Enterprise CRM:
key features, top platforms, & guidelines

Enterprise CRM: key features, top platforms, & guidelines

March 5, 2024

Enterprise CRM vs CRM for small & mid-size companies

The difference between standard CRM systems for small businesses or medium-sized companies and specialized solutions for larger corporations is somewhat blurry. For instance, various enterprise CRM platforms currently offer entry-level plans meeting the needs of SMBs. That said, the two categories typically differ based on the following factors:

Enterprise CRM



Enterprise CRM


Comprehensive capabilities to streamline multiple business functions and assist executives in decision-making

Simple and intuitive tools for sales reps, marketers, and customer support specialists


Enterprise CRM


An extensive feature set encompassing customer analytics, future sales forecasting, and AI-based sales pipeline automation

A more generic range of essential functionalities for sales management and customer support


Enterprise CRM


A typically rich interface with numerous tabs and advanced settings that can be challenging to navigate and configure

User-friendly, visually appealing, and easily configurable interfaces


Enterprise CRM


A complex implementation process including many potential customizations and integrations and a steeper learning curve

Generally a ready-to-use tool that doesn’t require extensive setup and employee training


Enterprise CRM


Preferably on-premises to ensure better data security and avoid cloud hosting or SaaS licensing fees that can snowball due to user base and business growth

Usually cloud-based to save on purchasing and maintaining servers and other hardware


Enterprise CRM


Generally higher development costs and/or licensing fees

Budget-friendly solutions and related service packages (maintenance, configuration, etc.)

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Key enterprise CRM features

Enterprise CRM tools typically feature advanced data analytics and process automation capabilities to meet the needs of large companies.


Customer profiling & segmentation

Describing your potential customers and classifying them into cohorts based on demographic, geographic, and psychographic data to optimize your marketing campaigns.

Personalized marketing

Targeting leads with individualized brand messages, ads, and product or service offerings tailored to their interests and behavioral patterns.

Marketing automation

Automating social media posting and message generation and sending across email, live chats, or other communication channels based on sets of predefined rules.

Customer journey mapping

Visually representing customer interactions and relationships with your organization, including touchpoints and communication channels, via diagrams and other graphics.

Engagement & lead scoring

Ranking prospects based on personal traits and interaction history (opening an email, clicking on a link, etc.) to identify those most likely to convert and help sales reps prioritize leads with the highest perceived value.

Sentiment analysis

Monitoring online activities of prospects and customers, including likes, comments, and reviews on social media, to help marketing teams gauge their perception of your company and measure brand reputation.


Contact management

Organizing and storing customer data, including names, addresses, telephone numbers, emails, websites, social media handles, and past transactions, in a centralized repository to create a unified customer view.

Sales force automation

Automating time-consuming and routine sales tasks, such as scheduling appointments, sending follow-up emails, quoting, and generating invoices or personalized offers.

Sales pipeline dashboards

Monitoring sales prospects via visual interfaces as they progress through different stages of the buyer’s cycle.

Sales analytics & reporting

Tracking sales metrics and sales team KPIs to identify market trends, assess your sales process efficiency, spot cross-selling or upselling opportunities, and forecast customer churn risk.

Customer service

Personalized service

Providing customers with support and suggestions tailored to their preferences and needs (for instance, using their favorite communication channel).

Automated customer support

Adopting AI-powered chatbots and automated email responses to offer multi-channel, 24/7 assistance and alleviate help desk workloads.

Conversation mining

Delving into past customer interactions to identify recurring needs or issues that drive clients to turn for help.

Automatic ticket categorization

Identifying customer query topics to route them to appropriate support reps or suggest relevant knowledge base articles.

Proactive assistance

Sending push notifications or automated emails to customers to update them about late deliveries or other issues and offer timely support.

Technical capabilities


Connecting the CRM with other business software (accounting software, ERP, POS software, customer analytics platforms, customer portals, etc.) or third-party tools (such as ecommerce or social media platforms) to enable seamless data exchange.


Enabling adopters to adjust an off-the-shelf CRM solution to their requirements via objects and fields configuration, basic business process setup, or interface modifications.


Allowing more radical changes, such as developing additional features or custom UI components, and creating new integrations with third-party systems.


Protecting sensitive customer data from breaches or leaks via multi-factor authentication, user activity monitoring, dynamic data masking, and other cybersecurity features.

Mobile access

Enabling users to access the enterprise CRM solution from mobile devices while syncing contacts, calendars, notes, or other features and related data between mobile and desktop versions.

The benefits of adopting enterprise CRM software

Superior visibility

Enterprise CRM systems serve as centralized hubs to gather customer and business process data from various applications or communication channels and analyze target audience and cross-team workflows.

Increased profits

Enterprise CRM’s data analytics and automation functionality can boost your decision-making and improve sales process efficiency, fostering lead generation and conversion.

Improved customer experience

Enterprise CRM software helps organizations come up with products or services tailored to customers’ needs, maximizing their retention and lifetime value while mitigating churn risk.

Cross-team collaboration

With its unified data repository, an enterprise CRM system enables different teams to share information and coordinate their efforts throughout the customer lifecycle.

Best enterprise CRM software on the market

With a vast selection of off-the-shelf CRM platforms on the market, companies don’t have to build a custom solution from scratch to facilitate their customer-facing operations. Here are some of the top enterprise CRM software options on the market according to the G2 Grid.

Salesforce has maintained its role as the undisputed CRM market leader for several years, thanks to an extensive suite of customer-oriented products further enhanced by an in-built AI platform Einstein.

Key strengths & capabilities
  • Data Cloud platform collecting data from multiple sources via out-of-the-box connectors to create a unified customer profile
  • Einstein Forecasting to predict sales by analyzing historical data, current sales pipeline, and other relevant factors.
  • Opportunity and Lead Scoring features predicting the likelihood of closing an opportunity and converting a lead to help sales teams prioritize high-value ones
  • Marketing intelligence capabilities to monitor the performance of your ad campaigns and create more effective media plans
  • Real-time sales alerts triggered by key marketing interactions, such as hot leads filling out a form
  • OpenAI-based generative AI to create sales tasks or personalized emails for contacts and leads
  • Location intelligence system segmenting and assigning sales territories to your reps based on current and projected market conditions
  • Customer service automation to speed up mundane tasks like case classification and routing, help desk responses, or technical assistance scheduling
  • AppExchange marketplace where users can find and download third-party apps created by Salesforce partners to extend their instance’s functionality

Steep learning curve and complex and expensive modular licensing

  • Multiple plans for each product (Marketing, Sales, Commerce, etc.) available on the Salesforce website
  • Billed annually, except for some starter plans (monthly or annually)
  • 30-day free trial
Enterprises using Salesforce

Gucci, Ford, IBM, Santander, Uber

NetSuite is an intuitive and comprehensive business management solution that combines CRM and ERP capabilities and has extensive customization opportunities.

Key strengths & capabilities
  • Campaign management features for analyzing demographics, purchase trends, and response patterns to launch targeted marketing campaigns
  • Sales Forecasting to assess sales opportunities, track quotes and orders, and make revenue projections
  • Intelligent Item Recommendation based on customer buying patterns to maximize order size and frequency
  • Automated real-time routing of prospects from landing page forms to a suitable salesperson
  • Centralized customer database to foster collaboration between sales, accounting, and other departments
  • Customer support case routing from multiple communication channels and analysis of customer service metrics (call volumes, call resolution times, etc.)
  • Partner Relationship Management functionality to calculate commissions for resellers and share sales enablement materials
  • Mobile access to enter and view customer or sales data and manage everyday tasks via smartphone or tablet

Rather complex reporting features and pricey extra modules

  • Initial setup fee plus an annual fee based on the number of users and optional modules
  • Price upon request
Enterprises using Oracle

ASICS, Domino's, YouGov, Workable, Charlotte Tilbury

Dynamics 365 offers an ensemble of software products powered by Copilot, Microsoft’s AI assistant, that facilitate efficient customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning operations.
Key strengths & capabilities
  • Transactional, demographic, and behavioral data analysis to provide a comprehensive view of customers.
  • Recommendation engine to suggest content and products based on customer segments and profiles.
  • Copilot for Sales to generate summaries of emails, meetings, or customer relationship histories and create customer-specific emails
  • AI-powered scoring models, opportunity summaries, and data visualizations to prioritize the right customers
  • AI-based recommendations for engagement activities and answers to facilitate customer interactions
  • Customer Service features to help draft customer responses, recommend knowledge base articles, and route calls to the best-suited agent
  • Generative AI for chatbots and voice responses to enable self-service access to customer support

Cumbersome interface and integration challenges with third-party apps

  • Several plans for each product (Marketing, Sales, Commerce, etc.)
  • Full licensing guide available on the Microsoft website
  • 30-day free trial
Enterprises using Microsoft

Coca-Cola, Mercedes-Benz, HP, Dr. Martens, Campari

SAP’s flagship CRM solution encompasses solutions for specific aspects of customer relationship management, including marketing, ecommerce, sales automation, customer service, and customer data management.

Video title: SAP Customer Experience
Video source: sap.com — Redefining Intelligent Customer Experience

Key strengths & capabilities
  • Digital storefront personalization based on AI customer behavior recommendations
  • Natively integrated communication channels (email, SMS, web push, WhatsApp, etc.) to maximize engagement opportunities
  • Deal Intelligence system to rank sales opportunities based on prospect attributes, sales rep performance, and other metrics
  • Advanced sales analytics and visualization via dashboards to monitor customer interactions and agents’ performance
  • Product content management to handle multilingual and multicurrency catalogs
  • Intelligent customer support using generative AI for automated case summaries and categorization
  • B2B-oriented ecommerce features for self-service account management, online quoting, negotiation, and product support

High price point, complex user interface, and challenging customization

  • Three plans for each product
  • Monthly or annual subscription
  • Price and demo upon request
Enterprises using SAP

Toyota, Bosch, Miele, Smart, Nestlé

Hubspot CRM offers a user-friendly interface and a rich set of functionalities to harmonize CRM operations and boost the efficiency of your sales reps, marketers, and customer support specialists.
Key strengths & capabilities
  • Online Form Builder to easily create customized forms for lead conversion via drag-and-drop interactions
  • Integrated CMS to build websites or blogs using page templates and customizable modules
  • Email marketing automation to set up email triggers and generate personalized messages based on customer data
  • Free Chatbot Builder to script chatbot sequences via intuitive templates and tailor conversations to your brand voice
  • Conversation intelligence to identify tracked terms in customer calls, unveil common objections, and use such insights to better coach your sales teams
  • Lead management and prospecting to automate and visualize sales pipelines via progress bars, providing reps with up-to-date information
  • Invoices and Quotes features to generate branded documents with embedded payment links and automate follow-up messages on overdue payments

Customization complexity and steep learning curve for beginners

  • Three plans for each product, pricing available on the website
  • Two CRM Suite bundles for businesses starting at $1,600/mo
  • Free basic plan available
Enterprises using HubSpot

Reddit, Smeg, Casio, Unipart, Tumblr

Zoho is a flexible CRM system featuring a fully customizable user interface and hundreds of built-in integrations, which makes it ideal for enterprises wanting to fully align CRM with their specific workflows.
Key strengths & capabilities
  • Deal Management feature to monitor multiple sales pipelines for different products or services and identify the most promising deals to focus on
  • Omnichannel communication capabilities to interact with customers across multiple channels (email, SMS, live chat, webforms, etc.) and analyze the resulting correspondence
  • Account Management system offering a full overview of your company's contacts, deals, and customer-oriented tasks (upselling, support, etc.)
  • Automation of routine sales activities, such as sending emails or updating records, via macros (automated inputs mimicking keystrokes or mouse actions)
  • Built-in analytics with custom dashboards or reports to track sales cycles, including leads created per month and deals closed daily
  • Customizable page layouts with configurable fields, links, triggers, and buttons matching your tasks and customer data
  • A rich selection of native and third-party apps available on the Zoho Marketplace

Sporadic technical issues and poor customer support according to users

  • Four plans with detailed pricing available on the website
  • Monthly or annual billing, with a discounted price for the latter option
  • 30-day free trial
Enterprises using Zoho

Bose, IIFL, Abu Dhabi Aviation, Puma, Tassal

Enterprise CRM selection guide

Custom vs platform-based CRM

Enterprises can build a custom CRM or implement an out-of-the-box solution and adapt it to their needs via configuration and customization.

Platform-based CRM


Platform-based CRM

Bespoke features, modules, and integrations and full control over the software’s tech stack, hosting environment, updates, and security

Generally faster, cheaper implementation compared to end-to-end development and reduced maintenance efforts afterwards


Platform-based CRM

Higher upfront costs, higher risk of budget overruns for end-to-end development, and longer adoption timeframe

Long-term licensing costs and potential vendor lock-in

Ideal for

Platform-based CRM

Organizations with unique workflows and specific operational needs

Enterprises prioritizing fast CRM deployment

Platform selection

To navigate the crowded CRM market and select a suitable provider, consider the following parameters:

Feature set
Opt for a platform with features, add-ons, and integrations covering most of your functional requirements, since customizations can be expensive or limited by the vendor.
Leverage platforms’ free trial periods and consult peer-to-peer review sites like G2, Capterra, or Gartner to assess their ease of use and configuration and get an idea of their pros and cons.
Ask vendors for detailed quotes and review their pricing models and terms (per-user, flat-fee, tiered by features and services included, etc.). Pay special attention to vendor lock-ins (contractual obligations preventing you from switching to another provider) and additional costs for premium plans.

Our CRM services

Itransition provides a full range of СRM consulting and development services to enterprises across industries.

Our CRM services
  • Business needs elicitation
  • Project roadmapping and budgeting
  • CRM design, development, and implementation advisory
  • Integration and migration advisory
  • User training and support
  • Discovery and business analysis
  • Project planning
  • Front-end and back-end development
  • Software integration
  • End-to-end testing
  • CRM deployment to the target environment
  • Data migration from your legacy system to the new one
  • Post-release maintenance
  • Platform customization, configuration, and workflow setup
  • Integration with your software ecosystem
  • QA and user acceptance testing
  • Deployment to the company’s environment
  • CRM data migration

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