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CRM Glossary & Definitions

This glossary covers key terms and definitions that will help you to understand CRM software better.



An Account is an organization or company with which you have business relations. Accounts contain a lot of information about the organization including website, email, phone number, billing and shipping addresses, the full history of previous interactions, and purchases. Account records have one or several associated contact records that are, in fact, people who work in that organization or company.


Activities are used to log all calls, emails, meetings and tasks associated with a certain record. In other words, they represent the list of actions that are performed by employees to achieve the company’s business goals. Activities can be added manually by the company’s employees or created automatically by the CRM instance.


An Administrator is a user who has access to all data, records, actions, and functionality in the system. Administrators are able to configure the system so that it meets the company’s needs and create new regular users.


Analytics is data produced by reports that provide in-depth insights into the performance of the company. As a rule, analytics is displayed on the report dashlets and contains statistics on the monthly revenue, number of won opportunities, new leads, calls, etc.


API stands for Application Programming Interface and is a set of protocols and tools that allow for data transmission between a CRM application and another software program.

Assignment Rule

Assignment Rules allow the system to assign new records to sales, marketing, or support team members automatically. In EspoCRM, there are two types of assignment rules – Round-Robin and Least-Busy.



B2B stands for “business-to-business” and refers to a company that sells its products or services to other businesses.


B2C stands for “business-to-customer” and refers to a company that sells its product or services to individual customers.


Backup is a copy of all CRM files and database data made to restore a CRM instance, move it to a new location, or recover missed data if necessary. It is recommended to make system backups before every update.

Barcode Field

Barcode Field is used to store barcode numbers of the following types CODE128, CODE128A, CODE128B, CODE128C, EAN13, EAN8, EAN5, EAN2, UPC, UPCE, ITF14, pharmacode, QRcode.

Boolean Field

Boolean Field is displayed as a checkbox and stores two boolean values: true and false. This field can be used to represent the information that has two possible values, such as yes/no, completed/not completed, active/inactive, submitted/ not submitted, etc.

Bounced Emails

Bounced Emails are usually marketing emails that are rejected by a recipient’s email server and therefore are not delivered to a recipient. The bounced email rate can be found on the Statistics panel of a Campaign.


A Bug is an error, a fault or an issue that causes the system to work in an unintended way and produce unexpected and incorrect results.

Business Process Management

Business Process Management (BPM) provides the ability to design, optimize, and automate complex sequences of business operations that involve multiple employees and varying outcomes. The BPM tool can help companies streamline business processes related to lead distribution and management, order fulfillment, invoice or budget approvals, case management strategies, etc.



A Campaign is a marketing initiative that is aimed at raising brand awareness, increasing public interest around a company, and promoting the company’s products or services. In EspoCRM, there are several types of possible campaigns such as email, newsletter, web, television, radio, and mail.


A Case is a record with a detailed description of the customer problem, request, question, or feedback created by a customer or an employee. Cases are used to keep track, resolve, and respond quickly to customer issues.

Cloud CRM

A Cloud CRM is software that is deployed on the CRM vendor’s servers and can be accessed from any device with an internet connection.


A Contact is a record that contains information about customers or business partners to whom a company sells its products or services. Typically, contact records store such data as name, email, address, phone number, a full history of communication and purchases, related documents, tasks, etc.

CSV File

A CSV (comma-separated values) file is a text file with a standardized format used to export and import databases and spreadsheets. It’s the most widely used file format to export or import CRM data.

Customer Experience

Customer Experience is an opinion and general impression that a current or potential buyer gets after interaction with the company’s employees, products or brand.

Customer Journey

Customer Journey incorporates all the stages that customers go through while interacting with a company – from showing their first interest in a brand to after-sales activities.

Customer Support/Service

Customer Support/Service is the practice of providing timely and prompt assistance to customers before, during, and after the purchase of a product or service. Customer support incorporates a wide range of services aimed at assisting customers in solving their problems and answering questions to ensure the cost-effective and proper use of the company’s products or services.


Customization is the process of configuring, adding, and/or altering the software design and functionality to make it fully meet the requirements of a certain industry or business.



A Dashboard is a primary element of the home page used to visually display key performance indicators, important data and business metrics. It is possible to create custom dashboard layouts for different teams, depending on their specific needs.


A Dashlet is a component of a dashboard that displays certain data. Dashlets can be easily added, configured, and removed from the dashboard. They are used to monitor business analytics and team performance, or quickly access relevant information such as lists of new leads, tasks that are due, etc.


Data is all the business-related information that is collected, stored, processed, and analyzed in the CRM system.

Data Privacy

Data Privacy is a number of principles aimed at protecting and proper handling of personal information in compliance with international data security regulations, laws and guidelines.


A Database is an organized repository of data that can be easily accessed, analyzed, and updated.

Detail View

A Detail View displays complete information about a certain record stored in a CRM system.


A Document is a text, image, audio, video, or PDF file that can be associated with an account, contact, lead, opportunity, or other types of records to maintain the full history of business interactions. Documents can be grouped into folders based on certain criteria.


A Duplicate is one of two or more exact copies of the same record. EspoCRM provides the ability to manually create duplicate records for business purposes. At the same time, the system can be configured to check for duplicate records during data import to avoid replicating data.


Email Marketing

Email Marketing is one of the forms of digital marketing that uses emails to promote a company, its products and services to target customers.

Email Reminder

An Email Reminder is an automatic, scheduled notification sent to event attendees about an upcoming event.

Email Template

An Email Template is a predefined, standardized email layout that allows for the personalization of messages sent to multiple recipients at once.


An Entity represents a certain type of data that is stored, managed, and analyzed in the CRM. Examples of entities include Account, Contact, Lead, Cases, Emails, Opportunities, etc.


An Event is an activity that is scheduled for a certain time, e.g. call, meeting, task, etc.


Export is the process of transferring data from the CRM instance to the outside location. EspoCRM allows exporting records in XLSX (Excel) and CSV formats.


An Extension is a piece of software that enhances the functionality of the CRM platform. EspoCRM offers the following official extensions: Advanced Pack, Sales Pack, Outlook Integration, Google Integration, VoIP Integration, MailChimp Integration, and Real Estate.



A Field is a unit of data that represents a specific piece of information, for example, name, phone number, status, etc. A collection of fields makes up an entity that stores a particular type of data.

Field-Level Security

Field-Level Security are settings that allow for controlling user access to read and edit actions for certain fields.

Fiscal Year

A Fiscal Year is a twelve-month period that an organization uses for financial accounting and budgeting purposes. It may or may not be the calendar year.


A Folder is a place where you can group and store documents and emails. Folders allow users to conveniently organize documents and emails, as well as reduce the time spent searching a specific record.


The Follow feature enables users to stay informed about all record updates. Once users start to follow a certain record, they are able to see related updates (posts, actions, field changes) in their Activity Stream. In addition, these users will be notified about the updates to the record’s audited fields via in-app notifications.


A Formula is a specific script that provides the ability to automatically set specific fields (attributes) with values derived from the calculation or perform some actions.

Formula Field

A Formula Field (or a calculated field) is a read-only field that automatically derives its value from the predefined formula expression.



GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and represents an EU law that governs the way in which companies collect, store and process the personal data of EU citizens. This law came into effect on 25th May 2018.

A Global Search allows users to carry out a search in multiple entity types simultaneously. In EspoCRM, it is possible to define the list of entities that will be available for this feature.

Google Integration

Google Integration is an official extension for EspoCRM. It provides the ability to set up secure authentication for Gmail accounts via OAuth2 and sync calendars and contact data between two apps.

Group Email Account

A Group Email Account is a shared email account that is used by the whole team for a certain business purpose. These accounts can be used both to send and receive emails. They provide the ability to streamline in-house team collaboration (effectively organize meetings and track the work on projects) and to improve communication with clients (manage cases, answer customer questions, send shipping details, etc.).



History is used to keep track of the past calls, meetings and emails associated with a certain record.

Home Page

The Home Page is a starting page that can be customized to show the most important information, e.g. dashlets with current tasks, emails, new leads, sales analytics, etc.


HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and is a markup language used to structure documents that are displayed in the web browser.



IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) is used to fetch emails from mail servers into a CRM instance.


Import is the process of transferring data from the external source into the CRM instance. EspoCRM provides the ability to import records from CSV files.


An Instance is an individual copy of the CRM software that runs on one server and is used to host the company’s data and organize its processes.


Integration is a process of connecting CRM software with other third-party applications to seamlessly exchange data between apps and prevent data silos.


An Invoice serves as a bill issued by the company to its customer. In fact, it represents the closing stage of the sale. Invoices encompass detailed information about the sold products or services, their quantity, prices, taxes, shipping and billing addresses, payment terms, etc.


Joint Grid Report

A Joint Grid Report combines several grid reports of different entity types in a single view. These reports allow users to summarize various types of information in one report. They provide the ability to gain deeper insights into business performance to make more informed decisions and plan wisely for the future.


JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a lightweight, text-based format used to exchange data between a server and a web application.


Kanban View

A Kanban View is a visualization tool that consists of a board with cards that are grouped into different columns. It helps show data and processes in a graphical way that allows users to track their work, monitor the progress of projects and deals, visualize the sales pipeline, etc.

Knowledge Base

A Knowledge Base represents a library of support materials and articles that can be used by both customers and users. It helps customers to quickly access and find answers to common questions, troubleshoot issues, and learn how the product or service works.

Knowledge Base Article

A Knowledge Base Article is a piece of information covering an answer to a frequently asked question, instructions for solving a common issue, how-to guide, etc. These articles can be associated with relevant case records to provide customers with timely resolutions and support.



A Layout is an arrangement of fields and panels that define how information is displayed on the detail, edit, and list views. In EspoCRM, it is possible to create Layout Sets that establish different layouts for different teams and portals.


A Lead is a potential customer who is interested in buying the company’s products or services.

Lead Capture

Lead Capture is the process of collecting a potential customer’s contact information through a form on a website and saving it automatically as a lead record in the CRM system.

Lead Conversion

Lead Conversion is the process of turning a potential customer (a lead) into a paying customer. It is possible to convert leads to accounts, contacts or opportunities.

Lead Generation

Lead Generation refers to all tactics and processes aimed at attracting potential customers to a business and raising their interest in the company’s products and services. As a rule, it results in gathering contact data of potential customers and planning follow-up activities to sell a product or service.

Lead Source

A Lead Source is a channel through which a potential customer first learns about a company. Lead sources include calls, emails, social media, website, recommendations of existing customers and business partners, marketing campaigns, etc.

List View

A List View refers to the view which displays the list of records that belong to a certain entity type in the CRM system. This view allows users to effectively search, filter, and group records according to predefined criteria.


Mail Merge

Mail Merge allows users to create and print out personalized documents or letters for multiple users. To generate a mail merge PDF, users need to create a PDF template, a target list with records of the entity type to which they want to send messages, and a campaign of “Mail” type. This feature makes it easy to customize standardized letters, forms, and documents by adding the personal information of individual recipients.


Maps provide the ability to show the corresponding address of the record on the map on the Detail View. EspoCRM supports the Google Maps service.


Markdown is a lightweight markup language that can be used to format text content in web apps. In EspoCRM, text fields support the markdown syntax. With its help, users can format text to make it bold, italic, or strikethrough, create numbered lists, bullet points, etc.

Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation is the process of using software to manage, streamline and measure the efficiency of marketing initiatives throughout the entire sales cycle. EspoCRM provides a range of tools for marketing automation, including the ability to create marketing email templates, target lists, send mass emails, monitor the performance of each marketing campaign, etc.

Marketing Email

A Marketing Email is a commercial email used to promote the company’s products or services and increase customer loyalty.

Mass Email

Mass Email is the process of sending one email campaign to multiple recipients at a specified time. Mass Email usually refers to sending marketing messages, promotional offers, coupons, newsletters, event invitations, important updates, etc.


Navigation Bar

Navigation Bar is a user interface element at the top of an app screen that contains the company logo, entity list, global search, notifications, quick create and user menu. It enables quick navigation through the system and allows users to find data faster.


A Notification is a message regarding record updates, upcoming activities, new emails, calls, etc. that users receive while they are active within the app.


On-Premise CRM

On-Premise CRM refers to the customer relationship management software that is installed and hosted on the customer’s own servers. It means that all processes related to software maintenance, its proper operation, updates and support are the responsibility of the customer.

Open-Source CRM

Open-Source CRM is a customer relationship management system in which the source code is publicly available for modification.


An Opportunity is a potential or closed deal or sale. Opportunity records contain information about the sale probability percentage, revenue amount, stage, closed date, contact data of decision-makers, related documents, etc.

Opportunity Management

Opportunity Management incorporates all the processes and tactics that sales teams use throughout the sales cycle to close the deal.

Outlook Integration

Outlook Integration is an official extension for EspoCRM. It provides the ability to sync contacts and calendar events between applications


Personal Email Account

A Personal Email Account refers to the email account used by regular users to communicate with customers. These accounts provide the ability to both send and receive emails, keep the full history of communication with customers and partners, filter incoming messages, etc.


A Portal is a self-service option that allows customers and business partners to access specific CRM information and functions.

Portal Role

A Portal Role is a set of security settings that control the types of CRM data and functions that can be accessed by portal users.

Portal User

A Portal User is a customer or business partner that has access to a customer portal.

Printing to PDF

Printing to PDF enables users to generate predefined PDF documents with the record data. The structure and content of the document are defined by the previously created template.


Probability refers to the likelihood that an opportunity will be closed successfully and a company will generate revenue. Probability is expressed as a percentage that corresponds with the stage of the opportunity.


Products represent goods or services that a business offers for sale. Product records include information about the availability, price, size, weight, brand and other characteristics of the good or service. Products can be associated with Opportunities, Quotes, Sales Orders and Invoices. They can also be subdivided into different categories based on their characteristics.


Property is an entity available in the Real Estate Extension. It enables real estate agents to keep track of the properties available for sale or rent. These records contain information concerning property details such as location, price, the number of bedrooms, the number of bathrooms, floor, year built, etc.



Quantity refers to the number of items (products and/or services) specified in a Quote, Invoice or Sales Order.


A Quarter (or a fiscal quarter) is a three-month period within an organization’s fiscal year. A fiscal year includes four quarters. Quarters are used to schedule financial reporting and facilitate the company’s accounting procedures.

Queue (Jobs)

A Queue represents an ordered list of jobs (processes) that wait to be processed by the system in the background. It allows prioritizing certain jobs and limiting the number of jobs that are running at the same time. There are three types of queues: e0 (intended for email sending; runs as often as possible), q0 (for general use; runs as often as possible), and q1 (for general use; runs every minute).


A Quote is a list of products and/or services that contains information about their quantity, prices, shipping and billing addresses, related opportunities, shipping providers, payment details, taxes, etc. and is sent by a company to a potential customer. Quotes can be generated from Opportunity records. Users can also use the Print to PDF tool to create a paper-based sales quote and the Email PDF tool to send it to customers via email.

Quote Item

A Quote Item is a product or service that is offered by a company to a potential customer. It contains information about the quantity, tax rate, list and unit prices, and overall amount paid for a certain product or service.



A Record is an instance of a CRM entity that contains a collection of certain data. Some examples of CRM records include contact records, lead records, opportunity records, case records, call records, etc.

Regular User

A Regular User is a company’s employee who is authorized to log into a CRM instance and has access to the data, features, and actions that are controlled by Roles.


A Relationship refers to a connection between two out-of-the-box or custom entities that allows displaying related data in the specified field or panel in both entities. There are several types of relationships: One-to-Many, Many-to-One, Many-to-Many, One-to-One Right, One-to-One Left, and Children-to-Parent. An example of a relationship is a Many-to-Many relationship between the Contacts and Documents entities. This relationship allows listing all documents related to a certain contact in the Documents panel, available in the detail view of the contact record and vice versa.


A Report displays a group of records that meet the specified criteria. Report results can be shown as a table, chart, or graph. In EspoCRM, there are three types of reports: List Reports, Grid Reports and Joint Grid Reports.

Revenue Forecast

A Revenue Forecast is the estimate of the amount of money that an organization will generate from selling its products or services over a specific time period.


A Role is a set of security settings that define access to certain data and actions within a CRM instance. Roles are applied to users or teams. One user can have multiple roles. In this case, it’s important to remember that when different roles are merged, the permissive rule has a higher priority.


Sales Force Automation

Sales Force Automation refers to the process of using software to streamline sales management. EspoCRM allows businesses to automate a wide range of sales processes including customer and lead management, invoice creation, opportunity tracking, generation of sales analytics, etc.

Sales Order

A Sales Order is a document sent to a customer to confirm the sale of products or services. It contains data about the sold products or services, their prices, billing and shipping addresses, the date of the order, etc. Sales orders can be generated from an opportunity or quote record and can be further converted to an invoice.

Sales Pipeline

Sales Pipeline is a visual illustration of every stage of the sales process that an opportunity moves through.


Scheduler is a feature that provides the ability to see free and busy time ranges for event attendees (users) when planning an event. The feature works for scheduling meetings, calls, and custom entities of the Event type.

Search Filters

Search Filters is the list of fields available in the list view that can be utilized to filter, group and search records. The examples of search filters are the following fields: date created, assigned users, teams, modified at, etc.

Shared Calendar

Shared Calendar refers to a specific shared view that displays the events of a certain team. It promotes team collaboration and provides the ability to track the progress of every team member.


Target List

A Target List refers to a group of Accounts, Contacts, Leads and Users that a marketing team would like to include in or exclude from the email marketing campaign. Target lists can be populated manually or automatically with the help of Reports.


A Task is an activity that is assigned to a certain user and has to be completed within the specified time period.


A Team is a group of users that work together to achieve a common goal. Examples of teams are the Sales Team, Marketing Team, Support Team, etc. It is possible to restrict the team’s access to certain data and actions with Roles and create standardized Layout Sets for certain teams.


A Template is a predefined, standardized layout that is used to organize and insert relevant data in emails, messages and notifications. It is possible to create and edit templates for marketing campaigns, quotes, invoices, sales orders, in-app notifications, reminders, etc.


A Theme provides the ability to customize app style by changing colors and the overall appearance of the system interface. EspoCRM supports nine different themes (including one RTL theme) that allow for modifying the system interface.

Tracking URL

A Tracking URL is a specific URL that provides the ability to know whether the recipient opened the link from the marketing email.



A User is an employee who is authorized to log into the CRM instance. Users have access to the CRM data and can perform actions with records in accordance with Security Roles assigned to them. There are three types of users: administrators, regular users, and portal users.

User Experience

User Experience refers to the overall feeling a user has during the interaction with the software. It covers a broad range of things including software accessibility, ease of use, navigation, design, interface, data structure, etc.

User Interface

User Interface is the layout that defines how the data will be displayed and the means by which CRM users will interact with the software.



A Vendor is an individual or company that provides its products or services for sale.


A View is a way to display CRM data and records. It consists of a set of panels and fields that are placed in a certain order. There are three main types of views: list view, detail view, and edit view.

VoIP Integration

VoIP Integration is an official extension for EspoCRM. It provides the ability to integrate EspoCRM with the following IP telephony servers/services: Asterisk, Twilio, Starface, Binotel, and iexPBX.


Web Form

A Web Form is a form placed on the website that allows visitors to enter their contact information and get in touch with a business.

Web-Based CRM

A Web-Based CRM is a customer relationship management system that runs on a web server and can be accessed by users through a web browser.


Web-to-Lead refers to the functionality that provides businesses with the ability to gather visitors’ contact data through the web forms and then use this data to generate lead records in the CRM system.


A Webhook allows third-party applications to subscribe to specific events occurring in EspoCRM and receive real-time information related to those events. Webhooks can be created via API by other applications.

Workflow Automation

Workflow Automation refers to the process of designing, streamlining and automating business processes based on the pre-configured rules. In simple terms, it allows for automating a wide range of routine tasks. Using workflows, businesses can automate such processes as sending emails, creating and updating records, applying assignment rules, making records followed, etc.

Workflow Rule

A Workflow Rule is a set of actions that have to be done and conditions that have to be met to automate a certain business process.



An XLSX File is a file format for Excel documents that is used to save and export spreadsheets. EspoCRM provides the ability to export a wide range of records in XLSX format, including contacts, leads, accounts, calls, opportunities, reports, etc.


Zip File

A Zip File is an archive file format. As a rule, a zip file consists of a collection of one or more compressed files and/or folders. It is possible to upload zip files and save them as documents in a company’s CRM instance.