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5 Important CRM Terms You Should Know

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Good news for new CRM users: You don’t have to struggle through learning a new vocabulary in order to migrate to CRM.

In fact, customer relationship management software is built around your sales practices and the sales terms you’re already using.

While you’re already keen on sales lingo, it helps to know how each stage of the sales process applies to your team’s use of the system. Here are five CRM terms you should know and how you can make the most of them.

Customer Relationship Management

Customer relationship management—often abbreviated as CRM—is business software that helps sales, marketing and customer support teams manage customer communication and sales efforts. It’s designed to help companies manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle.

Simply put, customer relationship management software is designed to improve your business relationships with customers and drive sales growth.

A big misconception about CRM is that it’s merely a digital address book. Instead, it transforms your customer data and interactions into an opportunity to provide the best customer experience.


A lead is an opportunity for a sale. For B2B companies, it’s when one or more employees provides you company contact information. For B2C companies, it’s when an individual provides you personal contact information.

Leads are at the top of your sales funnel. To become an opportunity, a lead demonstrates through conversations with your company that they are preparing to make a purchase, that they’re interested in what you sell and their pain points can be solved by your solution.

In a CRM, you can enter your lead’s information in several ways. You can:

  • Enter it manually with the details collected at trade shows, conferences, colleagues and business cards
  • Import it by gathering your current lead data into a spreadsheet and upload the CSV file into your CRM
  • Capture it into your CRM directly by creating web forms that allow leads to submit their contact information and/or questions on your website

Sales Process

A sales process is the systematic approach to how you sell to your leads and potential customers. It spells out the series of steps for your sales team to follow with every opportunity in order to close more deals, build better relationships and increase sales. A solid sales process keeps your target buyers in mind and helps your sales team keep the potential sale on track.

It’s important to have a defined sales process before migrating to CRM. That’s because modern customer relationship management software is designed to support your sales process by building out the steps to follow in the software. CRM also helps you spot the weaker areas in your sales process with real-time data so that you can change how you sell to your customers faster.

Sales Forecast

A sales forecast is the prediction of future sales for your company. This estimation is often based upon past sales performance, market trends, spending patterns and other external factors that impact buyer behavior.

With a sales forecast, you can manage your business. By having an idea on what future sales could be, you can make important decisions on how you sell and interact with your potential customers in the near future.

CRM software lets you look at past sales, lead count, pipeline and win rate so that you can create a sales forecast. Some CRMs can even project future sales and customer growth based on your current and past sales behavior stored in the software.

Sales Pipeline

A sales pipeline shows how many leads on average reach the main stages of the sales cycle during a set period of time. It quantifies the demand for what you sell and gives you the ability to track sales for each stage of the sales process, no matter where the customer started.

Customer relationship management software makes it easier to track more accurate numbers in your sales pipeline as well as identify how the customer enters the sales process. CRMs are designed to let you customize your sales pipeline within the software so that you can pull the results you need.

Think your team is ready for CRM? Read this guide to see how customer relationship management software can impact your business.

What other CRM terms do you think are important to know? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Is your business ready for a CRM?

Find out here.


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