Customer relationship management (CRM) software are tools that allow users to input, store, and manage information about leads and customer interactions. Industry CRMs provide additional functionality to help specific businesses types move customers and prospects through sales cycles more quickly. Costs typically range from free to $100 or more per user, per month.
Types of Industry-specific CRM & Their Benefits
All CRM software includes features like contact management, opportunity management, and lead and prospect management functionality, which help businesses personalize communications throughout the sales life cycle. However, some industries have needs that benefit from using a version of the software with added functionality:
Business types that benefit from industry-specific CRMs include:
- Auto dealerships: Industry-specific CRMs incorporate customer finance and dealership management software (DMS) tools in one platform.
- Real estate and mortgage companies: CRMs designed for this industry add in listing and advanced document management features.
- Insurance agencies: Software for insurance companies typically feature e-applications and e-policy tools to enhance agent productivity.
- Construction companies: CRMs for construction include project, proposal, and work order management.
- Hospitality businesses: Hospitality CRMs include event, proposal, and document management in addition to tools to track customer interactions.
- Startups: These CRMs are typically scalable, with low cost of entry or feature-rich for one or two users.
- Business-to-business (B2B) organizations: B2B CRMs give businesses the ability to manage multiple contact relationships organized by account.
- Business-to-consumer (B2C) retailers and call centers: These CRMs place an emphasis on functionality designed to manage leads and direct customer engagement sales channels for any industry.
Industry-specific CRMs are typically more expensive compared to more general-purpose software. Therefore, it is important to consider whether the added functionality outweighs the added cost for your specific business. Examples of costs you can expect to pay, and what you get for your investment per industry, are as follows:
Auto Dealership CRM
Price: From $299 per month
Automotive CRM software is designed for dealerships with aggressive lead generation and post-sale service strategies. Benefits include enabling sales and service teams to close deals, promote service and repeat business, and manage customer finance. Standard features include dealer management system (DMS) integration and inventory management tools. Check out our guide to the best automotive CRM if this industry solution makes sense for you.
Real Estate & Mortgage CRM
Price: Free to $100 per user, per month
Real estate CRM software is used by brokers and agencies wanting to generate leads and manage long sales cycles. Most include real estate features like listing management and marketing automation tools. Learn more with our useful guide to the best real estate CRMs. If you’re looking for a no-cost solution, check out our article on free real estate CRMs.
Similarly, mortgage CRM software helps loan officers and mortgage companies manage relationships with customers, prospects, and referrals from partners like real estate agents. Features include automated emails or text messages that provide updates throughout the loan process and after closing to encourage repeat business.
Price: $35 to $300 per month
Insurance professionals use insurance CRM to manage and perform sales and marketing activities as well as to link insurance documents to customers in one platform. Many offer specialized features like e-applications and policies. Some insurance CRM providers also include built-in business phone systems, advanced lead management features, and advanced marketing automation tools.
Price: $25 to $99 per user, per month
Construction CRM software is for building companies that want a single platform to engage prospects and manage customers and projects, and also need features that help manage bid requests and project management tasks. There are dozens of CRMs for the construction industry, from those focused on commercial projects to those doing home remodeling.
Price: From $129 per month
Hospitality CRM software helps hotels, restaurants, catering, and event planning companies manage current customers and prospects by providing a single platform to engage prospects, fulfill catering orders, and manage events and guest relationships. Common features include order processing, digital proposal creation, and more. CRMs for hospitality address a range of needs from catering to assisting professionals who produce and manage events.
Price: Free to $100 per user, per month
Startup CRM software is critical for businesses in any industry that expects accelerated growth. Specialized features include outreach tools like a built-in phone system, email campaign features, advanced lead management, and reporting tools. Learn more by checking out our guide to CRM for startups.
Freelancers can also often benefit from these types of CRM as they also often give teams of one to two users access to more features in their starter plan than other types of CRMs. You can visit our guide on the best CRM for freelancers to learn more.
Business-to-Business (B2B) CRM
Price: Free to $79 per user, per month
B2B CRM software helps businesses manage relationships with customers and prospects who buy from their companies. This industry-specific CRM can also sometimes be referred to as account management software because it places an emphasis on tools that help you manage deals and build long-term relationships with multiple contacts within a single account. This emphasis is important because B2B buying decisions are often team efforts.
However, in addition to account management, B2B CRMs typically include lead and contact enrichment and advanced tools for outreach tools, pipeline management, and workflow automation. As a result, B2B software is particularly beneficial for consultants, agencies, and financial advisors.
Business-to-Consumer (B2C) & Call Center CRM
Price: Free to $199 per month
Like B2B CRM software, B2C CRM and call center software help businesses manage relationships with customers and prospects, and also invoicing and additional direct communication tools. B2C CRM for retailers typically feature tools to help you manage products like price books and inventory management, but may also include specific functionality to help with ecommerce transactions.
Call center CRM software offers specialized features to help agents better engage with customers and prospects by phone or other call center messaging channels. These tools often provide built-in dialers and dashboards to track metrics related to agent performance (like length of call) in addition to tracking email or live chat interactions.
A version of this type of CRM is also available specifically for nonprofits. These CRMs often combine the benefits of a retail CRM (such as online order management) with built-in dialers or tools to track events or a donor’s giving habits.
Why Use an Industry-specific CRM?
The specialized features of industry-specific CRMs can be very useful since they’re designed to address the unique needs of your business and teams. They streamline workflows and improve productivity, yet industry-specific CRMs also have their drawbacks. Chief among them is the financial impact that can occur if your industry’s needs or requirements change significantly enough to render your specialized CRM defunct.
When deciding between an industry-specific and all-purpose CRM, ask yourself these questions:
- Will we see enough return on investment to warrant the higher price of an industry-specific CRM?
- Are there more generic CRM software options on the market that can accommodate the level of customization we require?
- Do we have the budget to purchase a new CRM solution if industry changes render our current choice obsolete?
- Are there any free CRM solutions with adaptable features that we can try before investing in a platform designed just for our industry?
You may learn that your business is better off choosing an all-purpose CRM with customizable features that you can tailor to the distinct needs of your company and teams. In addition to being a lower-cost alternative, this option also allows you to adjust or build onto your CRM’s capabilities as your organization, and perhaps even your industry, changes over time.
For example, a general purpose CRM like HubSpot offers features and tools that nearly every industry will find useful for free. Even better, there are no user limits, and the software integrates with several other tools allowing the CRM to grow with you. However, the CRM’s core features include contact management tools, reporting, and email templates, making it a great for lead generation right out the box. Visit HubSpot’s website to learn more.
Businesses with more than one customer, managing multiple internal and external relationships, or operating within a major industry where relationships are key to sales and product delivery should use a CRM solution. A CRM, whether it is industry-specific or general purpose will help you keep track of important interactions with their customers, prospects, partners, vendors, and internal teams so that you can close more deals and delight more customers.