CRM stands for “customer relationship management.” A CRM system helps companies market, sell, and engage with customers better. But simply defining what CRM is probably doesn’t shed much light on what it can really do for you and your business.

So let’s pull back the CRM curtain together, and explore what this comprehensive solution might mean for each department it serves.

Marketing: Imagine a single system that allows you to plan, create, and manage multichannel campaigns with ease. Microsoft Dynamics CRM has a visual campaign designer that lets you drag-and-drop content into your marketing calendar, unifying your view of email, social media, events, and direct mail. Continuously updated data, such as customer sentiment and feedback, is fed to your screen in the form of easily interpreted graphs, helping you find ways to add value to your campaign during any stage of its life.

Your campaigns and calendar can also be shared with the sales team, allowing for closer collaboration across departments.

Sales: Insight into what the marketing team is doing is just the beginning of the sales team’s CRM experience. Aided by social data, your team can pick up on buying signals that might otherwise be missed. Once they know a prospect is interested, sales can zero in with relevant real-time company and contact data, news, and events—all to make sure they deliver the right pitch to the right person at the right time.

With tools like Yammer, your team can collaborate with anyone in your organization via IM, video, and voice, even from their mobile devices. They’ll be more agile than ever, capable of calling in an expert whenever the need should arise.

Service: Once, your service department had to wait for customer feedback to know what to work on. With the right CRM solution at your back, that’s no longer the case. Data collected from your connected devices and the Internet of Things helps you to proactively fix issues for customers, even when they’re not aware that a problem exists.

If the solar panels you installed aren’t performing as well as they should, you can simultaneously notify the customer and collaborate across departments to find a solution. Your unified service desk updates the customer’s profile to include the most recent data on the situation, giving everyone in the department the whole picture. The end result: a personalized, proactive, and predictive solution for each of your customers.

Social: Customers turn to social media to voice their opinions, get product reviews and information, and begin the journey toward making a purchase. From marketing to sales and (especially) service, your whole team can benefit from joining the social scene. Give them a bit of context with social CRM and they’ll begin to see opportunities where before there was only a rapidly changing wall of words. Social engagement and analytics let you see the bigger picture so you can pick up on trends and changes in sentiment, convert social comments into leads, and respond in context to comments made in multiple languages.

Now that you’ve got a handle on what a CRM system can do, maybe it’s time to take a guided tour of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and see how it can be tailored for your specific needs.

Already have your CRM solution in place? Here’s a quick video on getting started.