3 Major types of CRM Systems

Recently I got to befriend a student who was keen to learn a few nuances of Marketing. While interacting with him, he fired up a few questions on CRM. In this post, I thought of explaining the Major CRM Systems currently being used in the Industry.

CRM as you must be knowing stands for Customer Relationship Management. From Strategic perspective, CRM is a strategy for processes which involves managing our relationships with customers. This relationship is not just about maintaining database of customer details, rather it involves more of Customer Engagement.

Often, when the term CRM is used by Sales & Marketing professionals, they usually refer to CRM Systems. CRM Systems are basically the Tools or Softwares used by them which helps them execute their Customer Relationship Management strategy.

As per current Industry practices, CRM Systems have been categorized into 3 major types:


  1. Sales CRM
  2. Marketing CRM
  3. Service CRM
3 Types of CRM Systems


Let me talk about different Systems in detail:

1. Sales CRM

CRM for Sales comprises of applications which can help you in tasks involving sales force automation like Lead Management, Pipeline Management, Opportunity Management, Contact Management, Quote Creation, Invoicing, Billing, etc.

These applications takes care of managing your sales process from the stage of capturing the lead to the stage of closing the deal. Using the Lead Management and Pipeline Management, you can track the progress of your Deal through various stages which may involve Lead Identification, Lead Qualification, Requirement Discussion Meetings, Product Demos, Negotiations and Deal Closure.

Similarly Opportunity Management functionality can help you with assigning the deals to appropriate Sales Professional of your Team based on his expertise or geographical region. Contact Management functionality can help you manage the contact information of your Leads. This not only manage the basic details of your contacts, but also assist you with gathering information from their public social profiles which you can make use of while conversing with them to give your meetings a personal touch. This will help you build even better relationship with your customers.

2. Marketing CRM

CRM for Marketing comprises of applications which can help you with Marketing functions associated with your product which involve Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning.

This application stores details of your customer information. Using this application, you can better segment your customers based on specific demographic or behavioral factors in order to target them for certain marketing campaigns.

With the help of this application, you can send out mass marketing communications like Emails, SMS, Push Notifications, etc which are contextual in nature compared to old school methods where marketers used to bombard mass marketing mailers to their customers who are not having any relevance to the product being marketed.

Also, you can create event based triggers wherein your customers will receive promotional messages based on their activity triggers. For e.g. if your customer has been browsing Mobile Phones on your website since past few days, then you can send out an automated promotional mail to him involving Mobile Phones. This contextual marketing can help a long way in increasing conversion rates for businesses.

3. Service CRM

CRM for Service comprises of applications which can be used by Customer Service Professionals for better managing their service requests. These service requests may involve a new service request, complaints, feedbacks, concerns, queries, etc.

This application can help managing the tickets created by the customers, routing it to the right service staff, tracking the progress of the ticket, servicing the client, closing the ticket and recording the level of customer satisfaction on the resolution provided.

Service Managers can use this tool to manage his service team by effectively tracking their progress by monitoring the metrics. This enables him to identify the bottlenecks in service delivery by monitoring the ticket progress and stepping in at the right time when his staff really needs him.

Though these are the 3 major classifications, but it is highly likely that you may find instances of CRMs where there is no clear demarcation among the above mentioned categories. This can be attributed to the fact that different Industry Verticals have their different processes which are extremely complex, thus they tend to use a blend of all the above categories.

I hope this post was useful to you!

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