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Managing Customers and Leads (CRM)

For a successful fashion business, it’s all about the company you keep. It can sometimes take many years of chasing that top-tier customer, be it a sought-after department store or a wildly popular online retailer. Even after that, once they make their first order, you will be challenged every season to make clothes they’ll continue to purchase and maintain your relationship.

Each customer adds a layer of complexity to the day-to-day of the business, and between payment terms, contacts, and orders, it can be an avalanche of information to understand. ApparelMagic keeps track of these valuable relationships with customers, organizing information so that apparel wholesalers can efficiently do business with their important partners without missing a beat. Effective organization of customer data means that customers receive their orders on time, wholesalers get paid promptly, and the cycle is renewed on good terms the following season.

In this lesson, we’ll learn about the Customer Relationship Management features of ApparelMagic by creating and managing a customer profile.

Click Customers to take a look at the Customers module.

ApparelMagic allows you to search and sort your customers and leads easily.You can search by specific terms by using the fields along the top of the screen. Here we'll search using the Customer Name field.

Click the View All button at the bottom of the screen to see all customer records.

You can also sort these fields by clicking their row headers.Here, we'll sort our customers by City.

If you would like to view specific fields on this page, you can use the Options button to customize your view.

For example, if you would like to see what type of customers you have listed in our system, you'll first turn off extraneous fields by clicking their names.

Note that when fields are hidden they are lightened. Next, click the Category field to show the desired information.

Click Close when you've selected all fields you would like to show.

Using the Category field, you can see that we have our customers separated into different types. We'll learn more about these later.To view customers grouped by category, simply click the column header.

Note that now, customers are grouped according to the category they had been specified within.Searching with more specificity is also possible. Click the Search button to continue.

For example, if you would like to find all current customers you can use the Category field.Because we have given several customers the category type Former Customer we can find all records without that category. Click is to continue.

Clicking is will turn into not. By selecting Former Customer, you can find all records that are not former customers.

Click Close to view the records.

In this view, you can see all customers not specified as Former Customers. This same technique can be used on other fields on this page.Next, click New at the bottom of the page to create a new customer.

Add your customer to the Name field.

In the Address field, add the customer's office address. Addresses for locations will be added later.

The Category field allows you to classify the customer by any range of values.This field can be used as a powerful tool for CRM, or Customer Relationship Management.

This example uses the Category field to show the stage of relationship with the customer.We'll use the categories New Lead, Weak Lead, and Strong Lead to define customers we intend to work with but who have not yet made orders.

Using categories Strong Customer and Weak Customer, we can classify current customers to prioritize for our salespeople's use during the selling process.An additional category, Former Customer, allows us to mark customers we no longer work with.

The Category field, like many others, can be used in many ways and is not limited to any specific values. Some companies may prefer to use categories to separate the type of store, Discount, Ecommerce, Boutique, or Department Store or any other type.

You can add additional categories by typing them into the field and clicking Enter.

The AR Account field refers to the accounts receivable account, an accounting tool set up to show all money due to your business, including money owed by customers for goods sold to them.We will choose the House account.

Click Next to continue.

The credit information page allows us to input the customer's creditworthiness. You can approve the Credit Status–or keep the status pending until later–as well as add a Credit Limit, an amount the customer is allowed to spend until they've paid.

Using the Credit Terms field, select the appropriate payment terms for the customer.Credit Terms are the payment date requirements for invoices. These terms are negotiated with each customer and can range according to the delivery date. 

Termssuch as Net 30, for example, represent that payment is due 30 days from invoice. Othercommon terms include: EOM (End Of Month,) COD (Cash On Delivery,) and PIA(Payment In Advance.) 

Click Finish to continue.

On the Overview page, you can enter additional information about your customers. Here, in the Ship Via field, we'll add a preferred shipping method.

Use the Phone field to enter the business's main number. Individual numbers for locations and contacts will be entered later.

The Email field can hold the general email address.

Enter the customer's website in the Website field.

You can use the Notes field to hold additional data: for example the source your customer found your product, who introduced you, or any other information.

Click Save before continuing.

Click the Accounting tab to continue.

Here you can change credit information whenever needed. Price Groups allow businesses to offer customized pricing for different customers. There is no limit to the number of different price groups in the system.

For example, an overseas customer may be sold the goods at a higher price to account for freight and tariffs. Retailing businesses using ApparelMagic will also use Price Groups to add their retail prices.

This customer is a store, so we'll sell to them at the Wholesale price.Click Locations to go on to the next tab.

Click the + button to add a new location.

Here, you can enter all contact information for each of the customer's individual locations. Using the data input on this screen, you'll be able to ship directly to each of their locations.

If this location is the customer's main store or location, fill in the Main Location box.

Click Ok to continue.

We will add a second location using the + button.

We've added all information to the second store. Note that this is not the customer's main store, so we will not fill in the Main Location field. Click Ok to continue.

Save your work before continuing on to the People tab.

Click the + button to add a new contact.

When we've added all relevant information to the contact, we'll check off the Main Contact field to show that this is our primary contact. Click Ok to continue.

Click Save before continuing on to the Events page.

Click the + button to add a new event.

Events can be added for many interactions with customers, enabling you to track interactions.For example, you may create events for calls to or from contacts, meetings with customers and vendors, reminders to follow up, and more.

First we'll look at an event describing a communication. Tracking interactions like this one allow your whole team to be on the same page.Use the Event Title field to describe the event. 

Times and dates are populated automatically when you create the event, but can be edited by users with the appropriate privileges to suit the event.

The Description field is optional and can be added to make finding events easier.

The Type field can further specify sorting later on.

Add any information about the event to the Notes field.

Note that if the event is related to a specific Style, Order, or Invoice, it can be linked with fields at right.

Click Ok to close the window.

Events can be used to keep track of many things and are recorded so that the whole company can see them. Next, we'll go over a few types of events. Go to the Calendar to continue.

This page shows all Events for a certain time period, adjustable using the buttons at the top of the screen.Events can also be created for reminders. We'll look at an example.

This event was created as a quick note to remind the team to contact a customer. Note we've associated the event with Seventh Avenue Fashion. By specifying the customer, the event is linked to them and we can find it in that customer's Events tab.

Using events to keep track of reminders is especially useful when making notes to check on a payment, follow up with clients even months later, and in many other situations.

You can also create events for meetings.

Here, we've linked a meeting with a factory using the Vendor field.The ApparelMagic user assigned this task is listed in the User field, and the associated style is specified in the Style field.

For longer term items, events are not limited to the same day.

Using the Start Date and End Date fields, we've created a multi-day event. These fields can be especially useful for events like trade shows, fashion week, business trips, factory visits, or even employee vacations.

All events are also stored in the Events area.

Using the column headers and tools at the bottom of the screen, you may search and sort events.Next, we'll return to the Customer module, continuing to the Salespeople tab.

Adding salespeople to a customer has two functions. First, you can assign them commissions on the orders they take.Click the + button to assign a salesperson and commission to the customer.

Using the Salesperson field, you can select a salesperson to assign.Users with administrative privileges can create additional salespeople by going to Settings > Dictionaries > Salespeople or by changing a user's permissions to Salesperson.

If the salesperson has a default Commission Rate, it will autofill the following field. However, some companies give differing commission rates based on the customer who makes the order. You may edit the field as needed for the customer.

Click Ok to continue.

You can also track commissions paid using the Commissions Report in Reports >Sales Performance.Save your work before continuing.

The second function of adding salespeople to customers is that users with salesperson permission levels are restricted to viewing only customers they work with.

For our example we will look at the system from a salesperson's perspective.

Salespeople have viewing permissions of the Products module so they can take orders. They can also view available inventory.

By assigning a salesperson to a customer, they can view and edit their record in their record in the Customers module.Note that salespeople can only view customers they have been assigned.

Salespeople can view and edit all elements in the Customer record, except for the Salesperson tab.

Using the Orders module, salespeople can create and view orders for their assigned customers.Next, we will return to the customer record to look at the remaining tabs.

Back in the customer record, we'll continue on to the Files tab. The Files area is capable of holding any related documents and files. Simply drag and drop to save them with the customer record.

Click the Open Orders tab to continue.

This tab is empty because this is a new customer. When creating orders later, they will populate on this page until they are allocated. Click the Unpaid Invoices tab to continue.

This tab is also currently empty Invoices for the customer will sit here until they are paid. Click the Unapplied Credit Memos tab to continue.

This final tab will be empty unless we create a credit memo for the customer. This concludes the ApparelMagic Customers Tutorial.Now that we've walked you through creating a customer, try creating your own new customer!

Managing Customers and Leads (CRM) Quiz

1. In which tabs can you modify contact information for your customer?a) Overview, Locations, Peopleb) Accounting, Events, Filesc) Open Orders, Unpaid Invoices, Unapplied Credit Memosd) None of the Above

Answer: a) You may update company contact information on the Overview tab, store or warehouse information using the Locations tab, and individual contact information on the People tab.

2. True or False: Default credit terms may be set on the Accounting tab.

Answer: True

3. True or False: Salespeople must all have the same commission.

Answer: False. Default commissions may be set differently for each salesperson and customer. These may be modified at the order stage.

4. You can easily look up current and pending data on the the following tab:a) Open Ordersb) Unpaid Invoicesc) Unapplied Credit Memosd) All of the Above

Answer: All of the Above

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