Simple CRM is designed to be easy to use when: managing accounts, managing sales and managing after sales support.
Account Management: create, edit and delete accounts. You can use "next"and "previous" buttons to navigate and manage the accounts data.
Day-to-day Opportunities Management: navigate through opportunities and find accounts in the drop-down list to create new opportunities or create new accounts on the fly. Include as many notes you need. If you prefer, use campaign management or territory management.
In every "create" form used to add, view or edit, you will see a pencil icon, click to create a new annotation (notes) of the conversation with your client. Conversations will be tied to the account name and you can list all notes for the account at any time, tracking the history of the client relationship.
Orders provide after sales support, as you can log all contacts from clients, creating new notes after a sale is delivered.
Focus on sales productivity: taking notes is a strong tool to improve sales effectiveness but needs to be fast, easy to use and simple. That is the intention of simple-CRM, creating accounts and writing notes is easy and fast. Notes improve sales effectiveness because you can quickly remember the past conversations with your client and the history of what happened when he/she talked to other people in the same company.
Manage campaigns: create campaigns to organize your accounts around common interests. If you are selling products to women, select female accounts. A campaign is a selection of accounts to be targeted for a certain period of time. A 30 days campaign is a good start. You can filter accounts then select the members in the list and save, you will now find the account listed and can navigate through the accounts, see the last note and write a new note, without leaving the page.
Manage territories: Similar to campaigns, you can select accounts for a territory. It makes sense to organize by geographic regions - the origin of the term "sales territory". Another way is to group by industries, that is also called "vertical" segmentation, and finally, some business group the accounts by name (named accounts territory).
Please send us your comments and suggestions for future releases (email).
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The component was developed under PHP v.7, Joomla! v.3.7 and MySQL 5.6 or MariaDB 10.0.
Minimum requirements are PHP v.5.6 and Joomla! v.3.4.
V.1.0.0 is not compatible with Joomla! 3.8. Please download V.1.0.1.
The software, components, modules and plugins offered free for download are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, express or implied and there is not technical support.
We can not provide support for the code, components, modules and plugins, but we will try to respond to your questions as soon as possible on a "best effort" manner.
Installation and configuration
Upload and install the component using Joomla! - instructions here.
After installation, configure simple-CRM from Administrator/Components:
Create company code and assign at least one user that will be simple-CRM manager.
Assign at least one user to the company code. This is the user that will create accounts, opportunities, etc. It can be any registered Joomla! user.
If using Protostar template, select "fluid" in Template/Advanced configurations - that will give full page wide for simple-CRM. Adjust your template to have room to simple-CRM forms.
Create simple-CRM menu items. Remember to select registered access to all menu items, to prevent from showing private data to the public.
If your site has multiple menus, you must create all simple-CRM menus and unpublish those that you do use. Unpublish is not Trashed: an unpublished menu holds the menu item id in the database, used by the component on navigating though forms. In the absence of a menu item id, Joomla! may render the form outside the simple-CRM menu with a different formatting and... without the menu to going back.
If you have set the logout Joomla! menu item, set the redirect page to home page (in modules/login) otherwise the user will get a 404 error page if logout from component (this is not a bug, it is just that on logout Joomla! render the last page, in this case a registered access page).
Joomla! Global Configuration "Search Engine Friendly URLs" should be set to YES (preferred), but remember you need .htaccess set correctly. The component works fine without SEF, but if you cannot access the server to add or modify the .htaccess file you can install the component Akeeba Admin tools, it creates .htaccess file and protect your site at the application level, without having to access server configurations and files.
Configuring your company
Format dates and address format - select according to your preferences, it will replace language options.
Set currency values: you can create several different currencies and type the conversion rate. The user will be able to select currency when creating opportunities and orders, but will not be able to change the conversion rates.
Associate users to company:
Set sales targets (quota) is for information only, it is not used at this time but will be included in future versions of simple-CRM.
The association of users to company codes allow you to have as many segregated sales groups that you may want, and prevents a regular Joomla! user to access sales data. Company codes are required to segregate an allow privacy for your sales activity.
Fill in data. Optionally download the Simple-Importer component to import/export csv files.
You must save the account for the first time before you can create relationships. One account may have several addresses, remember to choose one as being the "main address" that shows on the form. Multiple emails and relationships are also available.
Unique id (UID) is not a required field, but if you enter a UID that already exists, a message will show up on top of the form indicating the user id that has the same UID. That helps you from inserting duplicates, but does not prevent you from saving. UID can be a social security number, or another UID in each country or business vertical.
When creating a relation, that you fill in a new related party (person or business), the system creates the related party in the database. For instance: you create a person account that works for a company, the company is created in the database, with just the name; you have to remember to go back and fill out the company information. You can open the related account on a separated page or tab, to leave it open and fill in more data later.
The person works for company relation is marked in the person account information, not in the company information. If you want to see all people that work for a company, just go to the account list and filter by company name.
The goal is to be simple, so, no controls are included to prevent saving data, that is, we have no impediments to leave empty fields and no checks on address-zip, email validation, etc., the goal is to be simple and fast for the person typing in data. This is by design to improve sales executive productivity in the field rather than controlling the sales executive time and activities.
The system allows you to delete accounts, there is no prevention other than a confirmation pop-up, but that is the only information that can be deleted. Deleted accounts cannot be recovered. The orders, opportunities and notes cannot be deleted but can be archived. When deleting an account, the related information is not deleted.
If running the component on your servers, you can delete obsolete data directly from the database.
Your clients should have an account at gravatar.com to upload photos. Simple-CRM gets photos from gravatar.com, we do not store photos inside your Joomla! site.
Business accounts should insert logos in clearbit.com. Simple-CRM uses an API to get logos from Clearbit.
By using these third party APIs we are safe from infringing copyrights or intellectual property rights, as well as maintaining clients' privacy.
Relationships for fund-raising, clubs, associations and social networks
If your use of simple-CRM is for B2C you probably will never use all types of relationships available under the select option, leave it blank if do not need it.
If you use it for B2B, assigning people to business accounts is a good idea, and relations like "assistant of" or "works for" are useful when selling contracts.
The relations are especially valuable when you want to map friends and families, useful for fundraising, for instance.
- pencil: create an annotation of the conversation
- link: create a relationship to another account
- house: go to the list or create an address for this account
- pin: create a lead or opportunity
- shopping-cart: register a deal, make an order
In every "create" form used to add, view or edit, you will see a pencil just like the figure below. Click on the pencil to create a new annotation of the conversation with the client. Conversations will be tied to the account name and you can list all notes for the account at any time.
Give this opportunity a name (short) and a description. After save you can add as many annotations as you like. A good practice is to have only one note for each time you talk with the client.
You may annotate frugal things like how was the client feeling that day, what was his/her concerns, etc., that annotations are good to remember the next time you talk with this client - creating a way for you to develop an informal conversation - that helps you sell. You may annotate important things like: why you are not buying today, what we need to achieve to change your decision, how we can close this deal by day X, etc. Notes about client rejection are as good as client reasons to buy.
Annotations are not intended to control your sales activity! They are designed to improve your sales skills, in a learning process as well as "improving your memory" when talking with clients.
You can choose to navigate only through opportunities so, when on the phone or in a meeting, always have the opportunity page open. If you are using a tablet you can annotate directly on simple-CRM while in a meeting with the client, and have the history of past conversations right in front of your eyes.
Opportunity stage or status
It is up to you to decide how you judge the opportunity to flag the evolution to closing. We give you 5 common stages thought in many value selling courses:
- Show interest - this is a lead, is someone that asked for information, called to ask price, sent you a response email, downloaded something from your site... many forms of reacting to your presence. Usually, less than 10% of the interested people will actually purchase. This status measures the size of your window to the world, nothing more than that. But you want to monitor the leads and try to "convert." At this stage, the conversation is almost absent and you do not have much to write down.
- Qualifying - your lead contact responded to your insistence and asked for more information. This stage is when a lead has turned into a real sales opportunity. At this stage, you have conversations worth noting so, write them down.
- Proposal sent - you have submitted a quote (verbal or written) and the client has all data necessary to decide, but you are waiting for a response. Chances are now 50% of closing, as the client can say yes or no.
- Negotiation - high chances of closing, means the answer was "maybe" and you are now talking about details like Terms and Conditions or price discount. 75% chances of closing.
- Won / lost - that will close the opportunity (flag archived)
Clients may skip stages and go straight to closing.
Closed won will ask you to create an order. That is optional, because you may use orders or not, depends on your process. Using orders is an easier way to list and measure conversion as the order value may differ from opportunity value.
New opportunity for a new account
Let's say you answer the phone or receive a message from a new person, you have opportunities page in front of you, just select "new opportunity" and the "+ new account" and a modal will open for you to write down the new account name, save and continue creating the opportunity. The new account is created automatically. After you save the opportunity, you can open the account form to fulfill additional information.
You can create orders from the "closed won" opportunity or can create a new order directly from the "create order" menu. You can create a new customer directly from the create order form.
Remember to select if the invoice is for the person account or for the business account - both will always be linked. The order saves its information; if you later delete the account the saved order will not be modified.
Orders auto create notes, that can be identified with "Order" pretext in its title, and "System Log" to identify that the system is who created the note.
When you check all notes from an account, you can see all orders and all opportunities ever created for that account.
Orders can control delivery status and post-sales calls, under services choose:
- Backlog/waiting: nothing has been done after order save
- Schedule: order is scheduled for production or delivery
- In Process: order is being prepared or service is in execution
- Delivered, in Transit: like it says, went out but still not arrived
- Confirmed OK: order completed
- Returned by client (re-open): something needs to be done to correct the order
If necessary, you can write new notes referring to this order so that the next time a sales agent calls the client all history is available.
Flow of work
Account forms are for creating, editing and deleting accounts. You can use "next" and "previous" buttons to navigate and manage the accounts data.
Day-to-day sales activity you can use the opportunities page, where you navigate through opportunities rather than accounts, but can find accounts in the drop-down list, and search from the list, or create new accounts and include as many notes you need. In the opportunity for you can mark notes closed, that will help you work with recent notes and hide the history. You can always see the old ones choosing "show closed" icon.
Similar to opportunities, you can use campaign management or territory management, we will talk about that in a minute.
Notes list is for consultation and history, you do not need to use it daily.
Orders provide after-sales support, as you can log all contacts from clients, creating new notes, and can set the flag of order statuses, as mentioned before.
The above describes three workflows: managing accounts, managing sales and managing after sales support.
Taking notes is a strong tool to improve sales effectiveness but needs to be fast, easy to use and simple. That is the intention of simple-CRM, creating accounts and writing notes is easy and fast.
Notes improve sales effectiveness because you can quickly remember the past conversations with your client and the history of what happened when he/she talked to other people in the same company.
Create campaigns to organize your accounts around common interests. If you are selling products to women, select female accounts. A campaign is a selection of accounts to be targeted for a certain period of time. A 30 days campaign is a good start.
First filter the accounts, then select the members in the list and save, you will now find the account listed and can navigate through the accounts, see the last note and write a new note, without leaving the page.
Similar to campaigns, you can select accounts for a territory. It makes sense to organize by geographic regions - the origin of the term "sales territory." Another way is to group by industries, that is also called "vertical" segmentation, and finally, some business group the accounts by name (named accounts territory).
A territory is used to separate accounts by sales agents.
If you are using simple-CRM just for you, territories still make sense if you want to organize clients by geographic proximity to save time on transit from one visit to another.
Check documentation for release notes.
Developers, please help us improve, fork simple-CRM at Github.