other people. This is why CRM allows for systematic registration of event (e.g. contacts or key telephone numbers) and assigning notes.

If we identify the needs of a client and they appear to be compatible to what we offer, we certainly see a Sale Opportunity for our products. From the point of view of the process and its mapping in CRM, we move to the subsequent phase.
  • The phase of sale
This phase may be reached both by acquiring a new client and providing services to a present one. There is one condition – we see a chance, or a Sale Opportunity.
As part of sale activities, we exchange correspondence, arrange meetings, form assumptions etc. However, the most important part includes offers and final contracts, over which one must have control.
  • Post-sale phase
In the post-sale phase, salesmen supporting a given client require tools for monitoring him in the first place – monitoring of data pertaining to sale and payments. To supplement full monitoring, we may keep track of the complaint process or the client’s other contacts with departments not related directly to the salesman.
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