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What is CRM and how to get the most out of the system implementation?

Що таке CRM і як отримати максимум від впровадження системи? 2

What is CRM? Which CRM system is better to choose? What will my business get as a result of implementation and how to make this process as efficient as possible? These are just some of the questions businesses face when choosing solutions to interact with customers. And given the countless number of CRM systems on the local market, this choice becomes something difficult and exhausting.

Understanding your pain, we have collected all the most useful and interesting information on CRMs. In this article, we will elaborate on the concept of CRM, find out the advantages of such a solution for your business, and also give expert advice on choosing and implementing a system. So, concentrate and tune in to a portion of high-quality CRM content. The article will be useful both for those who are looking for a CRM system for the first time, and for those who want to change their existing CRM solution.

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CRM explained

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It is a combination of practices, strategies and tools that companies use to communicate effectively and improve customer relationships.

A CRM system itself is software that helps companies collect and analyze customer data from a variety of sources, including websites, social media, phone calls, email, marketing materials, and other channels. The system also makes it possible to store information about the history of interaction with customers, their past purchases, requests, satisfaction level and other parameters. That is, thanks to CRM, you put customers at the center of your business, boost their loyalty and satisfaction level and, as a result, increase your sales.

Historical note and some figures

The first CRM systems were created in the late 1980s and early 1990s. At that time, they were used mainly by large companies such as IBM to store information about customers. In 1995, the first commercial CRM system Siebel Systems was released, which became popular among medium and large businesses. Later, companies such as Microsoft, Salesforce, Oracle, SAP, and others entered the market.

Currently, CRM systems are used by companies of any size and industry to store and analyze customer data, automate sales processes and improve business efficiency.

“The global CRM software market was $63.9 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow to $145.8 billion by 2029.” (source: Fortune Business Insights)

Does CRM really play a key role in a customer-centric approach? Read on to find out.

Benefits of using a CRM system for business

According to a FocusOnForce study, 47% of respondents said having a CRM system significantly improved customer retention and satisfaction. At the same time, 45% of respondents noted an increase in revenue due to the use of CRM, and 39% reported an increase in cross-selling as a result of using the system.

What precedes this growth? We suggest taking a look at the list of key benefits of having a CRM system:

Better awareness of your customers:

The ability of a CRM system to collect and analyze customer data allows you to increase the efficiency of communication with them and provide a personalized approach to each customer.

Less routine:

The CRM solution allows you to automate many routine processes such as reporting, data collection, etc. This reduces the burden on staff and allows you to focus on strategically important tasks.

More effective marketing campaigns:

A complete picture of the data collected through CRM allows businesses to better understand the needs and desires of their audience. And this is the key to finding consumer insights and launching effective marketing campaigns.

Sales management and planning:

The solution allows you to track the status of current and potential sales and, therefore, quickly respond to changes. The functionality of the CRM system also allows you to plan sales by different criteria (by individual manager, by region, within a time period, etc.).

Storing customer information:

The ability to store important customer information – such as contact details, interaction history, and details of previous orders – ensures better communication with the customer throughout the journey and helps avoid misunderstandings.

Resource management optimization:

Having a CRM system allows business leaders to monitor the work of their staff, track the effectiveness of communication with customers, and control the execution of tasks. This helps to effectively allocate resources and achieve goals.

Improved reporting and analytics

The tools available in CRM allow you to create convenient sales and customer reports. Data-driven business leaders and owners can make smarter decisions.

Product portfolio management

A CRM system helps plan and coordinate product portfolio changes, including the removal of inefficient products, the addition of new ones, and the improvement of existing ones. This provides an increase in the competitiveness of the company and an increase in customer satisfaction.

Optimization of internal communication

Centralized access to customer information improves communication between different departments and helps avoid internal information gaps.

Types of CRM systems

To begin with, we suggest learning about the variations of CRM systems in accordance with their functionality and focus. There are the following types:

  1. Operational – CRM systems aimed at automating the company’s operational processes related to the processing and storage of customer information. Operational CRMs make it possible to collect, store and process customer data, which allows you to optimize sales processes. Systems provide information about customers, which helps to improve communication with them and provide better service.
  2. Analytical – Analytical CRM systems provide a company with the ability to analyze customer data and identify trends in their behavior. This helps improve the effectiveness of marketing and sales campaigns, improve customer interactions, and provide a better service.
  3. Collaborative CRM systems – solutions aimed at cooperation between different departments and teams of the company in order to ensure more effective interaction with customers.
  4. Combined – systems that combine the functions of operational, analytical, and collaborative ones. Combined CRM systems allow companies to collect, store and process customer data, analyze it, ensure effective collaboration between different departments and teams, and improve the quality of customer service. Such systems are most common because they allow companies to provide a complete customer service cycle, from collecting information about customers to analysis and after-sales support.

A vivid example of a combined CRM is a comprehensive SMART CRM platform. It combines 3 solutions that can be installed together or separately, namely: SMART Sales – to automate the B2B sales process from the appearance of a potential customer to closing a deal; SMART Customer Care – to register and process customers’ service requests; and SMART Order Management – to register and process orders in B2C sales.

SMART CRM also implies using modern applications, channels and services to effectively interact with customers throughout the entire life cycle of a company. This is implemented thanks to the connectors available in the platform, including a connector for Binotel, a connector for eSputnik, a connector for GMS, as well as for PayPal, New Post and Ukrposhta.

Tips for choosing a CRM system

Each CRM has its own features and benefits, but when choosing a system, it is important to check it against the following key criteria:

Functional capabilities. Check if the CRM system contains all the features you need for your business. This can be customer data collection, sales, project management, data analysis, customer support, and others. Find out if the solution you choose is expandable and customizable to meet your needs.

Integration capabilities. Make sure the selected CRM can be connected to other apps your company uses. For example, it can be a connection to email, social networks, various marketing services, etc.

Price. Compare the cost of different CRM systems and their service packages as CRM pricing policies may vary. Usually the price is set per user, but there are other tariff systems. Choose the most suitable option for you.

Mobile access. The ability to access the CRM system from a mobile device will allow you to quickly track customer information and make business decisions in to-go mode.

Data security. Check how the CRM is protecting your data and customer data. Make sure it complies with data protection requirements such as the GDPR.

Interface and ease of use. Choose a system with an intuitive and user-friendly interface. This will allow you to use the system efficiently and provide greater performance.

CRM system implementation

The implementation of a CRM system may seem like a daunting task, but if you follow a certain sequence, then this procedure can be much easier, and most importantly, successful. Therefore, before starting the implementation process, we suggest looking into the following tips:

Step 1: Identifying the goals and needs of the business. Before you start implementing a CRM system, you need to determine what business goals you want to achieve and what problems the system should solve. It is also important to determine which business processes should be automated in order to optimize the work of the company and ensure maximum efficiency.

Step 2: Choosing a CRM system. After identifying your business needs, you need to select the CRM that best suits your needs and goals. This is what we covered in the previous section on choosing a CRM system.

Step 3: Developing an implementation plan. After choosing a CRM system, it is necessary to develop a detailed system implementation plan. The plan should reflect the implementation steps, timeline, responsible persons and resources that will be involved in the process. Potential risks and ways to prevent them should also be considered.

Step 4: Data preparation and system setup

Before implementing a CRM system, it is necessary to prepare all the data to be imported into the system, such as customer data, contact information, interaction history, etc. It is important to check and clean the data from duplicates and errors in order to maintain the quality and accuracy of the information in the system.

Step 5: User training

Before implementing a CRM system, it is necessary to teach users how to work with it. This will help ensure efficient use of the system by all employees. Trainings can be conducted both online and on-site.

Step 6: Implementing a CRM system

After preparing the data and training the users, you can proceed to CRM implementation. At this stage, it is important to monitor compliance with the implementation plan and the corresponding system settings for the needs of the business. It is also necessary to ensure the smooth operation of the system and appropriate integration with other company tools.


Equally important in the process of implementing a CRM system is the search for a reliable and experienced contractor. Understanding the processes of your business, experience and expertise in other areas – these things should be taken into account when making a choice. A good contractor should not only fulfill your requests, but also provide expert advice on how to use the system.

If you are looking for a reliable CRM system and an experienced implementation partner, SMART business is ready to become your reliable assistant. You can request a consultation at sales@smart-it.com.