You might have heard of various types of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. Depending on the source you read, you might find not two or even five but over ten different names. However, we believe that there are a lesser number of CRM types. In this article, we are defining the existing general types of CRM systems and tell, what are other types of CRM on the market might be.

Sales CRM Definition

Sales CRM is a tool that’s best suited for working with leads, prospects, and clients through all the stages of their life within a company. The tool provides powerful insight into the customer profiles, peculiarities of their demands, and channels of attraction, requests, complaints, sales, or product item returns. It allows making work more streamlined to convert them through the logical stages – from a lead to a prospect and finally to a customer, following effective prompts and data of the interface. Ideally, this type of CRM is connected to the next one on the very basic level – to have information about all marketing actions with clients and their segments. Various KPIs are also being set and monitored in this CRM.

Marketing CRM Definition

This type of tool is used for marketing companies – planning, running, analysis, correction, KPIs setting and motoring, copying/pasting new companies from old ones, and scheduling actions through various channels.

Service CRM Definition

This is the most basic type of CRM, which is designed for the entire work with clients: ● view client profiles and all available data within ● schedule actions, like contacting or the inclusion of a client or their segment into the next marketing campaign ● billing, debt handling ● automated passage through the stages of various working processes ● taking notes ● viewing history ● opting for possibilities (calculation of future probabilities) ● offering products (including personalized) ● managing and running complaints ● upgrading, segmenting, re-segmenting ● communicating through omnichannel, including VoIP ● changing preferences… The list of actions that are probable in a service CRM can be continued. Basically, it adopts everything that a client is about in a company, at every stage – even after they stop being clients (to maintain historical records). Needless to say that with client base growth and ripening, better prediction and segmenting capabilities appear, which lead to the loss of fewer client opportunities.

Other CRM types

1. Operational CRM. 2. Collaborative CRM. 3. Strategic CRM. That must be noted that another term, ‘campaign management’ is meant to be ‘marketing’ CRMs as we describe them in this article. The same thing goes as well to operational CRM, which is the same or very similar to Service CRM that we observe. And a collaborative CRM is a tool, where many users can work, exchange information, and pass clients between departments.

The Biggest Question

The biggest question is that why do we actually need to divide amongst so many tools? There is logic in this question, as all existing types of CRMs are about the same thing – to know your client better and serve them better. In fact, not all types exist in reality – some of them are just theorized as “nice to have” or “possible to build”. While in practice, each and every company in the world tends to have all those CRMs in one as a 360-degree solution. And they are so right! What those systems provide and differ with is actually the matter of roles in the system, which shall do different tasks because of their job descriptions in a company. Those roles are ones that might be already defined and those, which you create based on your specific job tasks in a company, filling them with atoms of access rights and actions. (Atoms are the tiniest actions or allowances in any system, which compose the roles, processes, or business features of this or that IT software. For instance, reading information about the history of client interactions might be one atom while adding a client into the next ad campaign might be another atom. Thus, a typical role of a CRM user might consist of thousands of atoms). We’d make an analogy with an accountant and controller working in some back-office system. One enters the transaction and another verifies it. Also, there is their manager who sees how many transactions were made for some period. But somehow, people don’t distinguish them into “transactional”, “controlling”, and “reporting” back-office systems, as it would simply be nonsense. Right? So the reasons why CRMs are differentiated, we feel, are those: ● the relative novelty of CRMs and their low percentage of embracement by companies of the world, so they need to be promoted ● the desire of wise Internet guys to say their wise thoughts about their knowledge of CRMs ● theorizing of various CRM developers and sellers to say there are many types of CRMs but, “fortunately, their super unique product covers all of them in one” – just to sell their product. So, if you are about to implement a CRM system in your company, don’t believe empty marketing promises – a good CRM shall embrace every type we’ve covered in this article and be a very powerful tool for every role it has.


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