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In the previous post, we examined the journey that a company must take in order to begin with CRM. As we mentioned many companies think of CRM only as a technology but companies must prepare themselves for CRM.

Let us take this opportunity to understand the different types of CRM and CRM areas.

CRM can be broadly classified into the following different types:

  • Operational CRM focuses on automating the business processes of the company with a view to capturing the data that is needed to make critical business decisions. Business processes such as Marketing Automation, Sales force Automation and Customer Service automation can be made more effective with the right CRM implementation.
  • Analytical CRM focuses on the analyses of the data captured by the operational CRM system. The sole use of analytical CRM is to develop, enhance and support decision making in the organization. An example is the customer dashboard which collects information from multiple systems and provides a consolidated view of the customer to the sales or service rep so that they can make informed decisions related to the customer.
  • Social or Collaborative CRM focuses on the aspects of communication between the teams in the company, between the company and its vendors, partners and distributors and between the company and its customers.
  • Strategic CRM helps the company improve customer knowledge and create strategies to attract, support, retain and create loyal customers.

It is important for organization to analyze and understand each area before implementing CRM.

The next question normally asked is which type of CRM to implement first. I would like to state here that while operational CRM is the obvious choice, in some manner all of them are interconnected.

Operational CRM is needed to automate the business processes. Salesforce achieves this through various modules such as Sales Cloud, Service Cloud and Marketing Automation via Exact Target or Pardot.

Analytical CRM has to be thought about while implementing operational CRM as the data has to be captured and entered from the very beginning and it is very harmful to adoption if the sales reps would have to go back and enter data needed for analytical decision making. They may not even enter the correct data as one can forget. Salesforce’s inherent reporting and dashboard building capabilities help to slice and dice the data and provide actionable insight to the business. Over and above the reporting capabilities of Salesforce, the new Wave analytics platform also helps to pull in data from peripheral systems such as finance and provide a more comprehensive view of customer.

Collaborative CRM is needed to get in touch with the customers right from the beginning and in today’s world social media cannot be ignored. Collaboration is also required within the company between teams to help achieve targets. Chatter is free from Salesforce and allows anyone within the company to collaborate as needed. Radian 6 , a company purchased by Salesforce helps provide excellent insight into the social platforms utilized by the company for e.g. Posts on Salesforce.

Initially everybody wanted to implement CRM but in 2006, suddenly CRM lost its focus. However, strategic CRM came to the forefront. Companies started to realize the value of listening to their internal customers and implementing solutions to their problems. This immediately boosted the value of CRM within companies. IF the users of the company start utilizing one CRM and inputting their data the insight provided can help the company take strategic steps for improvement, loyalty and customer retention thus helping the bottom line.

In conclusion, CRM has to begin with a focus on automating business processes while at the same time keeping in mind that one has to solve business problems and provide the data needed for decision making.

If you require additional information or some additional clarification

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by Deven Contractor

Chief Operating Officer at Rixyncs Inc
Deven is a business information technology leader with 18+ years of experience in CRM, ERP, BI and Operational systems. Currently working as COO at Rixyncs Inc, he is responsible for managing global roll outs of salesforce CRM. Previously, Deven worked at VP of technology at
This article was originally written by Deven to educate his audience on CRM.