It is a term applied to processes implemented by a company to handle its contact with its customers.
CRM software is used to support these processes, storing information on current and prospective customers.
Information in the system can be accessed and entered by employees in different departments, such as sales, marketing, customer service, training, professional development, performance management, human resource development, and compensation.
Details on any customer contacts can also be stored in the system. The rationale behind this approach is to improve services provided directly to customers and to use the information in the system for targeted marketing and sales purposes.
While the term is generally used to refer to a software-based approach to handling customer relationships, most CRM software vendors stress that a successful CRM strategy requires a holistic approach.
CRM initiatives often fail because implementation was limited to software installation without providing the appropriate motivations for employees to learn, provide input, and take full advantage of the information systems.
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