What is CRM? Learn more about Customer Relationship Management

What is CRM? Learn more about Customer Relationship Management

A common question among companies that deal with the public is how to manage their customers and stay connected and close to them in order to perpetuate their business.

The secret, or the answer to the question above, is the CRM. This is the acronym for Customer Relationship Management and literally means customer relationship management .

Briefly, CRM is an approach used to manage a company’s interactions with its stakeholders.

When people talk about Customer Relationship Management, they are usually referring to a CRM system.

What is a CRM?

Basically, a CRM involves a combination of practices, strategies and technologies that supervise and analyze interactions between companies and their audiences, whether customers, prospects, service users or suppliers.

A CRM system gives everyone – from sales, customer service, business development, recruiting, marketing or any other line of business – a better way to manage the external relationships that drive success .

The objective of Customer Relationship Management is to improve business interactions, retain customers, expand business and sales, simplify processes and increase profitability.

How does CRM work?

A CRM system is software that compiles all the details of your customers and prospects , such as their purchasing history and preferences.

This information is stored in an organized and easy-to-use database, which everyone in the company can have access to. Data arrives from multiple sources such as web forms, phone calls, live chat, email, and even social media.

CRM also helps identify sales opportunities, record service issues and manage marketing campaigns. In short, the system, in addition to offering a centralized and organized place to store data, also provides a complete view of your customers’ journey with the company.

Other CRM functions

CRM systems are always evolving and adding more and more services. The technology also usually has the following functionalities:

  • Marketing automation features to automate repetitive tasks and improve efforts;
  • Sales force automation tools that track customer interactions;
  • Lead management, allowing sales teams to enter and analyze data;
  • Call center automation to reduce tedious tasks;
  • Location-based services, which create marketing campaigns based on customers’ physical locations. In addition to human resources management to track employee information, evaluations, benefits, among others.

When should the company bet on a CRM tool?

The customer relationship management process is carried out naturally by most companies. It is common to have some record of communication with customers, even if this is done without much organization. However, as the business grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to find this information if it is not very well allocated.

CRM can facilitate this work in companies of all sizes, automating and directing data entry to one place. And, consequently, increasing productivity.

Through the system, employees are able to find out how customers were communicated, what and when they bought, how much they paid and much more.

In other words: companies that want to maintain a good relationship with their customers need a CRM tool.

In small organizations, where teams are often less resourced, technology can be especially beneficial. The reason is that the CRM system can also automate workflows, track sales leads, employee information, and even predict future customer behaviors. This is all thanks to artificial intelligence.

Types of Businesses That Benefit from a CRM System

In two types of companies, the CRM system is almost fundamental:

  • B2B companies, which track leads in longer consultative sales cycles and through upgrade paths. Examples: software companies, agencies or recruitment companies;
  • Considered purchasing B2C companies. Examples: realtors, financial services or landscaping.

There are companies that do not fit into these groups, but will certainly improve their efficiency by implementing a good CRM system.

How to choose a CRM system?

Choosing a CRM system will depend on the specific needs of the company, its size and type of business. The technology can be offered as on-premises or cloud-based systems . Therefore, to understand which option is best for your company, it is important to take some questions into account:

  • Does your company have adequate IT support to manage an on-premises CRM?
  • What are your security requirements, both for accessibility and for the data itself?
  • How much customization do you need?
  • Is the cost per head method in your favor?
  • Do you want to integrate your CRM with other corporate solutions?

Cloud CRM may be a better choice if your business is relatively small. Cloud CRM systems have qualities that can greatly increase efficiency and make daily operations easier for both the owner and employees.

In larger and more complex companies, with resources to offer support, local CRM can be a safer way to track customer information. Top CRM providers for large enterprises include Salesforce, Microsoft, SAP, and Oracle.

CRM types

In general, CRM systems have tools that help increase revenue, create targeted campaigns and track KPIs. Customer data can be used for many purposes and it is important to have it stored in a system that works well for your company.

CRM systems templates

Therefore, before purchasing CRM software, an organization must understand the differences between the main systems and how to determine which one is the right choice.


Operational CRM combines all business processes such as sales, marketing and service in a single location within the company. It is the most comprehensive and common option. Its main purpose is to help simplify tasks , centralize customer interactions and sales, marketing processes, and service and support efforts.

This model helps companies generate leads, convert leads into contacts, and provide the service infrastructure necessary to retain customers. Some examples are: Mailchimp and HubSpot.

In this way, an operational CRM can improve organizational efficiency, leading to improved processes, internal cohesion and customer satisfaction.

However, this system relies on proper data input to achieve its goals. This can be a time-consuming process, especially for small or medium-sized organizations.


Analytical CRM allows organizations to better understand the data collected about customers and their interactions with the business. The main objective is to turn this information into trends and insights that the organization can use to improve the customer experience. Therefore, some examples are: Salesforce CRM Analytics and Zendesk Explore.

CRM analytical systems are great for helping organizations analyze large amounts of data and develop strategies for sales and marketing departments.

They can also be more technical and difficult to understand. And inconsistent entries can skew the results. Given this, analytical CRM systems are best for medium to large organizations that collect large amounts of data.


A collaborative CRM, also known as a strategic CRM, allows different teams or functional areas of an organization to share customer data .

The result is that everyone uses the same customer knowledge base to make decisions, creating a holistic approach to managing relationships. Some examples are: Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Copper.

Operational CRM tools typically focus on marketing and sales. Collaborative systems, on the other hand, have customer service as their main focus.


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