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4 Types of CRM: In-Depth Guide

Types of CRM Systems

A large part of most modern businesses is customer-centered. When it comes to marketing, believe it or not, customers are king. Customers are the ones calling the shots in products and service markets. Most of these markets are designed around what the customer wants and needs.

All of which means it is essential for a business to keep its ears on the ground. Business owners are also realizing this fact, hence over 47% of them are planning to expand budgeting for their customer service options.

CRM systems are still the best-known ways to answer customer priorities. These systems are based on a variety of differences that set each one apart from each other. In terms of general function, they do the same things, which is helping businesses keep track of their customers and enabling customer-oriented companies.

However, some characteristics separate them into different types of technologies. We will be looking at four different types of CRMs: their features, benefits, users, and for clarity, we’ll give some examples.

  • Analytical CRM systems
  • Operational CRM systems
  • Collaborative CRM systems
  • Strategic CRM systems

Analytical CRMs

According to FitSmallBusiness.com, 56% of organizations’ beliefs and targets are streamlined by using CRM to access consumer data. Narrowing down interest and focus on specific elements makes effective both sales and marketing.

Data is a key

Source: FitSmallBusiness — summarising usability benefits of easy access to data.


An analytical CRM system is much concerned with gathering customer data and studying it for patterns and trends. Its modus operandi is to capture, interpret, segment, store, modify, process, and publish all the data from the customer. These data include the customer’s contact info, feedback, and any other relevant info that will help to identify patterns or preferences.

These patterns help the company to better understand how a product or service has impacted or is going to affect its customers. It enables the company to make departments like customer care and even sales more customer-oriented. Having these advantages, alongside in-depth data analytics, further helps the company to be more attuned to its market wants or needs.


  • Pools all data into a central base: Analytic systems work with all customer info and collate details from all parts of the enterprise. Every team, department, or office that has customer-related dealings can leverage such systems when depositing analytic data into its primary storage area.
  • Customer Segmentation and Prioritization: Analytic CRM provides insights into the landscape of the market, revealing customer characteristics that can be used to group customers into standard segments. That is to say; you can tailor your products and services to fit each group. Businesses may also generate a new index from data analytics. For instance, you may create a segment number or labels to use in other models or predictive variables. Derived data for customer segmentation usually includes many attributes. Some aspects will identify the best group of customers to sell a new product. Others will empower the creation of a new marketing campaign or the optimization of formed sales channel mix. The overall gain is that organizations focus not only on the customers’ behavior but also on their future profitability, allowing them to invest resources in the most profitable customer.
  • OLAP Tools: OLAP is an acronym for Online Analytical Processing. It is a highly useful tool for finding and unearthing data. Its capabilities include infinite reporting capacity, complicated statistical analyses, and insightful scenarios that question possible hypothetical situations in preparation for the future happening. Such tools form the core of business analytic tools that allow you to peel back layers of information and get to the essential information you need from your data. In short, it is the tool that enables you to see the big picture, to sequester valuable data from the ones you don’t currently need to take action from there.


The key role analytical CRM plays in an organization is that of enhancing the decisions made by the teams involved either towards future campaigns or ones already running. There are primary features that identify CRM as analytic. They are:

  • It makes advertising strategies more effective.
  • It targets opportunities, potential customers, leads to know the best content that will reel them in.
  • It boosts the rate of retention for customers.
  • It strengthens customer loyalty.
  • It enables you to understand when and the clients to sell or upsell.
  • It helps to increase sales through an analysis of what sells and what does not
  • It assists in Identifying and working out your company/staff’s weak spots
  • It helps in the careful building of customer connections.


Analytic CRM is not in any way a niche product; there are specific categories of organizations that might think it a better fit for their companies than others. Let’s see a handful of them.

  • Organizations utilizing ’big data’ to check customers and their needs.
  • Businesses trying to build a marketing strategy; who equally want such strategies more customer-oriented.

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Good examples include Base CRM, Insightly, and Zoho Analytics.

Operational CRMs

Operational CRMs enable one to support and enhance your business’s customer support base actively. It is specially designed to help facilitate activities that have to do with customers. An operational CRM is conceivable for every interaction that your brand has with current and potential clients.

Companies may use this form of CRM to streamline their functions and empower staff to convey excellence and satisfaction in managing customers. Operational CRMs are notably focused on the prime business regions, which are sales, customer services, and marketing.

It is, in this sense, the most encompassing out of all the other types. These systems assist companies in generating leads, turning over the leads to contacts, and providing a much-needed base with which to captivate and maintain converted customers for an extended period.


  • Customer service automation: This helps you to automate the process it uses to reach out to its customers; enhance customer experience, communication, and care ― to keep them coming back and even incentivize them to advertise the company image in person. The fundamental way it does this is by offering self-service options for your customers. This will apply to actions as establishing more natural methods of payment online, scheduling/ ordering for a good or service from your mobile device, etc. Tools you can find in operational CRMs include: live chat, triggered email response, offline help, or online knowledge bases to navigate the customer(e.g. FAQ, blogs, etc.). Chatbots are also becoming more popular as a means of addressing the customer’s concerns.
  • Sales Automation: This is the use of technology in the management of sales activities. It provides a standard for handling sales processes and general phrases for sales processes for all the company’s sales department. Designed to simplify the sales process for a company, it allows its staff to spend much more time communicating directly with potential customers and solidifying the loyalty of the customers already on board. Most times sales automation features of operational CRM conduct activities such as email scheduling for potential customers, allow prospects to arrange a meeting with sales representatives, and tools that organize and record sales calls. Extra features, including sales record generation, improved sales record clarity, and easier lead ranking, are also accessible.
  • Marketing automation: This feature of operational CRM makes it possible for the marketing team to handle monotonous and time-consuming tasks. Tasks like calling contacts, organizing email campaigns, dispersing substance offerings, that would have otherwise taken a chunk of the team’s time are delegated to the machine for better efficiency. The range of operations also encompasses all event-based offers, customer segments, promotions, and manage marketing campaigns. Automated marketing affords teams access to customer-related information for effective planning, execution, and evaluation of all campaigns and projects. Other aspects of automation are customer segmentation, program management, event-based marketing, and promotions.


The elemental function of an operational CRM is to support visitors and users of a service or product. That said, there are other benefits to consider. These could be:

  • Effective management of a broad range of marketing campaigns.
  • Tracking relevant data since it gathers information from three crucial departments.
  • Optimizing sales and reaching sales revenue goals and targets.
  • Maximizing the best opportunities for campaigns and event-based offers.
  • Enabling the customer to be in control of the customer service options.


Most businesses can use these types of CRM systems since they cut across the three fundamental departments in a company. Small and Medium enterprises, as well as larger ones, can benefit from operational CRMs. They are also best for businesses that want a more automated system, especially in terms of sales, customer service, and marketing.


Some examples of operational CRM systems include Hubspot, Salesforce, and Zoho.

Collaborative CRM

Collaborative CRMs require different groups in an organization to exchange client data. Previously discussed CRMs focus on marketing and sales, but for this type, the focus is on customer service.

SaleForce’s new study also breaks down the full big picture of collaboration in the workspace. Accordingly, 91% of CEOs believe that misalignment in teams has a direct impact on project turnover.

Collaborative CRMs allow you to significantly improve information flow among departments such as marketing and sales, and even supports the staff at work in these departments. Department teams who operate independently of one another, or have challenges in addressing a customer’s concerns can use it. The whole aim is to accommodate the clients truly: even if it means granting the departments access to sensitive information.


The main features are interaction management and channel management.

  • Interaction management: This helps to record all the essential parts of the timeline of your customer’s journey. To that, you can always go back and access the map to make improvements or reward loyalty. This feature also enables the segmentation of contacts according to different markers and criteria.
  • Channels management: This feature, on the other hand, gives the customer a variety of options to choose from in terms of channels of communication. The choice can be, texts, calls, emails, live chat, any of the social media platforms, and so on. But you must ensure that you are active and responding on any channel the customer chooses.

Other features of collaborative CRM include video conference applications, integration with productivity apps like Google Drive, Slack, DropBox, etc.


Collaborative CRMs are used mainly in sharing collected customer information to all the teams of an organization, but that’s only a part of what they do. Let’s look at the other uses.

  • Alining similar goals across multiple teams.
  • Comprehensive handling of the total experience of the customer.
  • Unflagging service to the customers across every channel.
  • Access to interconnected data that gives a holistic view of the customer.


  • Decentralized companies organized into many separate units that still manage the same client base.
  • Large organizations with a considerably colossal client base
  • Small-sized brands keen on having more intimate collaboration across all departments.
  • Businesses that are comfortable with allowing all teams access to customer information


Creatios, Bitrix24, and Copper are examples of Collaborative CRMs.

Strategic CRM

Organizations ready to increase sales, profits, and customer satisfaction need to deploy CRM strategically. Most CRMs available today fall short of providing their users with a real strategic view of their customers’ experience. Strategic CRM focuses on maintaining longterm customer relationships. It is usually included as part of collaborative CRMs: as such has similar features and related benefits.

Essentially, the basis of forming data from strategic CRMs is to enhance users’ expectations and experience. At the same time, it considers how employees’ roles in achieving expected results. In other words, we seek to find what matters to consumers and what top issues consumers face.

According to the PWC customer experience survey, efficiency and convenience are business qualities buyers value most.

What people value most in their customer experience

Source: PWC — statistical graph of business qualities that are worth paying for vs business qualities vital for customer experience.

From another perspective, Deloitte highlights top concerns that may influence the brand image. How organizations treat their employees leads to 28%. This shows in improving the experience of customers, employees' opinions count, and strategic CRM is one of the tools to implement it.

Top issues consumers identify with while making decisions about brands

Source: Deloitte — employee management, workspace management, and community/customer management are key to delivering excellent user experience.

Strategic CRMs not only offer you feedback immediately, but they also improve knowledge and communication with the customer. This arrangement is valuable if you’re in a business centered on long-term connections, instead of fast deals and brief campaigns. Using strategic CRM, you can carve out a customized approach to managing unique business processes.


  • 360 Degree project management: The next impactful step in the design of CRM strategies is the creation of a motivated and valuable project team; that is after an organizational commitment has been settled. Each member of this project has to be a skilled and devoted professional since these participants will be the key decision-makers in the process.
  • Business analysis: CRM strategies must also fixate on, and concentrate on, exact business needs. This feature includes a set of surveys and questionnaires of top-level sales, marketing, and financial executives to collect the real perceptions of the strategies to be adopted and the outcomes of the strategy to be applied at the final point. The project management feature addresses the 360-degree view of all aspects of a strategy, including management, technical, financial, sales, and marketing.
  • Cross-departmental collaboration: Every department should be made aware of all development projects, and the execution of the operations carried out. There can always be a focus on constructive solutions and the end effects of the techniques. Strategic CRM ensures such implementations and awareness of all cross-departmental efforts.


  • Elevates customer experience through effective marketing, sales
  • Orchestrates insightful customer analytics
  • Provides a picture of how your customers interact with you by telling you what they buy from you and when; how they buy from you; why they buy from you; how they solve problems with you.
  • Addresses every aspect of customer interaction, such as marketing, sales, trends, service, behavior, and motivators.
  • Provides best-in-class tools to remedy customer issues on time, every time.


  • Business owners who want more than just frontline sales management tools
  • Managers who need strategic management of long-term customers.


Oracle CRM and Sage CRM.

Why Custom CRMs?

We have looked at the four big groups of enterprise CRM, but there’s still one type of CRM we haven’t analyzed― the Custom CRM. This a CRM system designed specially to meet the needs of the business. Enterprise CRMs might have fancy trimmings and fresh features, but it’s all nonsense if it doesn’t meet the business’s needs. With a custom system, your company gets exactly what it needs.

The customization also means that the system is built right into your business processes, which means there’s no need to waste time in integrating the system with yours. Plus, contrary to people’s perceptions, it is cheaper to build a custom software than to buy one.

The processes of each company are unique, just like the people themselves. Customized development of the system will help describe these processes and make them more efficient and precise.

The implemented CRM system is designed to automate existing processes. Therefore, with the introduction of a boxed solution in the company for existing marketing and sales processes, there is a strong possibility that this product does not automate the existing processes, or break them at all.

It is always a matter of company choice: either the company changes processes for a boxed product or develops a solution that complements and reinforces existing processes. These are two different approaches, and it’s impossible to say for sure what’s better. Everything depends on the specific company, its processes, and its objectives.

Take the plunge and thrive your marketing with the help of customized CRM.

To Sum up

In this post, we discussed the various types of CRM software that are mostly in use. We also looked at the custom CRM that allows you to create uniquely fashioned features that fit your business perfectly.

Using our guide, you can better comprehend how to choose appropriate CRM for your business, how each CRM format works, and point out which one of the categories suits your company best.

It’s worth mentioning that although our article describes the CRM division into four types of systems, the boundaries between these types are often implicit in real life. In many cases, too, modern CRM systems are used, which, to a certain extent, combine several types simultaneously. Hence, the distinct categories are tentative by nature.

The bottom line is that a robust company-customer relationship is significant for the success of a business. Companies of all ages want the most effective strategies to establish positive results of growth and retention. Unfortunately, only a trickle boosts both advantages. Part of the deal with reinventing businesses through CRMs is achieving a consistent increase in ROI, customer retention, and loyalty.

Positioning on a global scale is a big deal for most new businesses. The similarities and differences between what they do and who they become more evident if one more company leveraged better customer relationship management.

At HuskyJam, we have the tools, tips, and expert advice to keep your business growing. We offer planning, structuring, and strategizing as part of a CRM implementation for other peers. This is a move that is bent on improving their business processes and automating multiple routine tasks, allowing their visions to be better understood by the world.

Our CRM management strategies are broken down by senior experts whose works are focused on building software of maximum efficiency and customization of CRM systems. Above all, we are a forward-thinking team that derives pleasure in the critical tasks of helping other organizations navigate CRM systems and showing them how to access the data they need to segment successfully, trigger, and customize business processes and campaigns.

All our clients would be presented in the same way to allow for easy management and successful relationships with like minds and long-term interest partners. In a nutshell, we provide actionable CRM solutions through the following ways:

  1. The focus of businesses on new customer attraction registration and product positioning on the market
  2. Create and segment clients’ profiles We cater to business planning, testing, and strategy
  3. Store all data and analytics in one inventory and import customer statistics from anywhere.
  4. Provide customer service relationship satisfaction and retention. For more reason, automate your marketing and campaigns.

As long as businesses, organizations, corporations, and consumer products keep evolving or are being constantly introduced into the market, we will stay on top of our game, providing you name and insights.

If it’s still not clear what to choose, let us know; let’s help you make an informed decision. You may also want to study some of our successful projects.

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