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What is the Customer Lifecycle in CRM?


Whether you own a business, or you’re working in marketing or in sales or in customer service, you know the importance of having a great customer relationships. You may be thinking on how you can enhance the overall customer experience during their journey with your company, or throughout their customer lifecycle with your business.

Today’s CRM systems have made it easier for businesses to manage the entire customer journey from acquisition to long-term loyalty. The goal of customer lifecycle management is to optimize customer experience and maximize the value of each customer. 

Let's dive into the different stages of the customer lifecycle in CRM, and explore how businesses can optimize their customer experience and maximize their value.

What is a CRM

CRM stands for "Customer Relationship Management" and is a software or technology that enables businesses to engage, nurture leads, turn prospects into customers, and retain existing clients. The main goals of using CRM are to boost relationships with clients, increase loyalty and close rates, and drive profits.

The main features:

  1. Lead management: Track and manage leads via the customer acquisition process;
  2. Activities management: Sync your emails, manage tasks and collaborate with your team;
  3. Campaign management: Track your marketing initiatives and calculate their ROI;
  4. Sales pipeline: Allows sales team to analyze the deals and forecast the revenues;
  5. Marketing automation: Automate your repetitive manual tasks;
  6. Reports & Dashboards: Track and monitor performance of various activities with key metrics.

CRM systems offer a multitude of benefits that enable seamless collaboration among marketing, sales, and customer service teams, fostering a unified approach to managing customer relationships. In particular:

  1. It facilitates marketing by capturing leads, segmenting customers, and tracking campaign performance;
  2. In sales, CRM systems manage deals, automate tasks, and provide forecasting capabilities;
  3. For customer service, CRM systems enables case management, and offer automation to improve support.

Overall, CRM systems empower companies to deliver personalised experiences, drive sales growth, and foster long-term customer loyalty.

The lifecycle of a potential customer

1. Visitor

This is the first step of the customer lifecycle. A visitor is someone who visited your website or blog. Maybe they reach your blog because they are interested in a particular topic that you have addressed or they reach your website through an AD.

Social media marketing, SEO, search engine marketing and other inbound and outbound methods should attract the lead to take a step forward and ask for more information related to your products or services. 

2. Lead

A "lead" is a term used to describe a potential customer or prospect who has shown interest in your product or service. Essentially, a lead is someone interested in your company or product and has taken an action like downloaded an ebook or subscribed to a webinar after attracting them through a landing page form or through creating ads.

If they found you via your website, they should come across educational and offer content, pricing page or blog post that can help them making a purchasing decision. Don't forget that your customer service team should be available through live chat to answer very quickly and reply to questions or doubts that those leads may have.

3. Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)

A sales-qualified lead is a prospect who is interested and ready to engage with the sales team. The marketing team generates the leads and then transfers them to the sales team for further engagement.

This can be determined when the lead has answered a certain number of questions or filled out a form indicating they are interested in your product or service or simply scheduled a meeting or read a quote.

For example, a Sales Qualified Lead may be someone who has filled out your "Contact Us" form, or maybe it is someone who has called your company telling that he is interested in hearing about prices. 

This is the turn of sales department who should be reaching out to leads and offering them trials or demos that help them familiarize with your products. Also, the sales department should use the CRM system to send emails, schedule reminders to call them as a follow up and keep them updated about the company offers.

This phase helps to promotes your products but also help you start to establish a relationship with your Sales Qualified Leads.

4. Customer

When a SQL becomes a paying customer, they enter in the Customer stage of the lifecycle. Customers are people with whom you have closed business. This essentially means that they bought something from your company. Also, they start to opening tickets once they face a problem so they need a help or support from your team.

In this stage, your end goal is to keep them happy and engaged. This is essential because it helps avoiding overwhelm your customers with excessive emails or inadvertently excluding them from exclusive promotions. By keeping track of their interests and preferences, you can provide a personalized experience that keeps them engaged and satisfied.

Also, you can keep updated their account or purchase status. Thank them for their purchases, and perhaps inquire about their thoughts and reviews. If they require assistance, offer customer service.

This can allow your customers to promote your company through word of mouth.

5. Promoters

The last phase of the customer lifecycle in CRM is referred to as the Promoters stage. This is when a satisfied customer becomes an advocate for your business, spreading the word about your service or product to their network and help you generating new leads. Promoters may also leave positive reviews or feedback, further enhancing your brand reputation.

To turn satisfied customers into brand promoters, exceptional customer service is a must. This involves surpassing expectations, providing valuable insights or resources, and maintaining accessibility.

Encourage happy customers to share their experiences by making it simple to do it. Ask them to fill brief surveys, link them to your google reviews sites, and offer them promotions to refer friends and increase word of mouth. 


Knowing the different stages of the customer lifecycle enables you to determine effective ways to attract new customers and employ tactics that will foster and expand their relationship with your company.

Your efforts to nurture clients through these stages allow you to grow the customer’s lifetime value, and so, it’s useful to document these stages in a customer journey mapping to track consumer’s touch points with your company.