What Does CRM Stand for and Core CRM Functions?

The main function of any Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is to provide businesses with useful data regarding their customers and sales, help connects businesses with customers, increase revenues, and improve customer service overall. CRM has become a hot topic in the business environment today because of its ability to increase sales and customer satisfaction.

last updated Monday, May 15, 2023
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John Burson     Subscribe


CRM Basics

The primary function of any Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is to provide businesses with valuable data regarding their customers and sales, help connects businesses with customers, increase revenues, and improve customer service overall. CRM has become a hot topic in the business environment today because of its ability to increase sales and customer satisfaction.

A CRM system is more than just software. CRM systems provide strategies and methods for businesses to access, analyze, and learn from client data. Understanding the critical functions of a CRM system and what it can do for your business is a crucial step in ensuring a successful implementation.

It is also significant to understand that hundreds of CRM dealers are in the field. Many will claim to be number one, but looking closely is necessary since they could be that good in just one category. Some of them might be no good at all. Thus, businesses must choose the right CRM seller to provide good services. The thing is that this is not necessarily the most expensive provider. Contrariwise, some small CRM companies provide highly efficient solutions.

There are many vendors on the market offering conventional CRM services and programs. However, finding a vendor that can customize the system to meet your business needs is advantageous. The largest, most well-known CRM system may not be your ideal solution. It is worth exploring some smaller CRM companies; they can provide highly efficient solutions tailored to your business.

A well-executed CRM solution can help any business drive sales and profits. Evaluating systems and selecting a provider is time-consuming and may seem discouraging, but a well-designed and utilized CRM system is a potent sales tool.

CRM Buyer's Guide

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software has drastically changed how businesses worldwide approach customer life-cycle and lead generation management.

CRM sprung out of contact management software, initially appearing in the '90s. At the beginning of the 2000s, CRM systems developed more advanced tools for client relationship management processes. These new solutions assist businesses in administering their clients and leads and offer combined platforms that help internal teams coordinate their strategies, such as marketing and sales.

At first, the enterprise was the only segment that benefited from these new and advanced CRM solutions that demanded deep pockets and vast server storage space. But, as the new concept of lead and contact cloud storage gained more popularity, it became natural to introduce CRM properties to businesses of all sizes. Today, large and small companies may access affordable and reliable CRM tools.

Discovering Cloud-Based CRM

The SaaS or software-as-a-service model- services hosted in a cloud accessed through the Web with a password – has allowed for a new CRM product generation. Cloud-based CRM systems do not require the business to manage additional servers and storage space or the resulting increases in IT staff. The evolution of cloud-based products has allowed CRM systems to meet better the needs of small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs).

How Do CRM and Social CRM Differ?

Social CRM space is the latest web-based CRM application evolution. This helps businesses manage client relationships through social media channels. Social CRM is an outbound marketing strategy in which companies engage in public discussions with current or prospective clients. In contrast, conventional CRM solutions target forthcoming sales through phone or email campaigns.

Finding the Best CRM Solution for Your Business

Finding a CRM solution that will precisely meet your needs may be difficult. Nevertheless, comprehending the needs of your business and determining your CRM goals will help you define the right direction.

You should take a few matters into account that will help you narrow options to the one perfect CRM system for your business; they are:

  • The budget. Find an option that will fit your bottom line. Of course, CRM systems demand certain costs, but it's wise to start small and test several options before choosing a somewhat expensive solution. There's always the option to upgrade.
  • CRM scalability. Select a product suitable to the size of your business. Scalability is essential in terms of implementation and budget. For small businesses with 2-20 employees, a solution for mid-sized companies or enterprises can be too expensive.
  • The presence of the basics. Do you already have a customer database? Do you have a website? If you are starting from scratch, you will need to consider solutions that provide for start-ups and smaller businesses.
  • Current customer interaction. If you want to learn more about improving your client communication strategies, opt for an option that allows the analysis of client behavior and offers strategic guidelines on improving your client relationships.
  • Customer analytics. Have you targeted your sales and marketing strategies by analyzing traditional and online traffic? If so, you should consider a CRM solution with analytical tools for business and customer intelligence.

When selecting a CRM system, consider your business's unique demands and evaluate each system's compatibility with your needs. Essential aspects to consider are: 

  • System Functionality: Features, functions, pricing model, flexibility, ability to integrate with other systems, and seller reputation;
  • System Scalability: If you expect your business to grow in the future, you should consider a cloud-based CRM solution instead of an on-site one so that you can benefit from the scalability advantage of cloud processing;
  • System User Experience: Here, simplicity is vital. Implementing a new CRM system in your business requires significant time and effort to ensure the system meets both business needs and the needs of your targeted users. 

Key CRM Functions

The essential features of a CRM system will allow the creation of an extensive client database, a document management application, meeting schedules, notes, and other appropriate data to provide better customer relations. Thus, a basic CRM system includes the following: 

  • A searchable client database with categories (allowing you to tag clients by the probability of them continuing to utilize your product or service, prior client interactions, demographics, companies they come from, etc.);
  • Marketing campaign management to produce high-quality leads from the sales team;
  • Contact management to track all aspects of the sales process;
  • Provide analytics on multiple staff and current clients as well as crucial business data for segmentation and analysis;
  • Sales channel management optimization to ensure that your customers are handled respectively to the channel through which they interact with your business.

Other CRM Features to Consider

Sales analysis features:
  • A dashboard that provides a unique view of the information that you want to analyze; this is very helpful in making decisions;
  • Reporting options to let you make analytical reports about sales and then share them within your company;
  • Sales prognosis tools allow you to foretell the prospective outcome of your sales funnel's any opportunity.

Sales channels management features:

  • Templates, forms, and fields for each channel. This will allow you to request particular data depending on the distribution channels you use to determine buying needs and patterns;
  • Multi-currency and multi-language support.

Customer service provision features:

  • Support of call center;
  • Stacking of customer support matters;
  • Support of social media channels.

Integration properties to connect your CRM system to other various applications and platforms are a crucial factor in decision-making. You might want to check if the CRM solution you're considering integrates with the following:

  • Online Accounting Software used for billing, invoicing, quote creation, and keeping track of client sales;
  • Email marketing software is used to develop social media platforms for outbound marketing and constructing inbound marketing campaigns.

The bottom line is that the CRM system is designed to be your ultimate business management tool to help you manage customer relationships, increase your sales, improve marketing strategies, and take your business to a whole new level.


What does CRM stand for?

The CRM abbreviation stands for Customer Relationship Management.

CRM systems provide efficient management of both sales procedures and customer relationships. CRM is about capturing essential client information and data - purchase history, generated revenue, cross, and up-selling opportunities, creating orders, sales quotes, and other business metrics. CRM provides a 360-degree look at a business. 

How can I benefit from a CRM?

With a CRM system, you can recognize current and prospective customers, comprehend their preferences, often anticipate their demands, and respond effectively and quickly to their requests. CRM enables you to trace, organize, and solidify your staff's interactions with current and prospective clients.

What should I consider before committing to a CRM product?

When evaluating CRM products, it is essential to consider the costs associated with the system (base fees and monthly subscription), the system's ability to grow with your business, and whether the system is flexible enough to be adaptable to your unique business needs. 

How will solidifying customer data benefit the multi-department's operations?

  • You will be able to quickly respond to all client inquiries, being aware of their previous needs and preferences;
  • Management data, as well as service and sales history, will be linked to clients' contract data for a thorough view of your business operations;
  • The CRM communication history will be combined with current and prospective customer contact data;
  • Efficient service management will increase customer loyalty, enabling personalized, consistent interaction throughout all client touchpoints, such as email, phone, wireless devices, the Web, and personal meetings.

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what does crm stand for