Technology continues to drive change in markets by shifting demands. A number of software therefore integrate with a CRM to improve customer experience. Before we look at how CRM software helps businesses, it’s important to look back at the history – where we are coming from before getting to the heights of cloud CRM today.

CRM software has greatly evolved over time. The software Creatio has therefore gone through a number of shaping before becoming a leader of customer relationship in the 21st century. CRM software is therefore a version of the tool that has undergone a number of adjustments to become better and more resilient.

Let us look at the history of CRM software.


Used in the 1950s, this is a rotating device with wheels that are fitted with cards. These removable index cards, held in a rotating spindle, carried customer information and could be easily replaced. Each index card therefore displayed key details about a company or person.

Rolodex was invented in 1956 by Hildaur Neilsen – a Danish engineer. This was however an improvement from a similar version known as wheeldex. Compared to ledger, Rolodex made work much easier. With this tool, it was much easier for businesses to locate customers, add new customers and even update details of existing ones.

Mainframe System

Mainframe is the mother of digitization starting in the early 1970s. despite its invention in late 1950s, mainframe computers had no user interface until early 1970s. This system managed to digitize manual files, organize customer data, save storage space and enabled quick search. However, it was mainly utilized by large organizations especially for enterprise resource planning, bulk data processing and transaction processing.

Database Marketing

This was the very first major move to integrate customers with a sales strategy playing a major role in the history of CRM software. Improved from direct marketing, businesses used database marketing to collect and analyze customer related data in order to gain better understanding of customer behavior.

Kestnbaum and Robert D. Bob founded database marketing in 1980s and developed new metrics including the marketing strategies development through financial modelling, and customer lifetime value.

Beginning in 1980s, marketing professionals engaged customers and prospects directly such as by sending personalized communications. However, this form of database marketing appeared like a one-way form of communication, there were better responses in terms of increased conversions and sales.

Kestnbaum collaborated with Robert Shaw in 1980s to develop marketing database for a number of large organizations. Some of the features introduced into the Kestnbaum approach included Telephone and field sales automation, campaign management, contact strategy optimization, marketing accountability and analytics.

Pat Sullivan and Mike Muhney pioneered Conductor software in 1986. In 1987, Conductor Software launched the very first contact management software. This was referred to as ACT!!! – Activity Control Technology that was later changed to Automated Contact Tracking. Goldmine and other vendors released CMS applications later which helped companies to improve the storage and management of customer data.

CRM On Mobile


Siebel released the first mobile-based CRM in 1999 – Siebel Sales handheld. However, with lack of network and devices for connectivity, mobile adoption remained poor.

However hardly hit by Y2K strike in 2000, many vendors entered the market afterwards. In 2003, Microsoft released Dynamic CRM in the market. With a number of transformations, CRM turned into a social CRM in 2008.  With this software, companies began to monitor social behavior of customers for enhanced customer experience.

Today’s CRM


Modern day CRM is mobile friendly and more social. Companies are therefore changing from transaction to interaction as increasing the value of a customer becomes more important than acquiring more. Big data is therefore helping businesses to better understand customers through CRM. With over 100 CRM applications in the market, evolution of CRM software continues. CRM is therefore expected to integrate more with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet Of Things (IOT).

About Evgeniy Garkaviy
I'm SEO specialist and certified Adwords consultant. I have been working in Search Engine Marketing for over three year. In addition working in SEO, I love writing about the subject and contributing to forum discussion in forums about various aspects of Search Engine Optimisation from link building to content development. Read more about me here