Sendspark Blog > What Is a CRM?

What Is a CRM?

If you work in sales or marketing, you’ve likely heard the term “CRM” before. What does it stand for - and is it a concept or a kind of software? Read on to learn CRM basics and best practices on this page! 

What is a CRM?

CRM stands for “Customer Relationship Management”. It's a holistic framework that helps organizations understand and improve client relations. It also refers to Customer Relationship Management software, which helps apply CRM principles. 

As an ideology

CRM is about understanding customers to serve them better. It’s a cross-department function that spans sales, customer success, and other departments. It’s about using data and insights to give customers more value - and drive more revenue. 

As software

CRM is about measuring and centralizing customer data. A CRM platform captures every touchpoint, interaction, and nuance of a business-customer relationship. It logs everything from newsletter opens to service tickets to full-fledged purchases. 

This means a CRM gives businesses a detailed record of customer interactions. This turns into insights into behaviors, preferences, and trends. These insights can be used to drive sales, improve operations, design new automations, and more. 

Choosing the Right CRM: Factors to Consider

The sheer number of CRM tools on the market can make selection daunting. But certain criteria can guide businesses toward the best choice.

  • Scalability. A business isn't static. As it evolves, so do its needs. The right CRM will accommodate growth, keeping up with your business as sales and operations expand. 
  • Integration Capabilities. A CRM that cannot seamlessly meld with existing software infrastructures is a silo. This is not optimal. Look for CRMs that integrate with other tools and platforms - even if you don’t need integrations right now. 
  • Customization. Businesses have unique challenges and customers. A one-size-fits-all approach is not good enough. Your CRM should be versatile enough to adapt to your specific business model. 

CRM Best Practices

The power of a CRM is not just in its features but also in how they’re used.  

Effective deployment can amplify your CRM’s benefits. It’s better to invest a little extra energy upfront to set up your CRM the right way. 

Regular training sessions help make sure that employees are leveraging the tool to its fullest.

The accuracy of data is paramount. Regular audits and database cleaning can help maintain this. It’s also important to create processes and automations that input the correct data at all times. 

Streamlining Sales Processes with CRM

At its core, CRM helps sales teams monitor and understand leads better. It tells us what people are doing and helps us make sense of their actions. 

Beyond tracking, a CRM's analytical capabilities help us forecast sales. By sifting through data, CRM automations can predict future revenue possibilities and sales trends. This can help reduce churn, increase CLV, and drive down acquisition costs. 

Automation is another powerful benefit of most CRMs. By taking care of repetitive tasks, it frees up sales teams to focus on what they do best: building and nurturing relationships.

Enhancing Campaign Effectiveness with CRM

CRMs aren’t just for sales teams. Marketers can benefit from them too. A well-maintained CRM can help personalize marketing campaigns and improve conversion rates.

CRMs are also analytical goldmines that show us where we can improve client-facing operations.

Last but not least, a CRM provides qualitative data on the customer journey. This, in turn, empowers marketers to craft strategies that resonate and perform at every touchpoint.

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