What is CRM (Customer Relationship Management)?

What is CRM exactly?

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a type of technology used to manage any relationship and interaction a company has with its customers or potential customers.

Customer Relationship Management

Did you know that 95% of consumers say that customer service is crucial to their choice of brand and loyalty?

Yet 31% of companies think of customer service as an additional expense rather than a growth opportunity.

Marketing is not the only thing to consider when building customer relationships. Without valuable customer service, you are sure to lose sales.

With a CRM system, you can combine these two parts of a business to make things easier, but what is CRM?

Read on to learn everything you need to know.

The main goal of CRM is to improve business relationships to help your business grow. A CRM system will help a business achieve this goal by navigating through processes faster, connecting with customers and improving profits.

When you hear the phrase “CRM”, you may be listening to someone talking about the CRM system.

This tool can streamline processes in many business areas.

CRM tools can help with customer relationships throughout the cycle. A business will provide more benefits through marketing, digital commerce, sales and customer service with a CRM system.

A business can more easily focus on individual matters. Together with customers, your relationships with colleagues, suppliers and service users will grow.

What are the best CRM Tools?

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Who is CRM for?

So who is CRM for? If you have not already guessed, CRM can help various departments in a company from customer service to business development to recruitment and marketing.

With a CRM system, all industries can store customer contact information, recognize sales opportunities, manage marketing campaigns and record any service issues in one central location.

Customer data and information can be accessed by anyone in your business who may need it. This way of collaborating increases productivity.

If the drive for business growth is crucial to your business (it should be), CRM is the perfect tool. Small and medium-sized businesses benefit most from the CRM program, but companies of all sizes can use it to their advantage.

Is Customer Relationship Management so important to companies?

Yes! CRM is important for companies that expect to last. Your business strategy needs to be centered around your customers, and a CRM service can help you do just that. This is the easiest way to monitor customer relationship management.

Your business strategy must include sales targeting and business goals to be successful. However, this is not always easy to track because it requires multiple data streams.

When you implement a CRM system, this data is clear and in one place. You can customize the dashboard to make the program easier to use for you and your employees.

What customer data can you see in real time? A CRM gives you a whole story with your customers. You can see a specific customer’s order status, service issues, previous orders and more.

Some CRM systems allow you to view your customers’ public social media information. This tool can show you their antipathies, likes and indicate what the customers say about you or the competitors in the same field.

Marketing takes value from a CRM system, as campaigns can be more data driven. You can predict the movements of your potential and current customers in a simple yet accurate way.

Opportunities and leads are easier to acquire. When you make a sale, you see the clear path from sale to inquiry.

Customer Relationship Management More than a marketing tool

CRM does its best for a business when used as more than a marketing tool. Your business can easily transition to a customer-centric approach across every business area.

Service and support is one of the most critical factors in a business and customer relationship. Although CRM marketing has been used for years, customer service is an increasing piece of the puzzle.

With many different platforms out there, it is difficult to handle questions and inquiries. For example, a customer may complain about a problem on a social media platform such as Twitter and then solve the problem with a representative in another form.

It’s easy to lose track of customer service queries with the many channels out there. The CRM platform allows you to watch each channel in one place to inform you about your customer’s activities and how they respond to your services.

All in all, this provides a cohesive experience between a company and its customers. Your CRM strategy is complete with marketing and customer service.

Need to run a business without Customer Relationship Management?

The short answer is no, you should not run a business without CRM because it can actually cost you money. Without a CRM system, your business is prone to time-consuming administrative tasks.

If you have a good sales team, chances are they come across a lot of customer data.

What do they do with this information without a CRM system? Usually it is stored on personal laptops, handwritten notes or nowhere at all. This means that you and the rest of your staff rarely encounter this data.

Prioritizing customers becomes more of a guessing game than ideas based on data. Details are forgotten and everything can be lost if a salesperson finds work elsewhere without handing over critical customer information.

Customer data

Salespeople are not the only outlet for customer data that you might lose without a CRM system. Data directly from the customer’s mouth is where you get your best information.

Customers may use a medium other than your corporate website to try to contact you. This can be done via social media, email or by phone. They often contact you for something important like a question, a problem or an order follow-up.

Without a central platform that your customers can interact with, you are likely to miss out on a stream of information. You may never get around to answering or end up responding slowly to customer reviews and questions.

It is difficult to collect all this data without a CRM system and it is even harder to make sense. Creating your own reports leads to human error. A project manager may overlook an instance and not be able to offer support when needed.

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Why use Customer Relationship Management? (Explanation follows)

Using a CRM system is like having an organizational tool at your disposal.

Customer relationship management helps a company find new customers and keeps them happy by building a strong relationship.

It works by collecting information about a customer, such as:

  • Valid email
  • Customer website
  • Phone number
  • Social media information
  • Personal preferences
  • Communication preferences

Along with customer information, a CRM system pulls data about the company. CRM records company and customer data to understand the relationship.

A CRM system can also help in many other ways.

Connect silos to your business

An organizational silo is a business department that operates independently and avoids information sharing.

Due to the lack of information sharing, many companies find that organizational silos negatively impact the experience of their customers and potential customers.

Instead, CRM systems are used to connect these silos to find the real truth about their customers in all departments.

A shared CRM program provides employees with the best data and tools to manage customer relationships in all business areas. Your staff can also see customer interactions that occur in other departments.

Improved Bottom Line

Is that you want your business to grow at an increased or stable rate. The CRM platform directly improves the bottom line. With HubSpot CRM, companies can produce larger numbers.

When you use this system, you can expect your sales, marketing, customer service, digital commerce and technology executives to increase.

Recognize and categorize leads

By tracking your business and interested potential customers, a CRM system can help you identify leads. You can categorize them to focus them accurately.

The sales team can prioritize these leads and close quotes after marketing has identified them. A CRM system can give you enough information to know if a lead is of quality.

A customer may need more care and your marketing and sales team will be aware of this and make adjustments. This accurate information enables sales and marketing to focus on the right customers.

Increase the value of the customer’s life cycle

Getting new leads and customers is a great benefit of a CRM system, but it is just as important to take care of the customers you already have. A CRM system can also help you retain your current customers.

You will be able to understand individual customers better because of the customer data you receive. This can help you sell and get new business directly from those who have purchased your services or products before.

Overall, a CRM system can increase the value of a customer’s life cycle. Your relationships with your customers become more profitable and last longer.

Since CRM is also a good customer service tool, you can provide current customers with better service. Happy customers will continue to use and trust your business.

This brings us to our next point, better customer support.

Provide better customer support

A customer wants personal and fast support from a company they do business with. With a CRM system you can offer quality support.

Since agents have access to customer information, they can provide prompt service and answer any questions.

Product and service improvements

The HubSpot CRM system collects information from various sources across your business and more. You can see everything your customers say about your products and services.

With this information, you can improve your quotes and find problems before they become bigger problems. The information is in front of you, all you have to do is adapt to it.

Preparing for the future

Technology and business are changing around us. To be ready for the next change to come, implement a CRM system that allows your business to be more flexible in the event of the unexpected.

Cloud-based Customer Relationship Management

CRM and the cloud have together revolutionized digital marketing. Instead of on-site software, many companies are switching to the cloud.

A cloud-based CRM system does not need to be installed on every employee’s computer or mobile device. There are many benefits to moving and securing online data, such as:

Remote work

A cloud-based CRM system provides the same information to any user at any time. If your sales team is out doing their job, they can access the CRM system directly from their device.

The sales team is a fundamental part of this external working method as they can check and update data all day long anywhere. This information will then be available to any member of the company who needs it.

Lower costs

CRM is quick and easy to implement, but a cloud-based system is even easier to install. There is zero hardware that eliminates additional IT costs that your business may pay for.

A cloud-based system is often priced based on the number of users who access it. Additional features cost extra, but in general this is a more cost effective solution.

The flexibility of a cloud-based system is also an advantage in itself. As your business continues to grow, you can easily add more people to your cloud system.

Other types of Customer Relationship Management

The goal of any CRM system is to manage customer relationships. However, there are different types of CRM systems to choose from based on specific business objectives.

The general idea is to identify a specific customer relationship management problem that your business needs to address. The three main types of CRM systems are operational, analytical and collaborative.

Operational CRM

The general purpose of an operational CRM is to connect daily activities. This builds a framework for a customer-centric strategy.

This is the most common type of CRM because any department in a business can use it.

Analytical CRM

Analytical CRM software collects customer data and analyzes them to enable a company to increase customer satisfaction. Every interaction with a customer and a reporter is tracked and analyzed each time.

The purpose of this type of CRM is to gain insight through data about the customer journey. A company can use this information to tailor its marketing and sales campaigns to reach the right audience.

All data collected with an analytical CRM is about the customer. It will collect customer patterns, behaviors and pain points.


A CO / OP (collaborative) CRM is used to provide departments facing customers with the right information to provide a great customer experience.

A company will use this system to collect customer data and then organize it to share with the teams that need it. The most common data collected includes customer service touch points, past purchases, and marketing channel settings.

This system uses both interaction management and channel management to analyze customer interactions. It also registers preferred communication methods to understand how to approach each customer.

Choice of CRM

Choosing CRM is a critical task to improve your company’s workflow and financial status. To find the right solution for your business, you need to understand your needs.

A CRM system should hit any pain point for customer relationship management.

Consider these steps when choosing a CRM program for your business:

Create a wish list

First, create a wish list of everything you need or want out of a CRM system. The best place to start is to analyze your current business processes.

As you look at your processes, check to see if your departmental teams are struggling. How can a software component be a solution to your problem?

You may not find a CRM system for every solution you are looking for. Judge your wishes on the list based on priority.

Consider the user

Another factor that companies often overlook when choosing a CRM system to purchase is ease of use. Departments that face customers on a daily basis must have simple solutions to their tasks.

A good CRM system is one that your employees can quickly learn about and easily navigate through. You do not want your reps to have problems with a CRM system when trying to deal with a customer problem.

To understand first-hand if a CRM system is right for your users, you can request a free HubSpot CRM demo.

Check availability

If your business is more modern, you may have employees who do not work in an office every day. Sales reps and marketers are usually on the go and need access to CRM.

To get the most out of your software, make sure it is accessible to your employees while on the go. If your representatives have customer data when they are not in the office, they are more likely to make a well-trained sale.

Easy integration

If you already have software systems in place, make sure that the CRM system you choose integrates well with these tools. For example, you may have email marketing or marketing automation that your business requires.

Creating a Customer Relationship Management Strategy

Implementing a CRM system is not enough to see results. You need to have a CRM strategy to get the most out of these systems.

The steps to follow to create a CRM strategy include:

Define your goals

To create a successful CRM strategy, you need to consider your overall business goals. You should already have these in mind and just need a visit again.

What do you want to achieve with CRM? Knowing the answer will lead to a targeted solution. Common strategy goals include higher productivity and efficiency, declining customer returns and increased customer satisfaction.

Your strategy should lead to all your business goals, no matter what you decide they may be.

Define the target customer

To define the right target customer, you need to create a buyer persona that represents the ideal customer. This should include behavioral and demographic information along with interests and challenges.

You can learn more about your customers by interviewing your sales and customer service teams, interviewing customers directly and submitting customer surveys.

Examine the market

To develop a CRM strategy that works for your business area, it is always a good idea to check your competitors.

Understand your position in the market by answering these questions:

  • What is your unique selling point?
  • How do your competitors differ?
  • What opportunities can you take advantage of?
  • How do your competitors handle customer relationships?
  • What are the current industry trends?

Answering these questions can help you figure out how your product or service fits into the market. You need to elaborate on your value proposition, the answer to the first question.

Set key performance indicators (KPIs)

Setting key performance indicators (KPIs) is the most important step in creating a CRM strategy. Without knowing how your strategic actions affect the business, the point of a CRM system is basically worthless.

You can measure performance metrics such as customer retention, customer satisfaction, customer return, profit, etc.

You may find that you need to adjust your CRM strategy to get better results. Keep communication with your employees open to keep them informed and learn about their ideas when they have them.

Customer Relationship Management explained

Now that you know the answer to “what is CRM?” you can decide if it is right for your business.

Whether you have hundreds of customers or thousands, your business can benefit from CRM software. It is easy to implement this system in your business and you get the benefits right away.

If you are looking for ways to see your business succeed now and down the line, CRM is the answer.

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