CRM is a cloud-based technology software that allows businesses to collect, organize and manage customer interactions. The platform prioritizes business activities based on the data collected to boost customer experience. These efforts drive growth and profits for businesses. 

Today, CRM is the largest and fastest-growing enterprise application software category. By 2030,  the market size for the CRM segment might reach $157.6 billion worldwide. The competition has helped push the needs of the organizations to the forefront and hence became more affordable, customizable, and user-friendly. 

Short History 

Though the term CRM is relatively new, the concept of managing customer data is several decades old. One of the earliest forms of storing customer information was using a Ledger. In the 1950s, Rolodex, a rotating filing device, was invented. The 1960s saw the start of the digitization of records using the Mainframe computer system. Digitization also enabled businesses to learn more about customers through database marketing and statistical modeling. These insights helped with customer personalization resulting in increased sales. Finally, in the 1980s, the contact management software ACT (Automated Contact Tracking) was introduced for efficient organization and increased storage of customer data. 

In 1993 Siebel Systems offered sales automation tools and expanded to include marketing and customer service applications. In 1995 the term CRM was coined.  Mobile CRM and Software as a Service (SaaS), the internet-based software, were introduced in the late 1990s. SaaS was a massive breakthrough as it made data accessible using the internet through any connected device. The late 2000s witnessed another milestone in CRM history — the integration of social media channels with CRM. Direct communication with customers through multi-channel connectivity spurred an influx of new CRM companies. 

CRMs these days provide multiple functionalities — analytics, reporting, and data intelligence — reducing and eliminating the need for third-party service providers. In addition to these functionalities, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) helps organizations — both nonprofit and for-profit, to customize their relationships and offerings to the atomic level.

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