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7 CRM examples and use cases to build a better business

CRM Examples
What can a CRM platform do for your business?
7 examples of CRM tool features, functionality and use cases
3 CRM platforms for different needs
How to choose the right CRM for your company
CRM examples FAQs
Final thoughts

Sales leaders at startups and growing companies know that proper data management is essential for a business to run smoothly and efficiently.

CRM systems are useful to any sales operation looking to handle data effectively. Many CRM tools are available on the market, offering different solutions, each varying in what they do best.

So, how do you choose the right one for your specific needs?

In this article, we explore some top CRM examples to help you understand what your company can achieve with the software. You’ll also learn about seven key CRM features that simplify your daily workflows so you can focus on growth.

What can a CRM platform do for your business?

CRMs streamline your customer and prospect data for improved decision-making. With easier access to the right information, your team can clearly see what steps to take next – providing a better experience during the pre-sale and post-sale stages of the customer lifecycle.

More specifically, automated workflows in your CRM can enhance efficiency, productivity and sales success.

Pipedrive’s State of Sales and Marketing 2021–22 report found that businesses with automated sales and marketing tasks are more likely to hit their sales targets and revenue goals.

Companies using CRM technology witnessed 15% more revenue growth than those lacking CRM software.

Compared to last year my company

Companies that use a CRM software to track sales.

Companies that do not use a CRM to track sales.

Also, Pipedrive’s State of Sales and Marketing 2022–23 surveyed employees of companies that invested in technology. They were less concerned about their individual workloads and more optimistic about the company’s future.

CRM examples of how technology can shape the future of your company

Beyond boosting sales, revenue and employee satisfaction, there are other ways CRM software can support your company – particularly your relationships with customers. Key aspects include:

  • Better organized and automated contact management systems that drive customer engagement and retention

  • Enhanced customer satisfaction by centralizing communication across channels, including email, Zoom, LinkedIn and other social media networks

  • Improved pipeline management and lead follow-ups, potentially increasing sales

  • Optimized analytics and reporting for better goal-setting and tracking activity-based selling

Having covered the all-encompassing advantages of CRM technology, let’s explore some common CRM features and how they help you reap those benefits.

7 examples of CRM tool features, functionality and use cases

CRM tools offer different features and functionality, so picking the right one will depend on your team’s goals, needs and budget.

Below, we outline the seven top features of most CRM platforms, providing CRM software examples and use cases to help you determine your company’s priorities.

1. Centralizing lead and customer data

An integrated CRM gathers all your customer and prospect data so you can efficiently process and communicate information with your team members.

Pipedrive data shows that salespeople can be more efficient and effective when all information is accessible in one convenient location. 2021–22 survey respondents from workplaces with automated systems for maintaining sales data and customer notes were 11% more likely to hit their sales quota.

Take Pipedrive’s contact detail view. Any sales rep can make notes, upload files, create new activities or reach out to prospects with support from email and phone call integrations.

CRM examples: how having relevant information in one place helps you sell more

Team members have full visibility of every contact’s communication history to prepare for the next follow-up call.

How one company benefited from centralizing its data

In the early days, Ari Motors, an electric vehicle manufacturer, used simple spreadsheets and tables. Managing its customer data with manual tools became increasingly difficult as demand for electric vehicles within B2B increased.

By switching to Pipedrive, all customer information, current buying processes and buying history are now accessible in one central location.

Pipedrive serves as an information hub available to all team members at all times, equipping them with the most up-to-date data on new leads and their positions along the customer journey.

Thomas Kuwatsch, CFO at Ari Motors, says:

Everything in one place – that is the main advantage in our daily dealings with CRM.

Read the Ari Motors case study to learn how Pipedrive helped company sales increase tenfold.

2. Managing sales pipelines

A sales pipeline is a visual tracking system that shows the progression of potential customers through the various phases of your sales cycle.

Sales-focused CRM software tools offer pipeline features to help salespeople know how close they are to closing the deal.

For example, Pipedrive’s pipeline view lets users visualize where each deal is at and what needs to happen next.

CRM examples: How Pipedrive helps you keep track of your deal progress.

With this high-level view, salespeople can quickly see everyone’s deals and track the company’s overall progress.

Here’s how one company benefited from sales pipeline technology

AppAgent, a mobile marketing agency, struggled to manage its active deals and pipeline before implementing a sales CRM into its business processes.

Pipedrive’s intuitive sales pipeline allows the AppAgent team to see each deal’s position within the sales funnel. By integrating contact and deal information, there are no silos or conflicting information.

Read the AppAgent case study to see how it doubled its team and improved revenue after introducing Pipedrive.

3. Marketing automation

Marketing automation means using software to build systematic workflows that reduce manual and repetitive tasks across your marketing campaigns.

By using segmentation and marketing automation tools in a CRM, companies can provide personalized outreach based on the prospect’s stage in the sales process.

Campaigns by Pipedrive, an email marketing automation add-on, supports your marketing efforts by automatically transferring data between all aspects of CRM software.

The easy drag-and-drop editor lets you build email campaigns from templates or design them from scratch. You can also set up workflows that spark actions in response to triggered events.

CRM examples: How Pipedrive makes it simple to automate your marketing campaigns.

When a potential customer downloads a resource from your SaaS website, you can send a targeted email with additional relevant information or a sales demo invitation.

When all of this happens from within your CRM, there’s no need for data to travel between platforms.

Here’s how one company benefited from integrated sales and marketing automation

Latvian corporate education company Trainify found that using email marketing functions in the Pipedrive CRM aligned its sales and marketing teams.

Viktors Pedčenko, CEO at Trainify, says:

I used another email marketing tool in the past, but now I’m drowning in a list of tools I use, so it is important for me to have a better functionality; more tools in one toolbox. Having CRM and email marketing in one tool has accelerated the preparation of campaigns, as there is no extra data export/import necessary.

Read the Trainify case study to learn how Campaigns saves the company two hours per week.

4. Automation

More than just marketing functions, sales CRMs offer automation capabilities, such as workflow automation, that reduce the manual work required to move prospects through your sales funnel.

When not trapped under the weight of repetitive work, your team can focus on higher-impact sales activities.

For example, sales automation with Pipedrive’s Automations feature pushes deals forward by auto-generating a new deal after a rep enters a qualified lead. It can also schedule new activities like following up and sending demos as deals move further down the pipeline.

CRM examples: How Pipedrive’s Automations feature reduces manual admin so you can focus on sales.

You can transfer deal ownership to different reps at specific stages and set up workflows to minimize user error.

Here’s how one company benefits from Automations

Key Search, a boutique executive search firm, needed an alternative to its outdated, unintiuitive applicant tracking system.

After implementing over 100 Pipedrive automations, the company’s workflow is faster.

Franziska Palumbo-Seidel, Key Search founder and CEO, says:

Pipedrive helps us with repetitive work. It gives us a little nudge and reminders on what to do. When we made the switch to Pipedrive, the time saving was immediately there, for sure, and revenue is up as well due to increased productivity.

Discover how the firm achieved a 40% faster workflow in this Key Search case study.

5. Reporting and sales forecasting

Data in your CRM can clarify aspects of your sales process, identify future opportunities and predict what’s ahead.

Sales dashboards and sales reporting functionality help you uncover trends and gain insights, enabling you to make more informed decisions about growing your business and increasing profits.

With access to real-time reports, you’ll see which sales tactics drive the most sales. Your team can then focus on the activities that work and spend less time on those that don’t.

Get organized with your free sales pipeline excel template

Looking for a more streamlined way to manage your sales? Download this free sales pipeline template and test it out now.

Pipedrive’s Forecasting software lets company leaders track sales performance to predict future revenue. Managers who monitor sales performance can more easily pinpoint how and where to step in to support team members who may need help catching up.

Here’s how one company benefits from sales reporting tools

Before Pipedrive, the Kovai.co sales team used Microsoft Dynamics to manage leads. The tool was complex, lacking essential features like sales pipelines and forecasting capabilities.

When the team implemented Pipedrive, sales management found the sales insights they were looking for. Sales reps are now able to engage leads quickly and more effectively.

Saravana Kumar, CEO at Kovai.co, says:

Pipedrive has given the whole process a clarity we did not enjoy with other CRMs, so much so that management can now see what is likely to be achieved in a sales quarter and plan accordingly.

See the Kovai.co case study for details of how the software company grew its Document360 sales team by 50%.

6. Project management

Sales-focused CRMs streamline project management around sales activities that help managers divide work evenly amongst their sales teams to ensure nothing slips through the cracks.

Pipedrive’s automatic assignment feature allows you to set rules to qualify and assign deals to a particular team or rep.

For example, a location-based rule could ensure reps get matched with prospects in the same time zone. If you want a specific team to handle higher-value deals, your rule could route deals above a certain threshold to those team members.

CRM examples: How Pipedrive’s automatic assignment feature helps you get the right team on the right deals.

Pipedrive’s Projects software also supports project management for teams outside sales.

Here’s how one company benefited from streamlining project management

Mobility service provider and charge point operator Blulinc was among the first businesses to adopt Pipedrive’s dedicated project management solution into their workflow.

Pipedrive’s Projects add-on has since helped Blulinc deliver timely solutions to clients and even forecast issues to further increase efficiency.

Cihan Kranda, founder of Blulinc, shares his experience:

Pipedrive gives us better separation between our sales pipeline and our projects pipeline. Our support people that are managing all the installations and our after-sales don’t need to be nosing around in deals anymore. It’s easier to follow up and it’s quicker to do what we need to do for both teams.

Read the Blulinc case study to learn how the project management team reclaimed 30% of their time.

7. Mobile CRM

CRMs with mobile capabilities deliver desktop CRM features to smartphones and other web-enabled devices, like tablets.

Mobile CRM functionality can be particularly useful for companies with field agents, often away from their desks meeting prospects in person.

Pipedrive’s mobile CRM helps you track calls, make quick notes, prep for meetings and stay focused.

Pipedrive’s mobile CRM reflects all web app customizations across iOS and Android devices, giving sales teams a seamless experience.

Here’s how one company benefits from mobile CRM functionality

While on the road, the sales team at Planet42, a South African vehicle financing company, uses Pipedrive’s mobile CRM app to log information into Pipedrive using their cell phones.

Samantha Speedy, Projects and Operations Coordinator at Planet42, shares:

“The call tracking app is phenomenal! Especially the record call and messages feature. When you’re on the road and you get so many calls, you forget who you’ve spoken to and what you spoke about. So just having that pop up after the call is so helpful.

The other feature that I believe is quite nice is Pipedrive’s ability to link to your cell phone. Other CRM systems in South Africa don’t have this feature, which is especially important for us salespeople because we live off our cell phones.”

The Planet42 case study explains how the company uses Pipedrive to manage its sales and equity pipelines.

3 CRM platforms for different needs

Whether your company is just starting or scaling up, you’ll find various CRM tools for different purposes.

To help you navigate your options, we’ve shortlisted three popular CRM examples to suit specific needs.

Best CRM for growing your business: Pipedrive

If you want to expand your sales team or increase revenue, you need a dedicated, powerful sales CRM tool like Pipedrive.

Pipedrive’s interactive dashboards make it easy to visualize your team’s KPIs and build a data-driven sales strategy.

CRM examples: Pipedrive is easy to use and allows many app integrations to make your life easier.

Named the “Easiest to Use” CRM software by The Motley Fool, Pipedrive provides an intuitive user experience featuring many app integrations for added flexibility.

Pipedrive also ranked first in the SoftwareReviews’ 2023 Lead Management Data Quadrant for its top scores across ease of data integration, customization, implementation and IT administration, as well as quality of product features.

CRM examples: Start and scale effortlessly with Pipedrive, one of the highest-rated and feature-packed CRMs.

Whether you’re a startup or enterprise, Pipedrive’s affordable tiered plans make it easy to start and scale when your team needs more functionality.

Here’s what Nirmal Gyanwali, Managing Director at boutique web design agency Nirmal Web Studio, thinks:

Pipedrive is the best tool I’ve ever found! From email tracking to workflow automations and game-changing integrations, Pipedrive has plenty of features that help us go beyond our sales targets.

Learn more about Pipedrive with the best CRM software deep dive.

Best free CRM: Excel

Small businesses concerned about pricing and looking for a barebones way to store contact information may find that an Excel CRM works for them.

CRM examples: How Excel can help small businesses keep track of their contacts.

You won’t have access to sales pipelines, dashboards or project management tools. So if you don’t need that functionality immediately, Excel can be a straightforward way to organize your contacts.

When you’re ready to scale, you can easily import data from your Excel spreadsheet into a dedicated CRM like Pipedrive.

Best CRM for single-person teams: Trello

Trello is a visual Kanban-style project management tool that can serve several basic CRM functions.

Users create boards filled with task cards and then move them to different lists to monitor their progress.

Butler, Trello’s built-in automation feature, broadly assists with task management and project workflows rather than sales-specific activities. You can add templates to your Trello boards to mimic a basic sales pipeline layout.

CRM examples: How Trello can be useful for single-person teams looking for a simple project management tool.

Trello premium users can build custom dashboards without advanced reporting or analytics functions to visualize project workflows.

As Trello lacks typical CRM contact management features, you can add contact information to individual cards instead.

To learn how Trello stacks up against Pipedrive, check out this Pipedrive vs. Trello comparison.

How to choose the right CRM for your company

The right CRM solution makes your business more efficient, productive and successful. Follow these steps to research and choose the best CRM for your team’s needs.

Finally, if your goal is to boost sales or revenue, choose a sales CRM with features like pipeline management and sales activity automation – the quickest way to set your sales team up for more success.

CRM examples FAQs

Final thoughts

The benefits of CRMs are far-reaching for companies and businesses of all sizes.

While disparate data collection and lead management slow down your sales process, integrated software makes it easier to close new business, build customer loyalty and scale operations.

Pipedrive is a simple but powerful CRM solution for streamlining prospect data and increasing sales success.

Sign up for a free trial to get started with the sales CRM built for salespeople by salespeople.

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