Customer relationship management (CRM) software is often differentiated by features built for specific jobs or departmental roles. The most popular CRMs focus on functionality for traditional salespeople, but there are several other types of CRM on the market. Many are designed with core functions that support analytics, team collaboration, and business operations in addition to lead management.
The Top 11 Types of CRM Software
|Types of CRMs||Best For|
Managers who need information like performance metrics and dashboards for making data-driven decisions
Businesses that rely on cross-departmental teams to close deals and manage projects
Companies wanting to oversee and track business functions across departments within their CRM
Sales professionals needing to manage pipeline stages and perform sales activities like appointments and quotes
Teams that execute and track marketing campaigns and link them to leads and contacts
Sales pros and business managers whose product offerings include managing post-sale projects
Businesses that coordinate and execute inbound or outbound calling within their CRM
Organizations wanting one CRM to manage and systematize customer service and support
Companies that sell products directly to consumers or businesses wanting a transaction-based CRM
Salespeople needing to access contacts, view reports, and perform sales activities from anywhere
Specialized organizations requiring a CRM that addresses unique industry needs
Last updated on 04/25/20
What it does: Collects and uses data to forecast sales and help managers make business decisions
Reporting and analytics-focused CRM software offers advanced dashboard or lead scoring features that help you create reports to forecast sales or help you identify areas of opportunity within your sales process. It works by taking data from your sales activities and compiling it into visual reports, making it easy to spot trends.
Analytical CRM Key Features
- Sales forecasting
- Analytics and reporting
- Automatic report generation and sharing
For more insight into how this type of CRM can grow your business, read our comprehensive guide to CRM analytics.
What it does: Provides business owners and teams a central location for collaborative selling and post-sale project management.
Collaborative CRM is software that enables teams to centralize communications and share files while working to close an opportunity or working together on a post-sale project. Tools like group emails, tagging, group task management and assignment, and real-time messaging keep teams across your organization up to speed with what’s going on with a deal or project.
Collaborative CRM Key Features
- Group communication tools (chat, team inbox, and so on)
- Document sharing
- Video calls
- Work groups
- Ticket sharing
To learn more, read our article on how CRM software can benefit your business.
What it does: Manages and tracks sales and business functions like human resources (HR), accounting, inventory, support, and projects in one system.
Operational CRM software is used by business managers needing a complete view of their organization to make decisions as well as other business professionals needing one platform to perform their duties. It works by incorporating features like QuickBooks or Xero integration to include payment features and payment data. It also lets users generate reports based on data from major business areas that managers can use to make business decisions.
Operational CRM Key Features
- Accounting and QuickBooks integration
- Customer support features
- HR functionality
- Project management
- Task and workflow automation
- Marketing and sales functionality
To find out more about operational CRM integrations, read our guide on the best CRMs that integrate with Xero.
Sales Management CRM
What it does: Helps sales professionals track and document tasks like prospecting and lead qualifications, as well as manage sales pipelines.
Sales-focused CRM software and related sales management apps not only allow you to manage your leads, contacts, and pipelines, they also facilitate sales activities like cold calling and emailing. You can also set up workflows for repetitive sales tasks to increase efficiency. It works by having features that keep important sales tasks front and center for sales professionals using features like activity reminders, task assignments, and visual pipelines.
Sales Management CRM Features
- Sales and activity monitoring
- Goal and activity management and tracking
- Roles and permissions
- Forecasting, metrics, and reporting
- Territory management
- Lead scoring
Check out our article on sales management CRMs to learn more.
What it does: Unifies sales and marketing efforts with contact, lead, and data management tools.
Marketing-focused CRM software are great examples of lead management software. They enable teams to perform and track lead generation activities, including mass email campaigns, social media interactions, and mobile marketing campaigns, to give salespeople deep insight into marketing campaigns. Marketing CRM can also help track offers customers and prospects may be eligible for, allowing sales and marketing to coordinate efforts and work together to close deals.
Marketing CRM Key Features
- Marketing automation tools
- Email campaign integration
- Web-to-lead forms
- Voicemail campaigns
- Social media engagement monitoring
- Text and SMS campaigns
Learn more about how CRM and marketing automation tools can benefit your small business.
Project Management CRM
What it does: Assists with presale activity and post-sale project tracking and monitoring.
Project management CRMs help sales teams manage customer relationships through long sales cycles and successfully handle post-sale projects. By allowing salespeople to convert won opportunities into projects, pre- and post-sale activities are stored in one centralized location, making them particularly informative examples of customer database software.
Project Management CRM Key Features
- Opportunity-to-project conversion
- Task creation and reminders
- Milestone tracking
- Sales data-to-project transition
For more information, read our guide to the best CRMs for project management.
What it does: Provides a central location for inbound or outbound calls directly within the CRM.
Telesales CRM software allows sales professionals and business owners to make, receive, track, and log calls from within the CRM. With its built-in or integrated phone system, calls can be placed without leaving the CRM platform, making them a versatile piece of contact management software. Telesales CRM typically offer advanced features like call recording, voicemail setup, call transfers, call routing, and phone number assignment.
Telesales CRM Features
- Built-in or integrated voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP)
- Voicemail features
- Call recording
- Call transfers and routing
- Phone number assignment
Learn more about what customer relationship management software can do for your business with our ultimate guide to CRM software.
Customer Service & Support CRM
What it does: Provides sales and customer service professionals a complete view of the customer journey in a centralized location.
Customer service and support CRMs save teams time by housing both sales and service data in a single system. This type of CRM software is most often used by businesses managing long-term relationships with repeat customers, such as field service management companies or those offering tech support.
Customer Service & Support CRM Features
- Help desk and ticketing functionality
- Call center tools
- Team collaboration features
- Support automation
- Support analytics
Read more about this type of software in our guide to customer service and support CRMs.
What it does: Companies that sell and ship products and also manage inventory use this type of CRM to complete and document transactions directly in the customer management system.
An ecommerce CRM enables product-based businesses to facilitate transactions within the CRM. It works by combining traditional CRM features with the ability to process, ship, and track customer orders. This type of CRM helps ecommerce businesses manage inventory, supplier relationships, price lists, and customer service, along with lead tracking.
Ecommerce CRM Key Features
- Sales channel integrations (Shopify, Amazon, and so on)
- Shipping management
- Returns management
- Inventory management
- Order management
For more, read our useful guide to ecommerce CRM solutions.
What it does: Allows traveling and remote sales people to manage contacts, access reports, and perform sales activities on the go.
Mobile CRM is software that enables field-based sales teams to access CRM data and perform sales activities on the go with a smartphone app that gives salespeople the same or very similar functionality as their desktop CRM. Mobile salespeople can send emails, make and log calls, access reporting, and even receive assigned leads while in the field. Some mobile CRMs also include contact geolocation and business card scanners.
Mobile CRM Key Features
- Geolocation and maps
- Calendar sync
- Reporting and metrics access
- Sales activity performance and tracking
- Lead and contact management
Take a look at our guide to the best mobile CRM apps to learn more.
What it does: These specialized CRMs are designed to meet the unique needs of specific industries, like insurance, real estate, and construction.
Industry-specific CRM software is created to help salespeople and business managers navigate sales and relationship management within specific industries. It offers features and functionality that are unique to an industry that may not necessarily be in others and are often built by professionals with real-world industry experience.
Industry-specific CRM Key Features
- Customized features meeting industry-specific business and customer needs
- Industry-specific tools to save time
- Industry-specific compliance templates
Check out our article on industry-specific CRMs to learn more.
CRM costs vary from free to $99 or more per user, per month. A few CRM solutions offer a single monthly subscription price with access to all features, but tiered pricing with combinations of features is more common so companies pay only for the set of features they need. Some CRM vendors offer free plans, but they are often limited to a small number of users, features, or both.
For an in-depth look at customer relationship management software features, integrations, strategies, and implementation, download our free CRM e-book today.
Examples of CRM Types
Insightly includes the ability to automatically convert an opportunity to a project as well as task tracking, assignment, notification, and milestone creation and management. Pricing ranges from free to $99 per user, per month.
HubSpot CRM offers a variety of reports and analytics, including lead sourcing reports that tell you where your best leads come from and revenue summary reports that tell you where your revenue comes from. Pricing ranges from free to $50 per user, per month.
Freshsales includes collaboration features and integrations like territory call transfers and team phone numbers. Another collaborative Freshworks product includes Freshdesk, which allows teams to resolve support issues. Prices range from free to $49 per user, per month.
Agile CRM is an end-to-end solution that includes QuickBooks integration; you can manage invoices and payments as well as sales tools to help manage your pipeline, marking tools like landing pages, and functionality to manage help desk tasks. Pricing ranges from free to $29.99 per user, per month.
Pipedrive’s mobile app includes map features that show nearby prospects and customers and provides directions from your location as well as mobile contact and lead management. Pricing ranges from $12.50 to $49.90 per user, per month.
There are thousands of CRMs available in the market and many provide specific functionality beyond lead and deal management. As a result, while all businesses benefit from using CRM software, some CRMs are more suitable for a business than others. Understanding the available types of CRM will help you save time as this allows you to refine your search when shopping for a new solution. Luckily, whether it’s activity or industry-specific, there is a CRM that will help you meet your sales and customer relationship goals.