CRM software supports strong, productive, loyal customer relationships through informed and superior customer experiences. The goal? To improve customer acquisition and retention by providing experiences that keep your customers coming back. Customer relationship management is both a strategy and a tool that supports those experiences in five key ways.

What is CRM?

CRM is an approach that helps businesses improve existing customer relationships and acquire new customers faster. Here’s a complete overview of Customer Relationship Management system for you to get started easily and understand the benefits it can bring to your business.

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. Today, when you hear about CRM, it mostly refers to CRM software – a tool which acts as a single repository to bring your sales, marketing, customer support activities together, and streamlines your process, policy, and people in one platform. With more businesses going opting for a hybrid work model, it is important to have a "remote CRM" that keeps your remote sales team productive and gives them the necessary tools to collaborate with their peers and engage their customers with ease. We’ve put together a short explanation video of what a CRM system really means and what it can do for your business.

What are the types of CRM systems?

On-premise CRM vs cloud-based CRM

One of the first choices that a business has to make is choosing between an On-permise and a cloud CRM system. An On-premise CRM system typically involves the business having to set up the complete back-end infrastructure and foot the bill for maintenance and upgrade, on top of the licensing cost for the actual software.

A cloud CRM system is often the most preferred option for businesses as it is accessible easily through any browser, allowing for quicker deployments and usage. Other added benefits include no maintenance or upkeep costs, greater accessibility to your data when needed and the flexibility to scale up or down with ease.

Industry-specific CRM software

There are multiple vendors in the market who offer CRM software that are specifically built from the ground up to cater to the niche requirements of different industries. Dedicated CRM software are available for industry verticals like real-estate, healthcare, insurance, financial services, media agencies, hospitality and more.

All-in-one CRM solutions

The most popular cloud CRM offerings tend to be these all-in-one CRM solutions that are robust, extremely customizable and integrate with a wide range of popular business software to provide a 360 degree view of your customers. They are feature-rich, secure and easy to use, allowing businesses of different sizes and from across different industries to leverage effectively and see an immediate positive impact on their sales operations.

Who is CRM for?

A CRM system gives everyone — from sales, customer service, business development, recruiting, marketing, or any other line of business — a better way to manage the external interactions and relationships that drive success. A CRM tool lets you store customer and prospect contact information, identify sales opportunities, record service issues, and manage marketing campaigns, all in one central location — and make information about every customer interaction available to anyone at your company who might need it.

With visibility and easy access to data, it’s easier to collaborate and increase productivity. Everyone in your company can see how customers have been communicated with, what they’ve bought, when they last purchased, what they paid, and so much more. CRM can help companies of all sizes drive business growth, and it can be especially beneficial to a small business, where teams often need to find ways to do more with less.

Here’s why CRM matters to your business.

The Salesforce Customer 360 for Sales, Service and Marketing

CRM is the largest and fastest-growing enterprise application software category, and worldwide spending on CRM is expected to reach USD $114.4 billion by the year 2027. If your business is going to last, you need a strategy for the future that’s centered around your customers, and enabled by the right technology. You have targets for sales, business objectives, and profitability. But getting up-to-date, reliable information on your progress can be tricky. How do you translate the many streams of data coming in from sales, customer service, marketing, and social media monitoring into useful business information?

A CRM system can give you a clear overview of your customers. You can see everything in one place — a simple, customizable dashboard that can tell you a customer’s previous history with you, the status of their orders, any outstanding customer service issues, and more. You can even choose to include information from their public social media activity — their likes and dislikes, what they are saying and sharing about you or your competitors. Marketers can use a CRM solution to manage and optimize campaigns and lead journeys with a data-driven approach, and better understand the pipeline of sales or prospects coming in, making forecasting simpler and more accurate. You’ll have clear visibility of every opportunity or lead, showing you a clear path from inquiries to sales. Some of the biggest gains in productivity and in making a whole-company shift to customer-centricity can come from moving beyond CRM as just a sales and marketing tool, and embedding it in your business — from finance to customer services and supply chain management. This helps to ensure that customer needs are at the forefront of business process and innovation cycles.

Though CRM systems have traditionally been used as sales and marketing tools, customer service and support is a rising segment of CRM and a critical piece in managing a holistic customer relationship. Today’s customer might raise an issue in one channel — say, Twitter — and then switch to email or telephone to resolve it in private. A CRM platform lets you manage the inquiry across channels without losing track, and gives sales, service, and marketing a single view of the customer to inform their activities. The ability to connect these three functions, and the teams that deliver them, on one platform and with one view to the customer, is invaluable for delivering relevant, connected experiences.

How CRM improves customer experience

CRM software solutions help sales reps organize their leads, automate follow-ups, and manage their opportunities and pipeline. But sales isn’t the only department within your organization that can benefit from your CRM platform. Marketing, customer support, product development, content management, and HR can all achieve high ROI from a CRM solution.

For example, since your solution holds essential information about every customer, your customer support teams can put that customer data to good use. With CRM data, your customer support reps (CSRs) have more insight into who your customer are, their needs and motivations, and what type of relationship they’ve had with your brand in the past. This information gives your customer service reps context when interacting with those customers.

Cloud CRM

On-premises CRM

On-premises CRM gives you complete control over your system, but there is a trade-off. These systems must be purchased, installed and deployed, monitored, maintained, and upgraded. As a result, they can be costly, involve time-intensive installations and upgrades, and require in-house IT resources for ongoing maintenance.

With an on-premises CRM solution, access to new functionality can be a long, drawn-out, and expensive process. Also, sophisticated AI-based technology—to support virtual assistants, chatbots, next-best recommendations, and predictive analytics—will not be available.

Cloud CRM

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) options offer simple interfaces that are easy to use and require less IT involvement and investment than on-premises CRM tools. Because upgrades are pushed through automatically, you always have the most up-to-date functionality without significant IT effort.

This includes new advanced technology, such as AI and machine learning that can help you turn your customer data into relevant customer experiences. Cloud-based CRM also offers the convenience of anytime, anywhere access through mobile devices.

Hybrid CRM deployment

A hybrid CRM deployment requires trade-offs in all the areas mentioned above, but this deployment model can also deliver the best of both worlds. However, it’s important to recognize that IT technology is increasingly moving to the cloud. Companies that remain heavily invested in on-premises CRM risk being left behind as competitors advance to the cloud. Your ability to provide mobile access will also be limited.

There are so many things to take into consideration when selecting a CRM system for your organization. But in the end, the CRM model most suitable for you is the one that allows you to interact with your customers in meaningful ways to drive exceptional customer experiences.


The free CRM has many features, but a lot of them aren’t that robust, which means you may find yourself having to shell out for Marketing, Sales, or Service Hub products. Customizability is limited, which might make the CRM hard for certain niche small businesses to tweak and meaningfully implement.

Email - Omnichannel communication - Zoho CRM Software

CRM چیست؟ تعریف و مفاهیم مدیریت ارتباط با مشتری

  1. CRM مخفف چیست؟ CRM مخفف مدیریت ارتباط با مشتری می‌باشد و هدفش این است که ارتباط با مشتریانمان و نحوه پاسخ به نیاز‌ها و در خواست‌های آن‌ها را به بهترین شکل مدیریت کنیم. که این امر باعث موفقیت روز افزون کسب و کارمان خواهد شد.
  2. CRM استراتژی نحوه تعامل و مشارکت فعال با مشتریان است. سی آر ام موفق، کسب و کار را از دید مشتری می‌بیند و در برنامه ریزی خود تجربه مشتری را در نظر می‌گیرد. نگاه از دید مشتری به شما کمک می‌کند تا شکاف‌ها و فرصت‌های موجود در کسب و کارتان را مشاهده و استراتژی و فرآیند‌های موثر‌تری برای سازمان در نظر بگیرید.
  3. باید این را در نظر گرفت که CRM تنها یک نرم افزار نیست. امروزه این مبحث را به یک ابزار خلاصه می‌کنند که به سازمان‌ها اجازه می‌دهد تا بیشتر بر روی فعالیت‌ها و روابط مرتبط با مشتریان، خریداران، تامین کننده‌گان و همکاران خود تمرکز کنند اما در واقع مفهوم مدیریت ارتباط با مشتری از لایه استراتژی آغاز شده و در نهایت این نرم افزار‌ها ابزاری هستند برای تسهیل در اجرای استراتژی‌های سازمان.
  4. در سازمان‌‌ها از چهار نوع CRM استفاده می‌شود:
  • CRM استراتژیک: استراتژی کسب و کار شما در زمینه مشتری محوری را شکل می‌دهد و به شما کمک می‌کند تا مشتریان جدید جذب نموده و مشتریان فعلی خود را راضی و سود آور نگه دارید. این استراتژی نقش بسیار پر‌رنگی در سازمانتان بازی می‌کند چرا که موجب می‌شود فرآیند‌ها و فرهنگ سازمانی صحیح مشتری محوری در کسب و کار شما شکل بگیرد.
  • CRM عملیاتی: عملیات و اتوماسیون فرآیند‌های ارائه خدمت به مشتریان مانند فرآیند‌های بازاریابی، فروش و ارائه خدمات پس از فروش را مدیریت می‌کند. فرآیندهایی در سازمان وجود دارند که شما با استفاده از آن‌ها نیاز‌های مشتریانتان را در مواقع مختلفی که با شما ارتباط دارند پاسخ می‌دهید، برای مثال زمانی که مشتری درخواست دریافت خدمات پس از فروش خود را ارائه می‌دهد سازمان چگونه به وی پاسخ داده و خدمات مورد انتظارش را به او ارائه می‌کند. در این مسیر از نرم افزار CRM هم کمک خواهید گرفت که بتوانید حجم زیاد اطلاعات مشتریان، فایل‌های مرتبط با آنها و غیره را به نحو بهتری مدیریت نمایید.


  • CRM تحلیلی: فرآیندی است که با استفاده از آن داده‌های عملیاتی که از بازاریابی و ارتباط با مشتری جمع آوری شده است را به اطلاعاتی تبدیل می‌کنید که در تصمیم گیری‌های فرآیندی و استراتژیک به سازمان شما کمک می‌کند. برای مثال نتایج حاصل از فروش محصولات گوناگون به شما کمک می‌کند در‌یابید که روی چه محصولاتی و چه ویژگی‌های محصولی باید بیشتر تمرکز کنید و یا نتایج حاصل از جذب مشتریان بعد از یک کمپین بازاریابی به شما دید می‌دهد که کمپین بعدی خود را موثر‌تر برگزار نمایید.
  • CRM تعاملی: رابط میان شما و محیط بیرون (مشتریان و نمایندگان) می‌باشد که به شما کمک می‌کند ارزش بیشتری برای مشتریان خود خلق نمایید. در واقع سیستم‌ها به شما کمک خواهند کرد که بتوانید بازخورد‌های مشتریانتان را چه مثبت و چه منفی دریافت نمایید، درخواست‌های آن‌ها را راحت شنیده و در سازمان به جریان بیندازید. برخی از کانال‌های ارتباطی عبارتند از سیستم تلفنی، ایمیل، پیامک، chat و غیره. این نرم افزار علاوه بر مشتریان می‌توانند با نمایندگان، توزیع کننده‌گان و تامین‌کنندگان شما نیز در ارتباط باشند.

Testimonials from the #ZohoCRMFamily

With Zoho CRM, we experienced a 65% increase in our sales pipeline. We also managed to reduce our lead to real prospect time by 60%, which is huge. I would definitely recommend Zoho CRM to companies that are experiencing complexity with sales and marketing and witnessing rapid growth.

Since switching to Zoho CRM, JusCollege has effectively managed the large volume of contacts flowing through the sales pipeline and has already increased its sales from 800 million to $20 million in just two years. We attribute this to Zoho – being organized, getting more visibility, seeing where the problem points are, and restructuring our business.

Zoho had all of the functionality that we could ever need, at a fraction of the cost of Salesforce. It felt much more intuitive, and I was sure we would be very happy moving forward with Zoho. In less than a year, The NetMen Corp has witnessed an increase of repeat customer sales from 20 percent up to 40 percent, as well as an overall increase in net income.

Sign up for CRM software | Zoho CRM

Improved Sales.
Lasting Relationships.
Faster Growth.

CRM software is a technology that helps businesses build, maintain, and scale their relationships with their current and future customers. At its core, CRM holds all your customer data in one place and acts as an indispensable source of information for your entire organization. Starting from the point when a lead discovers your product or service to the moment that you close them as a deal, CRM brings greater visibility into an organization’s processes and plays a vital role in offering a unified experience to your customers.

Without a CRM, your business will find it tough to manage customer information and offer support when they need it. The success of your business lies in winning repeat customers, and CRM systems play a huge role in achieving that. By helping your brand become more customer-centric, a CRM has a direct impact on your organization’s growth and revenue, while drastically cutting down time spent on repetitive data entry and management.

Taking time to make time (and money)

OK, so, customer relationship management software is there to help streamline work for the sales team—or a number of other purposes such as social media management, leads/contacts organization, customer support, email campaigns, lead scoring, subscriptions, sign-ups, etc. But what is streamlining exactly?

“Streamline” is understood as making things faster and easier. CRM achieves this by combining what could be several different programs into one single platform: customer communication, email marketing, phone, data logging and retrieval, reports and analytics, work task assignment, etc. To streamline means to have all that essential data in one place—the ability to analyze, organize, and optimize—so that companies can paint their best customer behavior portrait.

There’s also an emphasis on the user-friendliness of today’s CRM. This is where a lot of software companies take pride, providing an upgrade from dreaded static spreadsheets, and complicated funnels/sales pipelines.

With CRM you get readable versions with useful charts featuring extensive data and customer histories. Relevant information like stats and analytics are instantly created from any number of readily-available data sets, while team member task assignments can be as simple as drag-n-drop action.

The CRM industry has been growing at a crazy pace in recent years. Intensified competition and the “Uberization” trend have conspired to push costs down, ease the adoption curve, and increase quality and features. More and better free CRM software is one happy result.

17 best free CRM (try before you buy)

Free CRM systems offer the opportunity to try out a platform with your team and see if you can derive value from it without dishing out on the initial investment—especially if you’re a small business or a budding startup on a lean budget a crm for small business is the way to go.


Freshsales is a full-fledged sales force automation solution for sales teams. It provides everything a salesperson needs to— attract quality leads, engage in contextual conversations, drive deals with AI-powered insights, and nurture customer relationships.

With built-in email, phone, chat, and telephony, Freshsales empowers sales teams with more time for selling by automating the sales process and increases efficiency and productivity in their daily activities. With Freddy AI, salespeople can get insights into the best deals to go after and what actions to take and predict revenue with sales forecasting. Businesses can take the next step forward towards powerful pipeline management with Freshsales. Also, the option to use native CPQ makes generating and sharing quotes and other vital sales assets hassle-free.

Like many vendors, some of the better features are reserved for premium packages. Among these for Freshworks CRM are time-based workflows, some chatbot tools and advanced metric reporting. But overall, the free and basic plans are a decent place to start, and you can always upgrade.

Less Annoying CRM

LACRM handles task management, lead-to-sale, contact management, and follow-ups. Manage all your customer data, track your leads through sales pipelines. Stay on top of events and to-dos (in easy-to-use calendar and agenda formats). Makes a great real estate crm.

Emails written and received outside a CRM platform can be logged inside LACRM. The app provides every user with a unique email logging address. You can create a contact with whatever email provider you use.

If you’re seeking free-ness, their unpaid plan for up to three users is a good place to start. The platform will allow you to build up and define specific workflow, manage leads, and start rationalizing day-to-day operations. It integrates with Twitter, Google+, and Facebook too, so you can reach out to leads with superhuman perfect timing.

Once you outgrow the free CRM, you can upgrade to the reasonably priced Standard version of Zoho CRM, which pumps up the usability factor with robust sales forecasting and KPI tracking. The Enterprise version piles on more features like stage-by-stage sales funnel tracking, data comparisons across users, teams, regions, products/services, and much more.

Zoho has no email tracking or individual lead notifications, which might be a problem if one-on-one, long-term engagement with specific users is integral to your business. UI can be a bit laggy. Paying for Zoho add-on modules to give the CRM more mileage can shoot up operational costs quickly.

Really Simple Systems

Really Simple Systems (RSS for short) doesn’t shy away from touting their marketing automation, sales and service platform as simple—but that doesn’t mean it lacks sophistication, it’s just really easy to use. This is especially handy for companies with distributed offices and remote workforces.

While they have paid-for versions, their free option is more than just a temporary trial offer for companies up to two users, so budding businesses and solo entrepreneurial ventures can use the CRM without watching the calendar. It allows for unlimited contacts and up to 100 MBs of document storage. The free version includes many of the core features including sales automation and customer service.

Free users will be able to access distinct management tools for both contacts, which updates in real time all relevant info and related tasks for contacts, vendors and suppliers; and leads, which aims to convert contacts into eventual sales. RSS also does reporting their own way, dividing up the action in two parts.

For one, there’s ‘Listing reports’ for quick stats on simple questions like, “how many hits did we get this month?” (you can formulate more complex questions too). Then there’s ‘Forecast reports’ which focus on expected sales numbers in a variety of time frames.


EngageBay bills itself as a HubSpot alternative, and sells three business process-orientated suites: Marketing Automation, Live Chat & Helpdesk, and CRM & Sales Bay. The last of these, CRM & Sales Bay, provides contact management tools designed for simplicity and company growth.

Integrates with Gmail, Office 365 or any other IMAP service, with two-way sync capabilities. Zapier, SendGrid, Mailgun, Xero, and Mandrill integrations allow you to connect your CRM with your other business processes and further streamline your operations.


Rather than piling on extended features, Capsule quite simply hones in on being really good at managing daily work. You can instantly find out what’s going on with your sales pipeline (bids, lead generation, proposals, customer data, etc.) and what your team needs to do and when.


While most people think of CRM for marketing or closing software for sales, collaborative CRM is about using customer relationship management software across various departments to improve the overall relationship with customers.

Salesflare Pricing

CRM Software Demo

CRM Software is a customer software solution system that manages customer interactions and relationships with both current and potential customers. In our PHP CRM you can manage leads, opportunities, customers, call logs, appointments, quotations, invoices, support tickets, expenses, private notes, accounting reports, customer and staff login, multiple currencies, multiple languages, and many more.

PHP CRM is a software that is used by a big and small organization. PHP CRM manages customer interactions. It provides the facility to store customer and leads information, identifies sales opportunities, and record data. PHP CRM helps an organization improve existing customer relationships and maintains a relationship with the existing customers as well as future customers. PHP CRM is software for collecting, storing and managing customer information. PHP CRM provides the functionality of lead management, opportunity management, customer management, Inventory management, helpdesk management, newsletter management, report management, staff management, set-up, and activity management system.


The main benefit of a demo during crm software selection is that it shows not only what features and functions a solution supports, but how they’re delivered. The software is used to keep business on track, and to show what the customer wants to see.

Who should use a CRM?

The power of customer relationship management is derived by constantly gathering customer data, analyzing that data, and then using those insights to deepen relationships and improve business results. It allows any customer-facing employee to convey, "We know you, and we value you."

CRM software supports strong, productive, loyal customer relationships through informed and superior customer experiences. The goal? To improve customer acquisition and retention by providing experiences that keep your customers coming back. Customer relationship management is both a strategy and a tool that supports those experiences in five key ways.

Answer the most basic customer questions

Customer relationship management helps you find new customers, sell to them, and develop a loyal customer relationship with them. These systems collect many different types of customer data and organize it so you understand your customers/prospects better and can answer (or even anticipate) their questions.

Manage customer data

Bad decisions come from a lack of access to and inability to interpret customer data. Being able to store, track, and validate customer data within an automated system will allow sales and marketing teams to optimize customer engagement strategies and build better relationships.

Automate the sales process

Sales force automation makes selling more efficient, helping you sell more quickly. The best CRM systems use artificial intelligence (AI) and unified customer data to automate the sales process by prompting sellers with recommended next-best actions.

Personalize marketing campaigns

Customers and potential customers arrive through various channels, including websites, social media, email, online/offline events, etc. Unfortunately, many businesses struggle to connect marketing efforts across all these channels. Marketing teams can improve conversions, strengthen customer relationships, and align messaging across their digital customer channels by leveraging CRM systems.

Align sales and marketing

With customer relationship management, marketing and sales work better together to drive sales and increase revenue. When sales and marketing are in sync, sales productivity goes up along with marketing ROI.

CRM Software FAQ

If you’re looking for a simple and easy to use CRM, there are plenty of options. The free version of HubSpot that syncs with your Gmail account is very easy to set up and use. NetHunt, another Gmail-based CRM is another one that can be installed with just a few clicks. Finally, Nimble CRM is known as a user-friendly CRM and is quick and easy to set up.

Learning to implement and use a CRM is not as difficult as one would think. All CRMs have helpful onboarding support and technicians to get your system up and running and synced with your tech stack.
If you’re looking for a highly-customizable solution, Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle, SAP, and Salesforce all provide excellent implementation support.

Google does not have its own CRM. However there are a lot of CRM systems that integrate with Gmail.
For example, Zoho, Agile CRM, Streak, HubSpot, Freshworks CRM, and Salesforce Essentials all easily integrate with your Gmail account.

According to HubSpot, they will keep their basic CRM free forever and will always have a free plan. Their free CRM tools include contact management, tasks and activities, contact website activity, company insights, prospects, ticketing, and more.

The best sales CRM software should have tools built for sales teams, including sales pipelines, customer and lead information, automatic follow-ups, cross-sells, upsells, and more. Here are my top picks:
1. HubSpot
2. Zoho
3. Freshsales
4. Salesforce
5. Nimble
6. Pipedrive
7. NetHunt CRM
8. Nutshell CRM

Executive Summary.

Look at things like cloud vs. on-premise deployment, features and functionality, third-party integrations, ease-of-use, pricing plans, and more. Study all the facets before choosing the perfect CRM software for your business.

Disclosure: I may receive affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no cost to you if you decide to purchase a paid plan. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy. This site is not intending to provide financial advice. This is for entertainment only.

Adam Enfroy

Adam Enfroy is a full-time blogger and affiliate marketing expert. Join Adam and 500,000 monthly readers on to learn how to scale your influence at startup speed. Before starting this blog, Adam managed digital marketing teams for large SaaS startups and reviews the best software to run your online business. He has been featured in over 100 publications, including Forbes, Business Insider, and Entrepreneur.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase a paid plan. These are products I’ve personally used and stand behind. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.


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