The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to CRM
There’s a lot to juggle in the world of Customer Relationship Management (CRM). This condensed encyclopedia will decode the alphabet soup essential for sales professionals to master the CRM language. We’ve outlined the crucial vocabulary and acronyms, equipping you with the knowledge to navigate the CRM world like a seasoned expert. Whether you’re a sales rockstar looking to fine-tune your CRM expertise or a curious newcomer eager to understand the language of successful customer relations, this is your one-stop-shop to becoming fluent in CRM-speak.
The first step to CRM fluency is getting a good grasp on the essential keywords. We’ve narrowed it down to the essentials you need to forge lasting customer connections.
- Customer Relations: the interactions, communication, and overall relationship management between a business or organization and its customers
- Customer Persona: a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer, also known as a buyer persona or marketing persona
- Customer Profile: a detailed description of your ideal customer based on their demographics, interests, behaviors, motivations, and pain points
- Customer Journey: the process that a potential customer goes through from the initial contact with a business or brand to the final purchase or conversion
- Customer Churn: the rate at which customers discontinue their relationship with a company or service
- Sales Channel: the various methods and avenues businesses distribute and sell products and services to customers
- Sales Prospecting: the process of identifying and reaching out to potential customers or clients in order to create new business opportunities
- Sales Marketing: businesses’ strategic approach and activities to promote their products or services, generate leads, and drive revenue through sales channels
- Prevision: predicting and preparing for future events and trends in the market, akin to foresight or forecasting
- Opportunity Stage: a specific phase in the sales process where a potential sale or deal is categorized based on the progress it has made toward conversion
- Touchpoint: any interaction or point of contact between a customer and a company
ActiveCampaign CRM Terms
- Lead: a potential customer who has shown interest in a company’s product or service
- Lead Conversion: the successful transition of a potential customer from an initial interest stage to becoming an actual paying customer
- Lead Nurturing: the process of building and maintaining relationships with potential customers through targeted communication and engagement strategies
- Lead Scoring: the systematic method of assigning numerical values to leads based on their behavior, attributes, and engagement
- Follow Up: the communication or actions taken after an initial interaction, such as a sales call, email, meeting, or event
- Deal: potential business opportunity or sales transaction that is being tracked and managed
- Deal Scoring: assigning a numerical value to deals based on their attributes, interactions, and progress
- Task: a specific action, reminder, or activity that needs to be completed by a team member
- Pipeline: a systematic and visual representation of a process or workflow involving multiple stages, each representing a step toward a desired outcome
- Contact: an individual or entity that interacts with a company, identified with a unique email address
- Custom Fields: user-defined data fields that allow for personalized and tailored information storage like tagging
- Personalization: the gathering and use of personal information of a contact
- Segmentation: the act of grouping your contacts by their characteristics or the actions they take
- Workflow Automation: the process of using technology to automate repetitive and manual tasks that are part of a larger process or “workflow”
- Reporting: the analysis and presentation of data and metrics related to customer interactions, sales activities, and performance
(Acronyms You Need To Know)
As it is an acronym itself, the CRM encapsulates many more acronyms to follow. After you’ve learned the ones we’ve compiled, you’ll be able to master CRM-speak in no time!
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
- A technology that enables businesses to manage, analyze, and optimize their interactions and relationships with customers throughout their lifecycle
- CX (Customer Experience)
- All interactions and engagements a customer has with the company across various touchpoints
- API (Application Programming Interface)
- A communication protocol or interface between a client and a server
- SMS (Short Message Service)
- The ability to send text messages directly to contacts’ mobile phones
- SaaS (Software as a Service)
- Cloud computing model where software applications are delivered over the internet on a subscription basis
- UI (User Interface)
- The visual and interactive elements that CRM users engage with
- VOC (Voice of Customer)
- Gathering and analyzing feedback, preferences, and opinions from customers to understand their needs
- CSV (Comma Separated Values)
- A file format commonly used to store and exchange data (like contacts) with values separated by commas
- CLV (Customer Lifetime Value)
- The predicted amount of revenue an average customer will generate for your business over the entire lifespan of your relationship with them
- KPI (Key Performance Indicator)
- A way to measure the performance of a business and its employees over time.
- CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization)
- Process of refining strategies to increase the percentage of visitors who take desired actions, such as signing up or making a purchase
- SQL (Sales Qualified Lead)
- A potential customer who has been assessed as having a high likelihood of making a purchase
- ROS (Return on Sales)
- A financial metric used to evaluate the profitability and efficiency of a company’s operations
- MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue)
- The predictable, recurring revenue generated from subscription-based services monthly
- ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue)
- The sum of the predictable, recurring revenue generated from subscription-based services annually
- NPS (Net Promoter Score)
- A metric used to measure customer loyalty and satisfaction by gauging their likelihood to recommend the company’s products or services to others
- CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost)
The total expenses invested in marketing and sales efforts to acquire a new customer
A certain level of CRM fluency is necessary to build lasting connections and drive business growth. With this lexicon of CRM essentials at your disposal, you’re not just understanding CRM — you’re equipping yourself with the tools to reshape the future of customer relationships.
Feeling confident? Need to practice? Test yourself below!
Question: In a CRM, what does a “Pipeline” refer to?
Answer: A series of stages that tracks the progress of deals and sales opportunities.
Question: What do we call a potential customer who has been assessed as having a high likelihood of making a purchase?
Answer: Sales Qualified Lead
Question: What is the difference between a Customer Persona vs. a Customer Profile?
Answer: A Customer Persona is a detailed description of an ideal customer, while a Customer Profile is a semi-fictional representation.
Question: True or False: Businesses require your name in order to make you a contact.
Question: Which of the following acronyms is defined by the total expenses invested in marketing and sales efforts to acquire a new customer?