What is CRM?

How it works and how to use it. Definition and benefits in Sales.

What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software?

CRM means Customer Relationship Management. It helps businesses remember everything about their customers and keeps all the customer info in one spot.

CRMs make businesses more organized, work better, and manage time well. It’s like having a helper that makes things go smoothly.

Your customers are like gold for your business! As you grow, you’ll want a special place where your sales team can find all the info about customers and take care of relationships. That’s where CRM systems come in – they’re like magic tools that help businesses handle customer stuff and make sales plans that work.

CRM is not ERP

Remember, CRM is different from ERP (CRM is not ERP). With CRM, your sales team can handle things like talking to customers, making sales smoother, and keeping customers happy. It’s like having a cool book with details about people and companies (we call that contact management). 

CRM tools can help bosses keep an eye on what the team is doing and help salespeople save time when they’re collecting info. These tools can speed up how your business does things in both sales and marketing, and make customers even happier!

How CRM works

A CRM system is a great tool that helps businesses remember their customer relationships. When a business is small, they might use things like excel sheets or email boxes for this. 

But when a business grows big, it becomes tough to keep everything organized. That’s when a CRM system steps in – it’s a helpful way to make sure everything is in order and works smoothly.

Each of these fields can be updated, optimized and customized to suit your needs.

So, if you have 100 or more contacts, you can start using a CRM like Onpipeline. 

It’s easy to add tasks, such as a follow-up with new leads, and tracking what kind of responses have (or haven’t) worked so far.

While in Excel, you usually organize information horizontally, in a CRM, you can connect different pieces of data in various ways, giving them different perspectives and relationships. 

With a CRM:

  • More contacts within a company
  • Contact history
  • Sales pipeline
  • Reporting
  • and much more!

With Excel – horizontal:

  • E-mail
  • Phone
  • Website
  • Street address
  • Customer type

Can I run a business without CRM?

The more time a business spends on paperwork, the less time they have for other important things. When a sales team is busy talking to customers and getting information, it can create a lot of work. Salespeople often meet customers outside the office and get helpful info. But sadly, this info isn’t always kept in one place, which makes it hard to find and use.

Remember, CRM isn’t just for sales – it’s helpful for all parts of a business. Without CRM, important info can get lost, meetings might not be remembered on time, and it can be tough to figure out what customers need the most.

Customers can contact a business in many ways – like asking questions, checking on orders, or telling about a problem. If there’s no CRM, it might take a while to answer, and that can make customers unhappy.

Even if you manage to gather data, it can be hard to understand it and get useful insights from it. This can mean that bosses don’t really know what their teams are up to, and that can cause problems because no one is sure who should be responsible for what.

Benefits of using CRM

A Customer Relationship Management system is a strong tool that helps businesses manage their customer friendships, follow customer talks, and study customer info. It’s useful for sales teams to work together on talking to customers and keeping up with them. 

Marketing teams can see if customers like their campaigns. Any team that talks to customers can use it to give great service. CRMs also show businesses interesting stuff about how customers behave and what they like. This helps businesses make things that customers want even more.

1. Customer overview

CRM automates and simplifies the process of tracking customer interactions and collecting data, such as contact information, customer preferences, sales history, and more. 

This data can then be used to inform sales, marketing, and customer service. 

It provides customer service teams with the ability to easily access customer data and respond quickly to customer inquiries. 

By managing all your leads and collecting important contact information, a CRM system helps ensure that all teams are on the same page and can provide customers with a unified, positive experience.

2. Increase in sales

It involves creating a streamlined process to make sales faster and more efficient. This could include automating certain tasks, such as customer follow-ups, or creating standard processes for sales activities. 

Building a sales pipeline helps to track customer progress and identify where the sales process is being held up. 

Managing the stage of sales is important to ensure that all customers are progressing through the sales process, and that any issues are quickly identified and addressed. 

Finally, analyzing all sales data in a single location allows sales teams to quickly identify trends and areas for improvement. By taking these steps, businesses can improve their sales process and increase their profits.

3. Analysis

CRM tools are designed to help businesses organize and manage customer data. By breaking down data into smaller, more manageable pieces, businesses can gain valuable insights into their customer base and identify patterns and trends in their customer behavior. 

This data can then be used to create more targeted marketing campaigns, personalized customer experiences, and improved customer service. 

Additionally, CRM tools can help businesses better understand their customer base, allowing them to better respond to customer needs and preferences. This can lead to increased customer loyalty, resulting in improved customer retention rates and increased sales.

4. Productivity and efficiency

CRM can help your business avoid missed opportunities and improve your overall business processes by providing a sales pipeline

This pipeline enables you to track your sales prospects, contacts, and customers from the initial contact through to the close of a sale. It will also allow you to forecast future sales, compare performance against goals, and identify trends and opportunities for improvement. 

Additionally, a CRM tool can help you manage customer data, automate manual tasks, and streamline communication with customers. By leveraging a CRM tool, you can reduce time spent on administrative tasks and focus on strategies to drive customer acquisition and retention.

5. Centralized database

A centralized database with all your contact information can be easily accessed by anyone in your company, allowing them to quickly search for contacts, view customer profiles, and get the information they need. 

CRM provides powerful insights, allowing you to better understand customer behavior, target the right audiences, and optimize your marketing campaigns for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. 

6. Customer segmentation

CRM systems are great tools for organizing and managing customer and prospect relationships. It allows you to store, categorize, and access your contacts in a way that is customizable to your own needs. 

With a CRM, you can easily organize your contacts into different lists, such as customers, prospects, partners, or any other criteria you wish to use. This makes it simple to find and contact the contacts you need, when you need them. 


Cloud-based CRM

A cloud-based service is tool or platform that you can use over the internet. Instead of having the tool installed on your own computer, it’s stored and runs on powerful computers that are somewhere else, often in big data centers. This means you can access and use the service from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection.

The same information to anyone from anywhere

In today’s business environment, a cloud-based CRM offers a user-friendly platform for seamless collaboration. By utilizing consistently updated information, companies can enhance productivity without the burden of costly in-house software and hardware maintenance.

Cloud-based CRM systems, such as the one offered by Onpipeline, facilitate universal access to shared data regardless of geographical location.

This feature empowers sales teams to efficiently review and update data, even immediately following meetings, promoting real-time responsiveness. The accessibility of shared information empowers individuals across the organization to work from any location, ensuring that everyone who requires the data can readily access it, fostering efficient teamwork and information sharing.

Cloud-based CRMs offer many benefits, including freedom from the need to install software on a large number of devices. Moving data, software, and services into a secure online environment can help organizations worldwide improve their CRM systems.

Low cost

Implementing CRM is a breeze and doesn’t call for any special installations or hardware. This helps keep your IT costs in check and removes the hassle of handling updates and versions. Cloud-based CRM systems generally come with a pricing structure based on the number of users and the features you require.

This route can prove more budget-friendly and adaptable compared to other alternatives, enabling you to effortlessly incorporate more users as your business expands. Onpipeline takes flexibility a step further by tailoring its functionality to your needs, ensuring you only pay for the features that matter to you.

What is a Sales Pipeline?

A Sales Pipeline is a set of stages that a prospect moves through in a CRM system. Prospects are moved to the next sales pipeline stage after completing certain tasks. A Sales Pipeline is similar to a sales process, and refers to the actions that sales reps take for every Lead, such as calling to qualify them or sending proposals.

Sales Pipeline vs. Funnel

The Sales Pipeline is often confused with the sales funnel, but it is technically speaking a part of the funnel. A CRM tool with pipeline management can have a positive impact on performance by helping to define the sales process, identify losses, and simplify the conversion process.

Why you need a CRM 

A Sales CRM is a tool that doesn’t just solve problems like qualifying and following leads or prioritizing activities. In fact, it can handle a lot more.

1. Secure storage

CRM software helps salespeople securely store leads, sales opportunities, current deals and sales pipeline data in a central database.

2. Plan your time

CRM helps sales reps optimize their daily activities and prioritize their prospects to make sure that no customer is forgotten and that all prospects are contacted on time. This subsequently leads to more deals being closed.

3. Activity reports

CRM helps you prepare reports in a simple manner, and it only takes a few clicks to alert others that no transactions are currently active.

4. Stay up to date

CRM offers shared calendars, email and phone integration, social media messaging, keeping team members up to date. CRM also increases communication between salespeople and sales management.

5. Show up in time

By saving all customer communications, CRM helps salespeople get when customers should be contacted.

6. Rationalize your sales actions

CRM helps simplify the sales process, which means closing more deals in the sales pipeline and achieving goals.

7. Know what your customers really want

Salespeople should use the CRM to analyze customer needs and anticipate problems in order to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. This will also lead to higher profit margins.

8. Save money

CRM systems may not be cheap, but they can save you time and money in the long run!

Do you need a CRM?

Any company that wishes to maintain a customer relationship must have reports on their leads and customers, understand their sales team’s efficiency, and have customers interact with various departments within the organization.


It’s cloud-based CRM software that you can try for free. It means that users can access all of its features without having to install any hardware or software on their computer. The customer can be up and running in hours!

With Onpipeline CRM software, you can manage accounts, contacts, leads, opportunities, and forecasts. Onpipeline works in several industries like Healthcare, Financial Services, Wholesalers and distributors, Manufacturing, etc.

A sales pipeline is a series of stages that a prospect goes through. Once certain tasks are completed, the prospect moves on to the next stage. This is similar to a sales process, which refers to the actions sales reps take for each lead (e.g. qualifying them with a phone call, sending proposals, etc.).

See how Onpipeline can work for you!

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Frequently Asked Questions

In Brief: What Exactly is a CRM?

In simple terms, a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is like an  organizer for businesses. It keeps track of all the important information about your customers and helps your team work together smoothly.

It’s like having a helpful assistant that remembers who your customers are, what they like, and what you need to do for them.

With a CRM, you can keep everyone on the same page, provide better service, and make your business more successful.

What Are the Top Benefits of Using a CRM?

Using a CRM platform can bring a host of advantages to your business.

  1. it keeps all your customer information organized in one place, making it easy to access and update.
  2. it boosts your team’s collaboration by allowing everyone to see the same customer details and interactions.
  3. it enhances customer service as you can respond to inquiries faster and with accurate information.
  4. it tracks your sales activities, making it simpler to spot trends and make informed decisions. 
  5. it improves customer retention by helping you stay connected and provide personalized experiences. All in all, adopting a CRM system can revolutionize the way you do business, leading to increased efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Is a CRM Worth It? Cost vs. Return on Investment

The question of whether a CRM is worth the investment is a common consideration for businesses.

While there is an average cost associated with implementing and maintaining a CRM, the return on investment (ROI) often outweighs the expenses.

A well-implemented CRM streamlines processes, enhances customer interactions, and boosts sales efficiency. This results in saved time, reduced errors, improved customer retention, and increased revenue. While the initial investment might seem daunting, the long-term benefits in terms of better customer relationships, higher productivity, and increased profits make a compelling case for the value a CRM can bring to your  business.

Onpipeline™ is a cloud-based CRM. You can manage leads, customers, deals, activities, and the entire sales process from anywhere.

Should you have any questions about features, pricing or anything else, please contact us

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