What is a CRM?

Baz here - and as you may know, I love designing and delivering great software to small businesses.

One of the things that every business needs but not every business has is a CRM.


Yet another technologist with a stupid three letter acronym, I hear you groan.

Well, it is a stupid three letter acronym. But it's a good one.

CRM means Customer Relationship Managment - and at its simplest, it's basically a huge address book.

You stick all your contacts in there and every time you speak to them, email them, text them or Snapchat them, you write it down in the CRM. So when Bob in marketing gives them a call, he can see at an instance what Claire in accounts has been saying to them. Or you can remind yourself of what you promised them six months ago.

Of course, if that's all CRMs were, they wouldn't be such a big deal.

Most CRMs include sales pipelines. Track your deals, move them through your sales process and, importantly, measure your statistics.

Many CRMs include project management. If you need to deliver your project and it moves through stages, you can take all the stuff the sales people promised and see it right there on the job sheet.

And some CRMs even take it through to invoicing - interfacing with your accounts package. So next time you're speaking to someone, you know that they spent a huge sum with you last year, but this year their spend is significantly lower.

All valuable information when you're trying to decide on your priorities for the next few weeks.

Rahoul Baruah

Rahoul Baruah

Rubyist since 1.8.6. Freelancer since 2007, dedicated to building incredible, low-cost, bespoke software for tiny businesses. Also CTO at Collabor8Online.
Leeds, England