What is CRM?

Did you know that 95% of consumers say that customer service is essential to their choice of brand and loyalty?

Yet, 31% of companies think of customer service as an added expense instead of a growth opportunity.

Marketing is not the only thing to consider when building customer relationships. Without valuable customer service, you are sure to lose out on sales.

With a CRM system, you can combine these two pieces of a company to make things easier, but what is CRM? Read on to learn everything you need to know.

What is CRM exactly? Customer relationship management (CRM) is a type of technology used to manage every relationship and interaction a company has with its customers or potential customers.


The main goal of CRM is to improve business relationships to help your business grow. A CRM system will aid a business in reaching this goal by navigating through processes faster, connecting with customers, and improving profits.


When you hear the term "CRM," you might be listening to someone talk about the CRM system. This tool can streamline processes in many areas of business.

CRM tools can help with customer relationships throughout the entire cycle. A company will provide more benefits through marketing, digital commerce, sales, and customer service with a CRM system.


A business can focus on individual relationships easier. Along with customers, your relationships with colleagues, suppliers, and service users will grow.



Who Is CRM for?

So, who is CRM for? If you haven't guessed already, CRM can help different departments of a business from customer service to business development to recruiting and marketing.


With a CRM system, every line of business can store customer contact information, recognize sales opportunities, manage marketing campaigns, and record any service issues in one central location.


Customer data and information can get accessed by anyone at your company that may need it. This way of collaboration helps increase productivity.


If driving business growth is essential to your company (it should be), CRM is the perfect tool. Small and medium-sized businesses benefit the most from the CRM program, but companies of any size can utilize it to their advantage.

Is CRM That Important to Business?

Yes! CRM is important for businesses that expect to last. Your business strategy should be centered around your customers and a CRM service can help you do that. This is the easiest way to oversee customer relationship management.


Your business strategy must include sales targeting and business objectives to succeed. However, this is not always easy to track because it requires multiple streams of data.


When you implement a CRM system, this data is clear and in one place. You can customize the dashboard to make the program easier to use for you and your employees.


What customer data can you see in real-time? A CRM provides you with an entire history of your customers. You can see a specific customer's order status, service issues, previous orders, and more.


Some CRM systems allow you to see the public social media information of your customers. This tool can show you their dislikes, likes, and state what customers are saying about you or the competitors in the same field.


Marketing takes value from a CRM system as campaigns can be more data-driven. You'll be able to forecast the moves of your potential and current customers in a simple yet accurate way.


Opportunities and leads are easier to acquire. Once you make a sale, you'll see the clear path from sale to inquiry.

More Than a Marketing Tool


CRM does its best work for a business when it is used as more than a marketing tool. Your company can transition to a customer-centered approach throughout each area of the business with ease.


Service and support are one of the most critical factors in a business and customer relationship. Although CRM marketing has been used for years, customer service is a rising piece of the puzzle.


With many different platforms out there, it is difficult to handle issues and inquiries. For example, a customer may complain about an issue on a social media platform, like Twitter, then resolve the issue with a representative in a different form.


It's easy to lose track of customer service inquiries with the many channels out there. The CRM platform lets you see every channel in one place to inform you of your customer's activities and how they are reacting to your services.


All in all, this provides a connected experience between a business and its customers. Your CRM strategy is complete with marketing and customer service.

Should You Run a Business Without CRM?

The short answer is no, you should not run a business without CRM because it can actually cost you money. Without a CRM system, your business is prone to time-consuming administrative tasks.


If you have a good sales team, chances are, they are going to come across a lot of customer data.


What do they do with this information without a CRM system? Usually, it gets stored in personal laptops, handwritten notes, or nowhere at all. This means that you and the rest of your staff rarely come across this data.


Prioritizing customers becomes more of a guessing game than ideas based on data. Details are forgotten and everything may be lost if one salesperson finds work somewhere else without handing over critical customer information.

Customer Data


Salespeople aren't the only outlet for customer data that you may be losing out on without a CRM system. Data straight from the mouth of the customer is where you'll get your best information.


Customers may use a medium other than your business website to attempt to contact you. This could be through social media, email, or by phone. They'll often be contacting you for something important like a question, an issue, or an order follow-up.


Without a central platform for your customers to interact with you, you're likely to miss out on a flood of information. You may never get around to answering or end up responding slowly to customer reviews and questions.


Collecting all of this data without a CRM system is difficult and making sense of it is even harder. Creating your own reports leads to human error. A project manager can overlook an instance and be unable to offer support when needed.

Why Use CRM? The Benefits Explained

Using a CRM system is like having an organizational tool at your disposal. Customer relationship management helps a business find new customers and keeps them happy by building a strong relationship.


It works by collecting information about a customer such as:

  • Valid email
  • Customer website
  • Telephone number
  • Social media information
  • Personal preferences
  • Communication preferences


Along with customer information, a CRM system will pull data about the company. CRM will record the company and customer data to understand the relationship.

A CRM system can help in many other ways as well.

Connect Silos to Your Business


An organizational silo is a business division that is independently operated and avoids information sharing.

Because of the lack of information sharing, many businesses find that organizational silos impact the experience of their customers and prospects in a negative way.


Instead, CRM systems are used to connect those silos to find the real truth about their customers throughout every department.


A CRM program that is shared provides employees with the best data and tools to manage customer relationships in every business line. Your staff can see customer interactions that occur in other departments as well.



Improve the Bottom Line

The bottom line is that you want your business to grow at an increased or steady rate. The CRM platform improves the bottom line directly. With HubSpot CRM, companies can produce bigger numbers.

When you use this system, you can expect your sales, marketing, customer service, digital commerce, and technology leaders to increase.



Recognize and Categorize Leads

By tracking your company and the interested prospects, a CRM system can help you identify leads. You'll be able to categorize them to focus them accurately.


The sales team can prioritize these leads and close deals after marketing has identified them. A CRM system can provide you with enough information to know whether or not a lead is of quality.


A lead may need more nurturing and your marketing and sales team will be aware of this and make adjustments. This accurate information allows sales and marketing to focus on the right clients.



Increase Value of Customer Lifecycle

Gaining new leads and customers is an amazing benefit of a CRM system, but taking care of the customers you already have is just as important. A CRM system can help you retain your current customers as well.


You'll be able to understand individual customers better because of the customer data you receive. This can help you upsell and gain new business straight from those who have bought your services or products before.


Overall, a CRM system can increase the value of a customer's lifecycle. Your relationships with your customers will become more profitable and last longer.


Since CRM is also a great customer service tool, you can provide current customers will better service. Happy customers will continue to use and trust your company. This leads us to our next point, better customer support.



Provide Better Customer Support

A customer wants personalized and fast support from a company they are doing business with. With a CRM system, you can provide quality customer support.

Because agents have access to customer information, they can provide fast service and answer all questions.



Product and Service Improvements

The HubSpot CRM system gathers information from different sources across your business and more. You'll be able to see everything your customers are saying about your products and services.


With this information, you can improve your offers and find issues before they turn into bigger problems. The information is before you, all you have to do is adapt to it.



Preparation for the Future

Technology and business are changing all around us.
To be ready for the next change that comes, you need to implement a CRM system that allows your company to be more flexible in the event of the unexpected.

Cloud-Based CRM

CRM and the cloud together have revolutionized digital marketing. Instead of on-premise software, many businesses are switching to the cloud.

A cloud-based CRM system doesn't have to be installed on every employee's computer or mobile device. There are many benefits of moving and secure online data, such as:

Remote Working

A cloud-based CRM system gives the same information to every user at all times. If your sales team is out and about doing their job, they can access the CRM system right from their device.

The sales team is a fundamental part of this remote working method as they can check and update data throughout the day from anywhere. That information will then be available to any member of the company that needs it.



Reduced Costs

CRM is quick and easy to implement, but a cloud-based system is even easier to install. There is zero hardware that removes additional IT costs your business may be paying for.

A cloud-based system is often priced based on the number of users accessing it. Additional features will cost extra, but overall, this is a more cost-effective option.

The flexibility of a cloud-based system is also a benefit of its own. As your business continues to grow, you can add more people to the cloud system with ease.

Other Types of CRMs

The goal of every CRM system is to manage customer relationships. However, there are different types of CRM systems to choose from based on certain business goals.

The general idea is to pinpoint a specific customer relationship management issue your business needs to address. The main three types of CRM systems are operational, analytical, and collaborative.

Operational CRMs

The general purpose of an operational CRM is to connect day-to-day activities. This builds a framework for a customer-centered strategy.

This is the most common type of CRM because any department in a business can utilize it.


Analytical CRMs

Analytical CRM software collects customer data and analyzes it to allow a business how to increase customer satisfaction. Any interaction with a customer and a rep is tracked and analyzed each time.

The purpose of this type of CRM is to gain insight through data about the customer journey. A company can use this information to tailor its marketing and sales campaigns to reach the right audience.

All of the data collected with an analytical CRM revolves around the customer. It will collect customer patterns, behaviors, and pain points.



Collaborative CRMs

A collaborative CRM is used to give departments that face customers the proper information to offer a great customer experience.

A business will use this system to collect customer data then organize it to share with the teams that need it. The most common data collected includes customer service touchpoints, previous purchases, and marketing channel preferences.

This system uses both interaction management and channel management to analyze customer interactions. It will also record preferred communication methods to understand how to approach each customer.

Choosing a CRM

Choosing a CRM is a critical task to improve the workflow and financial status of your business. To find the right solution for your business, you need to understand your needs.

A CRM system should hit every customer relationship management pain point. Consider these steps when choosing a CRM program for your business:

Create a Wish List

First, you should create a wish list of everything you need or want out of a CRM system. Analyzing your current business processes is the best place to start.

When you look at your processes, check for places where your department teams are struggling. How can a software component be a solution to your problem?

You might not find a CRM system for every solution you are looking for. Rate your wishes on the list based on priority.



Consider the User

Another factor businesses often overlook when choosing a CRM system to buy is the ease of use. Departments that face customers daily should have simple solutions to their tasks.

A good CRM system is one that your staff can quickly learn about and easily navigate through. You don't want your reps to have issues with a CRM system when they are trying to handle a customer problem.

To understand first-hand if a CRM system is right for your users, you can request a free HubSpot CRM demo.



Check Accessibility

If your business is more modern, you may have employees that don't work in an office every day. Sales reps and marketers are usually on the road and need access to CRM.

To get the most out of your software, ensure it is accessible to employees while they are on the road. If your reps have customer data while out of the office, they are more likely to make an educated sale.



Ease of Integration

If you already have software systems in place, make sure the CRM system you choose integrates well with those tools. For example, you may have email marketing or marketing automation that your business requires.

Creating a CRM Strategy

Implementing a CRM system isn't enough to see results. You must have a CRM strategy to benefit the most from these systems.

The steps to follow to create a CRM strategy include:

Define Your Goals

To create a successful CRM strategy, you must consider your overall business goals. You should already have these in mind and just need a revisit.

What do you want to achieve with CRM? Knowing the answer will lead to a purposeful solution. Common strategy goals include higher productivity and efficiency, decreasing customer churn rates, and increasing customer satisfaction.

Your strategy should drive all of your business goals, whatever you decide they may be.



Define the Target Customer

To define the right target customer, you should create a buyer persona that represents the ideal customer. This should include behavioral and demographic information along with interests and challenges.

You can learn more about your customers by interviewing your sales and customer services teams, interviewing customers directly, and sending customer surveys.



Study the Market

To develop a CRM strategy that works for your field of business, it is always a good idea to check out your competitors. Understand your position in the market by answering these questions:


  • What is your unique selling point?
  • How do your competitors differentiate themselves?
  • What opportunities can you take advantage of?
  • How do your competitors handle customer relationships?
  • What are the current industry trends?


Answering these questions can help you figure out how your product or service fits into the market. You should elaborate on your value proposition, the answer to the first question.



Set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Setting key performance indicators (KPIs) is the most important step to creating a CRM strategy. Without knowing how your strategic actions are affecting the business, the point of a CRM system is basically worthless.


You can measure performance metrics like customer retention, customer satisfaction, customer churn, profits, etc.


You may find that you need to adjust your CRM strategy to get better results. Keep the communication with your employees open to keep them informed and learn of their ideas when they have them.

CRM Explained

Now that you know the answer to "what is CRM?", you can decide if it is right for your business.


Whether you have hundreds of customers or thousands, your company can benefit from CRM software. Implementing this system into your business is easy and you'll reap the advantages right away.

If you are looking for ways to see your company succeed now and down the line, CRM is the answer. Contact us now to set up an appointment for a free HubSpot CRM demo.

Want to know more?

Rasmus Høegh Refstrup
Customer Manager

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