Types of CRM Software: Which One Is Right for Your Business?

In today’s fast-paced, growing market, building a good customer relationship is essential to any business model. It is critical for any business to build Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to build a relationship with their customers that creates loyalty and customer retention.

One way to build a relationship with your customers is by sharing the correct information at the right time. Customers appreciate a business that communicates well with their sales, products, services, and essential updates. However, staying on top with customer communication can be difficult without a proper system – whether you are a small commerce or a large corporation.

Using CRM Software for your business is a great solution that can help to properly communicate with your current and prospective clients. CRM applications can enable an organisation to understand their existing customers and capture their behaviour to create a client-centred business strategy. CRM can analyse data and generate a report that can help in building a solid relationship.

You might not be familiar with the meaning of CRM software. As such, to help you get your bearings, here is an article to tell you what CRM Software is, types of CRM software and their benefits.

What is CRM software?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a system that helps industries track, manage, and store customer data in a single system record. A CRM Software records interaction between a business, existing and prospect customer, including contact information, history, transaction, and more.

According to a salesforce study, CRM can increase business sales up to 29%, improve sales forecast accuracy by 42%, and progress productivity by 34%. It can also improve customer satisfaction level, as well as revenue and success.

CRM can do more than track and organise customer details. CRM software can also enhance customer experience and relationships and save you tons of time and resources through sales force automation with the best feature.

Similarly, a CRM system can help build long-term customer relationships. It empowers businesses to communicate efficiently with current and potential customers with all critical information at their fingertips when needed. With CRM, companies don’t need to worry that they will miss valuable opportunities and potential sales. In addition, sales, marketing, and customer service divisions will be in. They are accessing one system with identical information.

Similarly, here are some features to look for in CRM Software:

  • Consolidate customer history and transaction into one interface,
  • Track potential customers throughout the sales pipeline,
  • Facilitate communication with customers,
  • Provide sales-related functions,
  • Integrate functions into a single database and platform.

What are the different types of CRM systems?

It’s critical to understand the different types of systems before implementing them in your business. Business owners need to know where they are putting their money – purchasing the right tool that benefits the company.  Similarly, CRM products can vary in terms of features, focus, and uses. When choosing a CRM software, you need to understand what are the various types of CRM software.

Here are the three (3) types of CRM software systems that you can choose from:

Operational CRM

Operational CRM streamlines the business process by combining sales, marketing, and service functions to create a more efficient customer relationship. It provides companies a better visualisation of the client journey. This type of CRM records all customer interactions from the beginning when they access your company’s website to the lead management process and sales pipeline until they become a customer. It can also help generate leads by converting all contact and details collected into one systematic record.

It is estimated that 90% of organisations with more than 11 employees use this CRM. Operational CRM is considered the best CRM for small businesses and startups. Operational CRM systems are used mainly by data aggregation, tech companies, and consumer organisations. It is favoured by many companies as it offers automated features like sales automation, service automation, and marketing automation. These features can help process tasks usually done manually by employees.

Sales Automation helps organisations systematise sales processes by setting organisational standards to acquire new customers and deal with existing customers. This feature allows organisation data in a way that businesses can increase leads and sales efficiently. Sales Automation includes several CRM sales modules: contact management, lead management, sales forecasting, and Quote-to-order management.

Marketing Automation assists businesses in discovering the best way to sell a product/service to any potential customers. The main point of this type of operational CRM is campaign management. It helps companies decide which channel (e.g., emails, phone calls, social media, ads., etc.) is the most effective way to reach potential customers.

On the other hand, Service Automation helps organisations retain customers by delivering the best possible quality of customer service to build strong relationships. This CRM includes features like issue management, customer call management to handle the incoming and outgoing calls, and service label management to monitor the quality of service based on KPIs.

Analytical CRM

On the other hand, Analytical CRM is a subset of CRM that collects customer data for in-depth analysis. Most companies use Analytical CRM to extract applicable insights from data to optimise business. The primary focus of Analytical CRMs is to help companies analyse large quantities of customer data and turn it into something useful for business decisions.

Analytical CRM provides features that let you use the data to see trends in your customer’s behaviour. Using this feature, you can better understand what business decision leads most to successful sales, increases customer retention, and the most common customer issues your business faces. Analytical CRM helps management and decision-makers to determine a better way to treat customers and build stronger customer connections.

In addition, analytical CRM highlights the following features.

  • Gather customer information from different channels and locations.
  • Analyses and organises data collected in a structured way,
  • Helps organisations to set up methodology in Sales, Marketing, and support to improve customer service quality,
  • Improve the effectiveness of CRM systems and scrutinise KPIs set by the business.

Collaborative CRM

Collaborative CRM, also called Strategic CRM is one of the types of CRM software, and it facilitates companies to share customers’ data among various business units such as the marketing, sales, and technical and support team. The main concentration of this CRM system is to break down the walls and combine these teams and work together.

In some companies, the marketing, sales, and customer support teams are all in different departments. These departments may even be separated from more prominent corporations due to geographic location, specialties, product focus, and channels. Each business unit works independently and rarely shares data with the other team, which often causes error or business losses.

To provide an exceptional customer experience, business units sometimes need to share information across the organisation to avoid any issue or forecast the business growth. For example, feedback from the support team could be used by the marketing team to approach potential customers with specific products or services.

Collaborative CRM enables business units to unite, share data from one outlet, and improve customer service excellence and increase customer retention and sales. It also guarantees that all teams can access the same latest data, no matter which department or location they work in. Using Collaborative CRM collects all data from customers and lets all agents access these data. Customer-facing employees can finally use these updated data when interacting with customers.

This integration between departments saves customers the dread of repeating information each time they are transferred to a new department. In addition, each employee they interact with can quickly pull up the record of past transactions without consulting other departments to ask for relevant details.

Benefits of using CRM

Now that you know what the types of CRM software are, your company can now benefit from CRM in a variety of ways. While the main benefit of using CRM is storing, managing, and analysing your data, there are other various benefits that CRM can give you.

Increased sales revenue. Since CRM can streamline your sales process and automate tasks, it can potentially increase productivity and sales. CRM helps you establish a concise step-by-step sales process that contains best practices for your employees to rely on.

Detailed Analytics. Many programs can produce data. However, you need to understand what it means and how to use it. CRM software usually has built-in analytic capabilities to scrutinise and contextualise data and produce actionable items and metrics such as bounce rates, demographic data, and other important information. These data help decision-makers judge the success of marketing and sales campaigns accordingly.

Higher productivity and efficiency. One of the significant features of CRM software is its automation technology which expedites menial tasks like contact management that frees up your employees’ time. This feature can help your employees to focus more on tasks that need human intervention and other business improvements. It also ensures that no crucial data are missed with the business process dashboard, another CRM software feature.

Improved customer segmentation. CRM software can automatically segment contact lists based on your standards, making it easier to weed out buyers that you may need to contact. The software lets you sort contacts by location, gender, age, and more.

Automated Sales Report and Team KPI Evaluation. You can easily collect and organise data using the CRM Software reporting feature. It can help your team members evaluate their performance, KPI, goals, quotas, progress in just one glance.

Bottomline: Operational, Analytical, or Collaborative CRM?

In summary, Customer Relationship Management can be an effective way to attract more customers. CRM can offer countless great benefits that will improve your business, no matter how small or large it is. The key, however, is picking the best system and type of software that can fit your business needs.

You may be confronted with different types of CRM software while searching. As such, here is a summary of whether you need to pick operational, analytical, or collaborative CRM.

  • Operational is a great CRM software for small businesses to large corporations. It is best used by e-commerce businesses and retail services that handle day-to-day sales, marketing, and customer service operations.
  • Analytical CRM is best used by companies that handle large quantities of data and produces business solutions or assessments like Research Companies and Marketing Agencies.
  • Collaborative CRM is great for customer-facing companies that handle customer service and tech support to customers. The sharing features enable them to share critical details without collaborating manually for a single element.

About the Author

Roque Pospos is a content specialist for Flexisource IT, a team of Agile experts and certified professionals committed to improving traditional outsourcing practices.

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