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What is CRM customer relationship management?


What is CRM (Customer Relationship Management)?

Some of the more familiar and simplistic questions asked when it comes to CRM Customer Relationship Management include:

  • What is Customer Relationship Management?
  • What is CRM system meaning?
  • What is CRM definition?

Check out this blog and get a comprehensive understanding of customer relationship management (CRM). Discover how it shapes effective customer relationships and propels business growth…

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a strategy that companies use to manage interactions with customers and potential customers. CRM helps organisations streamline processes, build customer relationships, increase sales, improve customer service, increase profitability and more…

The key objectives of a CRM solution are essentially to enhance and nurture business relationships to improve the customer experience, loyalty and retention and to grow the business. CRM tools help you manage customer relationships across the entire end to end customer cycle encompassing sales, marketing, services, internal teams / users and external suppliers.

Importance of CRM in business:

Effective crm solutions enable you to capture customer contact information including email, website, social media, contact phone numbers as well as details such as a client’s preferred communication channels and more.

The importance of a CRM System at a glance:

  • Enhanced customer service experience
  • Increased sales and profit
  • Greater customer retention and loyalty
  • Business Insights and analysis
  • Enhanced productivity and efficiencies
  • Centralised platform of end-to-end customer information for one version of the truth
  • Effective Lead nurture management
  • Customer segmentation and analysis
  • Powerful Sales forecasting and Reporting capability
  • Automated and Streamlined communications
  • 360° view of your end-to-end Customer operations

How does a CRM System benefit the varying business functions / roles within a business?

Traditionally, CRM was seen as a Sales and marketing solution, however with the onset of the digital transformation era, CRM tools have grown significantly in their functionality and capability to deliver powerful tools to manage end to end business operations across sales, marketing, customer service, field service, project operations and where now many of the leading CRM software systems now have embedded AI-driven capability.

Here’s how different business functions benefit from using CRM:

The following is an outline of how some of the department / roles reap the benefits of an effective CRM Solution:

Sales teams reach targets faster and close more deals – CRM systems enable the automation and streamlining of the sales life-cycle, resulting in sales teams reaching their targets and closing more deals faster, enhanced productivity and efficiencies and increase overall sales revenue

Marketing teams can deliver enhanced personalised customer journeys for effective lead generation – Marketing teams get a 360 view across leads to opportunities cycle and can create an effective customer journey from initial enquiry right through to the sales close.  Building effective communication channels based on the customers preferred channels, likes and dislikes.

Customer service teams deliver a better and more effective customer service experience – CRM solutions enable your teams to deliver effective customer service and track multiple communication channels from social media to email, phone or chat. With one powerful integrated platform to manage all customer communications and interactions.   CRM systems now have the capability to deliver even better personalised AI driven customer experiences.

What are the main types of CRM Systems?  

There are three main types of CRM systems – operational crm, strategy and collaborative crm and analytical crm systems.  Each crm system is designed to meet specific business goals and objectives. It is quite common for businesses to take a multi-CRM system approach and/or develop a tailored custom CRM system that combines elements of all three.  Below is an outline of each of these CRM system approaches.

Operational CRM Systems

The operational CRM is probably the most widely recognised concept and is designed to help organisations to automate their sales, marketing and services functions – in essence the operational crm system helps you to manage how your company communicates and interacts with your customers .  One of the key objectives of an operational CRM system is to enhance the lead generation and nurture management, customer acquisition, loyalty and retention and provide a customer service excellence experience.

Collaborate and Strategy CRM Systems

A Strategic element of a CRM system enables organisations to focus on the wider customer engagement CE experience and where the main aim of this type of CRM is to increase the customer awareness and retention.   A collaborative crm approach is usually seen in the larger enterprise business and where there is a requirement for sales, marketing and customer service team-wide collaborative approach to customers and leads.  One of the key objectives of this type of CRM is to streamline business processes by facilitating communication between all departments and teams and improve the customer service experience.

Analytical CRM Systems

Essentially an Analytical CRM system identifies and collates customer information from a wide variety of customer interactions and will highlight value-add customer patterns and trends.

Analytical CRM systems enables you to understand the Insights into how your sales pipeline is performing and by way of comparison, an operational crm system will help you to identify leads and new business opportunities to build your sales pipeline.

Analytical CRM systems are suitable for all business size and industry and is a powerful tool for those who wish to focus on customer relationship management best practice.

Analytical CRM systems enable you to analyse the customer data which really matters to the business and to provide deep and meaningful data-driven insights into how customers interact and engage with the business over time.   This level of analytical insight enables you to offer a personalised strategic customer journey.

How does a CRM System Work?

A Customer relationship management (CRM) is a software solution which enables you to manage  your end-to-end relationships and interactions with customers and prospects.  The key driver of a CRM is to greatly improve the business relationships’ processes and management.  A CRM system works by enabling organisations to stay connected to customers, automate, and streamline processes, and offer a customer service excellence experience to improve profitability.

Benefits of using a CRM system

CRM systems enable you to consolidate all the varying reams of data across sales, marketing and services for deeper and meaningful actionable business insights.   CRM Software systems offer many benefits and advantages including:

  • Monitor your pipeline– Manage and monitor your incoming leads, opportunities and customers as well as your team’s performance and sales pipeline.
  • Personalise the user experience– Use intel based on past interactions to personalise customer interactions and continually identify behavioural trends to boost conversion rates.
  • Improve customer service– Continually improve and retain and customer service levels by delivering a personalised service via seamless processes.
  • Drive User Adoption– Using familiar apps you can give your employees insight to enable maximum efficiency and engagement.
  • Improve efficiencies– refine processes and boost customer service and profitability levels across the board.
  • Integrate other apps – Use market leading add-ons and third-party software integration within your Dynamics 365 setup to further boost functionality.
  • Get ahead of your competitors– with the right CRM Solution.
  • Transform the customer journey – with streamlined, integrated, and automated processes critical to your business success.
  • Deliver informed data-driven Insights and business results – with next-generation, multi-channel applications that infuse artificial intelligence (AI), mixed reality, social, and mobile capabilities for rapid innovation.
  • Unify relationships, processes and data– with comprehensive business applications connected though a common Microsoft cloud platform.

Choosing the right CRM  for your Business?

When selecting any CRM solution, it is important to compile a list of key questions to help you choose the best CRM solution to meet your business needs now and into the future.  One of the first things to do is to identify and map out your existing processes, identify gaps and areas for improvement.

A sample of some of the key checklists include:

  • Identify clear needs and prioritise
  • Pinpoint the must-have CRM features to meet your needs
  • Identify crm stakeholders and users
  • Identify resource requirements and key project milestones and time-lines
  • Know you budgets
  • Evaluate your Vendor CRM Solution and Industry Expertise and knowledge
  • Deployment options cloud vs. on-prem
  • Vendor Customer support agreements
  • System compatibility and integration with existing and legacy systems

Cloud CRM for your Business

Cloud-based CRM solutions require minimal set up and doesn’t require time consuming installation and implementation processes.  Cloud CRM enables increased productivity and efficiencies, saving on time, resourcing and costs.

A cloud-based CRM system will enable:

  • Faster CRM deployment
  • Automatic CRM software updates & maintenance
  • Increased productivity and efficiencies
  • CRM on the go – work from any location and from any device
  • Enhanced team collaboration for a more connected workforce
  • Savings in upfront cost.
  • Enhanced data security and privacy
  • Easily scale to cater for all growth opportunities
  • Create loyalty-building customer journeys.


An effective CRM customer relationship management Solution will enable all businesses to grow and expand. A good CRM system should easily and efficiently integrate with your existing business technologies and automate and streamlines your business processes to give you a competitive advantage and drive for more positive business results.

CRM systems enables you to transform your business by providing insights into processes, enabling higher productivity, adapting to business needs, and accelerating digital transformation to meet the growing needs of customers as well as capturing and planning for all new business opportunities and scenarios.

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Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP & CRM Support
Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP & CRM Contact Us
Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP & CRM Contact Us
Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP & CRM Contact Us