CRM, which stands for Customer Relationship Management, can be both a business philosophy and a piece of software you use to manage your customer relationships. In its most basic form, a CRM manages all your customer contacts through your preferred communication channels.

To summarize, CRM is both:

  • A process that allows you to manage and optimize relationships with customers

  • A software used for automating the process of managing customer relationships

Chapter 1: What is a CRM?

CRM as a process

The philosophy of CRM puts the customer at the center of your organization. It builds close relationships with customers using their preferred channels of contact and regularly communicating with, rather than talking at them.

CRM helps you get close to your customers, allowing you to assess every decision through their eyes. In this way, you can balance their needs and wants with the commercial objective of a business.

Building these relationships, however, requires a lot of data analysis. This is where CRM software enters the picture to help develop deep customer relationships and gather more insights using a single, unified platform.

CRM software

CRM software keeps track of all your customer interactions across multiple channels and stores them in one central place. In its most basic form, a CRM manages and organizes all your customer contacts, so you can create groups to target.

It's the ‘Relationship' part of a CRM that makes it so unique.

With a CRM, your contact management goes beyond simple storage and organization. It also connects people to organizations, partners, and clients by letting you store interactions, notes, and documents. Here, you start to see the big picture. CRM software helps you build a 360 view of an individual your business is connected to.

When you fully understand your customer, you can communicate on a deeper level. You'll respond to their needs more effectively and be more able to deliver a stellar customer experience to make them feel valued. A CRM can help you uncover meaningful insights regarding your customer's journey from every detail you store about them.

Examples of the types of information you can store in a CRM include:

  • Contact details: name, address, email, phone number
  • Email conversations and storage through Outlook and Gmail
  • Meeting notes
  • Social media interactions
  • Preferences, interests
  • Number of enquiries or sales leads
  • Purchase history
  • Customer health score
  • Help desk queries or tickets
  • Financial data such as proposals or invoices from Xero or QuickBooks Online
  • Marketing campaign progress and engagement stats through integrations like Transpond

In summary, here's the difference between CRM as a process and CRM as a software in bullet points:

CRM as a process

For Administrative Work:

  • Information management
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Customer service
  • Finance

For Customer Information Storage:

  • Collect prospect and customer information, from the first interaction until the end of the customer life cycle.
  • Segment your customers in order to run effective marketing campaigns.
  • Use the information collected from customers to optimize your sales process.
  • Track and manage customer interactions to maximize customer satisfaction and retention.

CRM software

  • Acts as a single unified source of customer data
  • Customer behavior tracking
  • Sales forecasting
  • Field sales management
  • Campaign management
  • Offer a more efficient and automated customer support system
  • Workflow automation

Chapter 2: How Can A CRM Improve your Relationships with Customers?

A CRM software simplifies routine customer relationship management procedures that would be laborious, time-consuming, inefficient, or expensive to perform manually. This allows your team to improve your customer relationship management performance while spending less time and money on CRM tasks. Here are some of the key tasks that CRM software automates.

Chapter 3: How Does A CRM Work?

CRM software's main tasks are to automate, organize, empower, and store. It streamlines the basic tasks within an organization to help it focus completely on customer relationships. Here's how it works:

Chapter 4: Who Uses and Should Use a CRM?

CRMs are suitable for organizations of all sizes and nature across every industry. Each function of a CRM can streamline and expedite all your organizational operations, particularly when dealing with partners, customers, clients, and other relevant people outside your organization.

Type of organization:

  • B2B (Business to Business), companies that sell products and services to other companies, use CRM to digitally, automatically, and strategically manage customer relationships at every single stage of a B2B stage cycle. This may include segmenting clients, monitoring interactions, collecting data (e.g., quotes, sales report, inquiries, feedback), and carrying out marketing campaigns.
  • B2C (Business to Customer), companies that sell products and services straight to end customers, also use CRM to manage customer relationships but focus on audience targeting for direct and fast sales at a massive scale. With that, B2C mainly uses CRMs to offer robust marketing campaigns, customer service support, monitoring social engagement, and collecting data (inquiries, feedback, buyer's persona and behavior.
  • Nonprofit organizations use CRMs to manage relationships with their partners and constituents, such as donors, beneficiaries, volunteers, members, and other organizations. They mainly use CRM tools to automatically and digitally manage their marketing, outreach, and fundraising efforts.

Size of business:

  • Startups use CRMs to acquire new customers and save time managing data.
  • Small businesses use CRMs to streamline their workflow, scale up their activity, and improve productivity.
  • Mid-size businesses and enterprises use CRMs to optimize their marketing, sales and customer service performance, and maximize their revenue.

Specific Teams and Professionals

All industries can benefit from using a CRM as its software, process, and principle can be customized to help improve their workflows. But it's true to say that many industries and departments find CRMs particularly useful in the following areas for their specific teams and professionals. Here are some of the many examples of these departments:

  • Sales teams use a CRM to streamline the sales process, manage sales pipelines, and optimize performance.
  • Marketers employ a CRM to segment customers, track leads, and deliver customized content.
  • Senior Business Managers use their CRM for business intelligence to help inform strategic decisions.
  • Call centers leverage CRM data to reduce customer wait time and boost satisfaction.
  • Real estate agents find CRMs useful to manage contacts, match listings to prospects, and support sales activity.
  • Travel agencies use a CRM to store a customer's travel preferences and deliver a superior, personalized travel experience.
  • Accountants use a CRM to manage their accountancy processes, integrating with bookkeeping apps to create a complete view of their customer.
  • Construction companies and contractors organize customer and project data with their CRM.
  • Hotels and restaurants build customer loyalty by using a CRM to deliver more personalized services.

CRM software is popular in many industries, leading to a proliferation of providers and solutions—Capsule CRM being one of the leaders in the industry today. To make the most of this valuable technology, we encourage you to explore all the capabilities of Capsule CRM on our main website, starting with our features, integrations, solutions, and resources.

Chapter 5: Top 4 benefits of a CRM

A CRM and the process itself benefits a company or organization in multiple ways, starting with automation and organization. A CRM can be used across various departments and industries, regardless of size. To focus on a few highlights, four of the leading categories of benefits include:

Chapter 6: The three types of CRM software

Customer Relationship Management software programs contain different features and functions. While there are many ways to classify a CRM, most applications generally fall into three categories—based on the functionality and features.

Chapter 7: Things to Look For in a CRM Based On Company Size & Industry

When you're deciding how to choose the right CRM for your business, there's a lot to consider—the type, size, and nature of your company, among others. Here are 14 of the general things to look for in any CRM solution, along with some items that may be important to your individual needs and preferences as a company or organization:

Business size considerations

The size of your business can affect your CRM selection. Startups, small businesses, mid-sized businesses, and enterprises have different requirements for a CRM solution.

Industry-specific needs

CRM needs vary by industry. Certain industries may need a CRM they can customize to suit their specialized workflows and individual professional tasks. Here are examples of today's biggest industries with their CRM needs:

Choose the right features for your needs

CRM solutions support a rich range of features suitable for a wide variety of business sizes and industries. Consider the individual needs of your company, and choose your CRM accordingly. Keep in mind, however, that whatever CRM solution you select, you'll need to implement your software. With that, read on for some tips for smoother CRM adoption.

Chapter 8: How to Get Started With a CRM?

Settling on a solution represents a big step towards CRM implementation, but it's only one step on the journey. After deciding what CRM to use, you'll also need to configure your solution, import your data, integrate your software features with your workflow, train your staff, and monitor your results. Here are some step-by-step guidelines for a smoother CRM adoption while performing these tasks.

Chapter 9: Why Capsule CRM?

Capsule CRM is worth checking out because it makes CRM simple. It's designed to help companies build stronger customer relationships, make more sales and save time.

Capsule combines a simple, user-friendly design with a powerful range of benefits:

  • One database for customer information, so you can easily track conversations, review customer history,and deliver more personalized experiences
  • A complete view of customer interactions by attaching notes, emails, and document files to customer account data
  • Easy segmentation using dynamic lists that update automatically
  • A dedicated marketing app to manage communications and track activity with Transpond by Capsule
  • Consistent levels of service and ways of working by creating a sequence of tasks that work towards or from a specific date
  • Pipeline management tools that match your sales process and help you spot hot opportunities for fast follow-up
  • Project management tools to help you track how work is being delivered and improve efficiency
  • Easily spot opportunities that require follow-up by tailoring alerts in your sales pipeline after a set number of days
  • Analytics tools and reports that highlight the activities making the biggest impact on your sales
  • Key performance indicators with standard and customized activity reports that highlight sales performance and pipeline data by individual or by team
  • Advanced business intelligence insights through integration with Looker Studio
  • Team and role management tools that let you decide what data workers should see
  • Task and calendar management tools for handling meetings, appointments, phone calls and submission deadlines

Integrations: Extended Tools For Your Business

Capsule integrates seamlessly with many popular apps, and also supports add-ons that let you extend the software's native functionality. Our currently supported integrations include:

CRM On-The-Go With Capsule's Mobile App

Capsule's mobile app lets you access your CRM from any Android or iPhone device through its dedicated mobile app. The mobile app includes caller ID, adds a call activity after every call ends, and reminds you to make a note in your CRM.

Capsule is easy to customize to match your business model. You can customize the following:

  • Data fields
  • Tags
  • Sales milestones and pipeline
  • Contact lists

99.99% Stable CRM For 0 Downtime

Capsule boasts 99.99 percent uptime. Automated backups keep your data secure from disaster loss. Capsule CRM's dedicated support includes a self-help portal and a friendly team based in the UK and US contacted through email or online.

Best Free CRM For All Your Needs

Capsule CRM offers a 14-day free trial to Starter, Growth, Advanced and Ultimate plans, perfect for small to medium-sized businesses. There is also a free starter CRM plan for up to 2 users and 250 contacts. You can download it from the App Store or Google Play to start your free trial today.

Try Capsule for free

Good luck with your CRM journey! Our friendly support team are here if you'd like to chat about Capsule.

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