Market Overview
What is CRM?
Industry Background
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What is CRM?

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a broad term that covers concepts used by companies to manage their relationships with customers, including the capture, storage and analysis of customer, vendor, partner, and internal process information.


There are three main aspects of CRM, each of which can be implemented independent of each other:


Operational - automation or support of customer processes that include a company’s sales or service representative


Collaborative - direct communication with customers that does not include a company’s sales or service representative


Analytical - analysis of customer data for a broad range of purposes




Operational CRM provides support to "front office" business processes, including sales, marketing and service. Each interaction with a customer is generally added to a customer's contact history, and staff can retrieve information on customers from the database when necessary.


One of the main BeYond Horizons of this contact history is that customers can interact with different people or different contact channels in a company over time without having to describe the history of their interaction each time.




Collaborative CRM covers direct interaction with customers, for a variety of different purposes, including feedback and issue-reporting. Interaction can be through a variety of channels, such as web pages, email, automated voice messaging or SMS.




Analytical CRM analyzes customer data for a variety of purposes:


Design and execution of targeted marketing campaigns to optimize marketing effectiveness

Design and execution of specific customer campaigns, including customer acquisition, cross-selling, up-selling, retention

Analysis of customer behavior to aid product and service decision making (e.g. pricing, new product development etc.)

Management decisions, such as financial forecasting and customer profitability analysis

Prediction of the probability of customer defection.




CRM is not a technology, but rather a comprehensive approach to an organization's philosophy in dealing with its customers. Any CRM implementation must move beyond technology, towards the broader organizational requirements.



Key modules of CRM

A typical CRM system covers the following basic modules:




Service-related functionalities are focused on effectively managing the customer service, avoid "leakage" of warranty-based services, avoid "penalties" arising due to non-conformity of SLA (Service Level Agreements), and provide support to Customers.




Sales functionalities help the Sales team to execute and manage the presales process better and in an organized manner. The Sales team is responsible for regularly capturing key customer interactions, any leads or opportunities they are working on etc, in CRM system. The system helps by processing this data, monitoring against the targets and proactively alerting the sales person with recommended further actions based on company's sales policy.

Opportunity management

Opportunities help the sales team by organizing all the relevant data regarding a prospective deal into one place. It is characterized by the details such as prospective customer, expected budget, total spending, products interested in, expected closing date, key players in the deal and their key characteristics, important dates and milestones, etc.

The opportunity has several phases, e.g. initiation, identification, qualification, RFP received, quotation sent, final stage, won or lost, and these phases can be defined based on individual company needs.

A CRM system helps in each phase by "guiding" the sales representative to carry out certain suggested activities as defined by the company's sales policy. It creates reminders and planned activities within the system. Opportunities can be directly converted into quotations or sales orders.



Quotation and sales order management

Opportunities, if they reach a quotation phase, can be converted to a quotation, and, if won are converted to a sales order. These sales orders then flow to the back-end ERP system for fulfillment and delivery.



Activity management

Activities represent various sales or service related interactions with the customer. Activity management provides a platform to consolidate all the interactions with customer into a single platform, helping to build a 360 degree view of customer.




Marketing involves providing functionalities for long-term planning and short-term execution of marketing-related activities within an organization.


Long-term market plans can be made and quantitative as well as qualitative measures can be set for a defined period and for different product groups, geographies etc. These are then monitored based on the actual performance throughout the defined period.


Campaign management

Short-term execution includes running marketing campaigns via different communication channels targeting a predefined group of potential buyers with a specific message referring to a product or a group of products.


Lead management

One key objective of the marketing function is to generate sales-related leads, which finally get converted into sales revenues for the company. Lead management deals with processing these leads, carrying out a sanity check, evaluating the genuineness of the information and converting them to hot leads or cold leads.


Enterprise Resource Planning

CRM is also related to broader enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools. ERP is an industry term for the broad set of activities supported by multi-module application software that helps a manufacturer or other business to manage the important parts of its activities. This can include product planning, purchasing, maintaining inventories, interacting with suppliers, providing customer service, and tracking orders. ERP can also include application modules for the finance and human resources aspects of a business. Typically, an ERP system uses or is integrated with a relational database system.