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The Basic Cloud CRM Modules You Absolutely Must Know about

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January 18, 2012

The Basic Cloud CRM Modules You Absolutely Must Know about

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Soffront runs one of the more useful company blogs dealing with the CRM space, it has information that is actually quite useful even if you don’t buy their products. Shocking concept, yes, but a welcome, refreshing difference from the usual dreary “this problem can only be solved by using our Acme CRM...” approach.

Company officials note that most companies who are finding success with their CRM are using what amounts to an integrated customer relationship management  approach to automate their business processes. And yes, Soffront can help you with that, but so can a lot of other companies.

A recent entry on the company blog does a good job highlighting the different basic modules you’ll want to understand. These are as basic as CRM tools get, if you’re doing CRM at all you should be familiar with them.

Sales Automation. This allows you to track leads from initiation to closure within a single, easy-to-use application, forecast better and manage opportunities more effectively and identify and focus on the most profitable opportunities, among other functions such as keeping names and addresses straight.

Marketing Automation. This provides a closed-loop way to deal with campaign planning, execution, and results measurement. Good tools in this category will allow you to plan multi-channel campaigns with a configurable workflow for design, approval, and rollout, collaborate with multiple departments and create a cross-functional action plan as well as slice and dice information to optimize your marketing strategy, as well as monitor the results continuously and improve marketing ROI, among other functions.

Customer Support. Boy, don’t overlook this one. It helps manage customer support tickets from submission to resolution, generate action buttons that guide customer support reps through the defined process, access account and contact information related to the ticket, track where everybody is in the process and generate reports to measure CSR (News - Alert) productivity and customer satisfaction.

Project Management. Another crucial module. This enables companies to improve usage by keeping the right resources on the right project, giving you a central location for managing such aspects of projects as status and target completion dates. Good tools in this space will let you manage and plan resources based on skills and availability and conduct team activities with a shared view of the project information, activity alerts, and a collaborative calendar.

And yes, Soffront would be one vendor you’d want to consider. Shop around and see what works best for you.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO East 2012, taking place Jan. 31-Feb. 3 2012, in Miami, FL. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

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David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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