Keep track of leads in a CRM, not in your head

Sales CRM brings together the info you need for your sales strategy. Automation takes care of menial tasks so your team can focus on selling.
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How can sales automation help you sell more in less time?

Sometimes mundane, manual tasks eat at your calendar. Other times contacts slip out of your funnel. When you can automate contact management, score leads, monitor deals and pipeline, and track tasks, the time sinks disappear. A sales automation CRM keeps your entire sales process moving smoothly.

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smart gets paid


How Smart Gets Paid uses ActiveCampaign to fulfill a mission

One of the things I tell people is that everybody needs a CRM… but it goes beyond simply CRM. It really comes down to asking yourself what type of business you want to be in the future, not the business you are right now… that’s why I chose ActiveCampaign.


Increase in number of contacts


Less time on administrative tasks

Automate your CRM today

Start a free trial of ActiveCampaign and try CRM automation for yourself, no credit card required. Trusted by over 150,000 customers in 170 countries.


ActiveCampaign gives you the tools you need to be successful today and in the future

Contact Creation

Automatically create a Salesforce contact on a page visit

1:1 Emails

Auto-send a personal 1:1 email to every new lead you get

Appointment Follow-up

Trigger Dynamics contacts and emails after booked appointments

CRM Strategy

Check Out The 4 Steps to Creating Your Own CRM Strategy

CRM Costs

The Transparent (and Hidden) Costs of Implementing a CRM

Lead Scoring

Create an Effective Lead Scoring System in 7 Steps

CRM template

See how much revenue you’re losing from cart abandonment

Sales Template

Get a free CRM template that works in Excel and Google Sheets

Sales Process

Use this visual template to define your sales process

No more digging through emails, business cards, and clunky CRMs

Instead of chasing down phone numbers, email addresses, mailing addresses, or past activity, manage your contacts in a central platform. Automatically update contact details and view a lead’s history from the contact record. Or get a view of your entire sales pipeline.

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Contact management makes sure no sales contacts slip through the cracks

Automated contact management lets you see your whole sales process at a glance. When you can automate task assignment and sales routing, your sales team is always on the same page. Track interaction at every stage of the sales cycle, and pick up where anyone else left off.
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Lead scoring tells you which leads to focus on and when to wait

Which leads are the highest priority? Who is most likely to become a customer? When should a marketing qualified lead become a sales qualified lead? Instead of guessing lead quality, let lead scoring, win probability, and automated segmentation tell you the right time for phone calls and outreach emails.

Connect with Gmail, Outlook, or another email provider

Forget tab switching. Get the Chrome extension to manage contacts from any web page and create deals directly from your Gmail account. Track email opens and replies, and keep contact information in front of you when you need it.
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Connect the customer experience across sales and marketing for a smarter CRM

Remove the silos between sales and marketing and unify your CRM. Sales engagement automation feeds your CRM the most up-to-date customer data, so sales teams can focus their time on the most qualified leads and the highest-value customer conversations.

Close deals on the go with Deals CRM for iOS

Check contact information, create and manage tasks, make calls, and update deals while in the field. All the information you need is always in your pocket.
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Integrate your CRM with the sales tools you already use

You should be able to use the sales software that makes sense for your business. That’s why we integrate with 870+ different apps, including landing page builders like Unbounce, help desk software like Zendesk, and scheduling tools like Calendly.

What is a CRM?

CRM, or customer relationship management, is the software, tools, and strategies that help you build and maintain relationships with your customers.

CRM most often refers to a software tool that helps carry out the activities needed to maintain these relationships. It lets you track all customer interactions with your brand and personalize your sales and marketing campaigns to each customer at scale.

When you add sales and marketing automation to your CRM software, you can automate sales and always have the CRM tools you need to sell. These are some of the tools you can use to manage welcome emails and lead generation, automate task and lead assignment, schedule calls, and sell more.

Sales reporting

Track the performance of individual members of your team and your sales funnel.

Win probability

See how likely you are to close each deal, so you can focus your time where it makes a difference.

Marketing automation

Automate your sales funnel. Create nurture campaigns for the deals that aren’t quite ready to close.


Make sure you know who you’re talking to. Automatically segment your leads based on the actions they take.

Lead scoring

Find leads most engaged with your business and content. Add scores to overall deals and individual contacts.

Notification emails

Notify your sales team when it’s time to follow up. Add notifications from within sales automations and nurture campaigns.

Automated deal updates

Automatically update deal owners, deal stage, deals won or lost, and deal value.

Task assignment

Assign tasks to individual sales people, either manually or within automations.

Note creation

Take notes directly within each deal and contact record, so that your whole sales team is on the same page.

Add sales automation to your business

Start a free trial of ActiveCampaign and try CRM automation for yourself, no credit card required. Trusted by over 150,000 customers in 170 countries.


Dependable & predictable

“Before ActiveCampaign things slipped through the cracks with both client account management and prospects. Now we have dependable and predictable systems to prevent that from happening.”

— Mark B., 5-star G2 Crowd review

A complete 101 guide to CRM

Today’s sales pipelines can have dozens of touchpoints. Keeping up with your customers is a challenge for any business, and even more so for small businesses and solopreneurs.

But with a CRM solution, you can bring all the data you’ll need for your sales and marketing strategies into a single platform. It boosts your efficiency and productivity and gives your customers a more personalized experience.

This article will answer:

  • What is a CRM?
  • What does a CRM system do?
  • Who should use a CRM?
  • What are the 7 top benefits of CRM software?
  • How can CRM automation help grow your business?
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What does a CRM system do?

A CRM integrates with other platforms and tools and helps you track and create a complete image of what your customers do online and offline, and  helps you create better experiences for your customers and leads.

69% of customers appreciate personalization, but only if based on data they’ve directly shared with the business.

And 53% of businesses say first-party data is higher quality than third-party.

A CRM helps you aggregate first-party data and deliver these personalized experiences effectively.

Let’s break down how exactly a CRM helps you achieve this.

  • Track and compile customer data across channels: By integrating with other services like an ecommerce platform or social media tools, a CRM gets access to user actions in real time across channels.
  • Track, nurture, and score leads: Use these additional data points to score leads and assign them to the right sales reps.
  • Contact management: Store and provide easy access to relevant contact information for all leads and customers.
  • Build and manage sales pipelines: Create processes that make it easier for your sales team to close deals at scale.
  • Track customer actions to provide a personalized experience: Integrate with ecommerce platforms, websites, and point of sale systems to track your customers’ purchases and other actions and use that data to personalize your sales and marketing efforts.
  • Gather, analyze, and report on data: More easilyake data-based decisions about adjusting your marketing messaging, target market, etc.
  • Incorporate automation to speed up sales/marketing tasks: In a hectic workday, it’s easy for sales reps to forget to send a message or leave a note. CRMs let reps  automate tasks like post-call notes and tags or notifications to senior sales reps when certain actions take place.
  • Breaks down barriers/silos between departments: One issue a lot of companies face is a disconnect between sales, marketing, and customer service. With CRM, you can integrate data from the departments’ various tools —destroying silos and improving cooperation.
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Who can use a CRM?

Do you run a business that sells any kind of product or service to any level of customer (whether business or consumer)? Any business with a sales, marketing, or billing team can use a CRM. 

A CRM tool can help you better understand your customer needs and optimize your sales, marketing, and customer support efforts. It can help you streamline your efforts and deliver a unified customer experience across channels.

Just 24% of businesses say they are successfully doing omnichannel personalization, with silos and infrastructure as key barriers.

A CRM can help you bridge that gap.

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What a customer profile looks like inside the ActiveCampaign Sales CRM.

CRM use cases for sales teams

Sales teams often struggle to give customers the experience they want. 77% of B2B buyers say their last purchase was difficult or complex. A CRM can help simplify it — 70% of sales professionals say a CRM system is very important in closing deals.

Sales teams can use a CRM to:

  • Identify and track leads and prospects
  • Automate lead scoring and evaluation efforts
  • Prioritize VIP clients and high-value potential customers
  • Build/manage/optimize sales pipelines
  • Find opportunities for cross-selling and up-selling
  • Offer seamless transitions when customers move between sales repsCollaborate and share data with marketing departments to provide a better experience
  • Create a complete image of every customer journey and all their interactions with your business

CRM use cases for marketing teams

Marketing departments often work from vague personas rather than a real-time image of their customers.

Marketing departments can use a CRM to:

  • Qualify and nurture leads to send to sales
  • Segment customers and prospects based on gathered data
  • Plan, execute, and automate personalized campaigns
  • Automate tasks like drip campaigns and follow-ups
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In the ActiveCampaign CRM, you can set up an automated workflow for nurturing high-quality leads before sending them on to sales.

CRM use cases for customer service teams

Customer support teams have crucial insights into customer issues and needs but often don’t get included in marketing, sales, and product conversations.

An integrated CRM makes support data visible to everyone and leads to a more complete image of your customers.

Customer support teams can use a CRM to:

  • Track support ticket resolution across channels
  • Identify common problem areas for support content
  • Solve issues and complaints quickly
  • Flag major issues for sales/marketing/product teams to remedy

What are the 7 top benefits of CRM software?

CRM solutions can help you address various core business needs, from better managing customer data and bridging silos to delivering personalized experiences for each customer.

Let’s take a closer look at the seven top benefits of using a CRM platform. 

1. Keep data from multiple channels in one central platform

CRM solutions can help you address various core business needs, from better managing customer data and bridging silos to delivering personalized experiences for each customer.

2. Eliminate silos between departments for a better customer experience

Give teams that work together, or in adjacent areas, access to the same CRM data and an easy way to collaborate.

Marketing, sales, and support can all document their interactions with a customer, so the next person can pick up where the previous one left off.

A consistent experience is key to driving customer loyalty

3. Use customer data to deliver personalized experiences

By using deep customer information and real actions, you can create custom segments and personalize your marketing and sales efforts.

For example, Australian-based social-research firm McCrindle uses ActiveCampaign to track event attendees and deliver tailored sales messages through a BigMarker integration.

McCrindle also relies on the ActiveCampaign API to attribute lead sources like Facebook Ads or LinkedIn to any new leads that come in through its campaigns.These processes help reveal 900 qualified leads every month, like clockwork.

An effective CRM strategy helps you tailor marketing messages based on where leads come from, actions they take — like attending events or downloading a case study.

4. Identify new sales opportunities

With access to detailed real-time data, you can find ways to cross or upsell to existing customers. For example, you might notice customer complaints about issues that an add-on product can solve.

Plus, lead scoring and nurturing help your sales team only work with leads that are ready to buy, maximizing the return on every sales call. That way, you can focus on red-hot, high-value leads. 

5. Automate tasks to increase efficiency and productivity

The sales process used to include a lot of menial tasks like collecting customer information into spreadsheets and sending emails to set up sales calls.

A CRM lets you automate things like data collection and analysis, lead scoring, lead nurturing campaigns, and even appointment setting. You can also use automations to ensure your sales reps always contact the hottest leads at the right time.

For example, you can set up automated notifications to deal owners when their leads take certain actions on your site — like downloading a white paper. 

6. Become more remote-friendly with a cloud CRM

More sales and marketing teams are working remotely. In 2021, 53% of sales professionals worked from home at least 50% of the time. 67% of sales managers said managing remote salespeople was more challenging than expected.

In the old days of CRM technology, you’d have to install an on-premises solution and maintain the system yourself. That also made it hard — if not impossible — to access and use the CRM while out of the office.

Luckily, the world of CRM has mostly transitioned to software-as-a-service (SaaS) by now. A cloud-based CRM can be accessed from anywhere, and with security features like 2-factor authentication and end-to-end encryption, your customer and internal data is safe.

As a result, companies that once used only on-premises or both types of CRM are mostly transitioning to the cloud.

The best CRM software makes it easy for your employees to collaborate and deliver a consistent customer experience even when working from home. 

7. Optimize the sales cycle and customer experience

With access to a centralized dashboard of customer data, you can methodically work through and optimize your sales cycle.

You can improve everything from which reps handle what type of leads to your entire lead nurturing process.

With access to feedback from customer support, you can also implement changes to product, marketing, and onboarding to drive a better customer experience.

Every customer engagement is a chance to learn more — and a CRM makes it possible. 

How does CRM automation work? And how can you use it to drive more sales?

CRM automation speeds up manual admin tasks and empowers your sales teams to close more valuable deals by automatically highlighting high-value leads.

Examples of sales automation include:

  • Automatic lead scoring based on actions
  • Automatic lead nurturing based on scores and customer engagement
  • Segmenting customers based on demographics, actions, and more
  • Personalizing promotions for customers and free users
  • Automatic post-sales follow-up emails

To take advantage, you need a CRM with powerful workflow and sales automation tools built into the platform. Then, you can use the automation builder to create workflows that enhance and speed up your sales cycle:

  • You can add downloading a case study as a trigger for sending an email to schedule a sales call.
  • You can automatically segment marketing list audiences based on interactions with your website, like viewing a holiday gift guide.

These types of rules can help businesses market more effectively and reach leads when they’re ready to buy. By striking while the iron is hot, you also reduce the risk of leads falling out of the pipeline without buying.

By using these types of automations, American sales consultancy Smart Gets Paid grew its number of contacts by 27x and reduced time spent on admin tasks by 50%.

The company also uses automation to segment leads based on their purchases, downloads, and other actions that leads take on the website.

With ActiveCampaign’s drag-and-drop automation builder, you can easily create workflows even more advanced than this.

Segment your audience based on a combination of location, demographics, and customer interactions to start personalizing your marketing message today. That’s the first step to creating a solid email marketing strategy for your business.

This is only scratching the surface of what you can do with CRM automations. You can also:

  • Go beyond customer engagement and smooth out various internal business processes, like reporting.
  • Automatically create performance reports for different platforms, including the lifetime values of real customers.
  • Use data from multiple channels along with the real sales data in your CRM
  • Forecast the return on various campaigns and plan your marketing spend more efficiently. 

Like in general digital marketing, a CRM in real estate allows you to get to know each individual customer, deliver personalized marketing materials, and grow your relationship.

You can go beyond the mere demographics and see how they interact with different properties on your website, helping you develop a better sales strategy.  

Frequently-Asked questions about CRM systems

Can small businesses use a CRM?

Yes, small businesses, startups, and even solopreneurs can use and take advantage of a CRM. A CRM integrates different tools and apps, centralizes data, and helps one person manage their different business tasks more effectively.

As a small business, the trick is to find a flexible and easy-to-use platform that doesn’t require a massive development team to code integrations from scratch. For example, ActiveCampaign features over 870+ native integrations that you can set up with a few clicks. 

What is CRM for digital marketing?

In digital marketing, customer relationship management is focused on personalizing experiences. The goal is to send the right message to the right person at the right time.

One example is sending a sales email about an advanced course to someone who attended a live event where you covered a specific topic.

Marketing teams can often focus too much on just acquiring new customers. A CRM highlights the value of customer retention and will help you maximize the lifetime value by delivering a better and more unified customer experience across multiple channels. 

What is a CRM in real estate?

CRMs are becoming more important for real estate agents to effectively manage their leads and clients. Your brokerage can automatically sync your real estate marketing and sales data using ActiveCampaign.

How can we improve the adoption rates of our CRM?

For many companies, getting your employees to start using a CRM is a real challenge. Here are some tips to help your company achieve a smooth adoption process:

  • Choose the right CRM for your business — preferably one with existing integrations for tools and marketing platforms you already use.
  • Come up with a detailed CRM implementation process plan.
  • Use simple standards and processes for inputting and cleaning data.
  • Use workflow automation to actively make your employees’ jobs easier. 

Take your business to the next level with a CRM

A CRM helps you keep up with your customer relationships, building loyalty, and improving your bottom line. From sales to marketing to customer support, every part of your business can benefit from a CRM with sales and marketing automation.

CRM features make it easy to personalize every email, social media message, and phone call. It’s the cornerstone of any marketing, sales, or service strategy that puts the customer first. You can streamline your entire sales cycle and make your existing customers happier. 

Try the CRM trusted by over 150,000 customers in 170 countries

Start a free trial of ActiveCampaign and try CRM automation for yourself, no credit card required.


Dependable & predictable

“Before ActiveCampaign things slipped through the cracks with both client account management and prospects. Now we have dependable and predictable systems to prevent that from happening.”

— Mark B., 5-star G2 Crowd review