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8 types of CRM to consider for better business efficiency

The Customer Resource Management (CRM) systems are essential for managing customer communications, streamlining marketing and sales processes, and gathering actionable insights from buyer’s data. At the same time, it is essential to understand that different organisations seek different values from these multi-purpose solutions that are unique to their needs. This makes it crucial to learn about various kinds of CRMs available in the market based on the value they bring to the table before making a purchase decision.

Different types of CRMs

Let’s look at eight types of CRM systems that you might encounter while looking for a solution that addresses your needs effectively.

1. Operational

Operational CRM systems help streamline customer-facing and back-office processes through various automations. This type of CRM, typically, assists with three kinds of automation: sales, marketing, and services.

Sales automation simplifies routine tasks like sending follow-ups and updating lead scores based on prospects’ behaviour allowing the teams to focus more on closing deals effectively. Similarly, marketing automation takes care of administrative action items like generating reports and tracking visitors’ activities on the website to find areas of improvement.

Finally, service automation through these types of CRM can help with resolving customer queries with tools like chatbots and accelerate the checkout process with tools like renewal management software.

A great example of operational CRM in action is Tumblr leveraging HubSpot to send targeted emails to its users to motivate them to explore the platform more based on their interactions.

2. Analytical

These types of CRM goes through customer information to give you actionable insights that will help you iterate your sales and marketing reporting strategies. An analytical CRM can segment audiences based on various parameters such as demographics, pain points, expectations, industries, and purchase patterns. 

This helps businesses to dive deeper into their buyers’ preferences and deliver personalised experiences throughout the customer lifecycle. Artefact, a company that specialises in building AI-powered solutions, leveraged customer data analytics to do just that for a major French bank.

Moreover, with techniques like demand forecasting, this type of CRM can also guide brands to enhance their offerings. Companies can use their data to predict which of their offerings could be more in demand in the future.

Read also: 10 best practises of using CRMs

3. Strategic 

Strategic CRMs facilitate developing long-term relationships with their customers resulting in increased satisfaction and retention rates. These types of CRMs facilitate decision-makers to build robust and scalable strategies around customer lifecycle management and value analysis.

For instance, a brand can use pipeline forecasting tools within strategic CRMs to see which prospects are less likely to purchase. This allows them to send tailored messages that can pique their interest.

Bespoke Collection, a luxury wine company that aims to provide unique experiences, leveraged Salesforce CRM to manage their customer data to craft and deploy an effective loyalty and membership program catering to their buyers’ distinct tastes.

As per the president of the company, the team use the tool to send a personalised email after someone makes a purchase. 

Such practices can help businesses build a better relationship with their customers from the get-go, which can be foundational for retention.

This type of CRM goes a level deeper than managing conversations with customers or keeping an eye on their behavioural data. It emphasises putting the buyer at the center of your business process by prioritising their needs and preferences for long-term relationship-building.

4. Collaborative

Businesses already know that a CRM solution is central to many of their workflows like marketing and sales. Such workflows may involve multiple teams across different locations. 

In a setting like that, the parameters that one team member considers when making suggestions or decisions can differ greatly from others.

This could lead to silos where insights aren’t efficiently exchanged between team members leading to inefficiencies, oversights, and avoidable mistakes.

Collaborative CRMs break down those barriers by centralising all kinds of customer data and serving as a single source of truth. This allows for seamless communication where one team can directly share their recommendations or insights with another team without spending hours collating all data.

To put it simply, these types of CRM keeps team members across departments on the same page and allows them to draw insights from a common dataset concurrently for coherent action planning.

5. Campaign management

This type of CRMs help with the efficient planning and execution of various action items within different marketing campaigns.

Campaign management CRMs streamline processes and action items such as performance tracking, email marketing, and lead management to increase the scope and scale of marketing operations.

For instance, performance tracking helps marketing teams know which kind of content performs well among their target audience, guiding them to produce more quality content that reaches the desired audience and motivates them to act.

With this type of CRM solution at hand, marketing and sales teams can get comprehensive visibility over their campaigns in one place, rather than cycling through multiple tools and dashboards to get a precise picture.

6. Social

Social media is where your customers go to spend their free time, participate in community interactions, and, most importantly, share their opinions. This makes social media platforms an invaluable resource to enhance your learning about your audience and customers.

However, keeping an eye on multiple platforms regularly to gauge the sentiment of your audience, qualitatively engage, and extract meaningful insights to purposefully iterate your marketing strategies can be challenging for teams.

This type of CRM solves this by providing a unified platform where you can perform all the mentioned tasks seamlessly. Popular American gas station and shopping chain Casey’s leverages Sprout Social’s social CRM features to provide world-class customer care.

The social media teams could connect 10x better with their guests. Additionally, it also made their workflow about 90% more efficient immediately after adopting the tool.

Read also: 12 great reasons to use a CRM system

7. Mobile

CRM solutions are feature and functionality-loaded tools that are commonly used on desktop devices. However, often users might just want to check something specific, like the open rate of their most recent email or the drop-off rate of the sales pipeline.

Mobile CRMs simplify the process of staying updated on campaign performance for sales and marketing teams, even on the go. This type of CRM also helps make better collaborative decisions during meetings by making data easily accessible.

Distributed teams who are often in transit can benefit from mobile CRM. They can immediately access data and gather insights on the market and their customers. Fortunately, many popular providers such as HubSpot, Freshbooks, etc., provide mobile apps to help you bring your CRM wherever you go.

8. Open-source

CRM solutions, because of their diverse applications, can get expensive. This can be hard on the budget of budding companies who need these tools for only a handful of applications.

Open-source CRM solutions offer an affordable alternative to their proprietary counterparts, even though they can fall short on certain features or UI designs. Nevertheless, these types of CRMs offer a higher degree of customisability and complete control over your data.

SuiteCRM, Odoo, and Vtiger are popular open-source CRM solutions that businesses can consider. Some of them, like Vtiger, offer proprietary options as well. This can be great for businesses that are just starting out or have a limited budget at the moment.

Read also: What is two-way sync? Your complete guide

Wrapping up

CRM solutions are essential for businesses to streamline their marketing and sales processes. As these platforms often play a central role in the success of these workflows, it is crucial for teams to make the right choice that addresses their needs.

Every option from operational CRMs to open-source comes with its own set of unique advantages and functionalities for teams running customer-facing and back-office workflows.

All these types of CRMs cater to different sets of users, teams, and businesses intending to help them put their customers first by streamlining conversations and collecting data reflecting their preferences.


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