What is the difference between Contact relationship management (CRM) and contact management system (CMS)?

While comparing CMS vs CRM, the lines between the two are blurred. Both are interconnected and do a few of each other’s roles and functions.

Because of this overlapping, many individuals and businesses have trouble differentiating between the two and choosing the right option for their business.

Though the acronyms are similar both CMS software and CRM software have different business purposes.

CMS is an abbreviation for Content Management System, it helps in managing the website content with a simple and easy user interface.

One does not require any deep technical knowledge to work on a CMS. Whereas CRM (Customer Relationship Management) helps in tracking current and potential customer interactions that can help in serving them better.

In simple words, CRM involves managing the contact information of the customers and potential prospects whereas CMS is about managing the website by content creation and publishing content.

Most businesses that need an online portal or website to promote their products or services begin with working on a CMS. If a business has a website then they may be already using a CMS like WordPress.

A CRM comes later in the process, once the website is developed and the business starts getting inquiries and starts building a client base.

A CRM helps in keeping better track of the sales pipeline and customer interactions. A popular example of CRM is Salesforce.

A CRM is particularly advantageous for B2B businesses that need to record several client interactions and for managing contacts to follow up on their leads.

If you’re wondering whether your business needs a CRM or a CMS, the truth is that both a CRM and CMS are beneficial to a business.

A CMS would be required at the start of the business to build a website and to get the business up and running. Whereas, the role of a CRM comes when the business starts building up a client base.

CMS vs CRM – Features

  1. CMS

A CMS or content management system helps in managing the content to be published on your website. If a business is setting up an online business, the CMS will be its central hub.

Just like while renting a physical place to set up a shop a business ensures that the shop is easily accessible, is attractively designed and has the required space for holding the goods to be sold.

Similarly, a CMS helps in setting up and managing the online business by creating the landing pages.

Even if a company is not planning to start their online business but are only looking to build an online presence for showcasing their products or for promoting their services they will require a CMS too.

A CMS includes pre-designed themes which one can choose from or one can also create their own design if a complex or customized website is required.

Some of the main features of a CMS are:

  • You can create customized domain names in line with your company name.
  • You can store all the data related to the website in the CMS.
  • You can make changes to the site layout either by coding or through a drag and drop editor.
  • You can store content like images and videos to be published. Some CMS also offers stock images that can be used on the website.
  • You can develop a catalogue of products and add a payment portal to create an online store using a CMS.

  1. CRM

Customer relationship management (CRM) is completely different from CMS. The CRM solutions focus on organizing and managing information about customers and prospective leads.

It is a very important marketing and sales tool.  CRM enables efficient customer support by keeping track of prospective leads and ensuring they are contacted at the most suitable times.

According to a recent survey by Gartner, around 92 percent of small businesses were either already using a CRM or were planning to invest in one over the next two years.

Any growing business will require a CRM as its number of customers will increase and the more customers and clients you have, it becomes extremely difficult to track them.

Some of the main features of a CRM are:

  • CRM helps to store customer information like name, email address, phone number and social media
  • You can track every interaction and keep records of the same. Customer interaction like phone calls, support requests etc.
  • Lead management helps to keep a track of the leads and follow up on them in order to try to convert them.
  • CRM helps in integrating the emails and importing them. CRM helps to run email campaigns or send follow up emails to the customers.
  • CRM helps to manage the sales process at every stage. It assigns tasks or roles to the sales teams.

Other than supporting the sales process CRM also assists in marketing automation, managing product catalogue, and document management.

CMS vs CRM – Pricing

The prices of the various CMS available in the market vary considerably. The open-source CMS platforms are available for free while one may have to pay for any add-ons or additional features. Most CMS platforms offer a free trial for their paid plans.

Most of the CRMs offer a three or four-tiered pricing plan depending on the features and add-ons availed. Most offer a free trial to determine the best suitable plan for the company.

CMS vs CRM – Providers

The market is flooded with CRM providers, right from open source to proprietary platforms. Some of the most popular CRM vendors are HubSpot CRM, Salesforce, and Insightly.

Though there are several CMS providers in the market only a few vendors are popular and dominate the market. While some CMS platforms are free and open-source there are others that are paid and proprietary.

Some CMS target specific types of websites like blogging websites, e-commerce websites, business websites etc. Some of the well-known CMS providers are WordPress, Squarespace, and Weebly.

Final Words

CMS and CRM are different and have different purposes. However, their roles can overlap and they can complement each other in many instances. Both the systems together can help drive more traffic to their website and increase sales.

Does your business require a CMS or CRM or both?  Take the free trials and experience working on the software before deciding which software your business should invest in.