CRM Glossary

Quality customer relationship management — or CRM — is critical to the customer experience. The objective of CRM is to understand, predict, and respond to customers’ needs. Here are some key CRM terms you need to know:


A specific record for each customer or company that details contact information, all the interactions with the company, and all purchases.


A log of all emails, chats, phone calls, and other interactions with an account or lead. The log can be created manually by sales representatives or generated automatically by the software.


An application programming interface — or API — enables communication between two applications. It contains data that instructs developers how to customize an application or integrate it into their own software. 


Anchored in data analytics, business intelligence — or BI — is a process that allows users to make informed decisions based on actionable information.


A collection of marketing efforts aimed at promoting a specific brand, product, or service. Efforts can include social media marketing, email marketing, print advertising, marketing events, and more. 


A record of a prospect or customer’s contact information. 

Customer Journey

A customer’s entire purchase lifecycle, from the moment he or she indicates a desire to purchase to the post-sale phase.  


Customer Relationship Management — or CRM — describes the manner in which a business initiates and fosters relationships with leads and customers. It’s aimed at delivering good customer experience in order to extend customer lifetime value.


A potential customer in the initial phase of the sales funnel. Leads may originate from referrals, people who respond to a campaign, lists of names, and other sources. 


A term that depicts multiple types of data including leads, accounts, contacts, prospects, activities, opportunities, and tasks. 


CRM software that’s installed on the company’s premises instead of in the cloud. 


A contact that offers the opportunity for a sale. 


A depiction of the sales process and where prospects are in that process. It includes four main stages: lead, prospect, opportunity, and customer.


A potential customer that marketing or sales determines is a good match for the product or service and in the position to complete the buying process. 


An initial agreement between a vendor and customer that a product or service will be delivered at a specified price and by a specified date. 

Salesforce Automation

Salesforce automation — or SFA — refers to software that’s used to automate sales processes such as performance analyses, contact management, sales forecasting, order processing, order tracking, and inventory control. 


A way to test varying configurations of CRM software without affecting the current system and databases. It allows users to try out updates, changes, and new features before implementing them company-wide.


The categorization of contacts into specific target markets based on predetermined criteria such as age ranges and geographic location.


A regular daily activity such as writing an email, making a phone call, or attending a meeting. CRM software can record and track the completion of tasks for leads, opportunities, and contacts. 


A series of tasks or steps that are needed to complete a work process. In a parallel workflow, two or more tasks can be completed simultaneously. In a sequential workflow, each task must be completed before the next one can be commenced.


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