Articles 5 Types of CRM Software and How to Choose the Right One

5 Types of CRM Software and How to Choose the Right One

Vlad Kovalskiy
7 min
Updated: March 11, 2024
Vlad Kovalskiy
Updated: March 11, 2024
5 Types of CRM Software and How to Choose the Right One

What is a CRM?

A CRM is an acronym for customer relationship management, so the main purpose of this software is clear from its title. Basically, it accommodates all of your needs in terms of attracting and retaining clients. Its comprehensive set of tools provides you with total control over all interactions within a customer's lifecycle. There are many ways in which a CRM can benefit your company. This software enables you to:

  • Gather and store customers' data (including contact information and preferences)

  • Keep track of every interaction

  • Identify promising leads

  • Study clients' info to launch personalized marketing campaigns

  • Issue quotes and invoices

  • Organize a fully functioning helpdesk and customer support.

Types of CRM Software

Depending on their capabilities, 5 types of CRM can help you to:

  • Create comprehensive clients' profiles

  • Analyze customers' behavioral patterns

  • Join forces with colleagues, partners, and vendors

  • Initiate sales and marketing campaigns

  • Take care of customers' concerns and complaints.

Surely, there are systems that won't fit into any of these categories. Yet, the majority of solutions comply with these criteria.

Operational CRM

This type of CRM gathers data and repeats tasks to make sales and marketing operations automated. For instance, it can use information from customers' profiles to send personalized e-mails, and then the leads generated by this campaign get organized according to the appropriate stages of the sales cycle, so sales managers can deal with them later. This definitely reduces the chance to miss prospects, enhances cooperation between departments, and generates new ways to satisfy your customers.

Example: HubSpot can serve as an example of a typical operational CRM. It combines the features of Marketing and Sales Hubs to make your customers' management process smooth and efficient. It collects all the information on leads and clients, including a complete interactions' history, and organizes it into accurate and individual timelines, so anyone who needs to access it could do it within a click. Plus, it automatically enters, updates, and synchronizes the data.

Analytical CRM

An analytical CRM collects information about customers' preferences, actions, interactions, interests, or communication channels to analyze them and identify their behavioral patterns. Of course, it can be beneficial in building up strong, long-term, and trusting relationships with clients. Sales and marketing specialists can use these analytical tools to approach in a more personal manner. For example, it can generate recommendations and suggestions on how to improve your provider-customer relationships, or send messages with proposals and offers tailored to correspond with the needs and preferences of the particular client. Of course, in comparison with other types of CRM, applying this software can be more complicated because it requires certain technical expertise. But as soon as you learn to use it properly, the reward will be worth the effort.

Example: Zoho Analytics is the best application to illustrate the way this type of CRM operates. It offers its users a plethora of analysis and reporting tools to measure key performance indicators (KPI), see trends and common patterns in customers' behavior, identify areas that call for improvement, etc. You can use comprehensive dashboards and efficiency reports to adjust your sales and marketing strategies to make your management approach more customer-oriented. Naturally, gathering and assessing all of this information manually can be exhausting because it requires plenty of time and resources. That's why it's better to let Zoho do it, and channel your energy into addressing something more urgent.

Collaborative CRM

A collaborative CRM is designed to make communication between the departments that are involved in customers' management as prompt, easy, and efficient as possible. Plus, it presents plenty of instruments to synchronize and coordinate the efforts of marketing and sales teams when it comes to understanding clients' interests, preferences, habits, and behavioral patterns. Generally, it is responsible for two aspects of internal and external communication:

  • Interactions. A collaborative CRM automatically tracks the history of all the interactions between personnel and customers. This includes calls, meetings, e-mails, messages, etc. Representatives of sales or marketing teams can access, study, reference, and share this info within a click.

  • Communication channels. Contemporary technologies are sophisticated and offer a huge number of means to stay connected. Of course, calls, e-mails, and meetings are still valuable, but modern people might prefer to receive information via social media or messengers. Collaborative CRM can give you a list of communication channels that would suit your client's preferences.

Example: If you want to understand how a collaborative CRM works, take a look at Copper. It keeps track of customers' interactions and stores their complete profiles, allowing every member of your organization to access or share it. In addition, it has a broad selection of analysis tools, such as customizable pipelines and dashboards, so you could modify your communication tactics in accordance with clients' preferences. Its interface is simple, intuitive, user-friendly, and easy to navigate. This straightforward, yet efficient design makes it possible to get all the data you need within a click and removes obstacles to the way communication flows between colleagues or with customers.

Sales & Marketing CRM

This CRM type focuses primarily on advanced marketing and sales functions. Its mission is to find ways in which customers' intel can be useful to these departments. Basically, it looks for opportunities to extend your client base or add a personal touch to your business-customer communication. Its features can be divided into two main types:

  • Lead management. This implies presenting you with opportunities and means to turn your leads into deals by approaching each prospect with his/her individual preferences in mind.

  • Marketing campaigns. The system comes up with targeted offers, proposals, and deals that were tailored specifically for the customer according to his/her interests or previous actions.

Example: ActiveCampaign is exactly what you're looking for in sales & marketing software. It enables your employees to send leads and clients exactly what they want and when they want it. With such tools as sales & marketing automation, lead scoring, web personalization, segmentation, dynamic content, and engagement tracking, you can make every customer feel welcome and appreciated.

Customer Service CRM

You won't build long-lasting, trusting relationships with clients if you cannot address their concerns, issues, and complaints in a swift and efficient manner. Generally, we underestimate the importance of quality customer service. Yet, the reputation of any business depends on it. The more satisfied your clients are with their customer service experience, the more they will be inclined to order or purchase something from you again. They might even recommend your company, luring more potential clients to your doors.

Example: Freshdesk presents you with a variety of instruments to meet the customers' expectations. Your helpdesk and support specialists can address issues via multiple communication channels, including chats, call centers, social media, and chatbots. Moreover, it automates repetitive tasks and routes tickets individually, encouraging your team to become even more productive. It stores clients' data and provides your agents with quick access to the history of previous interactions. With its enhanced reporting tools, you'll always be aware of the exact number of customers whose issues were resolved and have confirmation that no tickets were left unattended.

It is a rare case, but there are systems that incorporate all the features these types of CRM have. Usually, they are customizable, allowing a user to create the ultimate toolkit that will meet all the requirements. Bitrix24 is an example of such software. It offers:

  • Storage capabilities with comprehensive leads, customers, employee profiles and a history of interactions.

  • Sales & marketing automation based on clients' individual preferences.

  • An extensive selection of communication and collaboration channels, like chats, video/audio calls, conferences, e-mails, or social media.

  • Advanced analysis instruments, such as customizable reports, sales pipelines, dashboards, etc.

  • A means to manage helpdesk and customer support.

How to Choose Your Perfect CRM?

Of course, there are many types of CRM. But which one of them is your type? If you seek an answer to this question, you need to define your company's priorities:

  1. Do you want the operational side of your business to become more smooth and efficient with sales and marketing automation? An operational CRM can truly free your employees from boring and unnecessary manual work.

  2. Do you want to focus on analyzing customers' behavior? An analytical CRM can help you understand what's really on your clients' minds.

  3. Do you think that communication is the key to success? A collaborative CRM can make interactions inside and outside your company significantly more productive.

  4. Do you want to add a personal touch to your sales and marketing tactics? A sales & marketing CRM will make sure that your campaigns can win every lead or client over.

  5. Do you want to make sure that your customers get the service they deserve? A customer service CRM will provide your helpdesk and support with all the essential tools to address every issue.

Of course, there are some basic features that are incorporated in every CRM. Plus, each type has its advantages and limitations. However, if you choose wisely, this software can be beneficial for you in many ways.

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Table of Content
What is a CRM? Types of CRM Software Operational CRM Analytical CRM Collaborative CRM Sales & Marketing CRM Customer Service CRM How to Choose Your Perfect CRM?
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