What is CRM (Customer Relationship Management)?

4 min read
Apr 29, 2024 10:29:20 AM
What is a customer relationship management system? Why do companies use a CRM system? And what software is being used? You can read about it in this article.


What is CRM?

A CRM system(Customer Relationship Management System) is a tool that keeps track of customer data. This so that commercial processes in the company are streamlined and interaction with customers takes place through one central place. It is a system used by marketing, sales and the service department to manage customer relationships throughout the customer journey.

Not an archiving system...

Please note that a CRM system has long since ceased to be just an archiving system in which the names of (potential) customers and all their relevant information (phone number, email, notes, etc) are stored.In fact, if you have ever chosen a CRM package with this approach, the limitations will quickly become apparent.

Marketers and account managers nowadays work with modern marketing and sales tools. Especially tools that many traditional CRM systems do not provide. Think of Zoom, Google Meet or Microsoft teams, prospecting tools like Vainu or collaboration tools like Miro and Slack.

If you want an effective and quickly agile, modern, scoring front office that can serve today's modern customer well, you can hardly do anything else but work with a modern CRM. A CRM that is completely built around an outside-in approach. By this we mean an approach that is entirely based on the (potential) customer and his customer journey.

Why do companies use a CRM system?

So a good CRM system offers an excellent solution to serve the customer in the best possible way. And is used by marketing, sales and service departments alike. Internal processes are streamlined, the customer journey is mapped out becausedata can be analyzed and the customer experience is increased through personalization.

Streamline internal processes

Every customer contact can be tracked in the CRM system, making accounts easy to manage.

For example, when a contact comes in via the website, it is immediately stored in the CRM system and the (potential) customer can immediately be transferred to another team member. The history of the contact can be viewed immediately and sales can get to work without waiting for an update of an Excel document or meeting.

Mapping the customer journey

In addition to easily transferring information, a CRM also tracks data that can be useful in the conversation with the contact. For example, think about customer engagement or engagement with marketing emails, activity on the website or email activity with other (sales) colleagues.

With all this information, sales can not only have the conversation better, but the marketing department is also enabled to run analytics to better understand the customer journey, and thus the customer.

For example, what content is most valuable to your website visitor? Which pages on the Web site provide the best conversions? Etc...

Improving the Customer Experience

With a modern CRM system, companies are able to tailor messages and content to a prospect's or customer's actions. For example, if a contact is visiting your website for the first time, you may not want to flood him/her with information just yet. If you can measure from your CRM system that a contact is coming on the air for the third time, for example, then you might have a great opportunity to share a case study or get in touch.

Not because you're pushing, but because all the information you've gathered allows you to act on value.

What is a CRM that best suits my organization?

After going through the CRM definition and applications, it's worth going deeper into the importance of choosing the right CRM system for your business.

At the beginning of this article, we talked briefly about traditional CRM systems and modern CRM systems. If you are asking yourself, "What is a CRM that is best for my organization?", it is essential to consider the unique needs and goals of your organization. In my view, a flexible, and therefore modern CRM, is fundamental to a go-to-market strategy.

Choosing the right CRM system, then, is not a decision to be taken lightly; careful evaluation is crucial to ensure seamless integration and maximum efficiency.

Considerations when choosing a CRM

When choosing a CRM, you should consider which features and capabilities are most valuable to your business. You should also consider the CRM vendor's usability, pricing and customer service. In addition, a CRM should be able to integrate with other systems and tools you already use, such as e-mail marketing platforms, social media channels and data analysis tools.

Now suppose you can start with a clean slate aschief commercial officer and you get to equip your commercial teams - marketing, sales,new business and customer service - with scalable and flexible solutions that really make them happy, Freshworks, Zoho andHubSpot CRM are a top 3 relatively new vendors that use a different architecture and build. Read more about that in my blog,"Three leading CRM platform solutions that will help you grow."

CRM: A crucial step for effective customer relationship management

While this largely answers the question, "What is a CRM?" it is important to emphasize that a CRM is much more than just a technology tool or software solution. It is a strategy and philosophy that can transform the way your company approaches and manages customer relationships. So choosing the right CRM system is a crucial step toward more effective and efficient customer relationship management.

Whether you're a small business looking for your first CRM system or a large company considering moving to a more sophisticated system, it's always a good idea to ask the question, "What is a CRM that can really make a difference for my business?" By putting this question first, you will be in a better position to find a system that will help your company improve its customer relationships, increase your efficiency and accelerate growth.


Want to stay updated on all HubSpot changes? Subscribe to our newsletters, follow us on Instagram or join our HubSpot User Days!

Explore HubSpot User Days