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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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.