What does CRM stand for? (Customer relationship management)

Getting a buyer to purchase your product is just half the fight. The competition has never been as saturated with choices for shoppers as it is now, and to earn their loyalty, you'll need to do more than have a meaningful one-time customer experience. Customer relationships, which, quite honestly, can make or break your marketing campaigns, should be given top priority. Human interaction and customer relationship management (CRM systems) would be required to develop and manage these relationships.
Whatagraph team

May 11 2021 7 min read

Table of Contents

    Customer relationship management (CRM)

    Customer relationship management may be thought of as a practice, a method, or a database. The term is most often used to refer to software used to handle customer engagement, although the meaning can be extended to any of those other concepts as well. The aim of using CRM tools in your company is to strengthen the interaction with your customers.

    A one-time experience with a company is not adequate to transform a person into a loyal customer; thus, the trust must be sustained over time. Companies that use cloud-based CRM to remain connected to consumers on an individual level can predict needs, offer customer support, reinforce partnership, and increase the likelihood of loyalty to their brand.

    It's a win-win situation when using cloud-based CRM systems. Buyers are provided with a personalized, supportive, and knowledgeable customer experience, and organizations earn their trust.

    What is CRM software?

    Companies use customer relationship management CRM software to monitor relationships with potential customers and existing customers. It is a tool that connects sales, marketing, and customer care and, preferably, offers a comprehensive understanding of its identity, background, interests, and behavior.

    ERP vs. marketing automation vs. CRM

    Before we proceed, we must define the critical but frequently overlooked distinction between a CRM system, enterprise resource planning (ERP), and marketing automation software. They are all used to store, coordinate, and analyze essential business information, although there are a few main differences.

    • ERP: A ERP system is used to oversee the process of creating and delivering solutions to customers
    • Marketing automation: The Marketing automation system meant to start and maintain communication with potential customers
    • CRM: A CRM system aims to convert prospects into loyal customers

    Although marketing automation, CRM, and ERP all have separate functions, organizations need the synergy of all three to find consumers, demonstrate the importance of their solutions, and deliver on their promises.

    Who uses CRM?

    When you hear the term CRM, you typically envision a large enterprise that manages all of its customers' information. On the other hand, CRM is a fast-growing software industry, with 91 percent of organizations with ten or more sales rep using it. CRM is a tool that several divisions of any organization can use. Sales reps that need information about a client or a sales action will profit from the data contained in a CRM platform. Most departments use a CRM platform in sales, marketing, business development, and customer service.

    Though CRM is often connected with B2B companies, it may also favor B2C businesses. CRM solutions can help marketing teams see change as long as it sells something and seeks to build mutually beneficial relationships with its clients. A CRM solution too can be used by organizations of all sizes. Although CRM work can seem to be overkill for small businesses with just a few marketing teams and customers. However, when their client list is too large to handle in a spreadsheet or on a set of sticky notes, it's time to make the switch. There are also hyper-specific CRMs that cater to particular industries, such as real estate CRM, eCommerce, and healthcare CRMs.

    Because of the volume of clients and customer-facing teams, customer service teams would almost definitely use a CRM.

    Customer relationship management features

    Aside from strengthening customer relationships, another critical objective of CRM is to simplify the whole sales processes for the sales management team. Each stage of the customer interaction is as essential as the last, and your CRM tool can have the following features to help you streamline it as best as possible.

    Contact Management

    Contact management is the method of documenting a customer's contact details (such as full name, date of birth, phone calls, and email) and contacts with a company. This CRM feature enables businesses to stay organized, monitor critical consumer data, and modify their approaches to best target them depending on the customer's chosen communication form. Contact management enables businesses to have more personalized customer service as the number of touchpoints expands.

    Lead and opportunity management

    The practice of locating, qualifying, monitoring, and communicating with potential customers, through automated chatbots, email, or a live VoIP phone service, is called, is known as lead management. Leads access the sales funnel when you collect their contact details due to a move they took, such as signing up for your newsletter. Following that, some potential customers must be qualified as viable buyers, at which stage they are converted to an incentive and rated based on their probability to make a purchase.

    Pipeline management

    A sales pipeline management is in charge of overseeing every stage that customers go through in the sales process. CRMs enable sales teams to analyze all aspects of the sales funnel, such as predicting closing rates and revenues, identifying weak points in the sales process, and forecasting sales growth for managers.

    Report creation

    Sales teams can use CRM and business intelligence software to create reports and a dashboard page to track a customer journey, social media activity, and any other metric that needs to be followed. Report creation features allow for real-time updates, so the reports reflect the changes immediately whenever new data is entered.

    Sales analytics

    CRM tools include a sales analytics feature, which often involves more details. The data gathered from reports, a dashboard page, and general data input may be analyzed to draw valuable conclusions, such as recognizing patterns in consumer behavior and pinpointing aspects of the sales process that need change.

    Sales forecasting

    CRM software has the opportunity to forecast sales opportunities and create a north star in terms of targets by using other features such as pipeline tracking, report production, and sales analytics. Creating the benchmark is critical for assessing performance and identifying areas for improvement.


    One of the most significant characteristics of a CRM is the ability to communicate with other software tools. Many different systems contribute to the productivity of the salesforce, for example:

    • Email marketing
    • Marketing
    • Finance
    • Automation
    • Web analytics
    • Social media
    • Marketing
    • Chatbots
    • Inbound and
    • Outbound call tracking

    All of the tools mentioned above can be integrated with CRM, supporting every department that uses them.

    Types of CRMs

    Customer relationship management should be a top priority for your business. However, the style of CRM you want to adopt can be influenced by your particular business strategy.

    The various CRMs endorse diverse company goals and choosing which one to use comes down to identifying one particular customer relationship management issue that needs to be addressed.

    There are three main types of CRMs: operational, analytical, and collaborative.

    Operational CRM

    An Operational CRM system help organizations manage their marketing, sales, and customer service operations, customer data, and processes daily. The aim of implementing an operational CRM is to integrate all of those components to provide a platform for delivering cohesive business relationships.

    Analytical CRM

    An analytical CRM system is a category of software that gathers and analyzes customer information to help businesses determine how to improve customer loyalty and retention rates. Analytic CRMs monitor and evaluate any communication a rep has with a customer.

    Collaborative CRM

    A collaborative CRM system aims to provide insights to customer-facing departments so that they can provide a better customer relationship. Organizations use them to gather, organize, and exchange knowledge among teams that contribute to groups that need it. Examples of information collected include previous solutions bought, customer satisfaction touchpoints, and predilections for marketing channels.

    Benefits of CRM

    In a business setting, when you work in a sales team, you'll be stunned to discover that engaging with customers isn't as crucial as you thought. Here are vital benefits of CRM integration in your business:

    This is where a CRM can be helpful.

    Enhanced organization:

    Every contact a customer has with your company should be recorded and evaluated. When you indulge in more consumer touchpoints, the information can accumulate over time, making it possible for valuable data points to be buried and overlooked. To stop this, the business can begin using a CRM.

    Better communication:

    Your customers are all one-of-a-kind. They have their own desired communication tool, pressure points to address, and concerns with your solution. While these vital facts remain in the mind of the accounting manager, they are not available to the rest of the business. If any sales reps or customer service agent contacts you, CRM software will provide them with all of the company's knowledge about that particular customer.

    Improved customer service:

    As a business, you must treat your customers' time as though it were your own. When customers contact you with questions, comments, and concerns, you must be prepared to jump right into the chat, informed about their previous interactions with your business.

    Automated tasks:

    Selling generally requires several experiences with customers. However, it requires the entry of contact information, the creation of reports, and the solution to any legal issues that may arise. CRM was designed to relieve the sales representatives team of these mindless and distracting tasks, giving them more opportunities to spend on their clients. This increased focus on the people involved, rather than their contracts and records, is a victory for the relationship.

    Published on May 11 2021

    The Whatagraph blog team produces high-quality content on all things marketing: industry updates, how-to guides, and case studies.

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