Types of CRM Software: Which One is Right for You?

Types of CRM Software: Which One is Right for You?
ByDanica Djokic
October 08,2021

As technology evolves, our ways of working and running a business change rapidly in an everlasting push for more efficiency and productivity. When you apply that principle to customer relations - a key factor for most businesses - you get Customer Relationship Management tools. As your business grows, adding customer data manually to sheets, or worse, notepads, will inevitably become futile. That’s where CRM tools come in to save the day.

Let’s Get Started: A CRM tutorial

Not all CRM systems are the same, so having a clear picture of the different types of CRM can help you choose the best way of managing vital customer, prospect, and lead data. Congrats on deciding to use one in the first place! A good CRM can make a difference in your relationships with customers, boost your CLV (Customer Lifetime Value), and promote business growth.

According to CRM statistics, companies that use such systems successfully have improved their sales by 29% on average. Employing such an ecosystem for customer data, along with a set of far-reaching solutions, brings a whole new dimension to company life. CRM approaches rely heavily on sales forecasting, lead management, and dashboard-based analytics. The best CRM tools for your small business can help you organize and grow your customer base. Their most important asset is that the software can turn data into valuable insights you can then translate into transformative actions for your business.

Different CRM Software 

One of the uses of a CRM is benchmarking your business against the best companies out there. Still, you don’t want to use the first option you come across, as there are many types of CRM software, and their benefits vary greatly. All customer relationship management programs fall into one of the five main buckets: Operational, analytical, collaborative, campaign management, and strategic CRMs. Let’s dive into the details of each:

Operational Customer Relationship Management

If you’re running a business and both you and your staff are overwhelmed with the administration, data entry, syncing, and updates, we feel you. Workflow automatization would be a game-changer for your company: Having all the information in one place would help avoid miscommunication, and facilitate marketing, sales, and service processes. This, in turn, would take much of the manual burden off your employees’ shoulders. The hero you need is an operational CRM. 

To ensure that everything goes smoothly, such CRM systems leverage the following tools:

  • Marketing automation
  • Sales automation
  • Service automation

The automatization of manual tasks frees up valuable time for much more complex tasks your employees need to tackle. For example, coordinating email campaigns, reaching out to potential customers, and distributing content can all be easily streamlined using CRM software. Different sales processes that help bring consumers on board, as well as communication with customers via live chats, email, and other customer service tools can also be delegated (partially or in full) to the right software.

Businesses that can benefit from these types of CRM products include those with more linear sales processes and those in need of help with sorting out and storing customer data. Real estate companies, in particular, can benefit from specialized operational CRM software to boost their productivity and profits.

Analytical CRM

If streamlining sales isn’t your top priority, but you’d rather focus on using customer data to understand your audience better - say, their shopping habits - then analytical CRM software might be just the thing. Gathering information about your customers can get you insight into their preferences, trends, and behavioral patterns. The crucial components are:

  • Data warehousing
  • Data mining
  • OLAP tools

Using analytical CRM tools enables businesses to store customer data in a single, easily reachable place and, more importantly, track and analyze it for patterns and trends. OLP stands for Online Analytical Processes and can help you realize when, how, and where your customers reach out to your company and its platform. This information can be further applied in marketing strategies that target specific customer categories.

When choosing your fighter in an operational CRM vs. analytical CRM duel, keep in mind that the first focuses on facilitating relationship-building and maintaining tasks, whereas the latter attunes to the data you have on your customers to help you develop business strategies. Both types of CRM could benefit your company, but if you want to focus on pinpointing your audience’s needs, an analytical CRM is what you need.

Collaborative Customer Relationship Management

The third major CRM type deals with the gathered information in a different manner. Namely, this breed of CRM emphasizes collaboration and customer support services. It allows the various teams in your organization to share data and improve cooperation between departments such as marketing, sales, and support. This type of software use the following tools:

  • Interaction management
  • Channel management 

Using collaborative CRM products will help your business better cater to its customers through different channels: live chat, e-mail, phone calls, or social networks. Determining the best communication channels isn’t the only thing this CRM type can help with: Tracking interactions between the company and its customers using logs gives all relevant departments insight into the minutiae of support processes. 

Keeping in mind that 33% of Americans think about changing their provider for something after only one poor customer service experience, employing this type of CRM can be crucial for companies that are still in the process of establishing a loyal base.

Campaign Management CRM

One of the five important types of CRM, useful for strategies of all kinds and yet often overlooked, is a campaign management CRM. It mixes the functionalities of operational and analytical systems in the service of sales or marketing campaigns. Running campaigns wouldn’t be possible without gathering, organizing, and analyzing data to distribute the content to the right people, and these CRMs make that process much more streamlined.

Strategic CRM

By constantly learning about its customers and adjusting to meet their needs, businesses can boost their profits and establish themselves in a given market. To that end, the main goal of strategic CRM software is to use data for forming and implementing business strategies to foster long-term customer relationships. Instead of predicting customer needs, this type of CRM lets the customer inform the business strategy.

Bottom Line

Different types of CRM systems help businesses speed up operations, handle extensive data, share it among departments, and create and execute business strategies. They all serve the same purpose - helping your business grow and minimizing manual labor - but have different approaches to achieving that. In the ever-lasting competition between companies to win clients, choosing the right CRM software can be a game-changer.

What are the top 5 CRM systems?

The top five CRM systems include Zoho CRM, HubSpot, Freshsales, Zendesk Sell, and Salesforce. When choosing from the CRM software on the market, consider its five types and your business needs.

What are CRM tactics?

Tactics that you can implement to boost customer relationship management are aimed to improve consumer satisfaction and retention. The five types of CRM software we listed above each take care of one crucial aspect of this process. However, there are some general things every company can try along with implementing a good CRM. First, personalize your services and don’t treat your customers as numbers, but as people. Second, effectively use social networks for reaching out to your target audience, and third - constantly update, assist, and engage with your customers.

What are the 5 steps in the CRM process?

Creating a personalized customer experience happens in five main stages: 

  1. Reaching a potential customer by generating awareness of your brand
  2. Customer acquisition
  3. Conversion (converting leads and prospects into customers) 
  4. Customer retention through top-notch customer support tools
  5. Customer loyalty
What are 3 types of CRM?

The main types of customer relationship management software are operational, collaborative, and analytical CRMs. Other than these three, there are also campaign management and strategic CRMs.

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