Building Efficient CRM Data Models Simplified 101


CRM Data Model: Featured Image

Companies need to have strong interactions with their customers as they are the core elements of the business. To understand customers with minimal effort, organizations have to design efficient CRM systems. However, the key to building a CRM is to devise better data models for connecting different customers’ data generated from touchpoints. Data alone cannot help in determining the right course of action if the relations between various data points are not established effectively. After data collection, each object’s connection in that database is discovered by creating a data model.

In the article, you will learn about creating CRM Data Models and the types of CRM models used in the market. Read on to understand the steps to create your own CRM Data Model from scratch!

Table of Contents 


  • Basic understanding of Big Data.
  • Working knowledge of Entity-Relationship Models.

What are Data Models?

CRM Data Model: Data Model Example
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Data models are physical presentations of information and their relationships. Models support the creation of successful database systems by assisting in defining and structuring information in the context of key business activities. Data models are essential for bringing together an organization’s various data elements to create robust information systems. These models focus on what type of information is collected and how they are related to support different business operations, including database workflow design and seamless information exchange. 

There are 3 types of data models: conceptual model, logic data model, and physical data model. You’ll utilize one of three kinds of data models based on your workflows. The conceptual models are most commonly utilized at the start of the project, where high-level ideas and specifications are being worked out.

It’s time to go more precise using a logical data model when your issue domain and early concepts become more apparent via conceptual data modeling. These models define the many logical entities you’ll be dealing with and the interactions among them unless you’re examining through the perspective of a single project. The database-specific context that is missing in logical and conceptual data models is provided by a physical data model. It describes the database’s tables, rows, types of data, views, constraints, indexes, procedures, and the data sent between systems. Finally, all models operate separately based on your project’s progress.

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What are CRMs?

CRM Data Model: CRM Logo
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Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a collection of practices and technology that empower businesses to analyze and manage data related to customer interaction covering a consumer lifecycle. The objective is to boost customer satisfaction and revenue by improving customer service interactions. CRM systems collect data from customers across several channels, POC with the firm, such as the company site, contact forms, online conversation, mailings, promotional materials, and online media. CRM systems can also provide extensive information on consumers’ data, purchase records, and issues related to products/services. 

There are two types of CRM systems: on-premise and cloud-based CRM, cloud services are popular, and many CRM tools in the market prefer cloud-based services because of the flexibility. In 2008, only 13 percent of CRMs were housed on a cloud server. This is a strong indicator of cloud CRMs’ high adoption rates. Could services be preferred because companies do not have to install hardware and manage servers for operating their CRMs? These cloud services reduce maintenance and up-gradation costs for companies because vendors take responsibility for all the overhead of managing the infrastructure.

On the other hand, on-premise CRM refers to software that has its architecture, hardware, system software, and additional applications on the company’s premises. This implies that your own IT team must do service, repairs, and improvements. The key advantage of on-premise CRM is that it is fully customized for a business. And the company has complete control over the system’s management, including when it has to be upgraded and what modifications are to be made.

Most Popular CRM Data Models

The current business world relies on the following 4 most popular CRM Data Models:

CRM Data Model: IDIC Model

This model was developed by Peppers and Rogers Group in 2004 that helps maintain customer relationships by taking new action in businesses. The IDIC CRM model is an excellent concept for recognizing and using your customers’ interests and requirements as the backbone for how you engage with them. IDIC stands for Identify, Differentiate, Interact and Customize, which represents the stages in this model. Identify stage is the initial stage where you will find the target customers and their details like name, purchasing preferences, history of their purchasing, address, etc. 

Every organization should know who its consumers are to gain a solid understanding of their demands. Separating your consumers can assist you in figuring out how much cash and effort you must dedicate to maintain superior service. You will provide value to customers who give you more benefits, and according to their needs, you will change your company strategy.

The third stage in this model is to design a plan of action to interact with your customers to get their requirements. For example, when you interact with and segregate the customers, you may provide more offers to loyal customers to continue the relationship with your company or brand. 

The last stage is customizing the product or services according to customer needs which you found in the above three stages. This involves adjusting your bargains or discounts to fulfill the demand or budget of your customers. The objective is to meet your buyers’ requirements and demands while also ensuring that you have identified them uniquely. 

CRM Data Model: QCI Model

The Quality Competitive Index approach, which is defined as a customer management model instead of a customer relationship model, focuses on three key actions: retention, penetration, and acquisition. It starts with analyzing the customer’s situations, company goals, problem spots, and additional impacting elements. This QCI model examines the customers and technologies that keep the system operating. The QCI model can assist you in reviewing current procedures and developing a quantitative strategy to improve the experience for customers.

CRM Data Model: CRM Value Chain

Professor Michael Porter of Harvard Business School developed the CRM value chain concept to assist businesses in identifying and developing distinctive customer solutions. You’ll be able to discover which actions provide the most impact and adjust your procedures to better help your customers using this CRM methodology. This model divides into primary and support stages. The primary stage consists of five parts: customer portfolio analysis, customer intimacy, network development, value proposition development, and relationship management. The support stage has five conditions to improve the strategic process of the primary stage.

The supporting conditions are leadership and culture, procurement process, HR management process, IT management process, and organization design. These conditions must be created and developed for a CRM value chain deployment to be effective.

CRM Data Model: Payne and Frow’s Five Forces

Around 85% of customers believe that businesses should devote additional time and energy to creating a comparable service. Both Ph.D. holders, Adrian Payne and Pennie Frow developed the Five Forces CRM approach, which focuses on procedures and sales elements. The five core processes are strategy development, value creation, multichannel integration, performance assessment, and information management. In this process, there are 4 key elements to be focused on while building a CRM model: Readiness, Change Management, Employee Management, and project management. CRM procedures cannot operate without all these fundamental requirements and elements.

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Steps to Build a CRM Data Model

Step 1: Define Entities

The initial stage is to figure out the entities or objects you’ll have to describe in the data model, including personal and referral management, customer services, and customer management.

Step 2: Define Relationships & Create CRM Data Model

The next stage is to define the connections between the various entities that have been specified and included in the data model diagram. Add arrows to indicate the connections between each object to specify these relationships. There are four relationships where you can select one of them. The relationships are one-to-one, many-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many relationships.

CRM Data Model: Defining Entities
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A customer master entity, new contacts or prospects entity, and employee master entity are all shown in this picture.

CRM Data Model: CRM Model Created
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The above picture shows the employee relationships example with proper symbols to represent the relationships between the entity or objects.

Step 3: Convert to CRM Data Model to SQL

Following the completion of the CRM data model, the last stage is to transform the data model to SQL to establish the CRM databases and begin the application implementation stage of the plan to build a CRM system.


This blog introduced you to CRM and Data Models and explained the various popular CRM Data Models that you can rely on for your business. Furthermore, the article discussed the steps required to build your own CRM Data Models easily.

Customer Relationship Management is critical for a company to strive in the competitive market. It encompasses the complete consumer life cycle during their experience. Developing a long-term customer experience is an important differentiator for businesses since it helps companies stand out. To implement any of these CRM models, you’ll need CRM software that organizes your customer data in the database. CRM keeps track of your customer information and relationships, so you don’t lose out on any key referrals or opportunities.

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Now, to run queries or perform Data Analytics on your CRM data, you first need to export this data to a Data Warehouse. This will require you to custom code complex scripts to develop the ETL processes. Hevo Data can automate your data transfer process, hence allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business like Analytics, Customer Management, etc. This platform allows you to transfer data from 100+ sources to Cloud-based Data Warehouses like Amazon Redshift, Snowflake, Google BigQuery, etc. It will provide you with a hassle-free experience and make your work life much easier.

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Share your understanding of the CRM Data Model in the comments below!

Freelance Technical Content Writer, Hevo Data

Pranay is curious about topics related to data science at heart with a passion for data, software architecture, and writing technical content. He is passionate about solving business problems through content tailored to data teams.

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