Picking a CRM for Your Business


an orange gear with a wrench and check mark


You are a mature business looking to automate customer relations.
a question mark above a signpost


Overwhelmed with options, no time to compare CRM features
an orange outline of binoculars


Narrow your search by identifying your company needs and wants.

Overwhelmed by picking a CRM for your business? We’re here to help. CRM stands for Customer Relational Management. It is a software that helps your business track communications and nurture leads.

Fair warning: researching different CRM systems is daunting. There are hundreds of YouTube videos on the topic with conflicting recommendations. We get it – that’s why we decided to simplify things for you in an objective blog and handy infographic.

An infographic titled "Picking a CRM for Your Business"
This infographic helps small business owners narrow their search for a CRM by breaking down the three types of CRMs and their purposes. ©Aducate Digital, LLC 2023. All Rights Reserved

Before You Start

As you go down the CRM rabbit hole, remember not all are created equal. Each type serves a different purpose and audience. Some software is better suited at data analytics. Others are tailored for project management.

Each platform offers an overwhelming variety of features. And, it’s easy to get enamored with ones you don’t actually need. Sooner than later, you’ll find yourself trying to justify the cost of a unnecessary “perk.”

Before you start looking through features, we recommend you jot down some notes.

  • Your Budget – How much are you currently spending tracking leads through your pipeline? How much are you willing to spend to upgrade from a manual excel sheet system?
  • Company Size – How many need users access right now? Are you a solo-preneur or do you have a small team? How quickly you plan to grow, and do you have and “end goal” company size?
  • Your Needs – Are you interested in a CRM because you want to make informed decisions based on data? Do you need to automate repetitive tasks like mass emails for onboarding? Do you have a dedicated sales and marketing team that needs to communicate?

Keep the answers to these questions handy as you continue your search. We aren’t lying – it is very easy to read through different CRM features and convince yourself you need it. These notes are a nice gut check before you sign up.

The three types of CRMs and their Use Case

  1. Analytical CRMs use data as the foundation of the platform. The features help you gather data, insights, and information. Take action and predict future growth.Use case: You provide therapy and are interested in targeted referral-based marketing. You want to make informed decisions based on large data sets. The data analyst in you likes to look for patterns to predict the future.
  2. An Operational CRM is a good fit for small businesses that are strapped for resources. Streamline your processes with these key features. Examples of this would be to automate marketing tasks to customers. Use case: You are a property management franchise owner looking to streamline processes. Daily tasks involve mass emailing segmented audiences. You’re short on resources and need to cut repetitive tasks to grow.
  3. Collaborative CRMs are made to improve internal communications. The primary features are made for project management between different teams. The platform also helps you communicate externally too. If you need a robust customer service process, a collaborative CRM might be a good fit.Use case: You are a mid-sized company with dedicated sales and marketing departments. You provide customer-centric solutions connected by processes. You want to improve internal communications for a better customer experience.

At this point you should have a pretty good idea which of the three types best fit your needs. Now, you can narrow your search for platforms designed to that specific type.

Narrow Your CRM Search

The infographic below breaks down the three types of CRMs. It also provides insights to narrow your search. Instead, try to “pick the perfect CRM,” your first step should be to figure out why type you need. Then, you can narrow your search.

The recommendations listed are not the only options of course. We picked Zoho, ActiveCampaign and Hubspot because they provide free trials. They also provide many additional integrations that you can add on as you scale.

If you made it that far but can’t decide between a few, we’re happy to help. Aducate Digital aims to educate small business owners in advertising strategies. As you scale, you will need to move beyond manual excel sheet operations.

Scroll to Top