CRM Basics

Types of CRM and How to Choose The Right One

When evaluating CRM software, you will find most solutions fall into three categories. These categories are Operational CRM, Analytical CRM, and Collaborative CRM. Most Enterprise CRM Systems contain all three areas. These CRM components can overlap or work independently within the CRM system. Depending on your business needs, you may need one or all three.

Operational CRM:

Operational CRM contains your front-office business management and business processes. This includes all communications and activities throughout the lifecycle of your customers. These communications can occur from the departments of service, sales, and marketing.

The main function of Operational CRM is to take care of your customers. Internal business processes are automated real-time, making jobs easier and customers happier.

Examples of Operational CRM:

Sales – A sales rep hasn’t called a top customer in a few weeks. A task sends an email reminding the rep to call their customer.

Marketing – A prospect fills out a form your website. Their contact information and details are created (or updated) in your CRM database.

Customer Support – A customer has not received an answer in a few days. An email is sent to the customer support manager.

Operational CRM has Three Core Modules:

  • Enterprise Marketing automation facilitating:
    • Marketing Automation
    • Campaign Management
    • Email Marketing
    • Website Integration
    • Customized Form Letters
    • Event-based marketing
  • Salesforce Automation tracking the sales process:
    • Opportunity Management
    • Line Item Quoting
    • Sales Dashboard with Charts and Graphs
    • Specifications development
  • Customer Service and Support via contact center, call center, web portal, email, Etc.:
    • Service requests
    • Product returns
    • Customer complaints
    • Knowledge Base Management

Analytical CRM:

Analytical CRM is your data analysis. It combines customer data collected in the Operational CRM and other outside sources. It finds behavioral patterns improving business decisions and customer experience.

Examples of Analytical CRM:

Sales – A sales manager compares his Q4 forecast to last years sales in the same quarter. He notices one of his products is 75% less than last year.

Marketing – A marketing manager notices one email in a campaign is not opened as much as the others. She changes the title of the email.

Customer Service – a services manager notices one product has a lot more issues than normal. She calls the product manager.

Some applications of Analytical CRM are:

  • Financial Forecasting
  • Price Optimization
  • Customer Satisfaction Evaluation & Growth
  • Product Development
  • Risk Management
  • Sales Coverage Optimization
  • Cross-selling and Upselling
  • Customer Retention

Collaborative CRM:

Collaborative CRM focuses on interaction with customers through customer touch points. This communication is shared across internal departments. It improves team collaboration and increases customer service.

Examples of Collaborative CRM:

Sales and Marketing – Marketing is notified a customer has visited a new product on your website. They call the salesperson who immediately calls the customer and makes a sale.

Customer Service – A sales rep looks at his mobile CRM when walking in to see his customer. He notices the customer has called his support team to report a problem.

Some applications of Collaborative CRM are:

  • Online services for convenience and cost reduction
  • Effective communication through various channels including automated phone, email, and internet
  • Profiling customer information during customer interaction
  • Social CRM
  • Mobile CRM

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