Welcome to Crust CRM!

This article covers the basics of Crust CRM and gives a general overview of the application to help you start using it the right way.

Ready? Let’s get started!

What is Crust CRM?

Crust CRM is a highly flexible, scalable and open source Customer Relationship Management solution.

Some of the major benefits of using Crust CRM include:

  • Sell faster
  • Provide better service
  • Get a 360 degree overview of your customers
  • Quickly access the information you need
  • Increase efficiency with workflows
  • Obtain key insights that help you to control your business

The Basics

This is a what a typical Crust CRM pages looks like:

Each page consists of blocks of content, and depending the page there are more or less blocks with information, such as lists, record data, charts or automation buttons.

The home page

On the default home page by default a calendar block is shown, in which all your events and tasks are shown. You can zoom in to see a week and a day view.

Other blocks are several charts and two lists: new leads and open opportunities.

The list page

A list page, such as a list of leads or accounts, shows a list of records. The lists are sortable and searchable, allowing you to quickly find the record you need. To enter a record, click the magnifying glass icon that appears on a hover on.

Tip: you can enter a related record (for example, the account linked to the opportunity) by clicking directly on the related record name in a row.

The record page

A record page is the detailed view of one single record, such as a single lead or account. By default these pages open in “viewing mode”, allowing you to see the “record data” like first name, last name etc.

Other blocks on record pages include “social media” blocks (for example, all tweets for the account linked to the record), “automation” blocks (with automation buttons such as “Convert the lead” or “Create Quote”) and “related records” blocks (all contacts or opportunities in a account).

The record page allows to add a related record directly from a “related records” block, by selecting the “+ Add a record” at the beginning of the list. Like this you can add events and tasks to leads, contacts to accounts, etc. There are some blocks where this option is deactivated, such as with the “Create new opportunity” in an account, because this is done via a automation rule.

At the bottom of the record page is a set of buttons that let you:

  • Go back (return to the last page)
  • Delete the record (this deletes the current record)
  • Add a new record
  • Edit the record (this opens the exact same page, but in field editing mode)

The modules

Crust CRM contains by default an extensive list of modules that covers the needs of most businesses and organisations. They are of course highly flexible, allowing you to fine tune them to your exact needs.

Leads

A lead is an individual who might become your customer, but currently isn’t. Another word for a lead is a prospect. Leads are usually converted to accounts, contacts and opportunities.

When the leads are enters the CRM, it needs to be qualified. The rating field is particularly helpful to see if a lead is a potential customer or not.

When a lead shows commercial interest, such a a request for pricing, and the lead’s location matches the region your business targets, this lead is should be considered a 5 star lead. A 3 star lead can be a lead that did an online demo and nothing more, and a 0 or 1 star lead can be a lead that contacted the company for anything but one of your products or services.

The typical process is that a sales person follows up on the lead. The related record blocks “notes” (for any note), “events” (for example a scheduled online demo) and “tasks” (for example “send price list via email” or “call back”) are helpful here.

Leads can be part of a campaign. More info about campaigns can be found in the campaign chapter.

When the sales person has made contact with the lead, and there is a sales opportunity here, the sales person should convert the lead. There are two automation buttons on the top right. One will convert the lead in to an account + contact, and the other one, if there is already more info about the potential opportunity, will create an account + contact + opportunity.

My Leads

My Leads is a sub page of leads, showing only the leads owned by you.

All New Leads

All New Leads is a sub page of leads, showing all leads with the status “New”.

Accounts & Contacts

In accounts and contacts you store information about your customers. Accounts are companies that you’re doing business with, and contacts are the people who work for them.

An account can have multiple contacts, and by default the lead that was converted in to an account + contact in the Leads module is set as “Primary contact for account”. This means that the data of this contact will be used for Quote generation.

The other modules related to accounts are:

  • Opportunities (more info in the next chapter)
  • Entitlements
    Here you can set whether a customer is eligible for support
  • Contracts
    You can use contracts to define the terms for doing business with the company from the account
  • Cases (more in the Cases chapter)
  • Tasks
    For example, a planned email about a renewal
  • Events
    Related events, such as a webinar for several contacts from the account
  • Notes
    Any note about the account. For example: “This company will attend World Mobile Congress”.

The most important action in an account is creating opportunities. This can be done easily with the automation button “Generate new opportunity”, which maps all relevant account data directly to the new opportunity.

Opportunities

Opportunities are associated with revenue. When you generate an opportunity from an account (or directly from converting a lead) this means that you uncovered a potential future sale.

Every opportunity needs a name, which needs to be added manually. It’s important that others understand what the opportunity contains by simply looking at the name. So, an opportunity name like “300 licenses” is clear.

By default the close date is set to one month after opportunity creation date, but this date can easily be modified.

To qualify a lead it useful to figure out the following data:

  • Budget
    Check if there is actually a budget
  • Authority
    Check if you are talking to or being able to get through to the decision makers
  • Need
    Check if there is actually a need for the product / service
  • Timeline
    Check by when the product / service needs to be delivered or implemented, and if this time line makes sense
  • Competition
    Check who you are competing with

In order to get a good idea of the stage the opportunity is in, you need to use the “stage” field. By default, it’s set to “Qualification”. Once correctly qualified, you can move it to “Proposal” (or to “Need Analysis”, if more analysis is needed. Following steps are “Negotiation”, followed by “Closed Won” or “Closed Lost”.

Products

Each opportunity has the option to add products. When you add a product line, you only need to select the actual product and the quantity, and optionally a discount or manually set sales price. List price, Sales price, Product Code, Subtotal and Total and calculated and inserted automatically after applying the selected price book. With regard to the price book: this is set on opportunity level, and it contains all product prices and codes with regard to whatever pricing system your company uses (such as special pricing for Education or for a certain region). Applying a price book is simply 1 click on the “Apply price book” button and it updates the complete list of product line items in the opportunity, as well as the total amount field.

It’s important to keep opportunities up to date, because the state of the opportunities helps define if the business is financially viable on short and/or long term.

Quotes

When you have added products to an opportunity, and you’ve applied a price book, you can generate quotes by hitting the “Generate new quote” automation button. This maps all the relevant opportunity data to a new quote, such as products and total pricing, as well as account and account key contact data.

The quote number is automatically generated, but can be edited afterwards.

The expiration date of the quote is automatically set to 1 month after generation date.

By default a quote is in draft mode, and it can be submitted for approval. In the automation process that manages this you can set the email of the person that needs to be notified when there is a new quote for approval. This person receives the quote data via email and can approve the quote.

Just as with other modules, you can store events, tasks or notes in a quote.

Emails

You can send emails to any lead or contact, or address that is not linked to any record. The email editor supports templates. You an create a template in the Email Template module (shown right to the list of emails).

When you create an email, you can add multiple manual To, CC or BCC addresses, separating them by comma.

The content can be preloaded by selecting a template and hitting the button “Load selected template”. This overwrites the subject and the body fields.

Once finished creating the email you can save it for later sending with the “Save” button, or send it directly by hitting “Send email”.

Quotes

This module shows the list of all quotes. For details on easy quote generation, please check the opportunity module documentation.

Products

In this module you manage all products (or services) your company sells.

In each product you can define the main details (such as name or product code) and add pricing per price book, allowing you to have different pricing for different types of companies or regions.

The details view of products also shows the related cases.

Campaigns

A campaign is a marketing project that you want to plan, manage, and track within the CRM. It can be a newsletter, seminar, conference, or other type of marketing initiative.

Campaign members are leads or contacts that entered the CRM via that campaign, and the opportunities related to them are generated opportunities. These opportunities allow you to check the ROI of the campaign, when you compare the costs to the value won in opportunities.

Cases

Cases is a complete case management tool, linked to accounts, contacts, products or even other cases.

You can set who is part of the case, and what role the have, in the “Case Contact Roles”, and you can track progress with the case description fields and notes, events and tasks blocks.

Contracts

In contracts you can use contracts to define the terms for doing business with a certain account. This data is directly accessible form within the account record.

A contract can have multiple related contacts, each with their own role, as well have contract line items, which refer to products.

Price books

In this module you can add all the price books your business may have. They allow you to have different pricing for the same product, divided by sector, geographical area etc.

Information on how to apply price books can by found in the Opportunity chapter.

Events, Tasks and Notes

Most modules allow to add event, tasks and notes. These modules help the sales person to organise their work.

By default events and tasks are show in the calendar on the front page.

Default Settings

This special module only has one record. Here you can set:

  • The next quote number
  • The days for a quote to expire
  • The days for an opportunity to close
  • The default probability of an opportunity
  • The default opportunity forecast category
  • The default opportunity stage