CRM software (customer relationship management software), sometimes referred to as sales force automation (SFA) software, helps businesses track and manage customer interactions in a single system of record. A CRM will record interactions between a business, its prospects, and its existing customers. It will also ease those interactions by placing all relevant customer data—including contact information, history, and transaction summaries—into a concise live record.
CRM software is most commonly implemented in sales departments to act as the central hub for sales force automation, including contact, account, and opportunity management. CRM software is often delivered separately from other enterprise solutions, such as ERP systems, marketing automation software, and customer service software, but is often integrated with other business applications to facilitate an enhanced and coordinated customer experience.
To qualify for inclusion in the CRM category, a product must:
- Provide a bounded set of sales-related functions
- Consolidate customer history and transactions into a single interface
- Track prospects and contacts throughout the sales pipeline
- Facilitate communication at all phases of the customer lifecycle
- Integrate functions into a unifying database and platform