6 Types of CRM Systems with Pros and Cons for Each

customer relationship management crm

6 Types of CRM Systems with Pros and Cons for Each

Business owners understand the importance of customer retention for their brand’s success. Delighted customers will not only continue to use your services but also spread the word about them to friends and potential new clients.

In fact, statistics show that 70% of buying experiences depend on how they are treated. This goes from how fast they are served to turnaround times and efficiency.

It is now easy to improve customer satisfaction with various CRM tools. These technological solutions enable you to supervise all aspects of customer interactions and manage their data using one central source. The outcome is swifter communication response times for a more streamlined experience.

Let’s break down the 6 types of CRM systems to get you started!

What is a CRM System?

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is software that simplifies business operations by gathering customer data on a common platform, helping to improve customer interactions and sales. Business owners can view and follow up on all customer interactions, draw analysis, and deduce useful insights to propel the business forward. CRM combines strategies, practices, and technologies for analyzing customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle.

There are several types of CRM systems available in the market. Below are some of the most common types.

Operational CRM

Operational CRM is commonly referred to as front-end client handling. It is a CRM platform designed to streamline companies’ sales initiatives, marketing activities, and customer support services. It streamlines these activities into one system while collecting all customer, leads, and employee data in one shared database.

Sales reps using operational CRM can quickly identify leads and convert them to customers without spending too much time researching prospects. They can also send targeted messages directly to those most likely to buy. They can also use it to respond more quickly to customer inquiries, raise tickets, and resolve problems more efficiently.

Better still, this system gives access to interaction history for an in-depth view of each customer and their needs. It also creates and updates billing information on customers’ behalf and creates invoices with customer details included.

The best operational CRMs typically feature marketing, sales, and customer service automation functions. When all these are automated, your employees are freed up for more creative or personal aspects of their work. These features may also allow for cost reduction by offloading some tasks that they would normally perform manually. Operational CRM solutions can be precious to small businesses that want to enhance customer service performance and streamline operations.


  • Improved sales
  • Better customer service


  • High initial costs
  • Eliminate the human element
  • Security threats
content management system crm
Operational CRM systems are referred to as “front-end client handling.”

Analytical CRM

Analytical CRM software uses analytics to provide businesses with valuable customer data. This enables them to generate reports that provide insight and enhance sales, marketing, and customer service practices.

The best analytical CRM solutions enable users to crunch numbers quickly and analyze data in easily consumable graphs, reports, and dashboards. As a result, users get crucial information that will drive success for their businesses. With such information at their fingertips, successful decisions can be made that ensure business growth. This can assist in providing products and services tailored specifically to client needs and building lasting relationships.

Your marketing efforts can also benefit from using analytics software as it enables you to track campaign performance. Analytics solutions may provide data on everything from email campaign performance to social media reach and demographics.

By predicting customer behavior, businesses can plan their finances and invest more resources in products or services that sell the most. Also, from how customers respond to various marketing campaigns, you can make an informed decision about the best campaigns to focus on.


  • Boosts sales performance
  • Improves lead conversion rate
  • Can predict customers’ behavior based on their buying habits
  • Better financial planning


  • Costly
  • Required trained personnel to manage
  • Predictions may not be 100% accurate
content management system crm
Analytical CRM is used to, well, gather and analyze data about your customers (or potential ones!).

Collaborative CRM

Collaborative CRM  is all about collaboration. Its basis is the synchronization of how customers and businesses interact. By integrating communication channels, businesses are bound to grow their customer retention. The main idea is to make communication between companies and their clients seamless. Of course, this is a win-win situation because customers’ needs are taken care of and companies retain their loyal customers.

The collaborative CRM system brings various departments on board, including marketing, finance, sales, and any other department that works with customer data. When these departments share customer information, they can deduce key inferences they need for daily operations. For instance, all the information about customers’ buying habits and preferred products gives insights to the marketing department so that they can create specialized marketing campaigns targeting those customers. Any price-related information can be directed to finance.

For instance, if most customers complain about price variation over similar products, the finance department can review the pricing details after detailed market research. With this information, they can develop suitable pricing plans that will be efficient. The same applies to services the customer would want from the company and are unavailable. After analyzing its viability, the related department can pick that up and install the particular service in the company’s offerings.

The interaction part of collaborative CRM involves setting up communication channels through phone calls, emails, short messages, or one-on-one interactions. Once the communication media has been identified, the channels must be managed so that every customer feedback is received and acted upon.


  • Gives customers channels for communication
  • Provides comprehensive and well-explained solutions
  • Online and web interactions reduce costs
  • Up-selling opportunities for existing clients


  • Initial costs may be high
  • Lack of commitment from teams may complicate the implementation process
content management system crm
Collaboration CRM involves various departments to address customers’ needs.

Strategic CRM

Strategic CRM is the backbone of customer-centric business culture. If you intend to win and keep customers, you must deliver more value than your top competitors. This is where a strategic CRM comes in.

To create a customer-centric culture, you need consistent leadership and an organized structure that will reflect what the company stands for. Strategic CRM is based on acquiring and maintaining valuable customers by prioritizing and investing resources in what enhances customer value.

By collecting customer information and applying it, businesses can come up will valuable insights that promote customer satisfaction. Strategic CRM also considers employees as a critical part of customer centrism, which involves employee reward programs. When the employees are motivated, they deliver value for customers and the overall business performance. While most businesses claim to be customer focused, only a few have implemented strategies to achieve this goal. It goes beyond a mission statement to practical steps to actualize the process. A strong project team is crucial in strategic CRM to facilitate the entire process.

In most cases, the team advances the organization’s culture and efficiently addresses all aspects of the strategy. The management team gives leadership, while the technical team automates and manages the CRM system. Should a challenge arise with the software, the technical team works around the clock to ensure the issue is resolved and the customer needs are met without delay. The final users of the CRM systems are the sales and marketing teams. They provide useful feedback to customers and report any challenges they may experience with the system.


  • Streamlines all businesses processes to satisfy customers
  • Organizes everything in one platform facilitating team collaboration
  • Increases productivity


  • High cost of implementation
  • Teams require special training, which may be time-consuming
  • If leaders are not committed to it, it may not work as intended
content management system crm
Strategic CRM is focused on bringing value to customers.

Mobile CRM

Mobile CRM, as the name suggests, allows people to work remotely using mobile devices. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, most companies adopted remote working to comply with the regulations while maintaining business operations. Even during the post-pandemic period, the possibility of working away from the office has remained. As a result, mobile CRM has significantly helped businesses access customer information from across the globe. This promotes a collaborative workspace as well as great flexibility.

Mobile CRMs are easy to navigate, so one can log in and get to work within the shortest time, regardless of their location. When purchasing a mobile CRM, you must ensure it has all the necessary features and a robust security system. Since mobile CRMs are built for mobile platforms, they easily integrate with mobile devices.

Besides the flexibility it offers the employees, the customers benefit through getting services all the time. Any changes and updates within the company are received in real-time, enhancing team collaboration through up-to-date information. The mobile CRM is not only for people working directly with customers. Other teams can use the platform to generate reports and manage their work schedules.


  • Real-time collaboration of team on the go
  • The flexibility of working in different locations
  • Added productivity tools for better performance.
  • Access to information even outside working schedules


  • Risk of data theft
  • Privacy and compliance concerns of data in handheld devices.
content management system crm
Mobile CRM is designed to accommodate mobile (or remote) work.

Social CRM

Social CRM integrates social media channels into other CRM platforms to provide holistic customer support across all formats. Social media is becoming a crucial platform for businesses to advertise and gather customer data. Traditional channels are almost becoming dispensable because of social media’s influence.

You can interact with customers on these platforms and get their feedback about your products and services. With social media, you can gather invaluable insights that you can use to improve your products and services to attract a more extensive client base.

With technological changes, customers expect businesses to be available in all communication channels and respond promptly to all the issues they raise on these platforms. This gives personalized experiences, which are crucial for customer retention. Customers will want to shop where they are valued and recognized. Customers who require prompt feedback have used platforms like Twitter because businesses have embraced social media interactions.

When customers are satisfied with the turnaround time and the quality of help they get on social media, they are likely to leave a positive review or recommend the company to others.


  • Reaches customers in the platforms they are familiar with
  • Personalized customer relations
  • Resolve issues promptly when customers raise them on social media
  • Improves brand reputation
  • Possibility of growth and increased sales
  • Exposure to a wider client base


  • High initial costs
  • Risk of malicious attacks
  • Uncoordinated management may ruin brand reputation
customer relationship management crm
Social CRM refers to CRM systems that are integrated with social media channels.

Bottom Line

CRM systems are crucial tools for the day-to-day operations of every business. Besides improving customer experience, they have automated most of the processes. This frees the employees up to focus on other crucial business functions. When your customers are satisfied, you are guaranteed that they will stay and that your sales will improve.

Although some of these CRM systems have an initial cost, the benefits outweigh the cost factor. Whichever way you look at it, a CRM system is a worthy investment that will drive your business functions and boost your overall performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a CRM system?

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a software application that helps organizations manage their interactions with customers and potential customers. It typically includes features for managing customer data, sales automation, marketing automation, and customer service.

What are the benefits of using a CRM system?

Using a CRM system can help organizations improve customer satisfaction, increase sales and revenue, streamline customer service, and gain insights into customer behavior and preferences.

How do I choose the right CRM system for my organization?

To choose the right CRM system, you should consider factors such as your organization’s size, industry, budget, and specific needs and requirements. You should also look for a system that is easy to use, customizable, and scalable.

How do I implement a CRM system?

Implementing a CRM system involves several steps, including identifying your business requirements, selecting a system, customizing the system to meet your needs, training your employees, and integrating the system with other business applications.

How can I ensure the success of my CRM system?

To ensure the success of your CRM system, you should establish clear goals and objectives, involve key stakeholders in the planning process, provide adequate training and support for your employees, and regularly measure and analyze the system’s performance.

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