Think about every customer interaction—meetings, phone calls, emails, and text messages. Each conversation can yield valuable insights that can improve relationships and uncover opportunities.
You might jot down notes from a call on a sticky note. But what happens if you need to recall or confirm a specific detail at a later date?
This is what makes a CRM (customer relationship management) platform especially valuable. It provides a system for recording customer data.
In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at what a CRM platform is, what it offers, and our top CRM tools.
What is a CRM platform?
A CRM platform is software that stores and organizes data about your customers from a centralized location. It helps you track customer interactions and manage your pipeline from prospecting to post-sale.
With a CRM platform, you can view all previous interactions and get up to speed before reaching out to a customer. This allows you to deliver a better customer experience by making each conversation more personal.
Why is a CRM platform important?
A study from PwC found that only 38% of consumers feel that the employees they interact with understand their needs. Using a CRM solution helps you manage customer relations and address specific pain points.
A CRM system also helps you set up a sales pipeline — a set of steps that sales teams follow to qualify and nurture leads towards a purchasing decision.
With a CRM tool, you can even automate follow-ups and other sales tasks, so you never miss an opportunity to close a deal.
Other features that CRM platforms offer include:
- Marketing automation
- Social media integration
- Sales forecasting
- Lead scoring
- File sharing
- Real-time reporting
- Collaboration tools
Before you decide on the first CRM solution you come across, let’s take a closer look at the features you should look for.
What are the 4 types of CRM platforms?
We can divide CRM software into 4 different categories based on 4 different objectives:
- Operational CRM: streamlines and automates specific processes—usually sales and marketing campaigns.
- Analytical CRM: gathers insights and data about customers to improve decision-making.
- Collaborative CRM: gets rid of silos and shares customer insights across all departments in your organization.
- Specialty CRM: streamlines and manages customer relations in a specific industry (i.e medical, hospitality, construction, etc.).
Here’s the good news: there are companies out there offer all-in-one solutions.
That means you get all of these functionalities in one place.
monday.com is one of them, such as with over 30+ drag-and-drop building blocks, you can streamline any sales process regardless of your industry.
We’ll cover this a bit later in more depth, but our CRM platform is fully customizable, data-driven, and collaborative by nature.
Also, you get access to advanced data dashboards to gather insights and drive business growth.
How to select the right CRM platform for your business
Finding the right CRM isn’t always easy. And that’s because there are different factors to take into consideration — price, features, usability, etc.
For starters, a CRM software that makes it easy to organize your leads and manage your contacts and contact information is a must.
You also want a solution where you can visualize your pipeline in one place, so you know which deals to prioritize.
Here’s an example of how sales teams are using monday.com to get a high-level view at a glance and track and manage their sales pipeline:
A sales manager can view active deals that each sales rep is working on and view how much conversion potential a lead has.
They can also see where deals are stuck and dig deeper to find out why.
To deliver a better customer experience, look for a CRM solution with contact management features. It should enable you to capture each customer interaction from phone calls, emails, and meetings.
Even after a deal is closed, your job is far from over. The right CRM facilitates collaboration and allows reps from different teams to keep up with each customers’ needs.
Check out this customer story of how Alex Benda from Oh Hello Promo uses monday.com as a sales CRM in their business process. You can even try out their board to see each step of their customer journey.
Now that you know what to look for when choosing a CRM system, let’s take a look at our top software picks for different business types.
What makes a great CRM tool?
Now that you understand what Customer Relationship Management software is, you may be wondering: how can I choose the right one for my organization?
G2—a software reviewing site—lists over 630 CRMs, and that’s just a fraction of all the tools out there.
So, with so many options, how could you possibly find the best one?
According to FinancesOnline, the top 3 features that most professionals look for in CRM platforms are:
- Ease of use
- Schedule management
- CRM data snapshot capability.
But, of course, those three elements aren’t enough to find the right CRM for your team. Nowadays, most CRM platforms are easy to use and many of them offer similar features.
What are examples of CRM tools?
A CRM is a powerful piece of software that you can use to streamline sales processes, save time, and increase customer engagement.
Here’s an overview of leading CRM platforms for different types of business.
Leading CRM platform for small to medium businesses on up: monday.com
monday.com isn’t like a traditional CRM that overwhelms you from the start. monday.com’s highly flexible sales CRM enables you to visualize your sales pipeline, and track each step of the customer journey in one place.
monday.com CRM features:
- Embed a lead generation form on your site and send customer data to your CRM
- Capture all customer interactions right from the customer data platform
- Use the Kanban view to manage all your sales activity at a glance
- See where leads are in your sales pipeline and use CRM automation tools to follow up
- Start with a ready-made template or customize it to fit your workflow
See how sales teams are using monday.com’s sales CRM software to grow their business.
CRM platform for enterprises: Salesforce CRM
Salesforce CRM offers a robust CRM that integrates sales, marketing, and customer service in one platform, making it the best solution for enterprises.
Salesforce CRM features:
- Track customer information and previous interactions in one place
- Identify what sources are driving your most valuable leads
- Help customers solve their problems even faster
- Create customer journey across different marketing channels
- Gain real-time data about your leads and customers at every stage
Enterprises can use Salesforce to capture leads, manage interactions, and increase customer retention from one place. The CRM platform also integrates with popular apps like Slack, DocuSign, Dropbox, and more.
CRM platform for nonprofits: Zoho CRM
Zoho offers a customizable CRM that allows nonprofits to manage their online presence, track donor contributions, engage interns, and more.
Zoho CRM features:
- Use the omnichannel CRM to manage your social media profiles
- Create separate portals where key stakeholders and donors can enter their details
- Provide a secure payments with Zoho — checkout right from your site
- Use the customized email templates to send emails to donors
- Manage funds and contributions you receive from your CRM
Zoho also offers a mobile app that you can use to connect with volunteers and reach out to donors.
So which customer relationship management platform should you choose?
At this point, you’re probably wondering how to choose a CRM tool that meets the features we covered earlier but also integrates with your current tools and apps.
This is where monday.com comes in handy.
So, to help you make a more informed decision, let’s quickly cover the things you can accomplish with our platform.
Let’s start by answering the question:
What is monday.com?
We’re not just another CRM software or management tool. At least not in the traditional sense of the term. We’re a complete Work OS (Work Operating System.)
Saying monday.com is just another CRM is like saying your smartphone is just another calculator. Of course, your smartphone includes a calculator, but that’s just barely scratching the surface of what it’s capable of.
You can use our platform to manage complex projects—from Scrum prints to event planning—oversee any type of team, and automate hundreds of tasks (literally). You can also design any sales process you can imagine and streamline each one of your business operations.
Some of monday.com’s most popular features:
- Templates: get access to customizable templates for any use case and industry.
- Intuitive interface: get control over your pipelines and leads with an intuitive interface.
- Centralized dashboard: manage leads, clients, documents, and tasks in a single place.
- Offline solution: get access to mobile, desktop, and offline solutions and stay connected anytime, anywhere.
- Pipeline management: track your deals and visualize how you’re doing at a glance with unlimited sales pipelines.
- Customer tracking: track contact information and get valuable insights about your customers and improving customer satisfaction levels.
- Marketing operations: visualize milestones and deadlines, integrate with dozens of other tools, and manage your entire marketing team and initiatives in one workspace.
Get started effortlessly with the right CRM tool for you
A CRM platform enables you to manage and organize customer data so your team can provide a more highly personalized customer experience.
It can also streamline your sales process, potentially shortening your sales funnel by allowing your sales team to focus more of their efforts on prospects and clients.
As your business grows, so will your CRM. Make sure you choose a CRM that can be customized to support your current business culture, and is flexible enough to grow with you as you scale.
Get a feel for an out-of-the-box solution with our CRM template which can be easily customized and duplicated to create a tailored plan for your teams.
try monday.com now, no credit card required!