What Is the Connection between CRM and Business Intelligence?

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  • Written By: D. Nelson
  • Edited By: M. C. Hughes
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2019
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One primary connection between Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and business intelligence is that business intelligence often informs CRM. For example, if a sales manager would like to determine how to sell his or her product to a particular customer, he or she can use business intelligence data to update CRM guidelines, providing guidance for sales representatives who might communicate with this customer. Another connection between CRM and business intelligence lies in the ability of sales managers to record CRM data and make it part of their business intelligence data. A professional, for example, can collect data regarding which kinds of clients purchased certain products and services and analyze this data to determine how best to go about making sales in the future.

CRM generally describes the software and practices of sales managers who track customer accounts. Information regarding the needs, sales histories, and contacts with clients might be included in CRM accounts. Business intelligence refers to data that helps managers to make informed business decisions. This kind of intelligence can be interior information regarding a business's performance, though it also can be data related to market behaviors and competitor performance.


For many sales professionals, CRM and business intelligence are dependent on one another. When a salesperson is working with a new client, for example, he or she might find that there is no history to help him or her know which selling points are most effective. A professional cannot know which methods might work best for a particular client, since chances are that his or her business has not contacted this client in the past. For this reason, a sales professional might use business intelligence to determine how he or she should approach a client based on data related to other clients from similar industries, income brackets, or regions.

Another useful connection between CRM and business intelligence enables advertisers and marketers to launch successful campaigns. Marketing professionals can use CRM data to learn to which kinds of consumers a business's products or service might appeal. After researching this data, a marketing professional can use business intelligence to learn which publications these individuals read, which shows they watch, and which advertising campaigns have been most successful with certain demographics.

Many professionals understand that there is an important connection between CRM and business intelligence in the sense that CRM data can create new intelligence. For example, if a sales manager realizes that he or she has much success selling a product to individuals of a certain demographic, he or she might consider this data valuable business intelligence. In the future, a sales manager might use this new business intelligence to more effectively direct sales and marketing.



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