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Customer Relationship Management or CRM

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management.  It is a process or methodology used to learn more about customers' needs and behaviors in order to develop stronger relationships with them.  The more useful way to think about CRM is as a process that will help bring together lots of pieces of information about customers, sales, marketing effectiveness, responsiveness and market trends.  A CRM that is widely known and used is Salesforce.com.

CRM helps businesses use technology and human resources to gain insight into the behavior of customers, and the value of those customers.  It can help provide better customer service, increase customer revenues, discover new customers, cross sell/up sell products more effectively, help sales staff close deals faster, make call centers more efficient, and simplify marketing and sales processes. 

The types of data CRM projects collect are responses to campaigns, shipping and fulfillment dates, sales and purchase data, account information, web registration data, service and support records, demographic data, and web sales data.  

Within a CRM there is software that has the following possibilities:


  • Contact management, which stores, tracks and manages contacts and leads of an enterprise.
  • Lead management, which enables an organization to manage, track and forecast sales leads.  It also helps understand and improve conversion rates.
  • Self Service eCRM, which enables web based customer interaction, automation of e-mail, call logs, web site analytics, and campaign management.
  • Survey management, which automates an enterprises’ electronic surveys, polls, and questionnaires that helps understand customer preferences.
  • Customer Service, which has call center, help desk, and support tracking capabilities.
  • Contract management, which enables an enterprise to create, track and manage partnerships, contracts, and agreements.