Matthew GibbonsData & Tech Writer
- June 7, 2023
- 5 minute read
- Matthew is a marketing expert focusing on the SEO & martech spaces. He has written over 500 marketing guides and video scripts for the WebFX YouTube channel. When he’s not striving to put out some fresh blog posts and articles, he’s usually fueling his Tolkien obsession or working on miscellaneous creative projects.
Operational CRM vs. analytical CRM: Which is better? Operational CRMs are better for streamlining sales processes. Analytical CRMs are better for gaining deep customer insights. The best option for you depends on your priorities.
Every company can benefit from using a customer relationship management (CRM) platform to help them gather, store, sort, and analyze their customer data. But did you know there’s more than one kind of CRM tool out there?
Not all CRMs are made the same, and not all of them are optimized for the same functions. Two of the best-known types of CRMs out there are operational and analytical CRMs. But what are each of those tools, and how do they compare? In a choice between an operational CRM vs. analytical CRM, which is better?
That’s the question we’re here to answer, so keep reading to learn more. Then subscribe to Revenue Weekly, our email newsletter, to get more helpful marketing content!
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What is an operational CRM?
Operational CRMs are all about streamlining your sales pipeline. The main goal of this type of CRM is to push leads through the pipeline faster and more efficiently. To help, operational CRMs boast plenty of efficiency-focused features. The biggest such feature is automation.
Operational CRMs can help you automate a variety of sales tasks throughout your pipeline. For one, they can automatically gather, validate, and segment customer data. They also automate different marketing tasks, like sending out emails at certain times or in response to certain actions.
What is an analytical CRM?
As the name indicates, analytical CRMs focus mainly on helping you analyze the data you gather. These CRMs make it easy for you to generate reports that help you identify patterns and trends in your data.
These reports can take multiple formats, and they can be based around multiple types of data, from conversion rates to customer demographics. If you like using comprehensive charts and graphs to learn more about your customers, an analytical CRM could be right for you.
Benefits of an operational CRM
The main advantage of an operational CRM is smoothing out your day-to-day processes. Again, the main way it does that is through sales automation. By automating simple tasks, you can free up your team to spend more time on other tasks. Plus, when it comes to things like migrating data, automation eliminates human error.
In the long run, operational CRMs can help you streamline your sales pipeline to flow much more quickly. You won’t have to spend as long nurturing leads — they’ll convert faster, and you’ll therefore bring in more revenue over the long term.
Ultimately, an operational CRM is best for companies that find themselves bogged down by simple, routine tasks, or that struggle to drive conversions as quickly as they’d like.
Benefits of an analytical CRM
The main benefit of using an analytical CRM is gaining deeper insights into your marketing performance, sales, and the nature of your customers. The importance of analytics to your business can’t be overstated. A good analytics process can be the difference between stagnating and skyrocketing.
An analytical CRM will allow you to see things in a way you never otherwise would by formatting your data in unique ways to reveal specific patterns and trends. The more you learn about your customers, the better you’ll be at marketing to them, and the more revenue your business will drive.
Overall, an analytical CRM is best for companies that are having trouble understanding their audience, or that simply want to make analytics their highest priority.
Operational CRM vs. analytical CRM: Which is better?
Now that we’ve gone over the definition and uses of operational and analytical CRMs, let’s come back to the fundamental question of this page: Which is better? Which type of CRM should your business get?
The answer is that it simply depends on your needs. Neither type of CRM is inherently better than the other, but one might be better for you depending on your needs.
If your priority is streamlining your processes, an operational CRM is better. But if your priority is gaining deep customer insights, an analytical CRM might be better.
Also, not every CRM fits squarely into one of those two categories. Some tools blur the lines a bit, giving equal focus to both sales processes and analytics. If you can’t decide which of the two factors to prioritize, one of those CRMs might be best for you.
What are collaborative CRMs?
This page has focused solely on operational and analytical CRMs, but it’s important to note that those aren’t the only two types of CRMs out there. Before we conclude this page, it’s worth mentioning collaborative CRMs.
A collaborative CRM prioritizes the interconnectedness of your team. After all, one of the main benefits of a CRM is its ability to centralize your data and connect your different teams — marketing, sales, and customer services — in one place. Collaborative CRMs give special focus to this aspect.
One way they do that is by automatically updating info for your whole company whenever someone adds or alters data in the platform. That way, you won’t end up in a situation where some of your teams are out of sync with others.
Also, collaborative CRMs save info on each interaction with each customer, preventing your marketing or sales reps from accidentally repeating what another rep has already done.
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WebFX and Nutshell can help you drive up your sales
One of the most tedious parts of the CRM process is finding the right one for your company. If you’re struggling to pick a good CRM option, look no further than Nutshell.
Nutshell combines the best elements of all three major types of CRM, incorporating features like:
- Sales automation
- Advanced reporting
- Team and data centralization
Whichever CRM you choose, though, you can get help driving results through it with WebFX. We can optimize your digital marketing to reach your audience effectively and boost your revenue.
Matthew is a marketing expert focusing on the SEO & martech spaces. He has written over 500 marketing guides and video scripts for the WebFX YouTube channel. When he’s not striving to put out some fresh blog posts and articles, he’s usually fueling his Tolkien obsession or working on miscellaneous creative projects.
WebFX provides digital marketing solutions with expert marketers, designers, and developers to increase visibility, conversions, and revenue. Learn more