Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Glossary

Use this customer relationship management (CRM) glossary to understand popular CRM terms and you will begin to discover how the tools within ACT CRM software help companies to become more successful.

Account Management

Account Management is taking good care of customer relationships that are most important to a company. This is done by analyzing which accounts are key to an organization at any given time, determining the needs of these customers, and implementing procedures to ensure that they receive the best customer service. CRM software is vital to Account Management in gathering and managing intelligence concerning organizational structure, individual roles, responsibilities, and competitor data. This allows you to improve forecasting, tailor your offerings to specific clients, and have a clearer understanding of your customers.


Benchmarking is a continuing process of comparing business processes and performance metrics including cost, cycle time, productivity, or quality, against competitors or recognized industry leaders. Essentially, benchmarking provides a snapshot of the performance of your business and helps you know where changes need to be made.

Best Practice

A best practice is a process or method that experience and research have proved will lead to a desired result. A business that commits to using the best practices commits to using all the knowledge and technology available to ensure success.

Campaign Management

Campaign Management consists of planning, executing, tracking and analyzing marketing programs. These programs include direct mail, telemarketing, print publications, customer service, point of sale, email, and the Internet. In the broadest sense, Campaign Management can be applied to all advertising and marketing efforts. Mostly, however, it is used for tracking outbound direct-marketing campaigns.

Contact Management

Contact Management involves keeping client contact information in a central location. This includes such information as addresses, literature requests, subscriptions, competitor products purchased, and/or training courses attended.

Customer Analytics

Customer Analytics analyzes data about a business’s customers and makes it available so that you can make better and quicker business decisions. Software with advanced analytics capabilities helps you attract and retain loyal and profitable customers and gives you the insight you need to increase revenues, customer satisfaction, and customer loyalty.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer relationship management (CRM) shifts a company’s focus from products to customers. The strategy of CRM is to understand, anticipate, and manage the needs of an organization’s most important asset—its customers. CRM software, teamed with traditional marketing, sales, and support methods, is used to retain and improve customer loyalty.


Dashboard software is specifically designed to keep C-level executives, business managers and knowledge workers on top of the vital statistics of the business by providing real-time data feedback concerning certain performance measures. The term “dashboard” comes from the data presentation often resembling the dashboard of a car, with dials and gauges representing specific details of an organization.

Email Response Management

Email Response Management enables you to send automated responses to email inquiries or to route email inquiries based on pre-defined business rules.

Lead Management

The goal of Lead Management is to ensure that leads are never dropped or lost. This involves tracking prospect inquiries and routing qualified leads to the right people so sales reps have instant access to the latest prospects.

Opportunity Management

Opportunity Management is providing a single place for updating deal information, tracking opportunity milestones, and recording all opportunity-related interactions. This helps deals close faster and allows managers to monitor sales pipelines.

Partner Relationship Management (PRM)

Partner Relationship Management uses specific strategies and technologies to meet the unique needs of indirect sales channels. An example would be a database where management, salespeople, people providing service, and perhaps the clients themselves could access information, match customer needs with product plans and offering, and remind customers of service requirements.

Pipeline Management

Pipeline Management is the process of managing the sales cycle. This may include reviewing sales potential, managing lead flow, forecasting sales and revenue, managing customer relationships, evaluating issues affecting sales, and laying out a plan to fix those issues.

Sales Analytics

Sales Analytics involves gathering, classifying, comparing, and studying company sales data. This enables sales reps and managers to view and analyze their sales pipelines, perform win-loss analyses, stay ahead of competitive trends, and more.

Sales Force Automation

Sales Force Automation enables business tasks such as inventory control, sales processing, and tracking of customer interactions as well as analyzing sales forecasts and performance. Many times this is the primary objective of companies implementing a CRM solution.

Territory Management

Territory Management is the development and implementation of a strategy for effectively managing sales territories, maintaining the lines of communications, improving sales coverage, and minimizing wasted time.

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

TCO is an estimate of all direct and indirect costs associated with an asset or acquisition over its entire life cycle. When evaluating software for instance, you must also consider the ongoing maintenance fees, support costs, training, etc., as well as how much time and money it will cost to own the software over the long term.

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