CRM Terminology You'll Commonly Come Across

By Angus McDonald - 22/10/2020 8:38:41 AM

When venturing into the software space you’re going to be bombarded with all kinds of lingo specific to the niche that tool sits within. CRM software is no different and is filled with all kinds of terminology you may never have come across before. In this article we’re going to take you through some of the most common CRM lingo that you’ll come across.


Marketers use this term a lot. A conversion defines when someone completes an action that a marketer wants them to, most commonly filling out a form on the website or social media. A conversion can also be defined as when someone makes a purchase on an ecommerce website. Depending on your business you may end up handling the conversion differently. An ecommerce conversion may be followed by a purchase confirmation email being sent to the new customer, whereas a conversion on a business to business website may end up being fed into a longer term automated nurture campaign. The important thing to note here is that a conversion is used as a measurement tool to help marketers understand the effectiveness of the work they are doing.


Some people that convert on your site might not be ready to buy or speak to a salesperson and so they’ll need to be ‘nurtured’. The idea here is that by setting up an automated process, that person will be presented content that matches their stage of the buyer’s journey. Many CRM Software platforms these days have functionality to allow a business to nurture their contacts in an automated fashion. It’s by and large a standardised feature that should be explored as you work through the process with the vendors of your choosing.


This is the simple one. Contacts are people. They are people that could be leads or customers or partners. Really anyone that is in some way significant to the business. A contact will store data against it that can include demographics (age, address, title, etc), customer relevant information (purchase history) and even with some more powerful CRM Software, a detailed history of all interactions that contact has had with the business. These interactions can include interactions with social media posts, the pages on your site that they’ve viewed, the forms they’ve converted on and the conversations that they’ve had with members of your team.


Sometimes referred to as a “Deal”, the Opportunity indicates when a contact is actively engaged in evaluating purchasing your product or service. The opportunity will most commonly be created in your CRM software by a salesperson as they begin working with their contact. The opportunity will store all the interactions that the salesperson has with that contact including phone calls, notes, emails back and forth, quotes and anything else that is important to tracking that sales process.


You will come across the concept of an ‘object’ when reviewing CRM Software that is more customisable in nature than more out-of-the-box solutions. An “Object” is a system of record allows a business to store information about a ‘thing’. This sounds quite abstract but in practice makes a lot of sense. Let’s take for example an Apple, which is a physical object. It can be red or green in colour, it can be large or small, it can be a Pink Lady apple variety. All of this information is pertinent to an “Apple” object. When we look at the objects in a CRM the most common will be Contact, Opportunity, Company and Ticket. Each of these have a set of information that helps to define them. Customisable CRM Software allows the business to create new and unique objects that are important to their business. For example, an education company may need a “Subject” object whereas an ecommerce business may need a “Transaction” object.


CRM Software Terminology



This is relevant to an opportunity and enables the salesperson to manage an opportunity through various stages of a structured sales process. The stage is important not only for managing the individual deal, but also when zooming out and looking at all of the opportunities currently being worked on by your sales team. This information enables you to assess the ‘health’ of your business pipeline and make judgement calls on forecasting revenue while also helping you identify stages that seem to be bottlenecks.

Buyer Persona

Some CRM Software will have this built in, others won’t. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. It takes market research and exploring company data in order to define who your Buyer Person is. When developing your buyer persona you’ll want to include demographic information, behavioural patterns, things that will motivate or demotivate this person and even that person's goals. A CRM that allows you to include your persona will be an incredibly powerful tool to help you refine and create laser focus within your business.


It’s highly likely that you’ll end up using your CRM software as a marketing tool and so campaigns are part and parcel of your of these platforms. A campaign will be a collection of all content that is specific to a current marketing strategy. It will bring social media posts, emails, blog posts, ad campaigns, etc all together in one place so your marketing team can stay organised. It will also ideally enable you marketing team to report on the effectiveness of the campaign they are running so they can make quick tweaks, edits and learn from mistakes on the run.


Activity in a CRM is a record of all interactions that an individual has against the various records in a CRM. Examples of activity could be a logged call, logged email or a task being completed. It’s the physical interaction that we have with the data stored in the CRM.


Many CRM Software platforms have functionality built in that enables post-sale customer support. A ticket can be used to address a customer complaint, issue that’s been raised or technical problem that a customer needs support working through. Tickets are a tool to help manage the post-sale customer interactions with your customer support team(s).


When a business is using multiple software platforms it can be extremely useful to plug these platforms together so as to derive more value from them. Almost a 1 + 1 = 3 scenario. An integration defines when two platforms have data syncing between the two. There are all sorts of integrations from native to third-party to bi-directional which we will cover in another article.


New call-to-action


Tags: CRM Software