Most people confuse CRM software with a contact organizer. If you are one of them, don't feel too bad. Because of the tremendous success of CRM software, most contact management software or contact organizers advertise themselves as "CRM" in one form or another just because they may have part of what a complete CRM software delivers.
There is a vast difference between contact organizer or contact manager software and a CRM Software. Contact managers are geared towards individuals with features limited to the needs of a single professional. For small and growing businesses, contact organizers will not be able to handle the needs of a team - workgroup features, speed, security, storage, limited features for sales automation, workflow, marketing automation, customer services, integration to other products, etc. Some contact management software are available for small groups of users, but why go with a contact management software when you can achieve so much more with CRM?
The key message here is, if you use Microsoft Outlook or other e-mail systems to do e-mail and track information about your contacts and schedules, that is NOT a CRM. Yes, it is better than not having any kind of an electronic system to track your customers, but you are way behind in what you can do with CRM in place.
A true CRM Software solution provides complete front office automation for account and contact management, sales, marketing, customer service and back-office integration.
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