CRM terminology

“Courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement”, said James Cash Penney back in the simpler days of entrepreneurship. Today, the idea behind his quote is even more significant. As our modern clientele grows less and less patient, staying courteous becomes less of a choice.

But, showing politeness doesn’t suffice either; speed, efficiency, and availability are just as crucial. Not only do our customers expect to be delighted every step of the way, but they want to feel special as well. That’s where customer relationship management steps in, simultaneously enriching their experience and accelerating our growth.

To help you master the jargon and employ the best CRM solution, we’ve compiled a list of frequent terms and phrases used by experts and providers

What Is CRM, Exactly?

While customer relationship management (CRM for short) refers to a set of practices and strategies a company can use for handling customer interactions and data, a CRM software system records, stores, organizes, analyses and streamlines this managerial process throughout the customer lifecycle.

Essentially, a CRM tool serves as a database for customer information. Beyond this, a CRM system manages workflow, automates marketing campaigns, reinforces sales, and optimizes different aspects of customer service.

Its functionalities are as numerous as its benefits, though the main purpose of both the practice and the software is to recognize customer needs, anticipate their wants, and reduce their effort, thus basing future interactions on past data and making them fruitful for both yourself and the client

On-Premise CRM

The first two terms you’ll need to get familiar with are “on-premise CRM” and “cloud CRM”. Though both have their advantages, many companies opt for the first solution for three convincing reasons.

On-premise CRM is a type of customer relationship management software that a company hosts in-house, on its own server. This allows full system customization, which cannot be said for all cloud solutions. The second trait many businesses find tempting is better control over CRM data.

Cloud CRM

Alternatively known as “on-demand CRM”, “online CRM” and “SaaS CRM”, the cloud version of this software is held and maintained on the provider’s server, and accessed via internet browser.

The most commonly cited advantages of employing a cloud CRM are ease of use and ease of access. Since there’s no in-house software, there’s no need for in-house servers, installations and maintenance either. The only thing a user needs to access the system is internet connection, which makes a cloud CRM available from any place and device, and at any given moment.

CRM Entities and terminology 

CRM entities are used to manage customer data within a system, and model it into different data records. If it’s easier, think about them as database tables – Lead entity would hold Lead records, for instance, while Contact entity would hold Contact records.

Each CRM system has a number of template entities, the most frequent among them being the aforementioned Lead and Contact, but also Company (sometimes titled Account), Deal (Opportunity), Quote (Proposal), Order, and so on. Most systems allow you to add custom entities as well.

Apart from core functionalities, the best CRM systems offer a number of features designed to streamline your business processes, whether it comes to sales, accounting, or customer service. The most beneficial among them are workflow management and automation, both intended to increase your productivity and enhance your performance.

You’ll be delighted to find that CRM workflow includes most of the basic task management capabilities; still, automation of day-to-day tasks is considered its crown jewel. With only a few clicks, it allows you to create automated responses to and set triggers for virtually any CRM event, be that a follow-up reminder, an email to customer, or ticket resolution.

Finally, a reliable CRM solution should come with a web form builder and a set of customizable templates to make embedding into websites easier. The purpose of a CRM web form is a simple one – to collect information customers leave on the website and import the data into the system for further classification and management.

If there’s no successful business without a solid retention rate, then there’s no successful business without a reliable CRM. This is everything you ever wanted to know about this software solution, and we hope you’ve learned a couple of things extra. Differentiate what’s what before you employ one, then sit down and watch your customers convert into living, breathing, walking advertisements.