What Is Collaborative CRM? System & Software Examples
Collaborative CRM transforms how businesses manage customer relationships by promoting cross-departmental collaboration.
This article will delve into the definition and significance of collaborative CRM, exploring this solution’s impact on customer experiences and overall business efficiency. We’ll also highlight prominent examples and discuss the key software tools driving this collaborative approach.
Businesses large and small should use collaborative CRM software tools. But, what is collaborative CRM? How can this system boost your business? And is there any good collaborative CRM example? These are all the questions that our article will answer!
Collaborative CRM helps you achieve your business goals by streamlining communication and cooperation among your team members. It cuts down workload, helps with project management, and brings improved results across departments.
With this type of CRM, you'll be able to automate tedious tasks and centralize your data. So, read on to find out more about collaborative CRM!
What is Collaborative CRM? Our Definition
Collaborative CRM is a contact management software solution that helps marketing, sales and service team members work together and share information to offer a more streamlined customer experience, increase operational efficiency, and boost profitability. Collaborative CRM often combines phone tools, messaging, file sharing and data management as key features.
A collaborative CRM definition is sometimes distinguished from other types of CRM, such as analytical CRM and operational CRM.
Operational CRM is the most holistic one: this type of digital tool tackles marketing, sales force, service automation, and customer interactions. The general point is to generate leads, turn those leads into customers, and close more deals.
Analytical CRM works behind the scenes, taking in data from various channels, like spreadsheets, contact lists, email, social media, company website, and more, to make it available and intelligible. Data-driven insights drive customer acquisition and retention, while data warehousing and mining streamlines data management. Analytical CRM platforms work best in combination with operational and collaborative CRM features for full visibility.
Finally, to return to the collaborative CRM meaning, we might say that it is quite a bit different than both analytical CRM and operational CRM. It’s geared towards facilitating communication throughout your team, as well as with external stakeholders like suppliers and distributors. All to collaborate on strategy, and deliver best practice results.
The Two Parts of Collaborative CRM Are:
By sharing customer information across your team, you can establish best practices for contacting them, such as when, and over which channel. This is to ensure consistent and quality customer interactions. By syncing data across your organization, you can manage every aspect of your interaction, make sure agents are available and alerted to customer needs, plus meet and exceed your public’s expectations.
Channel management is all about maximizing customer satisfaction across channels and optimizing the customer experience as it occurs in each individual channel. Machine learning and AI, automation, and data analytics can help you find out what your data means, and you’ll be able to arrange roles and responsibilities for various team members, as well as rationalize your team’s activities in any given channel.
Business Value of Collaborative CRM Systems: 8 Collaborative CRM Example Applications
This is a new section that is meant to point out the added value of CRM collaborative apps. Below, we’ll delve deeper into benefits, but it is important to go over key elements of business value for collaboration CRM.
Messaging tools to help team members get quick answers and share information on the fly
Phone apps for more in-depth communication and organization and record-keeping
File-sharing protocols that keep everyone up-to-date on the same page
Advanced data analytics which keep track of customer sales and service records for future use
Workflows and automations that can save time on easily repeated tasks and reduce human error
Sales pipeline and lead management that allows for easier rep collaboration without conflict
Shared calendars, task management, and to-do lists are useful for delegating roles and tasks
Teamwork motivation tools to add friendly incentivizing competition to sales agents
Examples of Collaborative CRM Software
Here are some of the top collaborative CRM system options. We’ve left out some familiar CRM names like HubSpot to go over the vendors we think truly excel when it comes to collaboration CRM.
Why we chose it:
Our very first example of collaborative CRM is from Salesforce, which is also a big player in sales automation, lead management, and marketing automation.
It’s a highly versatile CRM, offering a cloud-based platform that facilitates seamless communication and data sharing across departments.
Salesforce’s robust features, including customizable workflows and real-time analytics, empower teams to collaborate effectively, ensuring a unified approach to customer relationships.
To help collaborate, Salesforce has messaging tools as part of their key features to streamline team work whether in a small business or a huge enterprise. This facilitates the transfer of opportunities from marketing teams to sales reps and boosts cross-selling and upsell profitability. Salesforce collaborative CRM takes care of many business needs from offering better technical support to real-time sales phone call optimization.
As a CRM solution, Salesforce might seem a bit overwhelming if you are more familiar with contact management apps like HubSpot, which is simpler at first glance.
Small Business Starter plan is $25 per user/month, billed annually.
Sales Professional plan is $75 per user/month, billed annually
Service Professional plan is $75 per user/month, billed annually
Go to Salesforce’s official website
2. SAP Business One
Why we chose it:
SAP is another big name in business software including ERP, CRM, and supply chain management. The Business One SAP software module is great for CRM collaboration.
It stands out with an integrated approach, providing a unified platform for CRM and other business processes.
SAP enables collaborative decision-making by consolidating data from various departments, fostering a cohesive environment. This solution’s scalability and real-time insights make it a valuable tool for businesses aiming to streamline operations.
If you want collaborative CRM functionality attached to a broad featured CRM/ERP business suite, the ERP module that is SAP Business One may be worth checking out. The module allows you to monitor your sales pipeline, review aggregated sales data for individual customers, and coordinate the perfect strategy for interacting with them.
Installation and implementation is fairly complex and will take time and help from IT specialists. UI is dated.
Contact SAP for the most up-to-date pricing
Go to Sap Business One’s official website
3. Microsoft Dynamics 365
Why we chose it:
Microsoft Dynamics 365 integrates with various Microsoft tools, creating a collaborative ecosystem. It allows teams to share customer insights seamlessly, enhancing communication and coordination.
It also has five CRM-type modules: sales, customer service, field service, project service automation, and marketing. Within each module, you’ll find several apps you can purchase individually to mix and match.
Lastly, with AI-driven capabilities, Dynamics 365 empowers businesses to make data-driven decisions collaboratively, ultimately improving customer engagement.
For collaborative CRM features, you’ll probably want the Sales Professional or Enterprise plan or the Customer Service Professional or Enterprise plan, depending on which department your team member is working with. Both platforms provide sales force automation and Office 365 productivity and co-working features.
The Dynamics 365’s pricing is a bit flexible, but this also increases the complexity of implementation. Customer support is sometimes not the best.
Sales Professional plan is $65 per user/per month for the user's first Dynamics 365 app, and $20 per user/per month if said user already has Dynamics 365 product(s), billed annually.
Sales Enterprise plan is $95 per user/per month for the user's first Dynamics 365 app, and $20 per user/per month if said user already has Dynamics 365 product(s), billed annually.
Customer Service Professional plan is $50 per user/per month for the user's first Dynamics 365 app, and $20 per user/per month if said user already has Dynamics 365 product(s).
Customer Service Enterprise plan is $95 per user/per month for the user's first Dynamics 365 app, and $20 per user/per month if said user already has Dynamics 365 product(s), billed annually.
Go to Microsoft Dynamics 365’s official website
Why we chose it:
SugarCRM focuses on user-friendly collaboration, offering a platform that centralizes customer information. The solution’s intuitive interface encourages teams to work together efficiently, breaking down information barriers.
With features like project management and document sharing, SugarCRM fosters a collaborative environment that positively impacts customer relationships.
Offers automatic email archiving to record so specific cases are always accessible to relevant team members. Design and implement advanced workflows incorporating human processes. Real-time push notifications keep you on task.
If you plan to use Sugar’s most advanced sales CRM platform, you will need to have at least 10 people on your team to use SugarCRM. If your team is small, this may be a deal-breaker right out of the gate. There is a moderate learning curve.
Sugar Serve plan is $80 per user/per month (3 user minimum), billed annually.
Sugar Sell plan is $49 per user/per month (3 user minimum), billed annually.
Sugar Market plan is $1,000 (unlimited users, 10,000 contacts per month), billed annually.
Sugar Essentials plan is $49 per user/per month (3-5 users), billed annually.
Sugar Advanced plan is $85 per user/per month (3 user minimum), billed annually.
Sugar Premier plan is $135 per user/per month (10 user minimum), billed annually.
Go to SugarCRM’s official website
5. Sage CRM
Why we chose it:
Another massive name in the business app arena is Sage, with many products, including a collaborative CRM system. Simple, versatile, and adaptable, Sage promotes collaboration by providing a centralized hub for customer data and communication history.
The platform’s ease of use encourages widespread adoption, ensuring that teams can collaborate effectively without a steep learning curve.
Sage offers a collaborative CRM alongside its enterprise resource planning and account product range. Targeted at small and medium-sized businesses, it focuses on eliminating duplication of work, consolidating data in one view, and increasing productivity and efficiency with unified information and reliable insights.
The process of setup and implementation is resource-intensive in time and training. Database errors can cause the platform to glitch.
Contact Sage directly for pricing details.
Go to Sage’s official website
6. Copper CRM
Why we chose it:
Copper CRM is a bit more of a niche software and one of the best CRM for small business. It is not too unlike an app like HubSpot.
Formerly known as ProsperWorks, Copper CRM integrates seamlessly with G Suite, fostering collaboration through familiar tools like Gmail and Google Drive.
It streamlines communication and task management, ensuring that teams can work cohesively within a platform that aligns with their existing workflows.
Created with customer relationships firmly in mind, Copper is designed to foster collaboration that closes deals and promises a big lift in teamwork. Copper tracks customer moments so you have full visibility of other colleagues’ interactions. It also reduces admin expenses by facilitating direct interactions between team members.
Has a moderate learning curve, which can come as a surprise given the app is made out to be super user-friendly.
Basic plan is $23 per user/per month, billed annually.
Professional plan is $59 per user/per month, billed annually.
Business plan is $99 per user/per month, billed annually.
Go to Copper CRM’s official website
Why we chose it:
BitRix24 offers many useful business tools, including CRM, which is ideal for teamwork, communication, and collaboration.
The all-in-one collaborative approach is what makes Bitrix24 stand out. It combines CRM with communication and project management tools, creating a centralized hub for collaboration.
With features like social intranet and document sharing, Bitrix24 encourages a holistic approach to customer relationship management.
Comprehensive CRM with lots of collaboration tools. Lets you create unlimited work and user groups, set up an HR help desk, and use a private social intranet for internal business communications. Centralizes document storage, allows you to turn emails into tasks, calendar events, and discussion topics for collective action.
UI does its job, but is slightly maximalist, which makes app navigation more complex than it should be.
Free starter business tool suite for unlimited users.
Basic plan is $49 per month for 5 users.
Standard plan is $99 per month for 50 users.
Professional plan is $199 per month for 100 users.
Go to Bitrix24’s official website
8. Pipeliner CRM
Why we chose it:
Our final vendor on this collaborative CRM list is Pipeliner CRM. This one is especially effective for sales team collaboration.
Pipeliner CRM emphasizes visual collaboration, providing a clear and intuitive interface. It encourages teamwork by visualizing sales pipelines and customer interactions.
With a focus on dynamic, real-time data, Pipeliner CRM facilitates collaborative decision-making and ensures that teams stay aligned throughout the customer journey.
Pipeliner is built to meet today’s complex selling needs with real-time communication and collaboration. Pipeliner helps sales teams effortlessly view opportunities and their place in the sales process, as well as completed and in-progress tasks. You can create, import, save, and store collaborative documents in-app.
Sometimes a number of opportunities are auto-generated by accident and you have to delete them manually. Software and support are only available in English, which can be a dealbreaker for non-Anglophone companies.
Starter plan is $65 per user/per month, billed annually.
Business plan is $85 per user/per month, billed annually.
Enterprise plan is $115 per user/per month, billed annually.
Unlimited plan is $150 per user/per month, billed annually.
Go to Pipeliner CRM’s official website
Benefits of Collaborative CRM Tools
Let us go over in some detail the collaborative CRM benefits. While you will always see the advantages that a collaborative customer relationship management system supports over time, it’s helpful when choosing an app to get your priorities straight beforehand.
Improves Customer Service & Customer Interactions
Some customers prefer contact via email, others like social media, over the phone, or face-to-face. It can be hard to keep track of who likes what. One of the major advantages of collaborative CRM is that you can reach out through the correct, most effective communication platform automatically.
Customer Data Available Across Teams for Multi-Channel Interactions
Your customers interact with you in a multitude of ways over multiple channels. With collaborative CRM, you can combine data from all your communication channels and connect your call center activities with your other operations, delivering interactions that transcend any single department or team function.
Helps Retain Existing Clients
Collaborative CRM helps you form a comprehensive profile of a customer and their preferences for best practice. You’ll be able to reach out to them over the channel they prefer, armed with up-to-date information. This is a sure-fire way to drive customer retention and decrease churn.
Makes Your Team Work Better
Having customer interaction information in one place makes your organization smarter. Team members will be able to access individual case files in real-time. The need for face-to-face meetings is reduced, and mistakes and redundancies are stamped out, so service costs fall too.
Our Conclusion on Collaborative Customer Relationship Management
There is no best collaborative CRM per se. As you may expect, the best customer collaboration management system will vary depending on your needs, the size of your organization, and your budget.
Fortunately, there are several vendors offering free CRM software you can try out before making a final decision. Also, almost all vendors provide free trial versions, so you can kick plenty of tires before committing money to any of these online collaboration tools. Last but not least, you can give CRM open source software a try, just to make sure you test out all the options available.