Introduction to CRM Software

CRM software is essential for businesses to deliver an exceptional customer experience, maintain customer profiles, manage teams, and launch effective marketing campaigns.

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CRM Software Services

What is CRM Software?

CRM software originated in sales and was used to manage customer data and interactions. It has evolved into a tool that provides a 360º view of customer data, helping businesses manage relationships, streamline processes, and improve interaction.

CRM software tracks the sales pipeline, customer journeys, and customer base. It can automate repetitive tasks and streamline sales activities, identifying new sales opportunities and optimizing the entire sales pipeline. Popular CRM software options include Less Annoying CRM, HubSpot, Salesforce, Zoho, and Freshsales. Each has unique features, with Less Annoying CRM being known for its affordability and ease of use. Other popular choices offer robust integrations and workflow automation tools.

Definition of CRM Software

CRM software, also known as customer relationship management software, is a tool businesses use to manage and analyze their customer interactions and data. It improves customer relationships, sales processes, and drives revenue growth. CRM software acts as a central hub for customer information, creating a detailed overview of each customer’s unique experience. It provides features to track customer interactions, purchase histories, preferences, and feedback. The software also manages sales processes efficiently with data insights, automated workflows, and notifications based on customer activities.

CRM software offers valuable insights through data analysis, identifying trends, opportunities, and potential issues. Integrating CRM software with other business tools, such as email marketing and document management systems, streamlines business processes, reduces manual workloads, and ensures seamless operations. In conclusion, CRM software is a powerful tool for businesses looking to manage their customer relationships, sales processes, and data analysis, ensuring long-term success.

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The Importance of CRM Software in Digital Marketing

CRM software is important for digital marketing strategies. It helps businesses build and maintain relationships with customers. By using CRM software, businesses can increase sales, personalize marketing efforts, and nurture leads effectively. The software enables businesses to track customer behavior and interactions across multiple channels. This data can be used to create more targeted and personalized marketing campaigns. By taking a personalized marketing strategy, businesses can improve lead generation, engagement rates, and conversion rates.

CRM software can also help with lead nurturing. Automated workflows and targeted messaging can guide prospects through the sales funnel. This process increases the chances of converting leads into customers. CRM software can enhance customer profiling, providing businesses with detailed insights into customer behavior, preferences, and demographics. Advanced analytics is another important benefit of CRM software. CRM software allows businesses to track campaign performance on a granular level. This data can be used to optimize marketing efforts and improve the ROI. Finally, CRM software can help improve collaboration between sales and marketing teams. There are several types of CRM software available, including operational, analytical, and collaborative. CRM software is vital for businesses looking to succeed in the digital marketing landscape.

CRM Software

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Types of CRM Software

CRM software is designed to help businesses manage customer interactions and streamline operations. There are three types of CRM software: cloud-based, on-premise, and open source. Cloud-based solutions are hosted remotely and accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. On-premise systems are installed locally, limiting accessibility but offering complete data control. Open source systems provide full customization but require technical expertise.

Each type has advantages and disadvantages depending on sales, marketing, and customer support needs. Cloud-based solutions offer flexibility and scalability. On-premise and open source solutions offer greater data control and customization freedom. Businesses should assess their needs to choose the best CRM solution.

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Cloud-Based CRM Solution

Cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions are changing the way businesses manage customer data and interactions. This software is built and maintained by the service provider on their servers and accessed over the internet through a web browser. One of the significant benefits is that it centralizes customer data, giving businesses a 360º view. This means businesses can access data from different departments, improving customer experience. Cloud CRM solutions are lower in cost than on-premise CRM software, which requires significant upfront investment in infrastructure and IT personnel. Cloud CRM solutions are subscription-based and require no hardware infrastructure, making them more flexible and affordable for small businesses.

Additionally, cloud CRM solutions are highly scalable, allowing businesses to match their CRM needs to their budget and resources. Cloud-based CRM is easy to deploy and upgrade, with the service provider handling most of the updates in real-time without interrupting business operations. Cloud CRM solutions offer lower costs, scalability, flexibility, easy deployment and upgrades, and robust security features. In contrast, on-premise CRM solutions come with significant upfront costs, are less scalable, and have limited access to data. In conclusion, a cloud-based CRM solution is an excellent option for businesses looking for flexibility, scalability, lower costs, and robust performance by centralizing customer data and providing a 360º view of all customer information.

On-Premise CRM Systems

On-Premise CRM Systems are installed and hosted on servers within a business's premises. This type of CRM requires servers to be set up and maintained in the office, and software to be installed on local devices. Businesses have full control over their CRM software and data, including customization and integration with other systems. However, upgrades, customization, and system maintenance are the responsibility of the IT department. On-Premise CRM may be less flexible and scalable than cloud-based solutions and may require additional resources and expertise to handle increased workloads. Despite the challenges, On-Premise CRM may be beneficial for businesses that require full control and customization of their CRM software.

Open Source CRM System

Open Source CRM Systems are different from other CRM software. They allow businesses to access the source code and customize the software to meet their needs. Customization is critical in CRM implementation, as each business operates differently. SugarCRM and SuiteCRM are examples of popular Open Source CRM Systems. SugarCRM is a web-based platform that offers Cloud and On-Premise deployment options. SuiteCRM is a free and open-source alternative to SugarCRM.

However, implementing and customizing Open Source CRM Systems can require technical expertise. Businesses must have some experience in software development to use these systems effectively. While some Open Source CRM Systems offer user-friendly interfaces, businesses may still need technical teams to customize and maintain the software. Open Source CRM Systems are a powerful tool for creating a highly tailored CRM experience, but businesses should understand their benefits and limitations before implementing them.

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Useful Features of CRM Software

CRM software serves as a powerful tool to manage customer interactions and improve business processes. Here are some of the most commonly available features of CRM software:

1. Contact Management:

Contact management is a core feature of CRM software that allows businesses to keep track of customer information in one place. With contact management, businesses can store customer data, such as name, email, phone number, and address, and view it in a centralized database. This helps businesses to improve customer service and build stronger relationships with customers, as they can easily access customer records and track their interactions.

2. Sales Force Automation (SFA):

Sales force automation is another valuable feature of CRM software that streamlines the sales process. With SFA, businesses can manage sales activities, such as lead tracking, pipeline management, opportunity management, and sales forecasting, in an organized and automated manner. SFA also helps sales teams to prioritize their tasks, reduce manual efforts, and close deals faster.

3. Marketing Automation:

Marketing automation is a feature that helps businesses to automate repetitive tasks, such as email marketing, lead nurturing, and drip marketing campaigns. With marketing automation, businesses can send targeted and personalized messages to potential customers at the right time, track the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns, and adjust their strategies accordingly. This feature helps businesses to convert more leads into customers and increase their revenue.

4. Analytics & Reporting Tools:

Analytics and reporting tools are crucial features of CRM software that help businesses to measure their performance and make data-driven decisions. With analytics and reporting tools, businesses can track important metrics, such as customer acquisition cost, conversion rate, customer lifetime value, and more. This helps businesses to identify their strengths and weaknesses, optimize their processes, and improve their ROI.

5. Integration with Other Applications:

Integration with other applications is a feature that allows businesses to connect their CRM software with other tools and applications they use, such as email clients, social media platforms, and project management tools. This helps businesses to streamline their workflows, avoid data duplication, and improve collaboration across different departments.

6. Customer Service & Support Solutions

Providing excellent customer service is crucial for business success. One solution gaining popularity is service bots, which offer 24/7 support and improve customer engagement. CRM software also provides features like a centralized platform, app marketplace, and complete customer view to enhance the customer experience. API access, mobile apps, and subscription plans help businesses integrate with other applications, work on-the-go, and pay only for the services they need. By utilizing these features, businesses can stay ahead of the competition and deliver outstanding customer service and experiences.

7. Mobile Accessibility

Mobile accessibility is now an essential feature for CRM software due to the increasing use of mobile devices. This feature allows businesses to access customer data while on-the-go, which can be particularly beneficial for sales teams in the field. Sales reps can view customer information and make updates in real-time, even when out of the office, increasing their productivity and efficiency. Mobile apps can also provide map-view with geolocation, shortcuts, and voice-activated speakers to reduce data entry time, allowing sales reps to focus on building customer relationships. Geo-verification of customer visits is another significant advantage of using a mobile app for CRM. This feature allows sales reps to provide proof of their visits to customers, which is crucial for many businesses. In today's mobile world, providing mobile accessibility is essential for businesses to remain competitive and responsive. By providing this feature, CRM software can help businesses stay ahead of the curve and ensure their sales team has the necessary information to succeed.

Advantages of Using CRM Software

CRM software has become an essential component of modern business operations. It offers numerous benefits to companies of all sizes, from small businesses to multinational corporations. By leveraging CRM software, businesses can streamline their customer relationship management processes and enhance overall productivity. In this article, we will discuss some of the critical advantages of using CRM software and how different types of businesses can benefit from these solutions.

Sales Force Automation: One of the significant advantages of using CRM software is the automation of sales activities, also known as sales force automation. This feature streamlines the entire sales process, from lead generation to closing deals. CRM software can help sales teams keep track of customer interactions and automate repetitive tasks, such as sending follow-up emails and scheduling appointments. This automation frees up time for sales teams to focus on building relationships with potential customers, which is crucial for closing deals successfully.

Marketing Integration: CRM software also helps businesses integrate their marketing efforts, allowing them to better target potential customers. By tracking customer journeys, businesses can tailor their marketing campaigns to prospects' interests and preferences, increasing conversion rates and returning customers. Furthermore, CRM software can integrate with various marketing tools such as email marketing and marketing automation to streamline and personalize marketing efforts even further.

Customer Service and Support: CRM software can also enhance customer service and support by providing teams with a 360-degree view of each customer's profile. This feature ensures that companies can provide personalized support to each customer, offering timely and informed solutions. Additionally, CRM software can automate help desk support, triaging requests and providing customers with relevant self-help resources. This feature significantly reduces the pressure on customer support teams, increasing their efficiency and ensuring timely responses to customers.

Specialized Features Based on Business Size: CRM software provides specialized features that cater to various business sizes. For small businesses, CRM software assists with contact management, helping them manage the sales pipeline and closing more deals. Medium-sized businesses benefit from automation features such as workflow automation, which streamlines administrative tasks and helps teams focus on customer-centric activities. Large enterprises can leverage CRM software's advanced analytics and reporting features, providing insights into the entire sales process to optimize performance and sales forecasting.

Pricing Models: CRM software licensing models differ based on the provider and business size. The most common pricing models include per-user per month, per-module, and enterprise-wide licensing. Small businesses typically opt for per-user per month models, while larger enterprises opt for enterprise-wide licensing models. The average cost of CRM software can range from several hundred dollars per year for small businesses to several thousand dollars per year for larger enterprises.

CRM software provides businesses with a wide range of benefits, including sales force automation, marketing integration, and customer service and support. While the features and pricing models differ based on business size, CRM software is a must-have for all businesses. By leveraging CRM software, businesses can streamline their customer relationship management processes, improving overall productivity and revenue.

Challenges and Limitations of CRM Software

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is an essential tool for businesses to manage customer interactions and streamline their sales processes. However, this software is not without its challenges and limitations.

Here are 7 Challenges and Limitations:

  • High learning curve: Implementing CRM software requires significant training for employees to learn how to use it effectively. This can be time-consuming and costly, leading to a delay in the return on investment.
  • Data entry complications: Capturing accurate and reliable customer data can be challenging, especially when employees have to rely on manual data entry. Incorrect or incomplete data can hamper the software's effectiveness and cause inaccuracies in reports and analytics.
  • Privacy concerns: CRM systems involve the collection and storage of sensitive customer data, which could be vulnerable to data breaches or cyberattacks. This raises concerns about data privacy, security, and compliance.
  • The need for extensive customization: Out-of-the-box CRM software may not align fully with a particular business's requirements, leading to the need for extensive customization. This can result in additional expenses, delays, and less flexibility.
  • Drawbacks of cloud-based solutions: Cloud-based CRM solutions are accessible from anywhere and do not require extensive hardware and IT support. Still, they may come with potential disadvantages, such as reliance on stable internet connectivity and concerns about data ownership.
  • On-premise and open-source options: On-premise CRM software offers complete control, security, and access to all features, but requires significant upfront investment and ongoing maintenance costs. On the other hand, open-source CRM software comes with no initial license fees and more extensive customization capabilities, but may require more significant technical expertise for implementation and support.
  • Not suitable for all businesses: CRM software may not be suitable for all businesses, depending on their needs, size, and budget. Small businesses may not require all of the advanced features that come with CRM software, whereas larger enterprises may need a more extensive and customizable solution.

CRM software has several challenges and limitations that businesses should consider before implementing it. Companies should weigh the costs, benefits, and potential drawbacks of different CRM software options and assess whether the software aligns with their specific needs and goals. If done right, CRM software can help businesses better understand their customers and streamline their sales processes.

A Comparative Analysis of Major CRM Players

When it comes to CRM software, there are several major players in the market. Each company offers unique features and capabilities for businesses looking to improve their customer relationship management process. In this comparative analysis, we will examine the strengths and weaknesses of the top CRM solutions and identify which business types and industries each is most suitable for.

1. Salesforce:

Salesforce is one of the leading CRM providers in the market today, offering a wide range of products such as Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Pardot, and Community Cloud. The platform is highly customizable and can cater to businesses of any size and industry. Salesforce provides excellent customer support and is known for its user-friendly UI.


  • Wide range of products and features for businesses of any size
  • Easy to use and highly customizable
  • Excellent customer support
  • Integrates with a large number of third-party tools and applications


  • Can be expensive for small businesses
  • Steep learning curve for some of the more advanced features
  • Might require additional support and administration for more complex implementations

Suitable for: Mid to large businesses in any industry that require extensive customization and a wide range of features.

2. HubSpot:

HubSpot is a popular all-in-one marketing and sales software platform that offers CRM capabilities as well. The platform is designed to help businesses improve their marketing, sales, and customer service processes by providing a suite of tools that include email marketing, lead scoring, email tracking, and more.


  • Easy to use interface
  • Offers a wide range of features at affordable prices
  • Provides excellent training and customer support
  • Integrates seamlessly with many other products


  • Limited customization options
  • Might not be suitable for businesses that require specialized features
  • Reporting capabilities can be limited in certain plans

Suitable for: Small to mid-sized businesses that require an easy to use CRM with strong marketing automation capabilities.

3. Microsoft Dynamics 365:

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based suite of business apps that include CRM capabilities. The platform provides customizable solutions for sales, marketing, and customer service processes, and offers a wide range of integrations with other Microsoft products.


  • Provides a wide range of features and customization options
  • Tight integration with Microsoft Office and Outlook
  • Offers strong reporting and data analytics capabilities
  • Provides excellent customer support


  • Steep learning curve for some of the more advanced features
  • Can be expensive for smaller businesses
  • Customizations may require additional support and administration

Suitable for: Mid to large-sized businesses that require strong integration with Microsoft products and advanced data analytics capabilities.

4. Zoho CRM:

Zoho CRM is a cloud-based platform for businesses looking to streamline their sales and marketing processes. The platform provides a wide range of features, including lead and deal management, email marketing, and workflow automation.


  • Affordable pricing plans for businesses of any size
  • Provides a wide range of features in one platform
  • Offers excellent customer support
  • Integrates with a large number of third-party tools and applications


  • Can be overwhelming for businesses with more complex requirements
  • Limited customization options compared to other platforms
  • Some users may find the UI less intuitive than other platforms

Suitable for: Small to mid-sized businesses that require an affordable, all-in-one CRM solution.


Each CRM platform has its strengths and weaknesses, and it ultimately depends on the needs of each business as to which solution will be the best fit. While Salesforce remains the leader in the market with its customizable and extensive features, HubSpot provides an affordable all-in-one solution for SMBs. Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers strong integration with Microsoft products and advanced analytics, and Zoho CRM is an affordable all-in-one solution for businesses of any size.

Focus on Hubspot: Why it's Periscope Media's CRM of Choice

At Periscope Media, we use HubSpot CRM for our business needs. We analyzed HubSpot and its competitors and found that HubSpot stands out for its integration options, visual dashboard, and meeting scheduling tool. HubSpot CRM is highly configurable, customizable, and easy to use, with sophisticated automation capabilities. Its affordable pricing plans offer a wide range of features suitable for small to mid-sized businesses. HubSpot provides extensive training and customer support for sales and support teams to use it productively. However, HubSpot's customization options may not be as extensive as some competitors, and its reporting capabilities can be limited in certain plans. Despite this, HubSpot has positively impacted our business processes, enabling us to automate repetitive tasks, manage sales processes, and improve customer service. We highly recommend HubSpot CRM for other businesses looking for an affordable, customizable, and easy-to-use CRM solution.

The Future of CRM Software in Digital Marketing

CRM software plays an increasingly important role in shaping the customer experience as digital marketing evolves. Many consumers interact with brands through multiple channels, so businesses use CRM software to streamline marketing efforts and improve customer service. With advancements in technology like machine learning and artificial intelligence, CRM software will become more efficient in analyzing customer data and optimizing marketing efforts. CRM software already delivers significant benefits like increased productivity, personalized customer experiences, and streamlined customer support. However, businesses must consider potential challenges and limitations when integrating new CRM technologies, such as costs, implementation issues, and concerns about data privacy and security. Despite these challenges, the future of CRM software in digital marketing looks promising, with businesses expected to continue leveraging these tools to improve the customer experience and achieve increased business success. The industry will continue to evolve, and it will be interesting to see the new ways these technologies shape the marketing landscape.


Got more questions? Why not explore our range of commonly asked questions. If you're still wanting more answers, book a call today!

What is CRM software and how can it benefit my business?

CRM software, short for Customer Relationship Management software, is a solution that aids businesses in managing customer interactions, tracking sales leads, and simplifying processes. It benefits your business by centralizing contact info and customer data, refining customer relationships, and improving sales management and marketing efficiency.

Can you help my business implement and customize CRM software?

Absolutely. As a digital marketing company specializing in Customer Relationship Management solutions, we assist businesses in implementing and customizing CRM software to meet their unique needs. Our team will understand your requirements, select the right CRM platform with key features that align with your business processes for seamless integration.

Which CRM software platforms do you work with?

We work with HubSpot, and recommend it as a highly suitable platform, ensuring you have a robust CRM system with additional features that meet your specific needs.

How can CRM software improve my sales and marketing efforts?

CRM software can enhance your sales and marketing efforts by providing a centralized database of customer information. It serves as a powerful marketing automation tool, enabling better lead management, automating email campaigns, and tracking sales activities. This reduces manual tasks, improves communication, and empowers your teams with actionable insights, driving more conversions and revenue.

Can CRM software integrate with other business systems?

Definitely. CRM software is designed to integrate with other business systems like email marketing platforms, customer support software, and e-commerce platforms. This integration allows for smooth data flow, automation, and a comprehensive view of customer interactions across various touchpoints.

Can CRM software help improve customer service and support?

Yes, CRM software can significantly improve customer service and support. It equips your customer service teams with instant access to customer history and preferences, enabling them to track support tickets and manage inquiries efficiently. With this, you can provide personalized support and enhance overall customer satisfaction.

Is CRM software suitable for businesses of all sizes?

Indeed. Whether you're a small startup or a large enterprise, a CRM system can benefit your business by organizing customer data, improving collaboration, and optimizing sales and marketing efforts. Its basic features to advanced capabilities make it versatile for all business sizes.

Can CRM software be accessed remotely or on mobile devices?

Yes, modern CRM software offers remote access and mobile capabilities. This allows for on-the-go access and updates to customer data. This flexibility ensures that your sales and support teams stay connected and productive, even when they are away from the office.

How can I get started with CRM software services for my business?

Getting started with our CRM software services is straightforward. Reach out to us for a consultation. We'll assess your business needs, recommend a CRM platform suitable for you, and develop a customized plan to implement and optimize a CRM solution. The goal is to drive growth and improve customer relationships for your business, leveraging sales automation and task management capabilities of CRM.

Periscope Media Can Help You Choose The Right CRM For Your Business

Periscope Media offers CRM software consulting to businesses of all sizes. We provide expert services to help companies choose the most suitable CRM software. Our team considers factors like business size, budget, and specific requirements. We then tailor our recommendations to suit each department's needs. Periscope Media's CRM software strategy session includes task and deal management, workflow automation, sales forecasting, and third-party integrations. With Periscope Media's expert advice, companies can be assured of a seamless customer relationship management experience. Contact Periscope Media today for your no-obligation CRM discussion to automate your business tasks.

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