What is CRM?

A comprehensive beginner's guide to the concept of customer relationship management (CRM)


Customer Relationship Management is a technology that helps enhance and maintain customer relationships. It provides a centralized platform for customer data for easy accessibility and collaboration between departments.

It is remarkable that no matter the type and size of a business, a CRM application can bring the best to the table. It is mainly used to execute four key functions, such as the below.

Contact Management
Pipeline Management
Marketing campaigns
Customer Service

Understanding the Basics of CRM

The evolution of CRM has tremendously helped ease key business activities to a great extent. A popular tool in the business world, it would be unusual if you have never heard of a CRM, ever. And for those who want a better understanding, have a seat.

Contrary to the simplicity of the acronym CRM, it plays a major role in the success of a business. Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, combines strategies and technology to maintain flourishing customer relationships and support business growth. It provides a single platform or application to manage all your customer-related data, which normally requires several apps.

Importance of Customer Relationships

Great relationships are the key

Lasting customer relationships are not built instantly, but with time and effort, the quality of service can be improved to foster positive relationships.

Retain clients in the long run

Timely response, undivided attention, and understanding are beneficial to develop and nurture the bond with customers.

Positive word of mouth

Happy customers are the key to a thriving business. Their positive reviews enhance brand loyalty. This further expands the customer base.

Who needs a CRM System?

The benefits of CRM are immense such that it is suitable for businesses of all sizes and types.

Small Businesses

CRM technology helps organize the scattered customer data, which helps in easy accessibility and customized services. It improves the quality of customer service and supports cost-effective business growth.

Mid-Sized Enterprises

The automation component of CRM enables streamlined processes and promotes collaboration. CRMs provide data-driven insights for targeted marketing and informed decisions.

Large Multinational Organizations

CRM application integrates with other enterprise systems for efficient business operations. For large businesses, CRMs helps enhance workflow and boost customer retention.

Why CRM matters to your Business?

As mentioned earlier, the implementation of CRM technology takes customer experience to a whole new level. Its wide range of components revolutionizes interactions with customers. Let’s break it down. As the organization grows, the business needs also change accordingly. Work efficiency may get hindered, which can impact the quality of customer service.

An automated CRM system well-equips the team for effective client engagement as well as manage customer interactions. CRM application serves as an all-inclusive platform for effective management of all things business.

A CRM System will be your best investment decision. It leads to:


increase in deal conversion


increase in productivity


increase in customer retention


decrease in labor costs

$ 5

of ROI for every $1 spent

Start with the award-winning Vtiger CRM for a 15-days free trial.

Vtiger is a cloud-based CRM that enables over 300,000 businesses to deliver outstanding customer experiences by breaking barriers between their marketing, sales, and support teams.

Types of CRM Software

With a plethora of benefits, CRM comes in various types:

Read the full guide on types of CRM and how to choose the right one

Operational CRM

The main focus of operational CRM is the automation of sales, marketing, and customer support. This is meant to provide businesses with accurate data to deliver high-quality services promptly.

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Collaborative CRM

Since CRM supports data integration, information can be accessed irrespective of the team, enhancing coordination. communication improves between departments as well as departments and customers.

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Analytical CRM

Just as the term suggests, analytical CRM revolves around studying customer behavior and identifying patterns. As a result, companies can implement decisions accordingly.

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Cloud Vs. On-Premise CRM

There are various CRM technology available based on business needs. Although each technology comes with its own benefits, cloud-based CRM tools have become increasingly popular.

Cloud CRM

Cloud CRM

Cloud-based CRM works on the principle of storing data on the vendor’s servers on an external network.

The best things about Cloud CRM software are:

  • Hosted on vendor’s server
  • Implemented immediately
  • Flexible
  • Internet is mandatory
  • Highly secure
  • Limited customization
On-Premise CRM

On-Premise CRM

On-premise CRM software is hosted on internal business servers.

The notable things about On-Premise CRM software are:

  • Internal business server
  • Longer time
  • Based on requirements
  • Internet is not mandatory
  • Depends on the server
  • Extensive customize options

Components of A CRM System

Simply put, CRM systems unify customer information at a centralized place so that businesses can leverage technology to create valuable relationships. Some critical components of advanced CRM software include:

Lead Management

The one-view window of CRM technology prevents the need for multiple platforms to manage leads. CRM tool provides centralized data for easy accessibility and timely response to customers.

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Marketing Tasks Automation

CRM tool automates repetitive marketing tasks such as analytics, campaigns, lead generation, etc. That means faster outputs and more time for employees to focus on other important tasks.

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Workflow Management

The CRM application streamlines workflow, which simplifies operations and elevates productivity. Implementation of the right CRM tool can effectively support workflow management.

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Reports and Analytics

Besides collecting customer data, CRM technology analyzes it deeply to generate insights into customer behavior and satisfaction. It also creates reports and dashboards to help understand sales performance.

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Sales Management

CRM promotes effective streamlining of the sales process via its automation tools. Some key features are tracking opportunities, lead management, sales pipeline management, forecasting, etc.

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Examples of Effective CRM

Given the technological advancements these days, CRM application is available in various types to cater to the diverse needs of businesses.

Sales CRM

The primary aim of a Sales CRM is to sell products and services. This type of CRM emphasizes monitoring the sales cycle and triggers sales with its unique features.

Operational CRM

This CRM tool focuses on incorporating sales, marketing, and customer service. It utilizes automation to simplify and effectively manage everyday tasks via a single platform.

All-in-One CRM

It provides unified access to customer data in real-time, improving work efficiency and customer service quality.

Inbound CRM

Lead conversion and brand loyalty are the key functions of Inbound CRM. The term refers to when the customer contacts the business first and helps manage various pipeline stages.

Try Vtiger CRM for your Sales, Support and Marketing teams

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Additional CRM Topics

Businesses need to evaluate their operational model before scanning the market to purchase the ideal CRM system. (Learn more)

Investing in a full-featured CRM software can help businesses leverage many powerful features. It integrates all customer information and handles essential functions, right from inventory to sales pipeline. (Learn more)

No doubt, using CRM tools can prove advantageous for all kinds of business organizations. Find out the primary ways in which CRM can boost bottom-line results. (Learn more)

Buy-in support for CRM implementation by bringing key decision-makers together from the top management, sales, and marketing managers. Assess business requirements with key stakeholders to make an informed decision. (Learn more)

Businesses will need to configure workflows and provide adequate support to staff members to ensure the smooth implementation of a new CRM system. (Learn more)

The CRM journey has come a long way in the past few decades. From merely being a source of data collection, CRM tools can now unify and manage customer interaction. (Learn more)