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What are the 3 types of CRM? Recommendations, examples and best practice tips

Not all CRM platforms are created equal.

Each CRM serves a different purpose and audience.

They also have different price points and a unique onboarding process that match individual needs. Finally, CRM systems differ in how they are built and how businesses can benefit from them.

If you’re just starting out in your journey to find the right CRM for your business, let us show you the 3 types of CRM – analytical, operational and collaborative and how they are different.

We’ll also share use cases and recommendations to help you decide.

The 3 types of CRM


The 3 types of CRM are analytical, operational and collaborative:

  • Analytical uses data as the foundation of the platform.
  • Operational is based around automating workload.
  • Collaborative breaks down silos.

Let’s take a closer look at each type of CRM.

1. Analytical CRM

An analytical CRM will help you gather data, insights and information for you to take action and fuel business growth.

Typically, an analytical CRM will include features such as:

  • OLAP (Online analytical processing): Organize large sets of data, simultaneously. It can also help you “predict the future” with your CRM, highlighting potential trends and opportunities.
  • Data warehouse: A hub that collects and archives data from multiple systems. Best used for organizing data that can be used in company-wide reports.
  • Data mining: Analyze data to solve business problems by identifying patterns and relationships.

Is an analytical CRM right for you?

An analytical CRM is best suited for businesses that are focused on data-driven decision making. The common users of an analytical CRM are data analysts, accountants and business intelligence managers, when the CRM database consists of thousands (or millions) of contacts.

Examples of an operational CRM include Zoho, Insightly and Bitrix24.

👉 How does an analytical CRM benefit sales, marketing and customer service teams?

  • Sales: Use the analytical CRM to compare the number of B2B sales closed over a certain period of time and understand what type of customer your business closes the most deals with.
  • Marketing: Use the analytical CRM to measure the effectiveness of your B2B marketing campaigns.
  • Customer service: Use the analytical CRM to gain insights into how frequent your customer communication is at certain points in time, which can give you a better understanding of when to allocate more resources.

2. Operational CRM

An operational CRM system will help you do more with less.

Operational CRM systems are designed to automate and streamline business processes to acquire new customers and improve customer retention.

Is an operational CRM right for you?

An operational CRM is best used for businesses that are short on resources and are looking for ways to minimize repetitive tasks through sales automation and marketing automation. The most common users for operational CRMs are customer-facing team, such as sales and marketing.

Examples of an operational CRM include HubSpot, Pipedrive and Salesforce.

👉 How does an operational CRM benefit sales, marketing and customer service teams?

  • Sales: Use the operational CRM to automate steps in your sales process, such as meetings and follow-up emails.
  • Marketing: Use the operational CRM to nurture leads that are in different stages of the buyer and customer journey.
  • Customer service: Use the operational CRM to send automated acknowledgement emails to customers or to automatically escalate urgent cases.

3. Collaborative CRM

A collaborative CRM will improve internal communication.

Not only will it remove silos between sales, marketing and customer service teams, it will also help you communicate externally, too, by creating a more seamless connection with your distributors, partners and suppliers.

Is a collaborative CRM right for you?

A collaborative CRM is best used for companies that are customer-centric and want to improve the customer experience. As a company-wide platform, a collaborative CRM is used by everyone in the company, not just customer-facing teams.

Examples of a collaborative CRM include Sage CRM, Dynamics 365 and Copper.

👉 How does a collaborative CRM benefit sales, marketing and customer service teams?

  • Sales: Use the collaborative CRM to assign new prospects to a specific marketing campaign based on input from sales meetings.
  • Marketing: Use the collaborative CRM to assign hot leads to specific sales reps based on email campaigns they have engaged with.
  • Customer service: Use the collaborative CRM to tag sales managers if a customer has contacted customer support to ask for more user licenses.

What type of CRM is SuperOffice CRM?

You might have noticed SuperOffice CRM is missing from the examples above.

The reason is simple – SuperOffice CRM is an analytical, operational and collaborative CRM. That’s what makes it unique!


Unlike other platforms, SuperOffice CRM was built for customer-facing teams from the beginning and is the only platform to use the same technology and UI for sales, marketing and service features (which makes user-onboarding quick!).

Is SuperOffice CRM right for you?

SuperOffice CRM is designed for companies that see CRM as critical to the success of their business. Most users that work with SuperOffice CRM are in sales, marketing and customer service. However, all SuperOffice employees, including people from IT, accounting, admin, and the C-suite – all use SuperOffice CRM on a daily basis!

👉 How does SuperOffice CRM benefit sales, marketing and customer service teams?

  • Analytical CRM: Manage your sales pipeline better with our out-of-the-box reports. Get insight into which deals are stalling and which prospects are closer to buying. Sales managers can get an overview of all sales reps performance with our CRM dashboards.
  • Operational CRM: Automate the lead sign up process in marketing from web forms, landing pages and email nurture sequences. No more manual and time-consuming email campaigns. Automate your communication while keeping it personal.
  • Collaborative CRM: Put the customer at the heart of your business and give everyone the same access to view engagement and communication history – giving everyone the context they need to deliver a better experience.


There are 3 types of CRM platforms.

You can choose from the analytical, operational or collaborative CRM to support your business.

  • Choose the analytical CRM if you want to get your hands on the most important metrics about your customers in order to make more strategic decisions.
  • Choose the operational CRM if you want to increase automation within your organization – whether in sales or marketing.
  • Choose the collaborative CRM you want to increase transparency of customer data across teams.

But, there’s a fourth option, too! 😉

Choose SuperOffice CRM if you want the best CRM software to help you:

  • Use analytics to drive smarter business decisions and take action.
  • Automate existing processes and cut down on time-consuming repetitive tasks.
  • Improve collaboration to eliminate silos and improve the customer experience.

So, which type of CRM are you leaning towards?

Want to learn more about SuperOffice CRM?

Book a 30-minute demo with one of our product experts here. We’ll walk you through the analytical, operational and collaborative parts of the CRM. Most importantly, we’ll show you how they all work together – because that’s how you use a CRM to grow your business!

Book a demo here

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