Nowadays, businesses are getting smart, and people use modern technology and tools to enhance their business. Marketing is now the core that decides whether a particular business will grow or not. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is software that uses for marketing and sales. The marketers have learned about the proper usage of marketing tools to make valuable campaigns for the right time and the right people. It contains numerous analysis tools to obtain good info about the customers. CRM has numerous benefits that make it useful for marketers.

This article will learn about CRM, its types, benefits, features, and many more. This article will benefit you if you switch from traditional marketing trends to the latest, like CRM. It will make you able to decide whether to adopt this software or not. Let’s get started with the definition of CRM.

What is a CRM?

Khalid Rababah said that CRM is about knowing the customers who can help you serve in the best manner, making them loyal to your firm [1]. CRM is the short form of Customer Relationship Management. It is a software system that enables marketers and business owners to better their relations with their customers and clients. Not only this, CRM enables the owners to manage their time efficiently, make the right decisions, and guide clients at every step. CRM supports a robust system that is proficient at collecting the data of sales and customers in one place without any difficulty. According to Gartner, in 2021, CRM will be the top revenue spending area [2].

A CRM system can record all the meetings, calls, and emails to improve customer services and increase revenue. It also enables the owners to send messages to the customers personally. As every organization desires to make their business intelligent and efficient, so here CRM system gives help by tracking each segment and part of the data to improve it when needed. You cannot say that Customer Relationship Management is just a game of these three words. It’s a broad concept, and it has proved a great help for small businesses to make their relations with the contacts, clients, and prospects better. And it’s an exciting fact that you will have access to the sheer volume of data as a business owner while using a CRM software system. According to [3], CRM is a mixture of marketing potential, business, and technology to understand customers and organize them deeply.

How does a CRM work

A CRM has many functions that make it popular for business owners to build a strong relationship between clients and the organization, whether a cloud-based CRM or a CRM on your server. It allows storing any data from the leads and other contacts. Many small businesses are using old ways to manage relationships like spreadsheets and other tools like this. But they fail to cope with a large number of contacts; here comes CRM into the picture that permits businesses to use thousands of contacts and their data to store on cloud or self-hosted servers.

If you are running a small business, you should try this software system to help take your business on top.  Because the old tracking system like spreadsheet allows only tracking basic info like name, email, address, phone number, customer type, website, and purchase data. But when you update your organization to CRM, you can track history, contact title, current sales, brief reports, other company contacts, lead scoring, and many more. You can add activities, and it keeps a record of the completion of the past activities and reminds you about the upcoming activities.

Who can use a CRM?

The best thing about Customer Relationship Management is that it is not limited to a part of an organization or requires a specific organization size to use it.  Any organization can use it, no matter it is small or big, and a single unit of the organization can also use a CRM system without any restrictions. The business development, sales, customer service, and recruiting department can benefit from CRM. The business that needs to store the info about customers and companies should use CRM for higher efficiency. It is straightforward to use, gives easy access to the stored data, and efficiently deals with it. It can help improve your business and relationships [4].

Types of CRM

Companies always decide the type of CRM according to its goals and sales etc. CRM system divided into three types that decide where the collected data should store. It is up to you which CRM you want to use. Let’s dive deep into its types.


A self -Hosted CRM system is a type of CRM in which data stored on the local servers is run only by the business. The companies are required to purchase the license before starting using CRM. In this system, you need to take your hardware for running the system. There is no limitation on the size of the database to store the collected data. It is an open-source CRM that does not demand any cost to store data. You are free to change the system’s source code if required; you will not need to take permissions before performing any modifications. You can download this system without any cost, but all the maintenance of the servers is your responsibility. You have to work for the data stored on the servers to make sure they are secure. Furthermore, it is right to say that the server is yours in the self-hosted CRM, and you are responsible for it. It can be very beneficial for the companies as the company can deploy it with a strict policy.

Following are the best self-hosted CRM software.

If you want to use a self-hosted CRM, you can choose one from the software mentioned above. All the responsibility of software maintenance and data security is up to you in this software system.


Cloud CRM is also known as SaaS CRM or on-demand CRM. SaaS is known as Software-as-a-Service. The data of the Cloud CRM on the vendor’s servers. The good thing about this system is that the users have full access to their data stored on it at any time. And the most important fact about a cloud CRM is that the users are not responsible for maintaining servers and data management. The vendor’s responsibility to provide is the required to provide all the upgrades and support to the system. It is a highly scalable system that allows business owners to expand their business functions when needed. And can do it without any difficulty. It is the reason that the Cloud CRM system has become the favorite of all marketers. To use it, you want to pay a monthly or annual fee and connect with a strong internet connection. And then you are good to go.

Following are the best Cloud/SaaS CRM that provides the best business solutions and improves the shortcomings of a business to take it on a higher position.

  • Zendesk Sell
  • Freshsales
  • Keep
  • Simple Systems
  • Hubspot CRM

These apps provide the best features, and you can use a free trial of any of the above and then decide which one is suitable for your organization.


Open source CRM is a type of system in which the original design is open to the public and used by anyone for any purpose. The users can change the source code of the system without paying any fee. It provides complete control over the CRM system, allowing the business to change the design according to their needs. Open source CRM system is used in all the vertical markets by almost any of the organizations. No matter these are small or big. The self-hosted CRM software is also known as open-source CRM. The organization that modifies the source code of this system will have to declare all the modifications in public. So this CRM software system is not developed by one developer. A group of developers develops it. It is considered an ideal solution as it leads to innovative ideas to grow business. But it might need the expertise to customize the software according to needs.

Features of a Good CRM

To use new technology, you have to first look at the features which that application or tool offers. CRM has numerous features, but this article has presented the most awaited features of the CRM system. It can be more than just managing and organizing contacts and data. You will be able to boost the sales of your product when you have got the convenient feature in your CRM. By reading the following features, you will choose the right CRM software that offers all the necessary features. Let’s get started.

Contact Management

The vital capability of a CRM is its contact management facility. In this element, you will be able to collect essential data about the customers that will help you to introduce your new product. You will have the right product according to the interest of your clients and contacts. It takes care of customer satisfaction and lets them feel that they are essential. And more importantly, the contacts are stored in a manner that can access it easily. Furthermore, it allows personalization on all the contacts.

Lead and Opportunities Management

This section covers two features of CRM that are lead management and opportunities management. Opportunities management is the essential feature of CRM in that it quantifies all the opportunities that a sales team has with their clients. It is called lead scoring. In this feature, the convert customers identify it to help the sales team improve the products and sales process.

Any CRM system cannot be complete if it does not contain lead management features. In this feature, the sales team can look upon the best customers and follow them. Overall, it increases the team’s efficiency to show them the right way to campaign their products at the right time. It converts the prospects into latent customers that is a great help to your business.

Sales Management

As you know the companies adopt modern means of marketing to increase their sales. CRM keeps track of all the sales, estimates and gives proposals about future marketing.

  • Invoices: It takes all the sales, whether small or big and then shows the products according to customer interests.
  • Estimates: CRM predicts the sales of the future according to the collected data. It is known as sales forecast. You might need to change your previous marketing plan and make a new one by seeing this forecast. You can make campaigns accordingly.
  • Proposals: it also allows the sales team to create suitable proposals for the right customers at the right time. It tracks the sales process across the organization and makes you make the right decision as an owner. It creates and sends the proposals to customers.

Project Management

Project management is an essential task of CRM. It makes sure that the project finishes in the given time. It includes all the processes of a project like the manufacturing process, product release and marketing, etc. it reminds you about the last dates because the delay in the project can damage the trust between the organization and the clients. It can help you to build strategic alignment between the different processes of the project. It permits the managers to see the processing of the project and can see the activity of customers while working on the project.

Task Management

CRM will also keep track of a small module of a project. The manager will check the status and guide the team according to it. The sales analytics will also depict the future of the product so that the team leader might ask the team for some alteration according to sales depiction. The leader will also be able to check that whether a particular task is applied right. If it is wrong, they can repeat the task.

Time Tracking

Time is an essential resource for any organization. A suitable CRM should hold the feature of time tracking in which it can monitor the daily progress of the team and then look to the time spent on each task. The leader can keep an eye on the task, which takes more time to do it in less time next time. It also boosts up the efficiency of employees and can use their employees in productive activities.

Messaging and Communication

A CRM system also supports personalization in which you will be able to send a message and communicate with a specific group of contacts or an individual contact. According to the study of Infosys, 86% of users of CRM said that personalization plays a vital role in purchasing [5]. A business can build a strong relationship with its customers through unique communication features that significantly impact sales. It helps the customers not to confuse with the mixed messages. In this way, they will show more interest in your product. In [6], the author said that CRM is a great way to communicate with customers via different channels.


A good CRM permanently stores the info about the info of products businesses. It is a repository that includes every concept of the business. This feature of CRM allows reducing the redundant and unnecessary calls done with the customers. They can make a bad relationship, so knowledgebase helps the organization build the right relationship with prospects and potential customers. It only sends the relevant info to the customers. It also makes the customers able to troubleshoot in case of any problems. According to Sunil Mithas [7], CRM can use the knowledge of customers in different ways.

Support Tickets

Now the world is going online, and that is why businesses are also going online. There is an online marketing and product release on different platforms of social media. The right CRM system provides a support ticket to increase customer retention by making them closer to the company. It includes a form embedded with the system, and the customers can get access to it. They can fill out the form and submit it to help your organization work according to the customers’ interests.

Benefits of Using a CRM

CRM is a great software system to collect customer interaction in one place to make customers satisfied. People are adopting it in their business because it leaves several benefits and has proved valuable for the growth of the business. Any size of organization can use it. If you want to use CRM and drop the old ways of data collection, then the following benefits will wipe out all the confusions you have before switching. And after adopting it into your business, you will say that this is the proper management tool for your business as it works for all aspects of the organization. Let’s have a look at the benefits of this excellent productivity enhancement software.

Improve Customer Relationship

The first and foremost benefit of a CRM is that it improves the customer relationship by providing the right services. It collects customer data, makes contacts with similar interests, and sends only relevant emails to the customers. In this way, you can tell your employees what the customer’s requirements are, working accordingly to increase productivity and increase productivity. A report by Software Advice claims that more than 70% of the people said that the customer relationship improved with CRM usage. Customization of communication can be the best option for improving customer relationships [8].

Save Time

With the automotive marketing features of CRM, it has become possible to do many tasks with the technology that happen rapidly. It has saved a lot of time. The employees are involved only in the tasks of the interest of the company’s potential customers. It has reduced time to work on the paper to interact with the customers [9].

Increase Revenue

With the right CRM, one can increase its revenue by 29%. It is all due to the CRM features that allow getting to know all about the customer interests that increase the customer’s trust, and it comes with an increment in revenues.

Increase Productivity

As told you, CRM uses Automation technology for marketing, so it will free up the employees who can engage in some productive affairs. The drip campaigns are a typical example in this context. It can take your employees to the task that needs more human focus than technology, like creating content. This way also makes it possible that there are no cracks; all the emails deliver to relevant clients. It is a fact that the business that leverage CRM see 34% in productivity.

Get Paid On Time

CRM also supports instant payments; there are no delays. So it is recommended to use productivity software for your organization. The payments will also increase because you are working according to a proper plan.

Better Collaboration between Team Members

With the sales analysis and product forecast feature of the CRM, marketer understands the marketing trends, and then they can tell the sales team to work accordingly. It will prevent them from any mess.

Better Collaboration with Clients and Other Stakeholders

As the CRM has converted the people into groups of related people, the automation marketing technology will send the relevant email to the customers. In this way, the customers cannot feel annoyed. You can be working more closely with the interest of the customers and other stakeholders.

Monitor Employee Productivity

As told you, automation marketing technology has made it possible to use the employees in productive tasks. The team leader can monitor the activities of the employees using CRM and then order to change the duties if required.

The Bottom Line

CRM is a great marketing tool that helps marketers and businesses to keep an eye on the growth of the business. It stores data of the customers at a central place where the decisions took. In every business, customer satisfaction is necessary, so CRM is a sales tool that predicts the future of a product, finds out the customers’ interest, divides the customers into related groups, and arranges the marketing campaigns according to the analytics.  You should use this modern tool in your business, even if you are running a small business. This article has discussed all CRM software systems. Hopefully, it will be beneficial for you.


  1. Khalid Rababah, H.M., and Huda Ibrahim, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Processes from Theory to Practice: The Pre-implementation Plan of CRM System. International Journal of e-Education, e-Business, e-Management and e-Learning, 2011
  2. crm-software-market
  3. Chang, H.H., Critical factors and benefits in the implementation of customer relationship management. Journal of Total Quality Management and Business Excellence, 2007.
  4. what-companies-use-crm
  5. The Top 5 Time-Saving Benefits of CRM. 2011

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