All About CRM Databases [Types, Benefits & Top Tools]

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Picture this, your workmate calls in sick, leaving you to chase up on their leads.

Apparently, they've almost closed a deal with one of them. But which one?

Companies keep great records of their customers' data…

But without an effective data retrieval system, finding something remains a nightmare.

We've all gone through this at some point. Trying to sort through endless files or having to ravage a workmate's PC while trying to find a single contact.

This is where CRM databases enter the scene - making info access a breeze and stopping you from turning into this guy.


And, as an added plus, CRM databases also enable you to keep customers engaged no matter where they are in the sales funnel.

Like what you're reading?

Then keep scrolling, and we'll take you through CRM software databases, their benefits, types, and the top tools in the market.

Let's go!

What Is a CRM Database?

A CRM database is the part of your CRM (customer relationship management) platform that collects, stores, and updates all your company's interactions with prospects and current customers. Your CRM database integrates all this information - contact details, conversations via email or text message, and call notes - so it's accessible to everyone in a single dashboard.

A CRM database achieves two things:

  1. Boosts customer experience
  2. Gives greater data access, visibility, and efficiency to the business and its employees

And a CRM database's functionality can be broken down into three categories:

  1. Operational: Stores information about leads, customers, and employees in a shared interface. This supports a company's customer service, sales, and marketing functions.
  2. Analytical: Collects data about customer interactions and presents this data when prompted. The information acquired from the data allows businesses to improve their services, and boost customer satisfaction and retention rates.
  3. Collaborative: Organizes teams and helps them share data and files across departments. For instance, the interactions between technical support, sales, marketing, and customer service are mapped and stored by this CRM.

Businesses in any niche and industry can use CRM database software -but it's most valuable to remote sales teams looking to centralize customer data and keep track of all conversations.

The 3 Types of CRM Databases

CRM Databases Types

Here's a lightning-fast overview of three types of CRM database software:



Open Source

  • The source code is open to the public
  • All changes made to the code are publicly displayed


  • Set up, hosted, and managed on the client's premises
  • No third-party vendors are needed to host the CRM data


  • Hosted on the CRM provider's server
  • Data access is managed via the internet

And now let's take a deep dive into each one:

1. Open source CRM system

An open source CRM system is a CRM built with publicly available source code.

Generally, the advantages of open source CRMs are that they're:

  1. Affordable: Most open source CRMs are completely free because users create features and adapt them to their business
  2. Customizable: You have the power to tailor the CRM to your business processes, which ensures sales teams use functions that actually help them do their job.
  3. Community-focused: You benefit from a worldwide network of users who share insights on how to make the software more effective.

Being able to adapt and streamline the CRM to your needs means you mold your software tools around your team's processes - not the other way around.

The downside to open source is that you have to be savvy with software dev (or have an in-house team of developers) to make it work for your business.

2. On-premise CRM System

This CRM software is set up and managed on your server. This means it's your business's responsibility to store and maintain your CRM.

The perks of an on-premise CRM are that it's built and adapted by your IT team. Having a custom-made CRM might be the best option if your business has a complex or unique sales process that generic CRMs can't accommodate.

But there are several downsides to an on-premise system:

  • You can only access the data from on-premise computers - a poor fit for remote sales teams)
  • Your business is responsible for regular maintenance, security, and updates - which is expensive and risky
  • On-premise systems become outdated and clunky quickly compared to cloud-based systems that are being constantly updated to meet industry requirements


You should only consider on-premise systems when off-the-shelf software just won't cut it.

3. Cloud-based CRM System

Cloud-based CRMs are accessible from the cloud, so you can technically access it anywhere from any device with an internet connection.

Most companies use cloud-based CRMs for sales because they're:

  1. Affordable - requiring a monthly or annual subscription fee that increases when you hire more salespeople
  2. Innovative - boasting constant improvement to meet industry standards, requirements, and competition with competitors
  3. Safe - CRM companies tend to have access to robust security systems and have strong processes for managing user data
  4. Supportive - many cloud-based CRMs offer free support and demos to help your sales team adapt and customize your CRM database

The Benefits of CRM Databases

Benefits of CRM Databases

It's important to note that every CRM has some sort of database functionality - it needs to store all your contact details and sales rep activity.

And these CRM database software solutions bring many benefits to companies and staff.

Let's take a closer look at six of the most important ones:

Simplified Collaboration

CRM databases have collaboration tools that help your team communicate better.

Most CRM databases simplify collaboration by:

  • Storing all internal and external communication between reps and customers - all reps have to do is search for a lead and then get up to speed quickly
  • Enabling sales reps to tag each other in tasks or communications, so they can work together and provide insights on how best to approach a contact
  • Integrating with automated email, SMS, and marketing activities so that sales reps can nurture leads in a matter of clicks (or, sometimes, without doing anything!)

Sales teams are only effective when reps work together -and sometimes, reps need to share contacts and accounts or work together to close a deal.

Simplified collaboration with a CRM database gives everyone a single source of truth, so they can quickly share updates with each other. This is especially important if you have a remote sales team operating from home.

Better Customer Segmentation

CRM databases store lead information such as:

  • Name
  • Role
  • Company
  • Location
  • Date last contacted
  • Date next contact scheduled

With this segmentation, sales reps can search for and identify leads more quickly and prioritize the leads that are going cold and need to be nurtured.

A contact management database is essential for further segmentation using your CRM -such as sorting all your contacts into audiences for a tailored email drip campaign.

Speedier Communication

It's well documented that faster response times boost sales.

And while your sales team fumbles with disorganized documents and spreadsheets to find contact information, that lead's already gone to a competitor.

A CRM database solves this by storing all your lead and customer data in one accessible location. Interfaces, functions, and UX differ across CRM databases. Still, most enable you to:

  • Swiftly search a keyword (e.g., the prospect's name or company) to find them more quickly in the system
  • Email or SMS the prospect directly from their lead profile in your CRM database

Ringy has a real advantage here because of our click-to-call functionality - this handy tool enables you to call a lead directly from the CRM without having to rely on another program.

No more fumbling around with manual dials or remembering phone numbers as you switch between programs.

Data Privacy and Protection

All CRMs require you to retrieve and store contact information; from there, it's your responsibility to protect that data.

By keeping all customer and lead information in one place, CRM databases save you from the risk of duplicating information across multiple spreadsheets, desktop notes, or (yikes) sticky notes on your sales reps' desks.

With all your data aggregated in a centralized system, and contact history showing how that data is used by reps, your sales team stays accountable for what they do with prospects' contact information.

Improved Marketing

Sales and marketing work best when they work together.

And with a CRM database, you have the tools you need to improve your marketing efforts by:

  • Taking advantage of marketing automation functions from within your CRM platform - such as selecting leads en-masse and adding them into an email drip campaign
  • Using lead details from your CRM database to generate insights to further personalize your marketing campaigns
  • Storing call recordings and notes from sales reps, which you can share with your marketing team to further improve marketing campaigns.

Higher Employee Productivity

Businesses that use CRMs recorded a 34% increase in employee productivity.

That's because a CRM database eliminates those frustrating minutes spent on data entry, fumbling between calls, and looking for lost leads in endless disorganized spreadsheets and call records.

CRM databases store all lead records in one place and facilitate all your sales reps' activities - from calling, to email and SMS, to taking notes after each session.

By having everything they need at their fingertips and in one location, sales reps have everything they need to focus on what matters most - nurturing leads and closing deals.

Why Businesses Need Database CRM Software

Why Businesses Need Database CRM Software

Still wondering whether you need a CRM database for your business? Let's spell it out for you.

A CRM database helps you:

  • Organize customer interactions
  • Streamline business operations
  • Automate for time-saving
  • Analyze and report
  • Develop workflows

Let's start from the top.

1. Organizing Customer Interactions

CRM databases streamline all your communications with customers by storing them in one easy-to-navigate lead directory.

Can't remember what you discussed with a prospect before your next call? Just look up their profile in your CRM database - the call notes, or in some cases an entire recording, is stored there.

Need to see the response rates from your last email drip campaign? Your CRM database keeps track of all responses from leads and, in most cases, helps you generate reports to make data-driven decisions.

When used correctly, a CRM database eliminates all the issues and frustrations associated with lead double-handling or referring leads to new reps halfway through the sales process.

2. Streamlining Sales Operations

Operational CRMs are responsible for simplifying and streamlining your company's main business processes.

Data syncing and sharing are super easy when using a CRM. No need to update customer data, like contacts, manually. All the data is automatically logged and stored securely on the CRM database.

Which means all your team members have access to accurate information about each customer.

And with this, a personalized experience for each customer is achieved, no matter which team member speaks with them.

3. Automate for Time-Saving

Automating a CRM gives your business many functions across marketing, sales, and service activities.

Mundane tasks are necessary but time-consuming. Automating daily tasks across departments helps you and your team save time and effort - you can then redirect your time to more key aspects of your business, like prospecting, pitching, and customer support.

The CRM database automatically updates data after every interaction with a return customer.

4. Effective Analytics and Reporting

Your CRM database feeds accurate and in-depth CRM reports that can be customized to feature only what you need to know.

These CRM analytics allow you to improve and scale up your overall customer experience. Most CRMs have templates to apply and get started in minutes.

You can also set how you would like to visualize your reports - pie charts, graphs, Gantt charts, tables, etc.

Go ahead and automate your reports and send them out weekly, monthly, annually, or even daily. They can also be sent directly to the email inboxes of your team members if needed.

4 CRM Database Tools

Now, it's time to give you a list of four killer CRM database tools you can use for your business.

Here's the shortlist:


In one sentence

Monthly Pricing


Full-scale calling and SMS suite

Starts from $109

Colorful and appealing user interface

Starts from $24

Zoho CRM

Over 40 products and 300 integrations

Starts from $14 per user


Easy-to-use interface with highly visual workflows

Starts from $5 per user

Now let's dive into the details:




Ringy helps bridge the gap between lead nurturing and deal closure. It provides you with tools to generate leads and automate marketing operations. You can share leads among teammates and create assignment tasks automatically.

Ringy has mobile apps for both Android and iOS for use on the go. It has an API that lets you integrate Ringy with several applications, including Google Calendar, Facebook, and Zapier.

Supervisors who use Ringy can use charts and drip analytics to view:

  • Turnover rates
  • Outbound calls
  • Incoming leads
  • Account balances
  • Transactions
  • And much more

You can also receive voicemails and forward ongoing calls to an agent while on the platform.

What's more, you can generate operational reports with just a few clicks

Ringy costs $109 per month, and you get a CRM, a cloud VoIP softphone, local caller ID, and agent coaching, among other key features.

Source's sales CRM empowers you to capture leads from the source and centralize them on one dashboard. Take control of your entire sales cycle with Monday's visually pleasing and intuitive user interface.

With over 50 integrations, you can use your favorite tools on Monday for any department in your company. No-code automation lets you customize your CRM to suit your unique needs - without needing an IT team to set up or manage anything.

Pricing starts from $24 for three slots monthly, and billing happens annually. The good news is there's also a free plan for you to try out.

Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM


Zoho CRM is an omnichannel, cloud-based CRM that helps you to take control of your business processes and allows your business to build lasting customer relationships.

Zoho has over 40 products and over 300 third-party integrations for you to enjoy. You have access to an AI-powered sales assistant that gives each sales rep personalized CRM data and intelligent alerts.

You get automatic alerts whenever there's a new customer interaction or a new contact.

Pricing plans start from $14 per user per month and are billed annually. Zoho CRM also has a free plan (this time for up to three users).




Trello is a visual collaboration tool that lets you manage projects, workflows, and task tracking. It creates a shared perspective for your team on all your projects.

Enjoy over 100 integrations with third-party tools, which make your work transparent and easily shareable across departments and teams. It has an easy-to-use interface that needs no onboarding process to get started.

Trello's pricing starts from $5 per user per month (if billed annually). There's also a free plan.

CRM Databases FAQs

"Why are companies interested in a CRM system?"

Companies are interested in CRMs because they need a way to organize, streamline, automate, and scale their sales process.

And CRMs are a fundamental part of a sales tech stack enabling sales reps to do their job.

"What can a CRM do for my company?"

CRM databases help companies learn more about their customers and prospects. They also help businesses become more organized through sales pipeline management, sales and marketing automation, and task organization. This enables organizations to optimize customer interactions and keep clients engaged throughout the entire buyer journey - from first contact all the way to loyalty programs.

"How much will a CRM cost?"

You can get a CRM tool starting from around $5 per user per month.

However, you should look beyond just the price tag and make sure you get a CRM database tool that fits the size and needs of your company.

The majority of these tools are paid for on an annual basis. Most also allow companies to only pay for the data they need or the number of employees that use the CRM.

"What type of reporting does a CRM offer?"

Some of the most important CRM analytics reports are profitability, goal progress, sales cycle, conversion, and forecast reports.

Final Words on CRM Databases

CRM databases help sales teams organize and centralize all customer and lead data in one place - while also speeding up essential functions like finding conversation history, adding leads to marketing campaigns, and even calling your contacts.

CRM software solutions, like Ringy, are designed to support your team, enhance performance, and bridge the gap between lead nurturing and closing the deal.

Whether you are a startup or an established firm, Ringy provides your business with state-of-the-art features at competitive prices.

So contact Ringy today to request a demo or visit our website to learn more about our CRM!

Skyrocket your sales with the CRM that does it all

Skyrocket your sales with the CRM that does it all.

Calling? Check. SMS? Check. Automation and AI? Check. Effortlessly keep in touch with your customers and boost your revenue without limits.

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