What is a customer database?
For a long time organisations have used simple databases like Microsoft Access, Excel, ACT! as their place for storing critical information about their customers, staff, suppliers and countless other very important areas of information.
What's the difference between a database and a CRM?
It’s as simple as that really; a database is just that. A place to store, and organise an amount of data. It can be any size, catering for the local sailing club to a multi-national Corporate and you can drill down into the numbers and dates, extract information, create spreadsheets, and analyse who did what, when, and for how much. All information is in the past. It’s already happened, deals done, invoices raised, profit made. But that is where it stops.
A CRM system will in addition to the above, process the data for you to work out what might happen in the future. It can be automated to respond to inbound requests for information, it will integrate with your other business systems like Sage, website, HR. No longer will you need to add information in multiple systems, a CRM will be at the core of all of your data, saving time and money.