As an owner of a growing business, you understand that building relationships with your customers is essential for success. This is where a good CRM can make a difference. But what is a CRM system? CRM stands for customer relationship management and is a technology designed to help your business manage all aspects of your customer relationships and interactions, as well as increase revenue, improve customer satisfaction, optimize and automate marketing, increase collaboration, boost productivity, and improve data insight and analytics.

But not all CRM systems are the same. The different CRM systems best suited for your business will depend on your business goals.

Different types of CRM software

CRM business solutions come in various types based on the priority of function available. Before searching for the CRM that will best match your business, it is important to consider your priority functions and what you hope to gain from your new CRM.

Here we dive into the different CRM types, what they mean, and some CRM examples on the current market. You will see that many CRMs can fall into multiple categories.

1) Operational CRM

Operational CRMs focus on the direct interactions between your business and your customers, with the ultimate goal of cultivating strong relationships. Main functionality focuses on maintaining customer records, capturing and verifying customer information, and ensuring that customers are routed to the correct business team member. Operational systems include:

  • Contact management: Maintaining a comprehensive record of all your customer and contact information in one central location that can be accessed by all team members
  • Salesforce automation: assigning tasks to the correct team members
  • Marketing automation: automating tasks such as lead capture, tracking, and automating follow-up emails, allowing team members to focus on other areas of customer support
  • Lead scoring: Automatically scores leads as they enter your sales pipeline, enabling team members to prioritize their efforts

Operational CRM tool example

Salesforce CRM is probably the best-known and easy-to-use operational CRM tool for small and large businesses. With Salesforce CRM, you receive a wealth of tools designed to nurture customer relationships and boost productivity. This software allows you to track all customer information and interactions in one location. In addition, with lead management, marketing automation, and sales data, you can follow leads through to conversion. Team members can access the software whether they are on location or on the road with the mobile app for Android and iOS, allowing for real-time information on the go.

Salesforce is easy to use, but if you are a new business, you may find it provides more features than you really need. They offer four different pricing plans based on your business size and needs, with the basic program starting at $25 per month per user.

2) Inbound CRM

If your business runs an inbound sales model, meaning the customer initiates contact with your business first through methods such as a call center or a website, then an inbound CRM is the solution for you. An inbound CRM integrates with your inbound lead sources and offers improved lead management, personalized customer experiences and lead nurturing, automated follow-ups, identifying upselling and cross-selling opportunities, and helps shorten the sales cycle.

Inbound CRM tool example

HubSpot CRM is one of the leading CRM apps currently available and offers a great inbound CRM solution. It offers an easy-to-use system and is a great fit for businesses just dipping their feet into the world of CRM. While they offer premium services, their basic, fully functional CRM is free and easy to get started.

3) Sales CRM

A sales CRM focuses on managing all customer touchpoints throughout the sales process, including both direct and indirect. This type of CRM will track customer communication, organize customer data, send reminders for follow-ups, and more. The goal of a sales CRM is to simplify the process of lead nurturing and identify potential bottlenecks in the sales process. With sales CRM, you can expect to find sales funnel analysis, conversion reports, forecasted sales, activity overview reports, and more.

Sales CRM tool example

Pipedrive CRM is a sales CRM that focuses on the function of your sales representatives. Pipedrive is an easy-to-use CRM that offers a wide range of customization options, including an unlimited number of custom deal pipeline creations and customizable reports. Pipedrive packages begin at $18 per month per user.

4) Analytical CRM

Analytical CRM tools allow businesses to collect customer interaction data to increase customer satisfaction and improve customer retention rates. While most CRM tools offer some sort of analytics, the analytical CRM will offer additional resources such as data warehousing/data mining and online analytical processing (OLAP).

Analytical CRM tool example

In addition to being a great operational CRM, HubSpot also provides a built-in reporting dashboard and analytics feature that allows you to see a snapshot of your entire sales funnel. In addition, you can combine HubSpot CRM with the Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, and even the Service Hub to increase and add additional analytic capabilities.

5) Collaborative CRM

If your business contains multiple different teams, a collaborative CRM may be the perfect solution to help boost productivity and customer satisfaction. The idea of collaborative CRM is to allow for the seamless share of data between multiple departments, ensuring that your customers receive the best possible service from all touchpoints they interact with. A collaborative CRM will integrate customer information, processes, strategies, and insight together in order to more efficiently and effectively serve your customers. Features of a CRM will include interaction management and channel management.

Collaborative CRM tool example

Pipedrive CRM understands that many businesses rely on multiple teams to process different aspects of the sales pipeline. In addition to allowing data to be shared with all users, Pipedrive allows for communication tracking between department members, task delegation based on team member strengths, skillsets, and departments, as well as the ability to track lead flow through their innovative dashboard. Pipedrive packages begin at $18 per month per user.

6) Fully integrated CRM

A fully integrated CRM encompasses all the steps involved in the customer lifecycle. CRM is simply a customer management solution for many businesses, and they utilize different software for marketing and post-sale interactions, such as complaints or returns. With a fully integrated CRM, you don’t need to worry about additional software as everything can be managed within one platform.

Fully integrated CRM tool example

Better Agency is a sales-driven association management system (AMS) and a CRM all in one powerful tool. It allows you to automate the entire customer lifecycle, including sales, service, renewals, and claims. With Better Agency, you no longer need to try and find compatible tools that work together because you have everything you need in one system. This easy-to-use CRM tool starts at $449 per month for 1-3 users.

Are you an insurance agent? Find the right CRM for your business needs.

Navigating the world of CRM tools can be confusing and intimidating. However, the right CRM can make a world of difference for your insurance agency’s success. Our team at Better Agency is committed to helping insurance agents find the perfect insurance CRM solution and can help you better understand what we offer.

To learn more, schedule a Discovery Call today with Better Agency today and see what a fully integrated CRM can do for you.