CRM technology

The History of CRM: From Card Holders to Business Intelligence

3 min read · Listen

To talk about the history of the CRM , we do not have to go back to some primitive software as we might think. 

We have to go back much further, to the card holders used by salespeople so as not to lose contact with their customers. 

The most famous was rolodex. 


Historia CRM

These devices became the most valuable asset of each salesperson, because they held all their contacts. 

Needless to say, this solution was tremendously ineffective. 

Sooner rather than later, technology would come to the rescue and the digital history of CRM as we know it would begin. 

More specifically in 1986. 


CRM History


The beginnings of the CRM.

In 1986, the seed of today's CRMs was created in Dallas (United States); Pat Sullivan and Mike Muhney developed a tool they called ACT, which stands for Automate Contact Tracking. 

In essence, it is a simple contact manager that will replace the precious role of the sales representatives of small and medium-sized companies

In 1989 the next exponential leap was made by Goldmine, which developed software called SFA (Sales Force Automation). 

With a more pretentious name and better technological development, Jon Ferrera, the creator of the tool, began to approach a CRM in the true sense of the word.

The 1990s.

During this decade there were 3 main events that marked the development of CRM tools: 

The end of the war of acronyms 

At this time, the first software aimed at customer management and acquisition had already been called ACT and SFA, but also CMS, ECM or CIS. 

In the end, the term that became popular was CRM, Customer Relationship Management, probably because it was the broadest and most inclusive. 

Foundation of Siebel 

In 1993, after trying to convince his boss to market his internal customer management software, Tom Siebel, Oracle's 50th employee, founded the Siebel company. 

This company and its software would become the market leader with up to 45% of the share. 

Its development was so exponential that 6 years later Fortune magazine named it the fastest growing company in the country. 

Founding of Salesforce 

In the same year that Siebel was a Fortune Award winner, Marc Benioff founded Salesforce, also after leaving Oracle. 

This tool was born with 2 atypical premises among the CRMs of its time:

  1. It was 100% cloud-based software.
  2. It focused solely on the sales function.

Its competitors did not make the same bets, and this allowed Salesforce to gain an overwhelming market share in the following years.

CRM during the 2000's.

Throughout this decade most of the players in the world of ERP or IT in general such as Microsoft enter the market. 

Taking advantage of the ".com" bubble, which destroys the market and pushes many CRM tools such as Siebel to the limit, companies such as Sage emerge after many companies have merged or Microsoft takes over 40% of the market by buying CRM and ERP solutions and integrating them.

CRM in the last 10 years.

In order to end the history of the MCA, we have to get to the present day. 

The market is becoming increasingly accessible and technology is becoming popular. 

This is how trends such as CRM such as SaaS, eCRM and social CRM and mobile CRM emerge. 

It is the rise of CRM adapted to each business instead of the reverse and the rise of CRM strategies: 

Companies are beginning to understand the need to put the customer at the centre of their business beyond the use of software to manage their relationship with them. 

Nowadays, most CRMs (or at least the most useful ones) are specialised, SaaS, in the cloud and able to adapt to each type of business

Do you want to try a CRM with a lot of history and those features?

efficy is a CRM that meets these requirements, and many others. 

The best proof that the system works is that we have more than 4,500 clients in more than 33 countries. 

You can start managing your business with the best possible tools today. 

Shall we talk? 

To know more: