What is customer relationship management & why your business needs it

What is a CRM?

You’ve likely seen the acronym, CRM, floating around. If you’re not familiar with the meaning, CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. and it plays a crucial role for any business looking to grow and organize itself.  Your Customer Relationship Management tool will also help you in organizing your sales leads, manage your customer interactions, and open new doors.

We’re going to go over some of the most common types of CRMs that successful companies use. This will help you review your options and decide which CRM is best for boosting your business’s efficiency.

What is a CRM software?

CRM Software Definition

This may come as a surprise, but CRM software is not all the same. Generally speaking, though, a CRM is an IT system that stores all of your customer interactions and data that may come from a variety of different channels. This means you could have CRM systems in place that are collecting information from emails, calls, your website, marketing efforts, and meeting notes.

At that point, you are easily able to see your sales pipeline in action because all of the data is in one place. Think about it: The “contacts” app on your iPhone only collects basic details, and it’s a life-saver. Now imagine all the details you need to hold onto about your customers—the last product they purchased, who they work for, their contact information, which services they’re interested in, etc. That’s where CRM comes in.

As you might imagine, using CRM software can increase your company’s efficiency across a variety of departments. When you automate things like CRM, you are then able to spend more time on what you do best—providing the superior service or product that gained you all these customers in the first place. Automation is a huge time saver—if you want to save even more time, look into automating things like collecting online customer reviews.

If you use a CRM system that operates with cloud technology, everything is updated in real-time and allows employees to collaborate without duplicating their efforts. Plus, with technology doing the work, you ensure no information falls through the cracks (as opposed to a human manually inputting the data). Sounds pretty awesome, right? It is. Let’s go over some of the CRM systems you might want to implement in your company to increase productivity and business forecasting abilities.

Different ways to use a CRM for businessCRM Definition

There are four main types of CRM systems that could be greatly beneficial to your workflow.

  • Sales CRM
  • Marketing CRM
  • Customer Support CRM
  • Contact CRM

Sales CRM

CRM is proven to increase sales. Just take a look at this data from a study by Innoppl Technologies: 65% of sales reps who have used mobile CRM achieved their sales quotas, and a staggering 78% of those who didn’t use CRM did not achieve their targets. Wouldn’t you rather be in the group that reached their sales quotas? Using CRM for sales can help salespeople compile activity reports, target prospects, and predict customer needs.

Marketing CRM

For marketers, CRM offers the same efficiency feature expected with any CRM system, but with tweaks especially attractive to marketers who want to maximize their time. With marketing CRM, marketers get assistance with customer/prospect segmentation, project management, and admin automation.

Customer support CRM

It is the age of the customer, and if you’re not keeping customers 110% satisfied, you risk losing their loyalty forever. To keep customers happy and coming back, a CRM can help you stay in touch, segment communications, listen to consumer needs and gain extra insights about their interactions with your brand, service, or product. With more information at your fingertips and everything you need to effectively communicate with your customers, you build more meaningful relationships that lead to more repeat business.

Contact CRM

CRM makes it easy to manage your important business contacts by corralling all the most valuable contact information in one place. Some systems even have a mobile feature that allows you to scan business cards and add them to your system with minimal hassle. Let technology assist you in staying organized, fostering new relationships, and maintaining old ones.

Common CRM terms to know

For a better understanding of the whole world of CRM, below are some of the most common CRM terms you might come across when researching systems. Knowing the lingo is crucial to making an educated decision on CRM systems!

  • Contact: Put simply, a contact is a person. In your CRM, a contact would be the name, email/phone address, and probably their company and account affiliation.
  • Lead: A lead is a contact who has shown interest in possibly buying your product or doing business with you. Leads are the lifeblood of your business.
  • Opportunity: So, it turns out that lead is really interested in working with you, and you think you can sell your service/product to them. This lead now becomes an Opportunity, and it’s important that you record specific information about this Opportunity in your CRM.
  • Quote: A quote is a price you give to someone who wants to purchase your service. When you give a quote, you are suggesting what the contact-turned-lead-turned-opportunity should pay based on details discussed.
  • Deal: Maybe that Opportunity accepted your quote, maybe you worked out a new quote together, or maybe the sale fell through. No matter what happened, that’s what we call a Deal. You’ll record in your CRM the Won and Lost Deals so you can easily refer back in the future to perhaps see what went wrong or what worked.
  • Profile: Profiles refer to the people in-house who are using the CRM app. A Profile helps segment roles and duties for your employees using the CRM so that everything stays organized and clear. An HR person might be the only one able to edit details about employee Profiles, for example.
  • Campaign: If you use CRM for marketing, Campaigns are where you’ll track contacts, companies, notes, and results most important to that marketing campaign.
  • Tag: Similar to photo alt tags, a Tag in CRM is a way to attribute additional information to a contact, deal, or another part of your CRM. They help you filter through everything more easily.
  • Activity: Whatever’s going on in your CRM, that’s the Activity. Usually, in a similar format to a Facebook news feed, Activity can be anything from new developments in Leads or Opportunities to a message from your colleague.


Customer Relationship Management provides a whole wealth of efficiency and sales benefits for your small business. Keep everyone in the office in-sync with your CRM software, and watch how much easier it is to close deals with your new tool!

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