5 Big Differences between CRM & Contact Management System

Editorial Team
July 15, 2021
5 Big Differences between CRM & Contact Management System

Often you might get confused between Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and a contact management system. (Don’t you?)

The lines between CRM and CMS are blurred, as each system does a bit of the other.

You are not alone. Many individuals and businesses have trouble differentiating among them (and also choosing the right one).

In this blog, we are going to tell you how a CMS is different from a CRM? But before that let us explain to you, let us understand the definition of CRM and a CMS.

What is Customer Relationship Management Software?

A CRM is a comprehensive software solution to manage interactions as well as relationships with customers, potential customers and partners.

Be it sales, customer service, business development, or marketing, CRM streamlines the functions of each team. It stores the information of clients and leads, identifies sales opportunities, and manages marketing campaigns centrally.

With visibility and easy access to data, it plays an important role in increasing productivity. CRM organizes customer and prospect information in the best way, so that helps you build stronger relationships with your stakeholders and boost your business.Some CRM systems automatically pull in other information, such as a client's personal preferences on communications, so that you can serve them better.

The CRM tool makes this information navigable to give you a complete record of individuals and companies overall, so you can better understand your relationship with different stakeholders over time. These days, it has become an inseparable part of organizations.

Table of content

1. What is CRM (Customer Relationship Management Software)?

2. What is CMS (Contact Management System)?

3. What is the difference between CRM and CMS?

Now, let us understand, the latter one.

What is a Contact Management System?

Contact Management System a.k.a. CMS lets you organize your contacts and leverage them according to the needs of your business.

It’s a database that hosts all key information about your clients – name, address, email, phone number, transaction notes – as well as a recorded history of their interactions with your business.

Its primary function is to track all information related to each contact in your contact list and keep an organized history of all past conversations. All information about a particular contact can be retrieved as and when required.

Keeping a track of some handful of contacts is manageable, but when there’s a matter of maintaining 1000s of contacts, it becomes a tough nut to crack.

Here’s when the contact management system comes into play. Other than that, there comes contact sharing.

Some contacts are universal, that need to be shared with all the team members whereas some contacts are sensitive, not everyone in the company can access them. Some contacts are strictly to be shared with a particular team only, whereas some contacts are collectively used by two teams, but not anyone apart from those teams.

In such cases, managing the access permission gets tricky without a contact management system. Thus, having a contact management system, you don’t have to juggle between your phone contact list, email inbox and spreadsheets. Get all the contact details right from one place.

Having understood both the terms, now let us draw a line of difference between them.

What is the difference between CRM and CMS?

Evidently, a CRM is more advanced than a CMS! Here’s exactly how a contact management and CRM software are different from each other:

1. Area of functionality

A CRM is at the core of any organization. It helps you manage your sales funnel, buyer’s journey, sales cycles, and relationships with prospects and customers.

Basically, CRM provides advanced functionality designed to automate the entire sales process, potential clients and sales leads, and helps you monitor activities. (Some CRMs can even assist with email marketing, analytics and more).

Although CRM is an absolute tool for managing existing customers, the focus of the system is on managing your sales funnel. When it comes to CMS, its core function is to manage and maintain contact information such as names, numbers, and e-mail addresses. It has nothing to do with other areas of business operation. Its functionality is limited to contact management only.

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2. Automation

Some CRM platforms often have email integration features that allow you to set up entire drip campaigns with just one click.

Instead of sending every cold email or follow-up manually, you can set up a drip system that automatically triggers based on your set parameters. The software will automatically send emails, promos, and relevant resources to your leads and customers based on the actions they take.

Whereas, CMS is not designed for much higher levels of automation. With advanced contact management systems like ContactBook, allows you to send emails to contacts within contact groups.

You can easily send emails to all group contacts or to individual contacts. For instance, you want to send a company update to the team. All you have to do is compose an email and send it to all from ContactBook.

3. Report Generation

A CMS may give you customer information but it won’t consolidate that information, analyze them and give you some readable data.

On the contrary, CRMs can decipher the interactions into reports and analytics and generate a clear picture of your pluses and minuses.

4. Segmentation

CRMs work around a different type of segmentation than CMS. CRM’s segmentation is the practice of categorizing leads according to interest, business value, and readiness to buy.

Whereas, a CMS can segment the contacts based on its group for ease of use.

5. Documentation

Customer relationship management software is especially useful for big companies. With level-based access, executives, managers, and employees can share notes, documents, reports, and insights instantaneously.

With crucial information available in just a couple of clicks, users can answer high-level inquiries using available documentation in the database, wherever and whenever they are. This eliminates delays and inconsistencies that prove detrimental to customer service.

On the other hand, the Contact management system doesn’t provide any sort of documentation.

Bottom line

Effective contact management helps you collect and streamline contact details along with refraining you from investing your valuable hours into monotonous tasks like manual contact sharing.

On the other hand, CRM improves your customer relationship and thereby boosts your business. Though appearing as two different sides of the coin, both CRM and CMS are equally important for enhancing your efficiency and growing your business.

If you are still confused about the two, then do read our report on why a CMS is important for your business.