Customer relationship management (CRM) is an umbrella term used to describe various techniques designed to help businesses collect and manage information related to their customers and their buying habits. When implemented effectively, CRM allows companies to identify potential leads, target high-value prospects, stay connected with current clients, create personalized offers for repeat buyers, and develop relationships with people who may not yet be customers.
Because this category encompasses so much, there are many types of CRM software to choose from. In this article, we break down the five types of CRM software, their uses, and major features.
What Is CRM Software?
Customer relationship management software is a suite of tools designed to help businesses manage and track contact information, manage records, and make customer interactions more efficient. Businesses use CRM to collect and organize information about customer needs, preferences, and behavior, helping them to identify areas of opportunity and growth.
Using CRM software typically offers a wide range of benefits such as higher conversion rates, increased repeat orders and upsells, fewer missed opportunities from lost or misdirected leads — the list goes on.
5 Types of Customer Relationship Management Software and Their Uses
Operational CRM Software
Operational CRM is used to automate procedures within a company for successful customer relationship management. It is used to run and manage the day-to-day operations of the company, which include but are not limited to: contact management, project management, customer service, technical support, workflow automation, vendor relationships, and more.
Operational CRM software focuses more on automating everyday functions and tasks and managing existing customers and leads through lead scoring, lead nurturing, and sales automation.
Operational CRM Software Features
Operational CRM software is used to achieve business goals through three main features:
- Sales automation
- Marketing automation
- Service automation
Analytical CRM Software
Analytical CRM software allows businesses look at customer data and integrate it with other data sources. This provides businesses with greater visibility into what’s happening with customers. With analytical CRM, businesses can measure how effective their strategies are and understand where improvements need to be made. It gives businesses a deeper knowledge of their customers by identifying patterns in behavior, purchases, and interactions across multiple channels.
With analytical CRM software, even smaller companies have access to powerful analysis tools that give them unprecedented insight into customer data, so they can find areas where changes need to be made for their business to succeed.
Analytical CRM Software Features
The main features of analytics CRM software are:
- Data aggregation
- Data mining
- Online analytical processing
- Interactive dashboards
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Collaborative CRM Software
Collaborative CRM software allows teams to better share information about customers and prospects. This software makes it easy for everyone on the team to access customer records, history, notes, and other data in real time. Teams can come together to take action on opportunities or address issues that arise. As a result, companies have a better-informed workforce with a clear idea of what’s going on with each customer.
Collaborative CRM Software Features
The three key components of a collaborative CRM are:
- Interaction management
- Channel management
- Document management
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Campaign Management CRM Software
Campaign management CRM software can help businesses launch, schedule, swiftly organize, and monitor marketing campaigns across several channels while also gaining insights on marketing efforts.
This type of CRM software integrates with various online campaign providers, giving you a single place to see all your advertising data and allowing you to create and execute new campaigns quickly and efficiently.
Campaign Management CRM Software Features
The following are some important elements of a campaign management CRM:
- Campaign builder
- Targeting and segmentation
- Third-party app integrations
- Analytics and reporting
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Strategic CRM Software
Strategic CRM software is meant to fulfill both customer relationship management and business strategy needs. It gathers, categorizes, and utilizes data about consumers and market trends to provide a superior value proposition for the client.
It’s important to note that most strategic systems focus on customer retention, customer engagement, and delivering customized services. In this way, strategic CRM software is either customer-centric or channel-centric. Customer-centric software allows businesses to create a personalized experience for each customer across all channels, while channel-centric software focuses on providing a seamless experience between sales reps and customers in any channel.
Strategic CRM Software Features
Strategic CRM has a wide variety of use cases, but here are some elements to look for:
- Customer experience management
- Customer support
- Omnichannel outreach
- Field service support
- Compliance controls
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Top CRM Systems
Connect your entire company – every team, app, workflow, and data source – on one unified CRM platform. Salesforce brings companies and customers together. The near-endless customization, extendability, and scalability of the Salesforce platform make it a great tool for businesses of all sizes. Over 150,000 companies, both big and small, are growing their businesses with Salesforce.
2 EntreTEK Solutions
We are a complete all-in-one business development, management, and automation tool that has everything you need to replace countless pieces of other software and solve nearly all your business problems. Entrepreneurs love us!
HoneyBook helps creative entrepreneurs and freelancers book more clients, manage projects, and get paid all in one place. With our business management software, you can automate your busy work and stay on top of all your to-dos, saving time and money so you can grow your business. It's like your own personal assistant. Small business owners and freelancers have used HoneyBook to increase their bookings and save time.
4 Zoho CRM
Fully-customizable Zoho CRM provides unified solutions for businesses of all types and sizes. Conduct your Sales & Marketing analytics to gain insights using Dashboard views and Automate your daily routines. Customize your CRM theme based on your industry needs using Canvas, Omnichannel communication for streamlined communication between teams and customers, handle customer support from within the platform to improve customer relationships. Get Started with Zoho CRM now!
Pipedrive is a sales-focused customer relationship management tool that teams of all sizes love using. It visualizes your sales pipeline and helps to make sure important activities and conversations won’t get dropped. It also sports built-in forecasting, integrations with other software such as Google Apps, MailChimp and Zapier and an API for those that like to “roll their own” software solutions. Full functionality for just $15 per month.
6 MS Dynamics
Microsoft Dynamics CRM's automated features and AI help sales teams better understand their customers, know the best time to send an email, and monitor social channels better than ever before. MS Dynamics also includes a direct connection to the business social platform LinkedIn. Their core CRM package—Dynamics 365 Sales—is focused on sales force automation and helping teams find and close opportunities, and comes as a single tool or can be bundled with other business operations tools.
7 RAYNET CRM
User-friendly CRM that highly emphasizes clear and concise sales management. All contacts, deals, your calendar, your sales pipeline analysis – all in one place. Perfectly organized data that simplify your work and give you a thorough overview of your business.
RAYNET CRM helps your salespeople and your managers: It gives sales reps the tools to score and the managers the tools to monitor the business and its future perspective.
Nimble combines the strength of a traditional CRM with contact management, social media, sales intelligence, and marketing automation to deliver relationship insights to help professionals build better work relationships in a multi-channel world. The software integrates productivity apps to gather user contacts, communications, calendar, and collaborations in one platform and draws data from popular social media channels including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Apptivo is a powerful sales & marketing tool. This CRM includes lead management, an opportunity pipeline with intuitive dashboards, campaign management, and flexible workflow tools including marketing automation. Apptivo starts with a simple contact management system with slick integrations such as automated email conversation tracking, or automated call logging. We offer a complete set of sales tools for lead management, activity tracking, pipeline visualization, and automated workflow.
10 Less Annoying
Less Annoying CRM (LACRM) is a simple CRM built from the ground up for small businesses. Manage contacts, leads, notes, calendar, to-do’s and more, all from one simple web application. Less Annoying CRM is founded on three core principles: simplicity, affordability, and outstanding customer service. All of the tools and information are easy to find from any page in the CRM. LACRM was designed specifically to be intuitive, even for users who aren’t tech-savvy.
How to Choose the Right CRM
To choose a CRM that’s flexible enough to meet your business’s needs, you need some idea of what makes a good fit. To make the best decision, you must first understand your present business demands.
- Is it necessary for you to automate your company processes?
- Are you seeking a solution that will improve cross-functional team collaboration and productivity?
- Do you want to obtain a deeper understanding of consumer behavior and make business decisions based on data?
- Are you seeking a way to easily integrate the systems of other campaign providers?
- Are you looking for a service that would assist you in building a long-term relationship with your customers?
Understanding the differences between the various types of CRM can guide you in making the best CRM selection for your company.