The 12 Best CRM Books You Should Be Reading in 2021

The editors at Solutions Review have compiled the best CRM books worth reading based on relevance, ratings, publish date, and ability to add value to a business.

SR Finds 106There is no shortage of CRM resources and learning tools available online (including the buyer’s guides and best practice articles here on Solutions Review). But if your team is looking for something more substantial, a good, old-fashioned book is going to be one of the best options available to you. To help you find the right one for your needs, our editors have identified the best CRM books to read.

Each of the books listed below has at least 3 or more stars on Amazon and comes from various leaders, educators, and professionals in the CRM and customer management fields. Readers can find everything from the basics of CRM to high-level, advanced methodologies in these books. This list is organized alphabetically by title.

Best CRM Books You Should Be Reading


The Art of CRM: Proven strategies for modern customer relationship management

OUR TAKE: Writer Max Fatouretch has over 20 years of experience as a leader, developer, and educator in the CRM market, making his book a great resource for new and experienced professionals alike.

The Art of CRM is written for CRM practitioners looking to update their work with new and proven techniques developed to increase their marketing power and versatility. Fatouretchi provides readers with clearly defined processes, a wealth of practical advice, and informative case studies carefully selected to help marketers of various experience levels design and launch successful CRM projects for their company. Some of the specific topics you’ll learn more about in the book include outfitting your CRM system with AI and machine learning capabilities, ensuring consistent compliance with GDPR, choosing between on-premise, cloud, and hybrid hosting solutions, and more.

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Cracking the CRM Code: How to prevent failures in buying, implementing, and using CRM

OUR TAKE: This is a unique book because writer Limesh Parekhit combines his experience using and selling CRM software with a fictional framing narrative to showcase the process and benefits of implementing a CRM system.

Cracking the CRM Code - Limesh Parekh

Cracking the CRM Code is one of the most recent books on this list and is written to help business owners, sales managers, sales team leaders, CRM sellers, and CRM consultants adopt, implement, and capitalize on CRM. The book’s fictional framing narrative focuses on the CRM experiences of four businesspeople and uses them to showcase the process involved in integrating a CRM system. Parekh’s writing is accessible and avoids technical jargon and complex language, making it easy to read for anyone wondering if a CRM system is a platform their company needs to invest in and prioritize.

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CRM For Dummies

OUR TAKE: Get your small business’ CRM platform up and running with the tools and techniques Lars Helgeson has learned from his experience building and maintaining a CRM platform used by over 3,000 clients worldwide.

CRM for Dummies - Lars Helgeson

The book is specifically written for people looking to understand CRM functionality better, identify what kind of solution is right for them, and educate them on the tactics and strategies that can save the company time and money. Helgeson will also teach you how to define market segments, build effective internal structures, select the right CRM solution for your company’s needs, optimize leads, conduct effective email marketing campaigns, streamline internal processes, employ analytics, develop buyer personas, and more.

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Customer Relationship Management

OUR TAKE: Authored by Ed Peelen and Rob Beltan, both partners at a consulting firm specializing in marketing and strategy, this book is geared toward students looking to expand their CRM skillsets.

Customer Relationship Management - Peelen, Beltman

Ed Peelen and Rob Beltan’s Customer Relationship Management is primarily written for MBA students, advanced undergraduate students, graduate students involved in CRM-specific courses, and anyone interested in CRM, direct marketing, relationship marketing, database management, and business intelligence. The book provides well-balanced coverage of important CRM strategies, organization, marketing aspects, analytical CRM, operational CRM, and the implementation process. The title is also one of the only comprehensive academic texts to focus on the broad scope of CRM solutions from a marketing management perspective.

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Customer Relationship Management: Concepts and Technologies

OUR TAKE: The 4th edition of Francis Buttle and Stan Maklan’s book adds new and updated screenshots and case studies and expands its coverage to include emerging CRM trends like big data, AI, chatbots, and more.

Customer Relationship Management - Buttle, Maklan

Structured around three core types of CRM solutions—software, operational, and analytical—Buttle and Maklan’s updated book uses a managerial perspective to track the role of CRM software in the customer journey. While the textbook is primarily written for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students focused on CRM, relationship marketing, digital marketing, and customer experience management, the insights included are just as applicable to industry professionals and managers involved in CRM practices.

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Customer Relationship Management: The Foundation of Contemporary Marketing Strategy

OUR TAKE: Baran and Galka’s book covers both behavioral and database aspects of CRM software to help students better understand the importance of enhanced customer relationship strategies.

Customer Relationship Management - Baran, Galka

This book is written to educate readers on the many ways a customer relationship strategy can help an organization stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Baran and Galka’s book is geared toward upper-level students of customer relationship management. It includes various questions, exercises, cases, online resources, a test bank, and more to help those students finetune their skills. The 2nd-edition expands on the original material with various updates, including new insights on big data and mobile technology, an overhauled social networking chapter, up-to-date examples, and more.

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Data Mining Techniques in CRM: Inside Customer Segmentation

OUR TAKE: Chorianopoulos and Tsiptsis combine their CRM and data mining experience and use it to provide business leaders and marketers with an applied but approachable handbook.

Data Mining Techniques in CRM

Data Mining Techniques in CRM is written in non-technical language to offer an accessible but no-less comprehensive guide to customer segmentation development and the various data mining processes involved in developing and maintaining CRM framework. Chorianopoulos and Tsiptsis’ guidebook is focused on helping business leaders and marketers demystify the data mining process, improve the way their companies assemble data, analyze it for insights, identify actionable segments, and use it to develop successful marketing campaigns and strategies.

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Do you CRM me?: An Analytical Guide to Customer Relationship Management

OUR TAKE: Designed to act as a gateway into the world of CRM analytics, Omer Lizotte’s Do You CRM Me? will show you an easier way to convert numbers and analytics into actionable strategies

Do You CRM Me?

With an approachable writing style and a collection of real-world case studies, this book will walk you through how to understand and practice predictive modeling, take advantage of different types of data analysis, translate your analysis into actionable strategies, and use carefully selected KPIs to track retention rate, customer lifetime value, customer satisfaction, and more. Lizotte has written a book illustrating how you don’t need to be a mathematician to understand data mining algorithms and convert them into tangible strategies for your marketing and customer service teams.

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Effective CRM using Predictive Analytics

OUR TAKE: With over 15 years of experience in analytical CRM and data mining, Antonios Chorianopoulos has compiled a handbook for academics, students, and practitioners alike.

Effective CRM Using Predictive Analytics

This book can bridge the gap between analytics and marketing and provide readers with direction on how data mining applications and techniques in CRM can solve real-world business problems. The book is split into three sections and covers topics like the business and technical aspects of data mining, effective customer segmentation schemes, identifying the most useful data mining algorithms, retention campaigns, and more. The book will most benefit professionals and students interested in expanding their understanding of applied data mining techniques.

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Managing Customer Experience and Relationships: A Strategic Framework

OUR TAKE:  Written by Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, who have created eight bestselling books together, this 3rd-edition will help businesses improve the dynamic between customer and company.

Managing Customer Experience and Relationships spotlights the importance of the customer relationship as the key to generating revenue and producing higher margins. This 3rd-edition includes updated examples, references, and case studies alongside additional insights and contributions from current industry leaders. Readers can expect to learn to understand the fundamental principles involved in the customer relationship, implement the IDIC model to improve CRM ROI, identify essential CRM evaluation and optimization metrics, and increase customer loyalty.

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Salesforce for Beginners: A step-by-step guide to creating, managing, and automating sales and marketing processes

OUR TAKE: Writer Sharif Shaalan was chosen as a Salesforce MVP, inducted in the Salesforce Hall of Fame, and is a frequent speaker at Salesforce events. His book is a great resource for newcomers to the Salesforce platform.

Salesforce for Beginners

Across this book’s 17 chapters, Shaalan will help readers grow more acclimated to the Salesforce platform and let them see firsthand how it can be used in their sales, service, marketing, and automation efforts. By the time they’ve finished the book, readers will have learned to create and manage leads in Salesforce, explore a multitude of business development accounts and acquired contacts, achieve marketing goals using Salesforce campaigns, perform business analysis with reports and dashboards, build an effective Salesforce security model, and much more.

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The Small Business’ Guide to Social CRM

OUR TAKE: Small businesses can benefit a lot from a social CRM platform, and writer Craig Jamieson wants to help them do just that. This book will help readers learn to manage and build their customer base.

The Small Business' Guide to Social CRM

Craig Jamieson has over 30 years of B2B sales and education expertise, and he’s applied that experience to the writing of this book. With The Small Business’ Guide to Social CRM, he has written a book geared toward anyone interested in learning how to take advantage of social CRM tools properly. The book can help them with important tasks like evaluating, selecting, and implementing the right social CRM platform for their company needs. The book also covers various practical tips and best practices that sales, marketing, and customer service teams can use to increase overall revenue.

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Links to READ: The Best Salesforce Training Courses on LinkedIn Learning

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William Jepma