CRM. You hear the term being thrown around a lot in business meetings, emails, and reports.

Every company claims to have it figured out and managers won’t stop referencing it at each available opportunity. It feels very important, but no one seems to have the same idea of what it actually means.

Perhaps it’s time to finally find out… What is CRM, really?

What does CRM stand for and what is the dictionary CRM definition? What are the different types of CRM and what CRM software solutions exist to manage CRM admin?

If you’ve ever wanted answers to any one of those questions, you’re reading the right article.

We’re going to break down the subject of Customer Relationship Management — that’s one question answered! — to its most basic level.

We’ll go over the 3 main types, present some illustrative examples of CRM in action, and detail the most important considerations you need to make when choosing your own CRM tool.

Welcome to Customer Relationship Management 101.

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What is CRM in simple words?

Stripped down to its most fundamental level, customer relationship management can be summarized as:

 The practice of managing interactions with customers and potential customers. 

Nothing too complicated there. All interactions with customers can be described as ‘customer relationship management’.

In the competitive landscape, however, CRM isn’t simply a byproduct of doing business — it’s an opportunity for competitive distinction.

screenshot of a record of customer interaction history in

Think of the best experience you’ve ever had as a customer dealing with a company and also the worst. The difference between those 2 experiences is strategically planned, exceptionally implemented, customer relationship management.

Did the awesome CRM company earn your repeat business since the experience? And what about the second company?

Such is the importance of the practice of customer relationship management.

Various CRM dashboards on

Companies practice CRM so they can boost sales, improve customer satisfaction, and ultimately increase profitability. It also has the effect of enhancing the reputation of the company in the customer’s eyes, which is a powerful marketing asset on its own.

CRM is planned on paper but enacted and developed using CRM platform software.

A ‘CRM system’ is software that helps organizations enhance customer relationships through a dedicated customer portal that tracks customer engagements to expose CRM opportunities and weaknesses.

Accordingly, picking the right CRM solution is essential in developing an effective CRM strategy. More on that later!

For now, let’s take a look at some actual CRM implementations to put it all in context.

Examples of CRM practices

Through their integrated CRM system, a company might notice that a high proportion of potential customers are bouncing — or leaving after viewing only one page — from a new product’s webpage.

Upon reviewing the product page in question, it becomes obvious that the complexity of the product and lack of clarity of its supposed benefits are what’s turning customers away.

So, a CRM implementation to remedy this could be:

Implementing a chatbot to your website

Chatbots are automated messengers that can answer customer queries directly on the webpage. By installing a chatbot, the company notices a drastically reduced bounce rate and marginally improved conversion rate — more people buying the product.

Next, a business feels as if it’s spending too much on gaining new customers and not seeing enough repeat purchases. The CRM response could be to:

Begin tracking customer lifetime value (CLV)

They start to use advanced customer database software to analyze the value of their customers over the entire history of the relationship. With this data, they can group customers according to their monetary value, focusing marketing efforts, and creating sales opportunities.

Finally, a company wants to prevent any potential customer dissatisfaction from product defects. To get ahead of it, they:

Use software to link the customer service department to the product technical team

With this CRM implementation, the most common faults with products can be identified through customer service data. This is then fed to the product team to address the key technical issues, thereby minimizing future complaints.

As a small promotional interlude, we should probably mention that we at are something of a CRM powerhouse ourselves. We have developed a Work OS platform with incredibly powerful CRM capabilities, which we can’t wait to show you in the next section!

Ok, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

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What are the 3 types of CRM?

There are 3 main categories of CRM, which can help direct your relationship management practices where it’s most needed.

Operational CRM

Operational CRM relates to the automation of certain actions and interactions in the customer-facing areas of the business.

Our earlier example of the chatbot is an operational CRM implementation. says: leave CRM to the robots

With, you don’t have to do much of the CRM work yourself. Using powerful automation software, you can set up CRM rules for any objective and let the software do the work for you.

From notifications that integrate with your current tools, to triggering custom workflows, our CRM technology automations put your customers first without the heavy lifting.

Various automation rules for CRM actions

Collaborative CRM

Collaborative CRM links the various departments of a company together to create CRM opportunities that benefit the customer.

Linking the product team to the customer service department would be an example of collaborative CRM. says: integrations for every department features a world of integrations for third-party tools that can connect all the dots of your company and create a competition-beating CRM network. Sync your sales, customer service, social media, and email data in one place for relationship management at a glance.

Analytical CRM

Analytical CRM relates to monitoring and assessing the data derived from customers to provide strategic insight into your CRM activity.

Tracking customer lifetime value is an example of analytical CRM. says: no more analysis paralysis

As the central hub for your CRM data, our platform allows you to see the truly important stuff without tool-switching. Manage customer accounts by priority, deal size, expected close date, and more by visualizing everything in one colorful dashboard. CRM dashboard customer relationships, managed

If the question is ‘how do we handle everything related to CRM in our company?’, the answer is

Our software allows you to connect all your customer data tools to a central hub, where essential information about customer interaction can be analyzed, automated, and executed upon in one place.

To get the full picture, check out our CRM page and find your solution. You can also get a head start with our wide range of CRM templates.

CRM adds value to your business

Customer relationship management is the new competitive battleground in an increasingly customer-centric business landscape.

There are more ways than ever to gather, track, and analyze meaningful pieces of customer data that you can use to elevate the quality of the customer experience to new levels.

Your customers will thank you and your company will enjoy more customer loyalty, repeat purchases, and overall healthier profitability than you thought possible.

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