CRM terms

Confused by all the unfamiliar terminology and other technical jargon that surrounds CRM software? You’re not alone.

This business solution sits at the crossroads of sales, marketing, and technology. As a result, the CRM industry has developed an enormous collection of specialized terms that can easily confuse newcomers.

To help simplify everything, we’ve developed this handy CRM Glossary. This reference tool will help you put all these terms in one place.

Account: A company, department, household, or individual that your company has a business relationship with. Account records serve as storehouses of data about essential contacts and businesses.

Activities: The various tasks, assignments, events, meetings, and other actions taken by a CRM system’s users.

Administrator: A user in the CRM  who has unrestricted access to the entire system. Many complex, specialized, or otherwise risky CRM tasks are exclusively handled by administrators.

Alerts: Any notification sent to the user by the CRM system. An alert can involve a wide range of message types, including popup error messages, CRM email notifications, or even notifications pushed from the CRM system to the user’s smartphone.

Analytical Reporting: Reports that run within a CRM system to provide the specific insights you’re looking for.

Application Programming Interface (API): This software tool enables computers to share data with each other, which simplifies the process of integrating information across multiple platforms and systems.

Artificial Intelligence (AI): Using machines to carry out actions that can replicate human behaviors and responses, such as speech recognition and information processing.

Automation: A process that allows common, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks to be automatically handled by the system itself. These tasks include emailing leads, sending follow-up messages, and scheduling meetings.

Business Card View: A option in the CRM system that only displays the essential account details.

Campaign: A set of marketing activities (including emails and ads) that builds interest and awareness about products or services.

Case: A set of records about problems with a CRM system or its modules. Depending on the nature of the CRM implementation, a case may either be reported by customers or internal users. Cases are also called tickets.

Configure/Price/Quote (CPQ): Specialized software that quotes prices across a variety of industries. These quotes are often integrated with CRM solutions.

Contact: An individual associated with a CRM account (such as a purchasing manager). An account often contains more than one contact.

Converted Lead: The status of a lead after he or she becomes an account, contact, or opportunity. This change often occurs when the sales team deems it worth pursuing.

Customer Experience (CX): While some people lump this term in with customer service, it really extends far beyond it. CX is the way your customers feel about your company. It involves their perceptions of their interactions, many of which are tracked and analyzed by your CRM system.

Customer Journey: The entire lifecycle of a customer, starting at the prospect stage. As a prospect moves through the sales pipeline, he or she progresses along his or her “journey” until he or she becomes a customer.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM): A specialized software system designed to store, manage, and utilize customer data for various business applications (including sales, customer service, and marketing).

Customization: Modifying the default version of the CRM system, in order to serve a specific need. This modification can include a simple change (such as the location of a field) or a complex change (such as the integration of non-CRM data via an API).

Dashboard: A visually-focused overview of your company’s key metrics, vital insights, and other essential data.

Edition: Most CRM systems have multiple editions designed to fit the needs of specific sizes and types of businesses. An edition may be free/open-source, standard, or enterprise.

Export: A CRM function that allows data to be transferred to another system or platform.

Field: A distinct piece of data stored in the CRM system, such as a contact name or phone number.

Forecast: A CRM feature that enables the predictions of sales trends. These forecasts empower users to create realistic, data-driven sales goals.

Gamification: An integration within the CRM system that encourages users to engage with the tools and systems they need to efficiently do their work. Gamified CRM systems often use badges, prizes, and other incentives to increase engagement.

Integration: Most CRM systems have a limited set of functions related to a specific industry, such as sales or customer service. However, integrations allow users to expand this set by connecting with third-party software and services.

Knowledge Base: An online repository of program documentation and other support documents for your CRM.

Lead: Unqualified sales opportunities that are starting to engage with your company. Leads are usually placed in categories, such as raw, hot, or junk.

Lead Management: Processes and subsystems within a CRM system that allow a sales team to efficiently engage with prospects.

Marketing Automation: A set of tools within a CRM system that enables the streamlining of common marketing activities.

Mobile Integration: The ability to access a CRM system on a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device. Mobile integrations are often limited to specific uses, such as closing deals in the field.

Module: Sections of a CRM system that have dedicated or specialized uses. Modules are often focused on customer lifecycle stages (such as prospect management) or non-sales activities (such as customer support, social media, or analytics).

Opportunity Management: A set of tools in the CRM system that aids the management of deals along the sales pipeline.

Personal Setting: A CRM feature that allows individual users to customize the software to suit his or her needs, which could include increasing the size of displayed text, altering the time  zone, or changing the default language setting.

Portal: A system that allows customers, vendors, or partners to access some elements of a CRM system (such as pricing or contact data). This access is often facilitated via a dedicated application or website.

Profile: The role the CRM system assigns to each user. Since some users do not need to have access to all parts of the CRM, profiles allow the administrator to assign access to entire groups of users as needed.

Quote: Proposal information for parts or services, which CRM users can send directly to prospects.

Record: All the data about a given event, quote, customer, etc., that is stored in a CRM system.

Recurring Event: Events, tasks, or other activities that occur repeatedly (such as sales meetings). These events can be automatically scheduled according to a given schedule.

Sales Force Automation (SFA): Software that automates common and repetitive sales tasks, such as order tracking, contact management, and sales forecasting.

Software as a Service (SaaS): A software-distribution model that requires users to log into a CRM system via a website, rather than a local network.

Special Field: A customized space for entering information. Some of these fields may be limited to specific modules. Others may be specifically created for the needs of your organization.

Task: A reminder or activity that a user creates in the CRM system to directly sync with your calendar.

User: An individual with access to a CRM system. Each user has an account, and he or she is  assigned a role by the system, based on the kinds of data he or she needs to be able to access.

Workflow: The events, tasks, activities, and other interactions within a CRM system that users need to complete a given process.

Widget: Specialized elements in a CRM system’s user interface that perform unique functions, such as pulling data from a third-party application.

That’s it. These are the most important CRM terms. To learn more about how your company can benefit from a customized CRM solution, contact Faye for a free consultation.