BlackdogCRM: Products

This image shows the blackdogCRM Products window.  Bill of Materials are supported, as are several different Selling Prices, Sales Scripts, Groups, Targets and many other features.


This image shows the spreadsheet template that is supplied to help you to import your existing products into blackdogCRM.

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blackdogCRM: Contacts

This image shows the three ‘tabs’ that make up the main Contacts window in blackdogCRM.


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CRM: What and Why

There are many types of relationships. Personal,  Prospects, Customers and Suppliers for example.  These are all valid and valuable relationships.


Today with the rise of social networking everybody has many ways of being contacted, and many forums on which to air their views, make statements and and ask questions.  In addition they have many ways of contacting you, and of talking about you. To keep track of this continuous flow of  information, you need some form of:






CRM is generally understood to mean Customer Relationship Management.  Personally I believe this is inaccurate and potentially misleading.  The whole CRM concept revolves around relationships with individuals and companies, many of whom are not your customers.  


Focusing on customers only would be very short sighted indeed, and successful businesses need to focus on all of their contacts and the relationships they share with them. 


CRM is designed to bring together information from various disparate sources into one central repository of real-time accurate contact information.  


This empowers employees to make informed decisions when interacting with the outside world.


These informed decisions are necessary for CRM to fulfill it’s brief of reducing costs and increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.¬†Having said that CRM is not just about customers, they are however one of our most important assets and should be looked after appropriately.

The fact is that CRM should be responsible for increasing your bottom line.  In business every single decision boils down to that one simple question:  Does this make us more profitable ?  Anything that does not directly or indirectly answer yes to that question is not worth considering, at least from a purely business point of view.


CRM does not have to be implemented and used throughout the whole company.¬† It is perfectly feasible for a single department to use CRM to help them with their particular function, as long as it is realised that CRM cannot fulfill it’s design criteria of being a central repository of contact information unless it is installed company wide.¬† That being understood and accepted, by all means install it in a department, the benefits you get will almost certainly be better than what you had before.


Many papers on CRM will tell you that everyone from the CEO to the Janitor should have CRM installed.¬† When you are a multi-million dollar company who’s revenue stream depends almost completely on installed licenses then it’s understandable that you will sell CRM as a huge enterprise wide undertaking.¬† I am not disagreeing with the theory but in practice CRM can and perhaps should be implemented in phases. ¬†


What better way than implementing one department at a time ?


CRM is often installed as part of an initiative to ‘Increase Customer Service’ or ‘Serve Customers Better’ or some such grand statement.¬† Introducing CRM in such a way can fog the issues and cause potential problems with a successful installation. ¬†


As I mentioned earlier, in business every single decision boils down to that one simple question:  Does this make us more profitable ?  So we can rewrite the previous initiative statements as: 


‚ÄėKeep the customers happier because then they will buy again and also recommend us to their friends, so making us more profitable and successful, the customer more satisfied and therefore everyone wins.‚Äô¬†


This statement has a number of advantages, the first being that it is 100% true.  The second is that it is refreshingly believable.  The third is that it cannot easily be misconstrued or interpreted incorrectly.   


So, what has this got to do with CRM.  Everything.  Keeping this statement in mind throughout the CRM selection and installation process will lead to higher satisfaction and a greater return on investment, the reason being that CRM is a tool and a technology to help you make that statement happen, and then to keep it happening.  


Once that is understood there is clarity in your goals and you are halfway towards being prepared for a successful CRM installation.

Where next ?

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Online Manual [12]

blackdogCRM: Entering Notes against Contacts

Here’s a link to the latest section of the blackdogCRM Online Manual.

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blackdogCRM Features

SQL Logging
SQL (nowadays normally pronounced seequell) originally stood for Structured Query Language and was designed as an English Like way of asking for information from a database. SQL has been a standard for many years now and someone with some SQL experience under their belt is very welcome in most organisations.
blackdogCRM talks to its database using SQL exclusively. Unlike many systems blackdogCRM does not hide its internal workings from you, why should we ? We have nothing to hide and you have plenty to gain should you wish to view the statements that blackdogCRM is issuing and maybe use them yourself within our Query Tools or within a third party reporting tool. If you have Crystal Reports or Business Objects experience for example then that can be put to good use with blackdogCRM and SQL.

The ability to log all the SQL statements sent to the database is a useful and often overlooked function that can at times be extremely useful. For Auditing or Verification purposes it can be invaluable.

There are two ways of logging SQL. The first involves setting a Preference, see image below:

This method save the SQL to a log file stored in your blackdogCRM.Live folder.  This file is called blackdogCRM_SQLLog.r10

When opened in your favourite Text Editor or Spreadsheet program, the contents look something like this:

The second method requires you to select the Toggle SQL Session Log menu option, from the Utilities menu.  When the SQL Session Log window opens click the Start button. Subsequent SQL statement executions will be captured by this window.

If either of these two logging methods are activated then additionally the SQL statements are logged to the local computers System Log. Access to the System Log differs according to whether you are running blackdogCRM on Windows or Mac OSX. How to view the entries within the System Log is beyond the scope of this document.

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