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CRM vs CMS: how to choose for your business 9 min read
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What’s the difference between a CRM and CMS? In the world of digital business tools, it’s a pretty common question given the similar acronyms. A CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, which refers to a tool that helps you nurture business relationships. A content management system (CMS), on the other hand, is a platform that streamlines the content management process on your website.

As you will see, these two tools serve different purposes, both of which are incredibly valuable to your business. In this article, we’ll help you figure out those differences, starting with a closer look at a CRM and an exploration of’s related features.

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What is a CRM?

At its core, a CRM system is intended to boost business growth by improving customer relationships through targeted and organized interactions. The idea is that you need to grow and nurture the relationships and make each customer feel valued as a part of getting more leads, closing more deals, and keeping your customers happy and loyal.

In addition to sales and customer support, it’s also a powerful marketing tool, often equipped with automation features that close the gap between marketing campaigns and sales processes. Logistically, website lead collection, email marketing, and social media channels all sit at one end of the funnel. A great CRM software helps turn the cold leads in those channels into warm leads and improves results on both sides.

A CMS solution sits a little further away from the funnel at the other end of marketing.

What is a CMS?

In simple terms, a CMS is used to create, publish, edit, and manage your website and its content. Popular CMS platforms that make content creation and digital assets management simpler include WordPress, Magento, and Joomla.

The value of a CMS is sheer practicality. Business websites or landing pages are the second most-used marketing channel behind social media, meaning every business needs one. But designing, developing, and updating websites and blogs can be a complex endeavor. A CMS makes this far easier.

With a CMS, you have access to a user-friendly interface that enables non-technical users to log in and update a website. This could be to post new website content, like press releases or blog posts, or to add new products to an ecommerce site. Without a CMS, your business might need to hire a team of designers and developers to augment your marketing team.

At this point, those very similar acronyms are beginning to show some very big differences.

What are the biggest differences between a CRM and a CMS?

If you’re in the market for a CRM, the main features and benefits you’ll want to look for are:

  • Contact management: Store and track customer contact information, including social media
  • Interaction tracking: Keep a record of customer interactions, including emails, phone calls, text messages
  • Lead management: Effectively track and score leads and gain insights on conversions

Comparatively, CMS software should enable you and your teams to :

  • Content publishing: Streamlining the content publishing and content marketing process
  • Website maintenance: Making the processes of website maintenance easier
  • Marketing accessibility: Creating a lower barrier to entry for digital marketing efforts, such as content marketing

In practical terms, if you’re looking at tools to grow your business, the right choice really comes down to the kind of work you do and your immediate needs.

Which is right for you: CRM vs CMS?

If you sell products online and spend a lot of time updating your site, you’ll probably want a reliable CMS to streamline things. Conversely, if you spend more time interacting with clients and following leads, a CRM will serve you well.

In reality, CRMs and CMSs are solutions to two different business problems, which means many businesses benefit from using both.

A CRM is ideal for small businesses and big enterprises alike that are looking to find more sales opportunities and capitalize on them, including:

  • Any organization looking to improve lead management and customer management
  • Sales teams that want to close more deals
  • Anyone working in sales planning that needs more insights to improve strategy

CMS is ideal for anyone who needs to manage website content. This includes everything from blog posts and articles to graphics and audio and video assets. People who might use a CMS include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Website designers
  • Marketing content creators
  • Editors
  • SEO and digital marketing specialists
  • Small business owners
  • Freelancers

Whether it’s content management or customer relationship improvements that benefit you more, a Work OS like can help you on both fronts.

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Using for your CRM and CMS needs

A good CRM gives you the flexibility to create the perfect sales pipeline and the insights to help you get the most from every single lead. A great CRM does all of this in a package that’s utterly uncomplicated.

With, you create pipelines — and workflows — to match your business, all without complicated code. From new customer onboarding to centralized communication to lead management, everything you need to maximize your sales and marketing efforts is right at your fingertips.

You can also benefit from’s powerful integrations to bring all of your customer and sales information into one unified platform with a few clicks — Salesforce and Hubspot are just a few.’s powerful project management tools mean everyone, from sales to production, knows what’s going on across the entire business.

Creative and marketing teams love, too. With powerful task boards and customizable workflows, content managers can plan content strategies down to the last letter. With integrations to the best marketing tools on the web, doesn’t only help you manage your content — it enables you to build entire campaign strategies effortlessly.

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Related templates

CRM Template

Looking for a way to start leveraging the power of a CRM? Look no further than’s CRM Template. With one click, you’re ready to build your new sales superpowers with contact management, lead tracking, and as many customizable sales pipelines as you need. When you’re ready for the next level, you can tap the marketing department to integrate this template’s embedded web form so leads are funneled right to your dashboard.

Content Planning Template

Content planning can be challenging because there’s always so many moving parts – different content types, various publishing outlets, and, of course, a range of writers and editors that are involved in the content planning and creation process.

Thankfully, our Content Planning Template can help make this process easier by providing a single space for all content planning and creation so you can view what’s being done and by whom from one page. Brainstorm, review tasks, schedule upcoming deadlines, and more from one user-friendly template interface.

Client Management Template

Good customer relationships are about trust. Apart from delivering a great product or service, a big part of that trust is keeping your clients updated on the progress of their projects and providing unrivaled customer service. That’s what this Client Management Template is all about. Use it to track project tasks, roadmaps, and real-time progress, and then share it with your clients so they’re up-to-date down to the second. Happier clients, more transparent business, and fewer unnecessary interactions — all rolled into one template.

Here are a few common questions that people ask when they’re in the market for a CRM or CMS.


Is Shopify a CRM or CMS?

Shopify is a CMS that makes it easy to set up and manage ecommerce websites. You can use it to easily create a branded online storefront for your business, launch your store, and start accepting payments. If you want to get the most from your new digital business, pair it with a flexible Work OS that helps you manage and track orders, such as

Is Salesforce a CRM?

Salesforce is a software company that provides various business solutions, the most well-known of which is its CRM, Customer 360. Salesforce’s CRM is a powerful data-driven platform that ties sales, marketing, and customer data together. Another popular solution is HubSpot CRM.

When you integrate it with a Work OS, such as, you can bring the power of Customer 360, HubSpot, or any other CRM to the rest of your business by keeping all of your customer-facing teams on the same page and optimizing your sales funnel.

Is CRM and project management the same? 

A CRM is all about managing customer relationships. You can think of it as a very powerful database for contacts, communications, and sales. In comparison, project management is about maximizing the flow and end result of a project. It’s concerned with budgets, task management, processes, and deliveries.

Help your business succeed by effectively choosing between a CRM vs CMS

Looking at the definition of a CRM and a CMS, they seem worlds apart. But then again, if your business has a marketing team and a sales team, they’re effectively working together to generate leads and turn those leads into loyal customers. It’s not so much a comparison as it is a value proposition for both tools.

If you really want to maximize your business efficiency across sales, marketing, production, and any other department or area, consider bringing these two tools even closer together with a Work OS like Good things come in threes, after all.

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