In today’s competitive business environment, customer relationship management (CRM) has become an essential aspect of business strategy for companies of all sizes. The ability to build and maintain strong relationships with customers is critical to success, and effective CRM can help businesses achieve this goal. In today’s business landscape, customer relationship management (CRM) is a crucial component of any successful strategy.

Just as our phones help us keep track of our personal contacts, businesses need a way to manage their customer relationships beyond just basic contact information. A CRM system can help businesses keep track of customer interests, purchases, company affiliations, and preferences, among other things. To ensure that you have a reliable CRM tool, why not have a meeting with us here at Pipeliner and get a tool that you can rely on?

What is CRM and why should we use it?

A CRM, or customer relationship management tool, allows you to organize contact information and manage your relationships with current and potential customers, clients, and other contacts. CRM software is a suite of cloud-based applications, such as marketing cloud, sales cloud, and service cloud, that collects and stores customer data.

While an app like Google Contacts can help you keep track of basic contact information and notes about each contact, a CRM takes it a step further by organizing contacts into groups and helping you manage relationships.

CRM apps are built around relationships and can help you find all your contacts who work for the same company, track messages about your work with that company, and remind you what to talk about at your next meeting. It provides a centralized platform for sales teams to manage customer interactions and prioritize activities to ensure that no customer feels neglected, thereby enhancing their overall customer experience. They can even automatically send follow-up messages to help you nurture leads. CRM software is a crucial tool in a sales representative’s toolkit.

It is not just a contact management system; it is much more than that. If utilized to its full potential, a CRM can enable sales representatives to spend more time interacting with customers and potential customers, leading to the closure of more deals and the retention of more loyal customers. Companies of all sizes stand to benefit from using a fully integrated, cross-functional CRM solution.

Difficulties CRM can help with

Customer service

If you’re experiencing a decline in your customer retention rate, a low net promoter score (NPS), or long contact center handle times, it may be time to consider investing in a CRM tool for your service team. With a CRM, you can proactively work with customers to offer spectacular service and improve their overall experience.

Look for a CRM that offers a unified view of your customers and provides digital assistants or chatbots to handle low-urgency, high-volume questions. It should also include knowledge management tools for agents and customer self-service, as well as a variety of digital customer service tools like live chat, video chat, telephony, and co-browse functionality to interact with customers in the way they prefer.

Sales problems

If a company is having difficulties keeping up with its current business, it may need to invest in a fully integrated CRM solution. While all companies eventually need to expand into new markets or introduce new products, a CRM can help sort, analyze, and prioritize sales leads so that sales teams can focus on likely-to-close opportunities. Additionally, it can provide accurate answers to customers quickly and efficiently, while also providing customer service teams with the information they need for upselling and cross-selling.

Struggles in building customer profiles

If you are unable to access all of your customer data points, you will have to rely on guesswork when creating your ideal customer profile. This lack of visibility into your sales team’s activities can result in the need for more status meetings, taking salespeople away from customers and compounding the issue.

Incomplete or inaccurate customer data

Incomplete and inaccurate customer data is a significant challenge for businesses globally. A good CRM solution can help alleviate this issue by automatically importing second and third-party accounts and contact information into the CRM system. This helps fill in any missing data that sales teams may have overlooked and removes any duplicates intelligently.

Cooperation between departments

A good CRM system can serve as a unifying platform for different teams in a company, as a lack of cooperation between departments can cause many customer pain points. Customers may feel frustrated when they have to repeat themselves, promises are not kept, or no one seems to know their history.

To prevent customers from leaving, it is important to align business processes between sales, customer service, marketing, and even some back-office roles such as billing, inventory, or logistics. This can be achieved by using a CRM with a common data model, allowing all employees to access, use, and add data.

By working collaboratively and sharing insights, leads, issues, and purchase history across teams, productivity and efficiency can improve, data silos can disappear, and the entire company can appear as one cohesive unit to the customer.

This can help build a data-driven organization. Your CRM is a centralized platform that consolidates all of the information you have gathered about your customers, including transactional and business data. This allows for seamless collaboration across departments, as everyone who has access to the CRM can follow a customer’s progress through marketing, sales, and service, and work together using the latest information.

Problematic forecasts and reports

If reports are being generated by downloading data into spreadsheets, it is a time-consuming process that is likely to produce inaccurate results. Faulty reporting can lead to poor planning and forecasting. Additionally, administrative tasks take up valuable time that could be spent selling. A reliable CRM system consolidates data in one central location, making real-time, accurate reporting and forecasting much simpler.

Unable to identify contacts in an account

CRM software can assist in managing contact information within a company, allowing sales and marketing teams to personalize communication. Advanced CRM solutions can enhance their account and contact data with external data sources to ensure that all information is complete and current. This ensures that if a contact changes jobs, the sales, service, and marketing teams are aware of the change, enabling them to preserve and rebuild vital relationships.

Not knowing high-value accounts

If you want to make sure your top customers feel valued, it’s crucial to know who they are. However, identifying high-value accounts can be challenging without the right tools. A well-designed CRM solution can help you pinpoint your most valuable customers so that any employee who interacts with them can provide personalized attention, incentives, and support, all in an effort to increase customer loyalty.

Some types of CRM software

All CRM systems prioritize leads and deals. They allow you to keep track of potential customers and clients as “leads,” add information as you work on convincing the customer to use your product or service, and then convert that lead into a “deal” once they’ve decided to make a purchase. CRMs help you document the steps and interactions that led from the first contact to the finalized deal.

This is essential for sales teams to know where the deal stands at any given time and to work together effectively. In reality, most CRM systems combine features from each of these types, but knowing the differences can help you determine which CRM features are most valuable to your business. Some CRMs are also tailored to specific industries, such as real estate or insurance.

CRM for analysis

This category of CRM software is focused on analytics and reporting. It enables businesses to analyze customer data over time to improve their marketing campaigns, sales efforts, and customer support effectiveness. By examining data, businesses can identify their core customer and gain insights, such as which marketing campaigns generate more leads or what content leads to a purchase, to make more informed decisions.

Operational CRM

Operational CRM systems focus heavily on automation, in addition to the typical CRM functions of storing leads, customers, and deals on a single platform. This type of CRM is particularly useful for smaller businesses as they grow, as it allows them to automatically track touchpoints throughout the customer journey, from initial interactions with leads to progress through the sales pipeline. This frees up teams to focus on building customer relationships rather than manually syncing data, for example.

Marketing CRM

Your CRM can automatically take action with all of your contact data in one place, especially if you have a marketing CRM. Marketing CRMs have marketing features baked directly into the software and include automated workflows that allow you to automatically send an email to a lead the day after they click a link in a marketing email you sent them, or tag a lead as interested when they’ve opened four of your emails. These apps are generally more expensive but can help you close your next sale faster. Some marketing CRMs, such as HubSpot, are connected to other features like a content management system, which can help you create and manage your website.

CRM for Collaboration

Often, the marketing, sales, and customer support teams within a company work in isolation from one another, each situated in different departments without a unified view of leads and interactions with customers. A collaborative CRM provides all teams with access to the most up-to-date customer information in one place and in real time. This includes marketing data such as what content a lead has interacted with, customer purchases, and past communications with any team member. This type of CRM enables anyone to quickly retrieve a record of all past interactions and gain a better understanding of their customer’s needs and interests.

How much does a CRM cost?

The cost of a CRM system varies depending on the features it offers. While there are free options available, it is important to note that these may not offer the same level of functionality as paid options. It is important to carefully consider the features you need and the budget you have when selecting a CRM system.

Remember, just because an option is free does not necessarily mean it is the best choice for your business. When you decide to upgrade to a more comprehensive CRM, you can expect to spend anywhere from $5 to $100 per user per month, depending on the specific app and features you require. The wide range in price highlights the importance of identifying the necessary features ahead of time to avoid overspending on unnecessary functionality.

What does a CRM ROI look like?

Customer relationship management (CRM) provides a high return on investment (ROI). Although small businesses may be able to get by without investing in a CRM, they may eventually hit the law of diminishing returns by relying on Excel spreadsheets and email. In 2014, Nucleus Research found that the ROI of CRM rose to $8.71, a 38% increase from 2011. A fully integrated CRM can drive even more profitability. Nucleus Research also found that CRM integration with other internal applications brought “productivity increases across sales, service, and operations and a 20 to 30 percent growth in business.”

Leading companies that fully utilize CRM report higher lead conversion rates, more delivered proposals, quotes, or RFP responses, higher overall team attainment of sales quotas, and more individual quota attainment. ROI is not the only key performance indicator (KPI) that should be tracked. Other KPIs include net promoter scores (NPS), customer acquisition costs (CAC), length of sales cycles, marketing campaign effectiveness, and email distribution list growth.


Customer relationship management (CRM) is an essential tool for businesses of all sizes in today’s competitive market. By using a CRM system, businesses can organize customer data, streamline communication, and improve customer service, ultimately leading to increased customer loyalty and higher profits. While selecting the right CRM for your team can be a difficult decision, experimenting with different options and committing to one can bring order to the chaos of your interactions with customers.

With the incorporation of automation, a CRM system can be easy to use and save valuable time for sales teams. While the software may seem daunting at first, it is not much more complicated than standard email and contact apps. Once you learn to rely on the CRM and incorporate automation, you’ll find that it takes less time to use than your old email search habits. By prioritizing customer relationships and utilizing a comprehensive CRM system, businesses can stay ahead of the competition and achieve long-term success.