What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

Customer relationship management, or CRM, is the process of identifying and interacting with your customers in order to promote a long-term relationship with them. In business and within organizations, this includes using a CRM platform to incorporate data and metrics in order to better personalize and streamline the relationship.

What is a CRM Platform?

To summarize: The definition of CRM is everything your company does to interact and optimize your relationship with both current and potential customers. A CRM system is how you keep track of contact information, purchase history, communications, and more.

If you have customers, you have a CRM system, whether that’s a digital spreadsheet, hand-written notes, a contact list, or a powerful platform. Your CRM system can be complicated or simple. It can fill your day with tedious tasks like recording and searching for information, or it can streamline how you keep track of all your customer and prospect information so you can build your pipeline by focusing on individual interactions.

CRM software is a series of platforms that track your relationships and interactions with customers, prospects, and contacts; automate workflows; provide analytical insights into your business; and help your company make informed, data-based decisions so it can succeed. Companies that want to drive growth and customer loyalty need to invest in CRM software.

That’s because the best business CRM software is no longer solely for customer relationship management. These systems can also help you keep up with important contacts, including service users, colleagues, suppliers, and investors. Integrated CRM platforms can also automate menial tasks, freeing your schedule so you can focus on your highest priority: your relationships with customers and contacts. Move beyond simply making the sale by harvesting data to drive your marketing, product development, and customer service, too.


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Why is CRM Important?

There are so many ways to interact with your customers—from phone calls and mailers to email, social media, texting, and chat platforms. Your customers are more digital and tech savvy than ever, and will continue to depend on new platforms as they develop. If your business is to survive, your CRM system needs to adapt, or you’ll be left in the dust.

With CRM platforms, you can easily see all of your customer relationships with a few clicks. Drill down to see individual histories, journeys, and interactions. Or hover above the big picture so you can see trends and make more accurate forecasts and predictions.


Do you need a CRM?

If you own a microbusiness and have no plans to grow, you probably don’t need to upgrade your current customer relationship management system. For any business that wants to increase its customer base, keep current customers happy, and make long-term plans and goals, a CRM system is a necessary investment.

What is CRM software capable of? It can help you:

  • Forecast sales so you can properly prepare with supplies, staffing, and purchasing
  • Optimize the customer journey as prospects enter and make their way through the pipeline
  • Keep an eye on service satisfaction and pinpoint, based on data, how to improve
  • Take advantage of timely events online and on social media to build your brand
  • Reach customers through multiple marketing channels to guide them through your funnel
  • Fine-tune products, packaging, and more for a better customer experience
  • Collect data from all the devices and platforms your customers use
  • Harvest and interpret data to share throughout your company for a customer-driven business
  • Save time with task automation

How CRM Platforms Can Help You


Marketing and sales costs often account for a third or more of a company’s expenses. Many of those costs come in the form of wasted time on repetitive administrative tasks, lost leads, ineffective marketing, and sorting through data to find the answers you needed yesterday. All of these costs are completely unnecessary with the latest CRM options.

In fact, companies in Canada and around the world who have adopted CRM applications have seen an average of 37 per cent increase in sales, 44 per cent increase in sales productivity, and a 48 per cent improvement in forecast accuracy. With the right tools, you can lower expenses and improve systems for your entire company.



Don’t just sell to your market. Sell to individual customers with personalized, predictive, cross-channel marketing campaigns that harness email, mobile, social, web and more. Marketing Cloud’s tools help you quickly create and deploy messaging using pre-approved brand collateral. Employ marketing automation that makes every interaction personal, and with Salesforce’s integrated CRM platforms, you’ll always have the details and data organized and at your disposal.


Optimize your interactions by providing quality service when, where, and how your customers want it. Track service queries across multiple channels and personalize service with instant access to purchase and support histories. With Service Cloud, the world’s top customer service application, you can discover and solve problems before they even occur.


Your business is part of an ecosystem that may include customers, employees, partners, vendors, patients, students, or other groups in Canada and internationally. The Salesforce Community Cloud helps you empower the members of your various communities to connect, share insights, and talk about your brand. Harness the power of your business ecosystem.

Salesforce Platform

Help customers get to know your brand, improve customer experiences, and boost productivity and connectivity within your company. The right apps can do it all. Use Salesforce Platform, the powerful app development platform, to build a better app by harnessing customer data, lightning-fast development, and integrating powerful APIs and external data sources.

Einstein Analytics

Are prospects responding to your marketing efforts? Are customers satisfied with your level of service? Are you maximizing your profits over the customer lifecycle? A CRM platform takes the guesswork out of relationships. Turn the data you’re already collecting into direction for your entire company with Einstein Analytics.

Increase win rates by 29%, boost rep productivity by 32%, and get 44% more accurate forecasts.


CRM Software for Small Business


Good CRM platforms aren’t just for corporations and Fortune 500 companies. In fact, many of those businesses adopted a professional CRM system long before they hit the big time. Efficient, inexpensive, and personal management of customers is the key to success—not a convenience that comes after.

The right small business CRM application will grow your business faster by helping you:

  • Maximize your sales efforts
  • Target your marketing campaigns
  • Better serve your customers so they’ll come back for more
  • Build communities your business can thrive in
  • Easily aggregate, interpret, and harness data to improve every aspect of your company, from sales to marketing to service to design

Stop missing sales and opportunities because of details falling through the cracks due to ineffective or costly customer relationship management. A powerful CRM platform for small businesses will more than earn its keep with higher productivity, streamlined-systems, and more satisfied customers.

Hear how leading Canadian small business customers like Lendified, Vidyard, Wealthsimple, and Release the Hounds are tapping into the power of Salesforce’s CRM solutions to scale and grow their businesses.



Tips on How to Choose a CRM System


When you choose a CRM system, there are 8 key factors you should consider:

  • Functionality
  • Ease of use
  • Price
  • Company reputation
  • Support
  • Implementation training
  • Software popularity
  • Reviews and recommendations

You may be asking, “How can a CRM be justified when our budget is already tight?” When this question comes up, it often means a need for an upgraded CRM system has been identified.

This indicates that the most important factor for you when choosing a CRM system is likely its price. In this case, find a CRM provider that offers options that scale with your needs. Talk frankly with a representative about your budget, your goals, and what you need out of your CRM platform. At this point, your business requires a system that provides just the basic tools to help you grow, with the opportunity to increase your investment as your business expands. With help from the rep, you can decide on a platform that fits your budget and immediately proves its worth.


Here’s How a CRM Solution Helps Small Businesses


Why Choose Salesforce?


Salesforce is more than a way to manage your relationships with customers. It’s a customer success platform.

Salesforce’s suite of business software is customizable to your precise needs. There’s no equipment or software to install, update, or maintain. You don’t even need an IT staff, and many updates occur on all your devices instantaneously. You’ll never have to account for downtime.

With individual platforms, budget-conscious businesses can subscribe to only the CRM tools your business needs right now. Every one of Salesforce’s software options is designed to boost your bottom line, so with the money you save you can begin adding new products as you grow. And because it’s all integrated and available through your browser, you won’t waste time dealing with incompatibility issues.

With the world’s most powerful CRM, customer service application, marketing campaign software, app development systems, and more, Salesforce is here to take your business to the next level.

Let’s get you started with a free trial.

Register now, and for 30 days you’ll have access to Sales Cloud. Sales Cloud surfaces the right information that you need, when you need it -- making you more productive than ever before. Empower your sales reps of the future with the technology and training they need to succeed.