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CRMs vs Customer Success Platforms

21 September, 2022 2 min read
CRMs vs Customer Success Platforms

In the rapidly evolving software marketplace, the Software as a Service (SaaS) model has ushered in significant changes. It has significantly lowered the barriers to entry and exit for buyers, necessitating a fundamental shift in the way B2B software companies operate. Now, more than ever, Customer Success plays a pivotal role in ensuring the long-term success of your entire organization.
To achieve this, adopting a customer-focused approach to management isn't just beneficial; it's imperative.

Both CRM and CSP are customer-focused platforms and help drive sustainable business, but they differ significantly in their features and use cases. While a CRM can effectively automate the sales process to save time, and effort and improve sales performance, is it a suitable tool for customer success? Let’s find out below:

Infographic showing the difference between a CRM and a Customer Success Platform

Challenges of Using Your CRM as a Customer Success Platform

While it is possible to employ a CRM for your Customer Success program, it is far from an ideal solution due to several key challenges:

1. Development and Management

CRMs struggle to support the workflows necessary for Customer Success teams. Extracting insights from product usage data and other sources poses a challenge, hindering the automation of processes like onboarding and renewals.

In contrast, Customer Success Platforms are purpose-built to provide these workflows without requiring technical expertise, thereby enhancing efficiency and scalability.

2. Reporting and Dashboards

CRMs may create reports and dashboards tailored to Customer Success, but this often comes at the expense of losing functionality. They lack seamless integration with product usage data, leading to the need for data exports and manual intervention to keep reports current.

Customer Success Platforms, leveraging a wealth of data, offer dynamic reporting
without significant human involvement, delivering actionable insights to CS teams.

3. Generating Actionable Insights

CRMs serve as data repositories but frequently fall short in presenting information when it's most critical.

Their manual nature tends to generate reactive responses rather than proactive ones. In contrast, Customer Success Platforms provide real-time insights, drawing from a continuous stream of customer data, and offering proactive solutions based on business intelligence and analytics.

4. Usability

CRMs excel in tasks oriented toward sales but often fail to meet the usability demands of Customer Success teams. Customer Success Platforms offer a holistic view of customer relationships, serving as a comprehensive workspace for CS teams, streamlining task management, and providing real-time alerts.

Your CRM and CS Platform Should Collaborate, Not Compete

In the end, CRMs and Customer Success Platforms are complementary. Although they deal with similar data sources, each adds distinct value. CRMs are valuable for opportunity management, while Customer Success Platforms excel in nurturing strong customer relationships post-purchase.

By integrating these tools, you empower your organization to prioritize Customer Success, equipping your team with the necessary tools, workflows, and insights to thrive. In the SaaS world, success extends beyond the initial transaction; it hinges on the long-term value you provide to your customers. Recognizing the importance of Customer Success Platforms alongside your CRM is essential.

Together, they position your customers for success, ensuring your organization thrives in the dynamic software marketplace.

A customer success platform tracks all interactions that a customer has with your business and your product, which makes it an ideal tool to drive and support your CS strategy. ZapScale is a customer success platform for B2B SaaS businesses to help them reduce churn, improve retention, and increase upsell. Curious to know about ZapScale? Register for a free demo.


Author profile image
Mausmi Ambastha

Mausmi Ambastha is a 2X SaaS founder who built, scaled, and sold her first SaaS start-up ThreadSol in 2019. Mausmi is now building ZapScale, a customer success platform to make CS 10x easier for SaaS.

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