What’s driving your search for the perfect CRM? Do you want to optimize your sales process or automate your marketing efforts? Maybe you want to increase customer satisfaction. Or maybe you just want a single source of truth for your business that'll increase collaboration between various departments.
A customer relationship management (CRM) software is the ideal solution for all these problems. But not just any CRM will do the trick. There are three core types of CRM on the market, and you need to choose the right one for your needs.
In this article, we breakdown what those three different types of CRM are, when they are most useful, and how you can ensure you pick the perfect CRM for your business.
A CRM is a software solution that manages, records and facilitates interactions between sales and marketing teams and customers.
At a basic level, CRM’s are essential for contact management. They store records of customers and potential customers. But modern CRMs do so much more. They can also:
As you can see, CRMs are a vital tool for a number of departments and business functions. Marketing teams rely on them to run lead generation and nurture campaigns, personalizing messages with customer data.
Sales teams rely on them to manage their pipeline, track customer interactions, and automate manual sales tasks so they can spend more time speaking to consumers.
Customer service teams rely on CRMs to understand each customer, provide personalized support and chase down the right employee to speak to when problems occur.
Not all of the features above are available in every CRM. While many CRMs have a broad range of features, most focus on one specific part of the customer lifecycle.
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There are three core types of CRM: operational CRMs, analytical CRMs, and collaborative CRMs.
Each type has its own set of distinct advantages and is geared towards a different process.
An operational CRM aims to improve the customer-facing aspects of your business, specifically how well your marketing and sales teams generate new leads and convert them into customers. They provide a complete overview of how customers interact with your company and a range of features that help sales and marketing teams engage them. Operational CRMs can also improve the way customer success teams and account managers interact with existing customers and upsell additional products or features.
Operational CRMs are useful to the vast majority of your employees, but they'll be particularly valuable to sales and marketing executives who are in the trenches every day, speaking to customers and launching marketing campaigns.
An operational CRM’s features center around sales and revenue growth. They include:
TigerLRM has a suite of operational tools that give your sales team more time by automating tedious sales cadences and sending out messages across a multitude of channels.
Analytical CRMs help your sales and marketing teams make better decisions. It takes all of the data you’ve stored in your CRM (things like average deal size, sales cycle length, customer engagement metrics, etc.) and turns them into actionable reports and graphs.
Analytical CRMs are best used by mid to senior-level managers in sales and marketing teams, people who are responsible for setting strategy and targets as opposed to doing the work of contacting prospects.
An analytical CRM’s features center around storing and analyzing data. They include:
TigerLRM lets sales managers create automated leaderboards, analyze sales pipelines and integrate sales enablement material to boost rep performance.
Collaborative CRMs (also called strategic CRMs) share customer information across departments, removing siloed data and allowing teams to serve customers better and increase customer satisfaction.
While all of the CRMs discussed so far make it easier to work together as a business, collaborative CRMs focus on improving the ways you can work together to serve customers, as opposed to acquiring them.
This means collaborative CRMs are ideal for anyone working in customer support or customer success. It makes it easy to find out everything they need to know about a customer, have a full record of every previous interaction and see at a glance who in the business they need to speak to when solving an issue.
Collaborative CRMs focus on communication. They include:
Collaboration is incredibly important in a CRM. TigerLRM provides sales reps and customer success teams with a unified multi-channel inbox that lets team members engage prospects and customers on their favorite channels.
There's a time and a place for each of the CRM types listed above.
You should have an operational CRM if your focus is on growing your business. Operational CRMs are the ideal solutions to empower sales and marketing teams, automate their processes and help them generate and close more leads.
They are also suitable if you want to manage your customer information better, keep everything in one place, and encourage employees to make in-depth notes whenever they speak to customers.
Operational CRMs are also suitable for businesses that want to automate their marketing processes. You can use these CRMs to automatically send out personalized emails to prospects as part of a drip campaign or based on a predefined set of trigger events.
You should use an analytical CRM if you want to better understand your customers and your company’s sales and marketing processes. The reports that this type of CRM can generate will allow sales and marketing leaders to see how customers actually behave and optimize strategies accordingly.
This type of CRM is also a good choice if you want to gather more data from your customers and prospects in the first place. This can be particularly useful if you are a startup looking to understand your ideal customer and create buyer personas.
You should use a collaborative CRM if you are facing communication problems between departments and want to get everyone on the same page.
A collaborative CRM is also a good choice for companies that want to improve customer engagement, increase loyalty, and decrease churn. Collaborative CRMs make it easier for your customer support teams to have meaningful conversations with customers and take action to improve their customer experience.
Yes, you absolutely can, and many businesses prefer to do so. Using several types of CRM (either separate tools or a single unified platform) lets your business accomplish multiple tasks at once and ensures every department gets value from your customer relationship software.
For example, sales reps may want to use an operational CRM to manage their pipeline, store customer information, and automate some of the routine tasks they do every day. At the same time, their managers and people in sales ops teams may want to use analytical CRMs to understand the sales process, identify areas for improvement, and set achievable targets for sales reps.
That’s why we’ve designed TigerLRM to be an all-in-one solution. Sales reps get a range of automated tools they can use at the same time and close more deals, customer service teams can access a unified multichannel inbox that lets them manage every interaction from a single place, and managers can use a range of in-depth reports to optimize business processes.
Follow the steps below to find the right type of CRM for your business.
First things first, nail down exactly why you want a new CRM. What are you trying to achieve? There are dozens of reasons to start using a CRM or to switch providers, including:
Once you know exactly why you need a CRM, it's much easier to find the features that matter most to you and decide which type of CRM you need.
You probably use a lot of other software tools to manage other parts of your business. While these tools can work perfectly fine in isolation, they become much more powerful and have a much bigger impact on the customer lifecycle when you integrate them together.
For instance, you can integrate your VoIP system and CRM so that sales reps can make calls directly from your CRM and have customer data automatically updated when they are finished. Or you can integrate a unified engagement platform like Twilio so that customer success reps can draw on every single customer interaction when managing accounts.
Next, use your goals to identify the features that you care about most. These can include the following:
Remember, these features will probably coincide with the type or CRM that you choose. For example, if you want lead scoring and pipeline management features, an operational CRM is going to be your best bet. If you want to track customer KPIs, an analytical CRM is best.
You don’t want to waste time training your sales team on how to use an overly-complicated CRM. Choose one that's easy to set up and learn, instead. Ideally, the provider will have a resource database or provide remote training, like TigerLRM.
Spend some time thinking about how you’ll migrate your existing CRM data to your new platform, too. Most CRM providers make it easy to migrate data (it’s a free service at TigerLRM, for instance) but that’s not always the case.
It’s important to choose a CRM that can scale with your company. After all, you won’t be the same size for long if your team uses your new sales software effectively and closes more deals.
You’ll need to consider how much data you can store in your CRM and how the price changes when you add more users. It should be easy to scale cloud-based solutions, but on-premise upgrades can be complicated.
You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars a month on CRM. Most cloud providers offer technology for a monthly subscription. In some cases, you can get one for free, like TigerLRM.
There are three different types of CRM software, but that doesn’t mean you have to use one at the expense of another. The best solutions combine each type of CRM.
That’s what we’ve done at TigerLRM. Our free CRM software makes it easy for sales reps to streamline their workflows, managers to create reports, and customer service teams to communicate with customers.
To assign a sales enablement user, simply go to Administrator > User Management > Edit User.
Once you are on the user's information, you can select if you want them to be "Non-Admin," "Admin," or part of the "Enablement Team." Save this information, and your desired user will have the right access.You can access your Dashboard here.