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What is CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. With a CRM system, you can automate and integrate your customer-facing activities: sales, marketing, customer service, and e-commerce. Best-in-class CRM software also offers tools for customer analytics, personalisation, social media, collaboration, and more.

Why is CRM important to your business?

Customer expectations have never been higher. But it’s impossible to meet them unless you can understand what each person wants, how they feel, and why they feel this way. That's where CRM comes in. New CRM systems centralise, store, and track massive volumes of customer and prospect data – from contact history to social media activity – and make it available in real time. You can analyse this data and leverage it to deliver personalised experiences that exceed expectations and create relationships that last.

80 %

80% of CEOs believe they are delivering a superior customer experience, but only 8% of customers agree

3 X

Customer experience (CX) leaders outperform the market and CX laggards by 3Xs

95 %

Increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits by up to 95%

What are the benefits of CRM?

CRM benefits are wide-ranging – from higher levels of customer engagement, loyalty, and revenue to lower costs and smarter customer-facing activities. Explore some of the top benefits of CRM systems below.

Sales and revenue

Boost pipeline visibility and sell more – with integrated tools for sales force automation, lead management, forecasting, cross-selling, e-commerce, and more. 

Customer insights

Run real-time customer analytics – to seize new sales opportunities, manage highly effective marketing campaigns, and wow customers with personalised service.

Target marketing

Rely on highly targeted marketing to reach the right people on the channel of their choice – through social media, e-mail, or campaigns.

Customer experience

Give contact centre reps and field service technicians a 360° view of customers – and provide automatic recommendations to help resolve issues on first contact.


With automated processes and scheduled follow-up prompts, a CRM system can help your sales, marketing, and service teams accomplish more with less effort.


Share information among teams, departments, and internal and external stakeholders with collaborative CRM – so that customers have a consistent experience.

Who should use CRM?

If you work in sales, marketing, customer service, business development, or any other role focused on customer account management, you would benefit from using a CRM system. By collecting all customer data into one place, instead of operating in department silos, you are able to create a more complete profile of your customer and their account. This both allows you to deliver more personally tailored engagements to them and gives you deeper insights into your own business. Industries that are leading the way include hospitality, retail, and manufacturing. Below are just a few of many customer relationship management examples in action.

What does a CRM do?

CRM systems are designed to support a customer-centric strategy. By putting customers at the centre of all sales, marketing, and service activities, companies can build strong relationships, convert prospects into leads, win loyalty, boost customer retention, and drive more revenue. So how does CRM software work? There are three important aspects to a CRM system.

1. A centralised customer data hub

By consolidating all of their customer data – including contact details, cross-channel interactions, service history, and social media activity – companies gain a 360-degree view of each customer, available in real time.

2. Customer analytics

Analysis of customer interactions and history allow companies to gain deeper insight into expectations and needs. These insights can be used to target offers, resolve service issues, boost satisfaction, create personalised experiences, and inform marketing strategies

3. CRM process and marketing automation

By automating processes such as lead and pipeline management, campaign development, and service tracking, companies can not only greatly improve efficiency but also provide a better experience for customers. The system will inform a sales rep when it’s time to follow up with a prospect, ensure that customers receive only relevant offers, and that service issues are resolved without customers needing to repeat their concerns.

5 signs you’re ready for a CRM system

Your customer data lives in silos

If different departments track and store their own customer data, it’s impossible to gain a 360-degree view of the customer. CRM software consolidates customer data into one place – so everyone in the organisation has the best, most up-to-date information.

You want insight into results

Do you know how effective your marketing campaigns and sales strategies really are? CRM dashboards make it easy to understand the performance of all your marketing, sales and service activities so you can see what’s working and what’s not.

Your staff is bogged down with manual processes

If your team spends more time updating spreadsheets than they do working with customers or prospects, it’s time to invest in technology that automates those back-end tasks. CRM systems free up your staff to focus on the parts of their job that deliver higher value.

You’re ready to level-up your customer experience

Customer relationship management is critical to delivering the five-star customer experiences you’re aiming for. With a clear view of customer behaviours and greater inter-departmental transparency, you can deliver personalised engagements at every point of contact.

Your company is growing

How do you keep up with increasing volumes of customer data and keep track of the activities of an expanding team? Put a system in place that will scale with your business, keep your data organised, and help you make decisions that will continue your growth trend.

Why SAP for CRM?

SAP solutions go beyond traditional CRM software. In addition to core CRM functionality, they provide in-memory technology and Big Data insights to help you drive contextual, personalised customer engagement in real time – across any channel or line of business.

Sales CRM

Get the deep customer and social insights you need to make an impact in every deal – anytime, anywhere.

Marketing CRM

Deliver contextual, individualized customer experiences across all channels and make every customer feel like your only customer.

eCommerce CRM

Provide a personalised digital shopping experience with our solutions for mobile, social, and e-commerce.

Customer service CRM

Give your service reps the customer visibility and real-time problem-solving tools they need to win loyalty and cut costs.

Get started with CRM today

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