5 Types of CRM Software: What’s Right For Your Business? (2024)

CRM software is now the biggest software market globally. There’s every reason for this, as companies are competing to win clients.

Herearefive types of CRM software you need toknow and howyou canchoose one that fits your business perfectly.

The market of CRM software is now worth a quarter of worldwide enterprise application software revenue, which totalled $193.6 billion in 2018,Gartner study reveals.

The research also predicts that the growth of customer relationship management value will continue to grow, even up until 2025.

It becomes obvious if you think of how important information has become in the digital age. Companies of all sizes try to make the best use of the data they already collect about their customers and prospects. Custom CRM solutions help them achieve this goal, leading to improved customer service and increased profits.

If you’re just starting with CRM tools, I want to cover some basics first. Feel free to skip them to read about types of CRM software and some examples available on the market.

What is CRM software?

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a tool you can use to store and managedata about your customers. Contact information, purchase history, logged service issues, open enquires, sales opportunities, and even marketing campaigns can be managed with CRM.

No matter what industry you’re in or what size your company is, if you have users or clients, having custom CRM istheway to go. The benefits of CRM software include better customer service,abetter insight of relations with customers and prospects, better lead management and—finally—more closed deals. Who wouldn’t want that?

Importantly, the advantage of this solution is that it comes in many forms. Depending on how big your company is, and how much you’re willing to invest, you can find a tool for you.

Types of CRM software you need to know

In this article, I don’t cover custom CRM development services, which is basically creating your own, 100% customised tool. Instead, I want to cover the types of CRM in general, so you know what’s possible.

To put it shortly, there are five different types of CRM software:

  1. Operational– this type allows you to better manage your business based onthecustomer data you collect.
  2. Analytical– a kind of CRM that allows for data visualisation, giving you better insights about your customers, their interactions with your business, and the possibilities.
  3. Collaborative– here,the emphasis lays in the way you can interact with your vendors and distributors based on shared customer data.
  4. Campaign management– a combination of analytical and operational CRMs, used to run sales or marketing campaigns using the contact information gathered in the system.
  5. Strategic– this type puts customers first, allowing you to use the information about customers and market trends to make better business decisions.

Let’s now take a closer look at each one of them.

1. Operational CRMs

Operational CRMs give your marketing, sales, and customer service departmentsthepossibility to better support your existing and potential customers.

As you can structure information about your contacts within the tool and set standard procedures, the tool can be used for automation, including:

  • Marketing automation
  • Sales automation
  • Service automation

This way, different departments can work together on capturing, nurturing, and closing deals for your company.

For example, leads coming from different marketing channels can be automatically uploaded to the CRM through integration with tools likeMailChimporOutreach. Using tags, they can then be assigned to appropriate stages of your sales cycle and be investigatedfurtherby the sales team.

Having all the information in one tool improves how your company operates. At the same time, there’s less chance of “losing” a deal, or miscommunication between departments.

Examples of operational CRM:

Two great and popular examples of operational CRM tools areHubspotandSalesforce.

2. Analytical CRMs

Analytical CRMs help companies make better use of the information they gather about customers. This can include customer preferences, channels, points of contact, interests, and more.

While operational CRMs attribute customers to the sales funnel, for example, analytical CRMs help to understand them.

Then, based on the contact data, components for data mining can gather even more information including trends and help to recognise patterns in data sets. This way, companies can make use of the data they already collect to make better business decisions.

Examples of analytical CRM:

If you’re looking for ways to improve your customer analysis, try Zoho Analytics or Wave: Salesforce Analytics Cloud.

3. Collaborative CRMs

Collaborative CRMs allow different teams at your organisation to share the information about customers. While operational CRMs often focus on marketing and sales, in this case,the emphasis is on customer service.

With collaborative CRMs, you can enhance the exchange of information between departments like sales and marketing, but also support teams. These departments often work separately, which make addressing customers enquires more difficult. In collaborative CRMs, managing relationships with your customers is easier.

Examples of analytical CRM:

Try Pipedrive or Copper to improve relationship management based on interactions with your customers.

4. Campaign management CRMs

Very often, campaign management CRMs can be described either as analytical or operational CRMs. This is because they kind-ofblendthe features allowing fortheuse ofcollected customer data and insights to run marketing or sales campaigns.

It is, however, important to distinguish this kind of CRM solution, if your goal is specifically using contact information to plan, manage, and analyse better campaigns.

To make running campaigns from a CRM possible, popular tools integrate with different email campaign providers, like Mailchimp or Outreach.I’ve mentionedthisin the operational CRMs section of this article.

In this example, the action is reversed, meaning thatyou can use the CRM as the tool to run a campaign, which is then distributed via email integration software.

Examples of campaign management CRM:

ActiveCampaignis a CRM with a specific goal of running email marketing campaigns.

5. Strategic CRMs

Sometimes included in the collaborative CRMs definition, strategic CRM focuses on customers. In this example, collecting information about customers and the interactions between them and your business may lead to improve theirrelationship with them.

This type of CRMs is called strategic.It not only givesyou insights right away butinsteadadjustsor customisesthe way you interact with customers in the long run. This solution is useful if you’re in a business where the focus is on long-term relationships, rather than quick sales and short campaigns.

How to choose a CRM for your business?

As you can see, some of the types of CRMs can be found in the same tools, likeHubspot, Salesforce, orZoho. As these examples offer specific plans for different purposes, it’s worth to know what type of CRM you need to make the best decision.

If you struggle with choosing a CRM, specify your business goals:

  • Do you want to automate your marketing or sales?
  • Are you looking for solutions to analyse your customers?
  • How would you like the departments at your company to collaborate?
  • Do you focus on long-term relationships with yourcustomers?

Based on these questions, you can determine what features your desired custom CRM should have.

Another option is to invest in custom CRM development services. It’s your own CRM, entirely based on your business needs and objectives.

You can also try adapting other platforms as CRM. Designed as a project management software, Asana can also be used as a CRM tool. In our group of companies, Human, the marketing agency, employs Asana in this context thanks to its lead generation and customer contact features.

Again, evaluate how exactly you’d like to manage your customers and prospects. Then, analyse out-of-the-box solutions and see if they answer your needs.

5 Types of CRM Software: What’s Right For Your Business? (2024)


5 Types of CRM Software: What’s Right For Your Business? ›

The five steps in the CRM value chain are customer portfolio analysis, customer intimacy, network development, value proposition development and managing the relationship.

What are the 5 models of CRM? ›

The five steps in the CRM value chain are customer portfolio analysis, customer intimacy, network development, value proposition development and managing the relationship.

What are the 5 areas of CRM? ›

5 Key Components of CRM
  • Contact Management. ...
  • Sales Force Automation. ...
  • Marketing Automation. ...
  • Customer Service and Support. ...
  • Analytics and Reporting. ...
  • Ease of Use. ...
  • Mobile Access. ...
  • Integration Capabilities.
Aug 18, 2023

What are the 5 types of CRM? ›

Let's now take a closer look at each one of them.
  • Operational CRMs. Operational CRMs give your marketing, sales, and customer service departments the possibility to better support your existing and potential customers. ...
  • Analytical CRMs. ...
  • Collaborative CRMs. ...
  • Campaign management CRMs. ...
  • Strategic CRMs.
Dec 12, 2019

What are the 5 C's of CRM? ›

The 7 C's of customer relationship management—customer centricity, company culture, customer experience, data, journey, consumer experience, and expectation—form a holistic approach. Implementing a CRM as a strategic marketing tool fosters robust customer relationships, increasing profits and revenue growth.

What are the 5 phases of CRM? ›

An effective CRM strategy is built on these five steps: data collection, customer entry, customer interactions, analysis and strategy, and feedback and improvement.

What are the 4 pillars of CRM? ›

To ensure that you implement your CRM well, you need to take into consideration the 4 pillars of CRMs: people, strategy, processes, and technology. Each one of these pillars is crucial to ensure that your CRM delivers what you need to help grow your business.

What are the four C's of CRM? ›

To set yourself apart, you need to incorporate the 4C's, which stand for customer experience, conversation, content, and collaboration. Look at them as pillars that hold your client service together. Working on these components in unison and actively managing them will transform your business.

Which CRM is most used? ›

Best CRM software platforms
  • HubSpot.
  • Less Annoying.
  • Sales Creatio.
  • Apptivo.
  • Insightly.
  • Salesforce.
  • Copper.
  • Zoho.
Feb 15, 2024

How many CRM software are there? ›

There are 3 main types of CRM software: operational CRM systems, collaborative CRM systems, and analytical CRM systems.

What 5 methods are used to generate sales from the CRM? ›

How to Drive Revenue From Your CRM
  • Upselling and Cross-Selling. ...
  • Communicating Regularly and Meaningfully. ...
  • Increasing Employee Productivity. ...
  • Targeted Marketing for New Customers. ...
  • Automating Processes.

What are the five key processes involved in a CRM strategy? ›

What are the 5 steps in the CRM process?
  • Step 1: Generate brand awareness. ...
  • Step 2: Acquire leads. ...
  • Step 3: Leverage CRM data to convert leads into customers. ...
  • Step 4: Build strong customer relationships. ...
  • Step 5: Sell more to your current customers.
Mar 17, 2022

How can I use CRM in my business? ›

How to Use CRM for Business
  1. Add Your Users.
  2. Train Your Employees.
  3. Customize the Settings.
  4. Import Your Existing Data.
  5. Manage Your Customer Segments.
  6. Figure Out CRM Reporting.
  7. Set Up Automation.
  8. Create Your Marketing Assets.
Dec 28, 2022

What are the five process model of CRM? ›

The steps include strategy development, value creation, multichannel integration, performance assessment, and information management.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kieth Sipes

Last Updated:

Views: 5663

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (67 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kieth Sipes

Birthday: 2001-04-14

Address: Suite 492 62479 Champlin Loop, South Catrice, MS 57271

Phone: +9663362133320

Job: District Sales Analyst

Hobby: Digital arts, Dance, Ghost hunting, Worldbuilding, Kayaking, Table tennis, 3D printing

Introduction: My name is Kieth Sipes, I am a zany, rich, courageous, powerful, faithful, jolly, excited person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.