5 Types of CRM Software Systems & Their Benefits

Last Updated:Thursday, January 25, 2024

Whether you got a garage startup, budding small business, or massive global enterprise, your business will only grow by making use of great customer relationship management technology, or CRM tech.

But there are several main types of CRM. And while some basic CRM solutions include modules and tools to do all the various kinds of CRM work, one should familiarize oneself with the different kinds of CRM solutions. You’d be amazed at what you can achieve by leveraging customer data with the right CRM system, resulting in better leads, more sales, and top-grade customer satisfaction.


How many different types of CRM systems are there?

For those who are not familiar with customer relationship management and the many distributors and vendors making the best CRM solutions out there, perhaps you’ve at least heard the name Salesforce? While Salesforce covers most types of CRM modules, it’s wise to get a handle on the main types of customer relationship management all CRMs can do. The different CRM systems are:

  • Operational
  • Analytical
  • Collaborative
  • Campaign management
  • Strategic

We won’t go into the finer points of what is CRM here, but you are invited to check out our article about it, as well as the rest of our insightful pieces on the ins and outs of CRM and its many many vendors, including pros, cons and pricing plans. Now, time to go over the items in our list in more detail. Here are the common CRM systems:


What are the different types of CRM software & their benefits?

Let’s now turn to the many types of CRM softwares. As we’ll see, the group of CRM categories we will cover here include the most important types of CRMs on the market. 

These will include operational CRM, for running your business; analytical CRM, for measuring your success; collaborative CRM, to help manage teams; campaign management CRM, for all things marketing; and strategic CRMs, to plan new products, goods, services, or new business directions.

Most CRM solutions can't cover all aspects, but there’s one that’s worth your attention: GreenRope CRM. It claims it’s a one-stop-spot for all businesses because it integrates sales, marketing, customer service, and much more!

1. Operational CRM

First on the list is operational CRM. Operational customer relationship management is all about helping you streamline the activities of various departments, mainly marketing and sales, although customer support plays its role too. It allows you to take and organize all your customer interactions and turn that into clear and useful customer data.

This customer information is often collected by a marketing team, and it is the purpose of operational CRM to pass that data of those potential customers on to the sales team. This includes contact information when each contact was first made, via what platform or media touchpoints, and other demographic data on new customers like age, location, purchase history and browsing preferences. Operational CRM does much of the automations too, like sales automation and service automation.

Benefits of these types of CRM applications

The benefits of operational CRM are many and are hard to ignore. Customer satisfaction is heavily based on getting the most personalized experience across all touchpoints with your company. This leads to some of the most important parts of any business: expanding your network, getting an increase in sales and boosting profitability. Also, having better customer retention and forging deeper and longer relationships with each customer, not to mention getting more positive referrals. Operational CRM covers the basic contact management and interaction management functionalities. The various automations help save your team loads of time from mindless tasks, so they can put their best efforts into selling or providing support. With so many best small business CRM, companies of all sizes can afford to get one.

2. Analytical CRM

Next up among our types of CRM systems is analytical CRM. This is where you leverage the power of data mining. CRM solutions gather loads of information throughout the customer lifecycle for data analysis. From there you get reporting, which is often updated regularly in real time, which only further helps sales forecasting. Analytical CRM shows you the strong points and pain points of your whole business process. It assesses the success rates of marketing automation campaigns, the sales process, social media interactions, and even the performances of individual sales reps or customer service agents. Analytical CRM reports are often accessible by everyone in an operation, and can even be checked out on mobile devices while on the go. 

Benefits of these types of CRM applications

If you can’t imagine what the advantages are of analytics and reporting in a CRM solution, you’re not thinking hard enough. Your business needs to keep the pulse on every aspect of its operations, from marketing campaigns to sales lead management and beyond. Analytical CRM shows you where customer churn is happening so you can plug it up, or where your products are selling the best so you can focus more attention on those areas for cross selling and up selling. Lead scoring is one particularly useful tool to show you which contacts are more likely to buy something. Another benefit of CRM is that you can manage your salesperson or support team’s daily activities to provide the best resources to help them do their jobs.

3. Collaborative CRM

Any business or organization is only as good as its people are, that’s why collaborative CRM is crucial. Collaboration on CRM softwares lets teams work together on tasks and projects. It lets team leaders and managers keep track of their teams in both quick overview modes, or by drilling down into the details. Collaborative CRM lets team members communicate with one another via various channels not limited to emails, and phone calls, as most collaborative CRMs have internal chatting and note making. You can also often add other media to notes, like links, images or videos. Collaborative CRM lets managers assign roles and priority levels too. What’s more, collaborative CRMs are ideal for when you need to invite people outside your organization to chime in on a task or project. Document management is often included here as well, letting teams work together on shared docs from easily accessible places.

Benefits of these types of CRM applications

The pros of collaboration are very clear to anyone who has to work with teams, whether small or enterprise-level large. It saves people time by making each communication and note easy to find, either with searching or filtering. This is much more efficient than having to dig through email threads or text message archives. Everyone can get an idea of where their colleagues are at within group projects, which is key for dependent tasks. What’s more, with larger numbers of companies going for remote work setups, or even just distributed workforces with many offices, you lose none of that spirit of collaboration with a great collaborative CRM.

4. Campaign management CRM

If CRMs started off with sales teams, it was marketing which was the next department to really take advantage. Campaign management CRM is the module of customer relationship management that does all things marketing. It can help you plan, write and design marketing campaigns like email marketing campaigns and social media marketing campaigns. Channel management can show you the best times of day for posting on which platform. Campaign CRM collects data on every user who interacts with that campaign and prepares that data to become a potential lead for sales. Campaign management also comes with robust analytics and reporting. When it comes to marketing automations, this kind of CRM can include workflow templates or make it simple to set up your own. 

Benefits of these types of CRM applications

The best business models begin with the most suitable outreach for new contacts, and the best CRMs are equipped with campaign management tools to do just that. And yes, best free CRM software has these features, so you can take your campaign management to the next level

With campaign management CRM, you don’t just get any cold contacts, but you are already one step ahead by getting primed contacts who have already shown interest, and therefore, have a higher turnover rate. This also includes useful marketing attribution info to see how each contact came to be added to the CRM database. As so much of marketing is now based on a personalized experience, a properly planned email campaign or ad placed on a different channel can certainly help increase sales. 

5. Strategic CRM

Perhaps strategic CRM is the newest type of CRM system on the market. Strategic CRM tries to help you plan your company’s products, processes and overall customer experience by thinking from the customer and end user’s perspective. It can help make decisions regarding how a customer interacts with your store or website, what they are looking for in terms of products or special offers, and which direction your company should take when making strategic plans about the future. 

Benefits of these types of CRM applications

A great CRM for strategic planning will have tools and modules to help you with all your business decisions. It gets you added and deeper insights, not only in the ways customers interact with you and your company, but also what is happening out there in the larger business world. For example, it can help identify trends on social media or online shopping. Strategic CRM is all about the long run and helping businesses grow. While it may not be the first tool in your bag for getting more leads and winning more turnovers, it is a crucial tool for creating enduring and rewarding relationships with your customers and fans.


Which of the different kinds of CRM systems is right for you?

That wraps it up for our piece on the types of customer relationship management systems. Whether operational, analytical, collaborative, campaign management or strategic CRM, there’s little doubt: Better customer relationships mean better business. 

That means if you need to start with some basic CRM just to learn the ropes before advancing to specific types of CRMs, then you should go for it without delay, Practice makes perfect, and the more you use and try out CRM tools, the more you’ll learn about your company’s needs, strong points and pain points. Then, choosing the right kind of CRM will be a much simpler process, and you won’t end up with a platform with a lot of tools and features you don’t really need, or want to pay for.

What’s more, with free versions. free trials, and open source CRM, your excuses are limited to none. If you still have questions, check out the rest of our articles and reviews. Otherwise, time to get on the CRM train and start your successful CRM implementation!



Operational CRM vs analytical CRM, what’s the difference?

There is a slight difference in the focus between operational CRM and analytical CRM, though many operational CRMs include analytics as a feature. Operational CRM streamlines the business process between departments like marketing, sales and service. Analytical CRM uses data to provide business insights using clean reporting.


Is there any software that covers the needs of all CRM types?

Many of the best customer relationship management systems cover the needs of all CRM types. Most of the best types of CRMs have basic plans and extra modules which you can buy to cover the needs of a specific type of CRM, like collaborative or strategic planning.


What are the types of CRM strategies that can be utilized with these applications?

There are many types of CRM strategies. Automation strategies create workflows to save time on easy repetitive tasks. There are marketing strategies which help plan and execute great marketing material and aim it at the target audience. Sales strategies let you pick the perfect products for the right customers.