Three Fundamental Types of CRM Systems

The 3 Fundamental Types Of CRM SystemsWhen it comes to the CRM selection process, it can be easy to get caught up in all the sales hype, features fascination, and cost comparisons. Knowing that your business needs a CRM system is a huge first step. But before you send out a single RFP, or meet with your first prospective vendor, it’s important to also know what type of CRM system is right for your organization.

Different types of CRM systems will support your business goals in different ways. Choosing the right CRM system requires evaluating all your objectives to determine the core customer management problems your team needs resolved.

The three fundamental types of CRM systems in the market today are:

  • Operational CRM
  • Analytical CRM
  • Collaborative CRM

Many new CRM buyers look online and quickly discover the half-dozen or so “big names” in the CRM market. Many of those names offer the same core type of CRM solution. Finding the right CRM for your business means knowing what you need beforehand, so that you get a solution that adapts to your business, and not the other way around.

Operational CRM Systems

As you might surmise, operations CRM systems are built to make managing and automating your company’s day-to-day processes easier. This means things like marketing, sales, and customer service.

Sales automation is usually the core component of any operational CRM system. It’s designed to help your sales team manage their sales pipeline, nurture leads, track opportunities, and win new clients.

Marketing automation tools let you automate a variety of common tasks to increase your team’s efficiency. Lead capture, newsletters, nurture campaigns, and other tasks can all be automated and refined with custom rules that dictate how the system behaves based on user-selected criteria.

Service automation can benefit customer service teams of almost any size. These tools allow service reps to generate automatic messages with answers to common questions via email, text message, or phone.

Operational CRM is the most common (and popular) type of solution in the marketplace and works across a wide range of industries.

Analytical CRM Systems

Analytical CRM is intended to make managing customer acquisition and retention easier, as well as keep track of detailed customer data. Businesses that have large amounts of detailed customer data to analyze should consider this type of CRM.

The more data your business collects about its customers – their buying behavior, pain points, and patterns– the more useful you will find an analytical CRM solution.

This type of CRM is also useful for identifying places where your sales funnel is bottlenecked and/or underperforming sales and marketing strategies. Analytical CRM will provide the information you need to dissect your core business functions and develop more effective ways of operating.

Collaborative CRM Systems

Collaborative CRM is built around the goal of improving the overall customer experience. This starts with streamlining communication between all parties involved on both sides of the sale.

Collaborative CRM implements this idea by allowing you to track and share customer data with everyone from vendors and suppliers to customer support and even marketing managers. Making this information available to your team not only strengthens internal relationships, but the relationships with your customers as well.

The two main components of a collaborative CRM solution are interaction management and channel management.

Interaction Management: Allows your team to manage all interactions between your organization and its customers. Customers prefer to communicate through specific channels, and interaction management handles all of those communications across the various channels.

Channel Management: Helps you reach customers more efficiently and effectively using their preferred interaction channels. This could be social media, email, phone, or even face-to-face.

Which Type Of CRM Do You Need?

First of all, it’s possible that your business may benefit from more than one type of CRM. For enterprise level organizations with many employees across multiple departments, what works for one may not for another.

With that said, finding the right type of CRM system almost always requires a thorough examination of your company’s business goals and challenges. Putting your business through a rigorous examination to determine bottlenecks and pain points almost always brings new information to light that can be integrated into your CRM selection criteria.

This process can be done entirely with your own internal resources, but is often more successful when working with an outside party who can be neutral and objective at each stage of the process.

To learn more about the different types of CRM systems available, or to get help with the selection process, please contact us today.