Three Types of CRMs and When to Use Them

Customer relationship management is essential to building and maintaining relationships with clients. Most business owners and employees know the phrase, “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” Networking helps you broaden your horizons and meet potential coworkers and clients with experiences and insights that differ from yours. Unfortunately, it’s easy for some business owners to become consumed by networking and value quantity of clients over quality. If you find it challenging to keep track of your clients, coworkers, and their specific needs, you and your business may benefit from a personal CRM. As a business owner or even just a business employee, it makes sense that you want to expand your network. More satisfied clients lead to more profit and even more potential referrals. While it’s great to establish new clients, it’s a common misconception that more clients are always better.

In one business survey from Zendesk, 91% of respondents said they preferred supporting small businesses and would pay more for better customer service.  Based on these findings, it’s clear that customer service should always be a priority, even as your business continues to grow. It’s better to maintain loyal customers willing to pay more for excellent service rather than provide many customers with mediocre service. 

Always providing excellent customer service is great in theory, but how will you continue to grow your business and still offer your clients personalized attention? That’s where a personal CRM might help. A personal CRM combines all of your best networking and scheduling apps. It allows you to maintain an address book of your connections and network, a daily schedule, a calendar and event manager, and regular reminders that help you facilitate conversations, so you don’t miss a single connection. You can even take personal notes about your clients and coworkers, so you remember their birthdays and the interests that matter most to them. It’s like your own personal assistant. 

There are various types of personal CRM software, and which one you choose depends on the needs of your company and team.

1. Collaborative CRMs

A collaborative personal CRM is focused on connecting your team across departments and geographic locations. Most CRMs provide the ability to share information about clients, assignments, and other information. Like most CRMs, a collaborative CRM collects information about customer information and interactions with the added benefit of sharing that information across teams. Customer information might include sales and purchase history and preferred methods of contact. These types of CRMs are best suited to larger companies with multiple teams and companies that regularly onboard new employees. 

A CRM can help facilitate and accelerate the new employee’s learning period. It also allows you to collect personal information that will help you establish loyal customers and keep them satisfied for more extended periods of time. You can regularly update your clients’ goals and expectations as they change, and some CRMs even automatically update based on your clients’ social media information or publicity about them.

2. Operational CRMs

Operational CRMs are beneficial for companies aiming to track the complete customer journey. These can provide several automated features including marketing and sales automation. With these routine daily tasks handled by AI, your teams will have more time and energy to get to know your customers personally. 


Operational CRMs track your customers’ lifecycles to determine conversion and loyalty rates. This software could be especially helpful for customer service and marketing departments. In storing essential customer information, an operational personal CRM will eliminate the need for your customers to repeat their concerns and needs to multiple team members.

3. Analytical CRMs

Analytical CRMs are the most detailed and comprehensive CRMs available for your company’s use. Much like Google Analytics, these CRMs track leads, conversions, demographics, lifetime value of customers, common customer complaints, and the effectiveness of your resources and team members. These three types always have some amount of crossover, and analytical CRMs share many of the same benefits as operational and collaborative CRMs. 

Analytical CRMs, however, are best for larger companies with a lot of customer data. If your company is larger, you may not be able to sacrifice your employees’ time in order to personalize each customer’s experience, but you can certainly use a CRM to ensure that the needs of certain groups are being met.


While collaborative, operational, and analytical CRMs all accomplish the ultimate goal of tracking client information and facilitating better team communication, it’s important to consider the size of your company and your team’s needs. Are you a small company looking to provide each client with a personalized experience that makes them feel like everyone at your company knows their needs? A collaborative CRM is probably best. Are you a larger company with a lot of company data, metrics to track, and schedules to manage? An operational or analytical CRM may be a worthwhile choice. Whichever you choose, a CRM is sure to improve communication and efficiency for you and your company.

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