Main types of CRM systems

We often overlook the daily management difficulties nonprofits face with the amount of data they have to deal with. Technological evolution is able to simplify this management thanks to solutions such as CRM. We want to explain what types of CRM are available on the market and what their focus is respectively.

Do you want to know about the different types of crm systems and how they can help nonprofits? See the difference between private and open source crm's.

Most common CRM classification

The needs of each sector require specific types of CRM. It is not the same to have to manage a real estate company, a financial services company or a non-profit organization. Each has specific customer relationships and even an end goal. For this reason, there are specialized CRMs for different sectors, including CRMs for NGOs. All of them fit into one of the sections of the following classification:
  • Collaborative CRM. This is a type of CRM in which sales, marketing and service departments share data with each other. In this way, efficient communication and interaction is established between the backbone divisions of the organization, synchronizing all user information. 
  • Analytical CRM. It is especially focused on the analysis of the data gathered, which allows to anticipate behavioral patterns. This CRM houses historical and current data in one place. After examining the data, it facilitates the development of strategies for retaining and attracting new users, and user profiles are precisely defined.
  • Operational CRM. Its ultimate goal is to support the organization’s operations. All the information is centralized in the same space and is available to the departments interested in it. The idea is to simplify the companies’ business procedures. The automation of repetitive and low value-added work is one of the main purposes of these CRMs. Thus, they automate processes such as the creation of sales records or the sending of e-mails.

Private or open source CRM?

Another possible classification leads us to distinguish two types of CRM. Those that are private software or closed source and those that are free software or open source. The first ones require to stick to the features with which the software was programmed. However, the latter can be modified and adapted to particular demands.An open source CRM will allow you to manage the relationship with users depending on how you program it. That is, it is a software that has pre-configured functions that are modifiable, that supports extensions and even changes to the source code.These types of CRM are especially useful for Third Sector organizations, as their flexibility fits like a glove to different organizational models. A good example is CiviCRM, a free, open source and easy to use software that has been trusted by small associations as well as large NGOs such as Amnesty International, Doctors of the World or Movement for Peace. It makes database management much easier, allowing us to label collaborators as members, volunteers or donors and to work collaboratively with the entire organization.

What are the benefits of a CRM for an NGO?

CiviCRM perfectly fulfills all the characteristics of a software for the Third Sector. But what are the advantages of these types of CRM for an NGO? Let’s take a look at some of them:

  • Improved productivity. CRMs allow automating repetitive tasks such as data collection or reporting. This saves considerable time, allowing the members of the organization to focus on tasks that offer added value.
  • It allows cost reduction. Third Sector organizations often work with tight margins, so any cost reduction is very beneficial.
  • Simplifies management. The fact that all relevant data are integrated in the same space and that the people assigned to work with them can do so collaboratively facilitates the development of day-to-day work and eliminates duplication and possible human errors.
  • It allows you to work from wherever you want. Most of these types of CRM can be installed on the computer, tablet or cell phone. This means that we can access the information they store at any time, wherever we are and whenever we want.

As you have seen, there are several types of CRM with different characteristics. Choosing one or another depends above all on the needs of the organization, although, in the field of the Third Sector, the open source modality appears to be the most interesting, since its flexibility fits perfectly with the peculiarities of the organizations. Whatever the case may be, what is clear is that CRMs have the capacity to make the day-to-day running of organizations easier. Do you want to enjoy their advantages? From iXiam we help you to take advantage of all the benefits they offer.

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