Tech Terms: CRM

In CRM (customer relationship management), CRM software is a category of software that covers a broad set of applications designed to help businesses manage many of the following business processes:

  • customer data
  • customer interaction
  • access business information
  • automate sales
  • track leads
  • contracts
  • marketing
  • customer support
  • clients and contacts
  • support vendor / partner relationships
  • employees
  • knowledge and training
  • assets or resources

While CRM software is most commonly used to manage a business-customer relationship, CRM software systems are also used in the same way to manage business contacts, employees, clients, contract wins and sales leads. Typically, CRM software is used in the enterprise, however many products scale and can be used in a business of any size.

Today’s CRM Software
CRM software is designed to help businesses meet the overall goals of customer relationship management (see Webopedia’s CRM definition). Today’s CRM software is highly scalable and customizable, allowing businesses to gain actionable customer insights with a back-end analytical engine, view business opportunities with predictive analytics, streamline operations and personalize customer service based on the customer’s known history and prior interactions with your business.

CRM Software Installations
Customer relationship management software is offered in a number of installations including on-premises (where the software resides inside the corporate firewall and is managed by IT operations), or as web-based (cloud applications) where the software is hosted by a CRM provider and accessed by the client business online via the provider’s secure services.

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