Customer relationship management (CRM) is a multifaceted process, mediated by a set of information technologies, that focuses on creating two-way exchanges with customers so that firms have an intimate knowledge of their needs, wants, and buying patterns. In this way, CRM helps companies understand, as well as anticipate, the needs of current and potential customers.  Functions that support this business purpose include sales, marketing, customer service, training, professional development, performance management, human resource development, and compensation. In popular usage "marketing" is the promotion of products especially Advertising and Branding However in professional usage the term has a wider meaning of Customer service (also known as Client Service) is the provision of service to customers before during and after a purchase The term training refers to the acquisition of knowledge skills and competencies as a result of the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge Professional development refers to skills and knowledge attained for both personal development and career advancement Talent Development, part of human resource development, is the process of changing an Organization, its Employees its stakeholders and groups Remuneration is pay or salary typically Monetary payment for services rendered as in an Employment. Many CRM initiatives have failed because implementation was limited to software installation without alignment to a customer-centric strategy. 
There are many aspects of CRM which were mistakenly thought to be capable of being implemented in isolation from each other. 
From the outside of the organization, a customer experiences the business as one entity operating over extended periods of time. Thus piecemeal CRM implementation can come across to the customer as unsynchronized where employees and web sites and services are acting independently of one another, yet together represent a common entity.
CRM is the philosophy, policy and coordinating strategy connecting different players within an organization so as to coordinate their efforts in creating an overall valuable series of experiences, products and services for the customer.
The different players within the organization are in identifiable groups:
The basic building blocks:
A database for customer lifecycle (time series) information about each customer and prospect and their interactions with the organization, including order information, support information, requests, complaints, interviews and survey responses. A Computer Database is a structured collection of records or data that is stored in a computer system
Customer Intelligence - Translating customer needs and profitability projection into game plans for different segments or groups of customers, captured by customer interactions (Human, automated or combinations of both) into software that tracks whether that game plan is followed or not, and whether the desired outcomes are obtained.
Business Modeling Customer Relationship Strategy, Goals and outcomes: Numbers and description of whether goals were met and models of customer segments and game plans worked as hypothesized.
Learning and Competency Management Systems - Customer Capacity and Competency Development - Training and improving processes and technology that enable the organization to get closer to achieving the desired results. Complex systems require practice in order to achieve desired outcomes, especially when humans and technology are interacting. Iteration is the key to refining, improving and innovating to stay ahead of the competition in Customer Relationship Management. (Successful tools, technology and practices will be copied by the competition as soon as they are proven successful. )
The building blocks can be implemented over time separately, but eventually need to be dynamically coordinated. The ongoing alignment of the basic building blocks distinguishes an elegant seamless CRM implementation which successfully builds mutually valuable relationships.
There are several different approaches to CRM, and at present there is no one software package that allows all of these approaches to be applied. When companies consider implementing a CRM strategy, they usually talk about either Campaign Management or Sales Force Automation. Although CRM is much more than either of those parts, software packages are usually based around one or the other idea (with SFA being the most popular).
Operational CRM provides support to "front office" business processes, including sales, marketing and service. In Business, front office refers To Sales and Marketing divisions of a company In popular usage "marketing" is the promotion of products especially Advertising and Branding However in professional usage the term has a wider meaning of 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 benefits 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.
Consequently, many call centers use some kind of CRM software to support their call center agents. A call centre or call center (see spelling differences) is a centralized office used for the purpose of receiving and transmitting a large volume of requests by
Operational CRM processes customer data for a variety of purposes:
Sales Force Automation is a type of Operational CRM that is designed to automate sales-force-related activities, such as lead tracking. Software products perform such tasks as:
Analytical CRM analyzes customer data for a variety of purposes:
Analytical CRM generally makes heavy use of data mining. Data mining is the process of Sorting through large amounts of data and picking out relevant information
Sales Intelligence CRM is very similar to Analytical CRM, but it is intended as a more direct sales tool. Features include the delivery of "alerts" to sales people based on analysis of such factors as:
Campaign management software is marketing-oriented CRM software that combines elements of Operational and Analytical CRM and allows campaigns to be run on an existing client base. Campaign Management is used when you need to create personalized offers when it is prohibitively expensive to personally contact each client. Campaign management software functions include:
The function of the Customer Interaction System or Collaborative Customer Relationship Management is to coordinate the multi-channel service and support given to the customer by providing the infrastructure for responsive and effective support to customer issues, questions, complaints, etc.
Collaborative CRM aims to get various departments within a business, such as sales, technical support and marketing, to share the useful information that they collect from interactions with customers. Technical support (also tech support) is a range of services providing assistance with technology products such as mobile phones televisions Computers Feedback from a technical support center, for example, could be used to inform marketing staffers about specific services and features requested by customers. Collaborative CRM's ultimate goal is to use information collected from all departments to improve the quality of customer service. 
Geographic CRM (GCRM) is a customer relation management information system which collaborates geographic information system and traditional CRM.
gCRM combines data collected from route of movement, types of residence, ambient trading areas and other customer and marketing information which are matched with relevant road conditions, building formations, and a floating population. Such data are conformed with a map and is regionally analyzed with OLAP(On-Line Analytical Processing) for visualization. This enables a company to examine potential customers and manage existing customers in the region.
Several commercial CRM software packages are available which vary in their approach to CRM. However, as mentioned above, CRM is not just a technology but rather a comprehensive customer-centric approach to an organization's philosophy in dealing with its customers. This includes policies and processes, front-of-house customer service, employee training, marketing, systems and information management. A customer is someone who makes use of the paid products of an individual or Organization. Hence, it is important that any CRM implementation considerations stretch beyond technology, towards the broader organizational requirements.
The objectives of a CRM strategy must consider a company’s specific situation and its customers' needs and expectations. Information gained through CRM initiatives can support the development of marketing strategy by developing the organization's knowledge in areas such as identifying customer segments, improving customer retention, improving product offerings (by better understanding customer needs), and by identifying the organization's most profitable customers. 
CRM strategies can vary in size, complexity and scope. Some companies consider a CRM strategy to only focus on the management of a team of salespeople. However, other CRM strategies can cover customer interaction across the entire organization. Many commercial CRM software packages that are available provide features that serve sales, marketing, event management, project management and finance.
While there are numerous reports of "failed" implementations of various types of CRM projects, these are often the result of unrealistic high expectations and exaggerated claims by CRM vendors.
Many of these "failures" are also related to data quality and availability. Data cleaning is a major issue. If the company CRM strategy is to track life-cycle revenues, costs, margins and interactions between individual customers, this must be reflected in all business processes. Data must be extracted from multiple sources (e. g. , departmental/divisional databases, including sales, manufacturing, supply chain, logistics, finance, service, etc. ), requiring an integrated, comprehensive business processing system to be in place with defined structures and data quality. If not, interfaces must be developed and implemented to extract data from different systems. This creates a demand far beyond customer satisfaction to understand the full business-to-business relationship. For this reason, CRM is more than a sales or customer interaction system.
The experience from many companies is that a clear CRM requirement with regard to reports (e. g. , input and output requirements) is of vital importance before starting any implementation. With a proper demand specification, a great deal of time and money can be saved based on realistic expectations of systems capability. A well operating CRM system can be an extremely powerful tool for management and customer strategies.
One of the primary functions of CRM software is to collect information about customers. When gathering data as part of a CRM solution, a company must consider customer privacy and data security with respect to legal and cultural environments. Consumer privacy laws and regulations seek to protect any individual from loss of privacy due to failures or limitations of corporate customer privacy measures Data security is the means of ensuring that Data is kept safe from corruption and that access to it is suitably controlled Some customers prefer assurance that their data is not shared with third parties without their consent and that it cannot be illicitly accessed by third parties.
Given below is a list of top CRM software vendors in 2005 with figures in millions of United States Dollars published in a Gartner study. Gartner, Inc ( is an information technology research and advisory firm headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut. 
|Vendor||Global Revenue (Million US$)|
Given below is a list of top software vendors used for CRM projects that completed in 2006 and made use of external consultants and system integrators, according to a 2007 Gartner study. SAP AG (,) is the largest European Software enterprise and the fourth largest in the world with headquarters in Walldorf, Germany Siebel Systems Inc was a software company principally engaged in the design development marketing and support of CRM applications Oracle Corporation ( specializes in developing and marketing Enterprise software products — particularly Database management systems In 2007 Oracle ranked Salesforcecom ( is a vendor of Customer Relationship Management (CRM solutions which it delivers using the Software as a service model Amdocs is a provider of software and services for Billing, Customer relationship management (CRM Operations support systems (OSS and Web Portal Gartner, Inc ( is an information technology research and advisory firm headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut. 
|Vendor||Percentage of implementations|
A 2007 Datamonitor report  lists Oracle (including Siebel) and SAP as the top CRM vendors, with Chordiant, Infor, and salesforce. Siebel Systems Inc was a software company principally engaged in the design development marketing and support of CRM applications Oracle Corporation ( specializes in developing and marketing Enterprise software products — particularly Database management systems In 2007 Oracle ranked SAP AG (,) is the largest European Software enterprise and the fourth largest in the world with headquarters in Walldorf, Germany Epiphany Inc (previous NASDAQ symbol EPNY previously known as E Infor Global Solutions is a privately held US software company that specializes in Enterprise software ranging from financial systems and resource planning to the supply Oracle Corporation ( specializes in developing and marketing Enterprise software products — particularly Database management systems In 2007 Oracle ranked PeopleSoft Inc was a company that provided Human resource management systems (HRMS Customer relationship management, Manufacturing Financials Enterprise Oracle Corporation ( specializes in developing and marketing Enterprise software products — particularly Database management systems In 2007 Oracle ranked Salesforcecom ( is a vendor of Customer Relationship Management (CRM solutions which it delivers using the Software as a service model Amdocs is a provider of software and services for Billing, Customer relationship management (CRM Operations support systems (OSS and Web Portal Chordiant (formerly known as Chordiant Software and J Frank Consulting ( is a Publicly-traded American company Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational Computer technology Corporation, which rose to dominate the Home computer SAS Institute Inc (pronounced "sass" headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, USA, has been a major producer of software since it was founded Datamonitor (DM is a leading provider of syndicated research primarily delivered through its online portal and full-service bespoke consulting services com as significant smaller vendors.