CRMs vary because customers vary. Business are often thought of as business to-business (B2B or those that sell to large organisations with lots of customers involved in each sale) and business to consumer (or B2C). Their sales and marketing approaches are very different and are driven by the behaviour of their customers. As a result, they need different CRMs. Most CRMs are designed with early customers in mind and are modified a bit later so they can be sold to other, or even all, types of business. CRMs may be designed for:
- Marketing – this is about understanding the market, promoting your business or brand and engaging potential customers
- Sales – identifying the potential customers who are ready to buy and closing the sale
- Service – ensuring that existing customers are getting the most out of what they’ve bought (eg help desk)
Some businesses depend on generating lots of leads, either because few will buy or because their products and services are cheap – lead generation is critical to success
Some businesses rely on closing most orders – professional services firms cannot afford to spend too long turning leads into customers – they concentrate on Sales
Other businesses rely on customer retention – for them good customer service is the most important thing – think of hairdressers and window cleaners – it’s all about repeat business
To summarize then, ‘No, CRMs vary quite a lot for lots of reasons. It depends on the value of each sale, the number of sales you need to achieve your revenue targets and the effort / investment it takes to make a sale, but most of all on the nature of your relationship with your customer.