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A guide to customer relationship management

Customer relationship management—also known as CRM—, is a type of data-driven solution or system that helps businesses manage activities related to prospects and customers—. From tracking leads all the way through managing sales data.

CRM systems provide a comprehensive solution that supports activities around sales, marketing, and service, such as customer or field service. Customer relationship management solutions store information centrally. With the data in one place, members of the team have immediate visibility into whatever they need, the moment they need it.

Many customer relationship management systems allow users to track sales opportunities, automate marketing tasks, get insight into customer behaviour, and build customised reports and dashboards. The increased efficiency from centralising tasks and data helps sales and marketing teams focus on what matters most, stay on top of all opportunities, and build a more optimised customer experience.

What can you do with a customer relationship management solution?

These scenarios, features, and benefits help demonstrate how a customer relationship management system can create efficiency and impact.

Use a CRM system to…

Track leads


Monitor each opportunity through the sales funnel.
CRM solutions help sales and marketing teams stay organised, understand where each lead is in the sales process, and know who has worked on each opportunity.


Accurately understand where everything is in your pipeline.
Tracking lead-related data gives you seller insights, guidance, and provides an instant view of current status.

Monitor sales


Get real-time performance data.
Sales data can be linked into your CRM solution, providing an immediate, accurate picture of sales.


Keep a pulse on progress.
With a real-time view of your pipeline, you’ll be aware of any slowdowns, and bottlenecks—or if your team won a major deal.

Get insights


Receive prescriptive guidance.
Focus on what matters most using AI and built-in intelligence to help , identify which leads are ready to hand off, or which customers need follow-up.


Take the most strategic next step.
With guidance that shows you where to focus, you'll be able to identify the top priorities and have confidence your team is making the most of their time and efforts.

Complete tasks


Automate tasks and workflows.
Build sales quotes, gather customer feedback, send email campaigns, and more using: task automation, which helps streamline marketing, sales, and customer service.


Boost team efficiency.
CRM systems help eliminate repetitive tasks, letting your team focus on high-impact activities.

Understand customer behaviour


Optimise the customer journey.
CRM systems include features to help you track engagement across various customer touchpoints.


Improve engagement.
Insight into behaviour throughout the customer journey helps surface opportunities for optimisation—and lets you know what’s working well.

Support customers


Connect across platforms.
Live chat, calls, email, or social, CRM solutions help you connect with customers where they are.


Provide attentive customer service.
CRM solutions help you offer great customer service—helping build the trust and loyalty that keeps your customers coming back.

Is a customer relationship management solution right for your business?

For businesses large and small, CRM solutions can help streamline workflows, increase collaboration, improve communication, and help deliver a better customer experience. CRM systems are no longer just a tool for large corporations—smaller businesses can find solutions that fit their needs and grow as they do. A customer relationship management solution could be a great fit if your business could benefit from a single, centralised way to:

  • Grow sales
  • Win deals faster
  • Get a holistic view of customers
  • Connect sales and marketing

What should you consider when researching customer relationship management solutions?

CRM solutions of today offer a variety of features that help you stay on top of activities related to sales, marketing, and building the best possible experience for your customers. Here are some attributes to consider as you evaluate possible CRM systems:

Technology of today

Choose innovative solutions that feature the latest capabilities, including AI, mixed reality, social, and mobile.

Actionable intelligence

Look for a solution that offers guidance from top analytics and AI capabilities.

Unified and connected

Aim for a seamless experience that brings together people, data, and processes on a trusted cloud platform.

Adapts to your needs

Find a flexible solution, with the ability to extend or build a system that meets the ever-changing needs of your business.

Get customer relationship management with Dynamics 365

Dynamics 365 provides the full range of CRM capabilities through a portfolio of intelligent business applications: that empower everyone to deliver operational excellence and create more engaging customer experiences.