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April 12, 2024

What Is a Collaborative CRM? A Guide for SMBs

When it comes to CRMs, companies can consider a few different types. Each one is unique and provides different advantages depending on the objectives and goals of a business.

Let’s review the most popular CRM types I discovered at my agency!

Collaborative CRM

A collaborative customer relationship management system enables different departments to work together and share customer information.

These CRM systems are the secret weapons of successful sales teams that value communication, cooperation, and collaboration in their day-to-day activities.

This CRM type is great for companies with multiple teams or locations that need to coordinate efforts across different departments.

Operational CRM

Operational CRM focuses on automating and streamlining customer-facing business processes, such as sales, marketing, and customer service operations, to improve customer retention rates, increase efficiency, and reduce costs.

One of its most important benefits is the ability to provide a personalized customer experience through targeted sales marketing campaigns and customized communication.

With this CRM, businesses can manage their leads, track customer interactions, and gain a 360-degree view of their customers.

Analytical CRM

The main goal of an analytical CRM is to analyze customer data to gain insights into customer behaviors and preferences.

These systems are designed to help businesses make better-informed decisions, whether that’s identifying high-value customers, predicting future sales, or spotting areas of the company that need improvement.

Businesses can improve their client relationships, increase customer interaction, and maximize profitability by using this CRM type.

While using collaborative CRMs at my agency, I found that there are many key features that these systems provide to help businesses better manage their customer relationships with new and existing clients.

Some of these key features include the following:

  • Interaction management
  • Channel management
  • Document management

Let’s take a closer look at these main features!

Interaction Management

Interaction management is a crucial aspect of collaborative CRM. It involves managing the communication and engagement between each customer interaction with a business within the interaction channel process.

Whether it’s a phone call, email, chat, or social media message, all customer interaction data can be logged and viewed by the entire team. This means that everyone is on the same page regarding the status of a customer and any ongoing issues.

Channel Management

Channel management refers to managing different communication channels businesses use to communicate with their customers. The main objective of this feature is to ensure that all your communication channels are optimized for maximum engagement and customer satisfaction.

This involves analyzing customer behavior, preferences, and feedback to determine which channels are most effective for particular demographics. With effective channel management, companies can improve customer loyalty and ultimately enhance their bottom line.

Document Management

Document management is essential for teams who must share and work on important files for enhanced company-wide communication. It is the process of organizing, storing, and sharing documents and other relevant information like invoices, proposals, contracts, and reports across various departments and teams within an organization.

With Collaborative CRM, users can upload files, comment on them, and make changes in real time, all in one centralized location, no matter where each team member is located. This not only saves time but also reduces errors and increases productivity.

There are many advantages of collaborative CRM that small businesses can benefit from. It is a valuable tool for business owners looking to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, sales pipeline, and internal communication channel.

Below are some of the main benefits that I have experienced when using a Collaborative CRM!

Better Customer Service

One of the most significant advantages of collaborative CRM systems is that it promotes better customer support processes, which is crucial for every organization. It helps any customer service team work more closely with existing customers, providing personalized customer services and support. This system can also help streamline sales processes and make it easier for teams to close more deals.

Better Client Communication

Another major benefit of collaborative CRM is improved client communication. Businesses can contact customers more effectively by having everyone on the same page regarding customer information. This can help improve overall interactions as customers feel they are being listened to and taken seriously.

Better Customer Data

Collaborative CRM systems can also help businesses manage customer data more effectively. By having all customer-related data in one centralized platform, teams can track and analyze customer behavior to make better decisions for the business. This is particularly useful for marketing campaigns as it allows you to target specific audiences more precisely.

Increased Team Productivity

When a business’s technical support team uses this CRM type, team productivity can increase. This is because collaborative CRM systems allow users to access customer records and other important information swiftly and easily, saving time. It’s a great advantage for teams who must complete tasks efficiently to increase sales productivity and maximize profitability.

Increased Customer Satisfaction

Collaborative CRM systems can also increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. This is because customers feel more appreciated and taken care of when their concerns are addressed quickly and effectively. In essence, it can lead to happier customers who trust the brand and are more likely to remain loyal.

Multi-Channel Interactions

Additionally, collaborative CRM systems enable multi-channel interaction within a business. This means that customers can contact the company through emails, phone calls, live chats, and more. By having multi-channel interactions available for customers, customer service teams can provide a better customer experience.

Better Client Retention

Finally, a collaborative CRM can help businesses increase their customer retention rate. This is because customers have a better overall experience when they can connect with the company quickly and easily. With improved customer relations, companies can maximize their profits by having existing clients stick around for longer periods.

There are many collaborative CRM vendors available on the market today.

Some of the most popular options include:

  • SugarCRM
  • Copper CRM
  • Monday.com

Let’s go over each CRM!

FYI — consider reading our review of the best CRM software if you don’t think the following options are for you!


First, let’s discuss SugarCRM!

What Is Sugar CRM?

SugarCRM is a CRM platform that offers businesses a collaborative and intuitive way to manage all aspects of their customer interactions. It’s an open-source solution that provides a range of features and tools, including lead management, sales automation, marketing campaigns, customer service, and analytics.

SugarCRM Pricing

The barrier to entry for SugarCRM is pretty steep. While its sell plan starts at $49 per month, it requires a minimum of 3 users, and customers must contact its sales team to purchase. This can be costly for some businesses on a tight budget.

SugarCRM Pros and Cons

There are many advantages and drawbacks to using SugarCRM.

SugarCRM Pros
  • Automation
  • Customizable
  • Robust reporting
SugarCRM Cons
  • Expensive price tag
  • No free trial is available
  • Technical expertise required

Copper CRM

Next, let’s talk about Copper CRM!

What Is Copper CRM?

Formerly known as ProsperWorks, Copper CRM is a cloud-based collaborative CRM platform designed for businesses of all sizes. It has a clean and intuitive interface that’s easy to navigate, making it perfect for small businesses or teams that don’t have a dedicated IT department. One of the best things about Copper is its easy integration with Google Workspace, which gives users access to their already existing Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Drive accounts.

Copper Pricing

If you’re looking for a CRM that won’t break the bank, Copper CRM might be the one for you! Copper CRM offers competitive pricing plans that cater to different business needs. Its Basic plan starts at $23 a month per user and provides a free trial for each plan.

Copper Pros and Cons

Below are some of the main pros and cons of Copper CRM.

Copper CRM Pros
  • Mobile app available
  • User-friendly interface
  • Third-party integration
Copper CRM Cons
  • Limited customization
  • Lack of automation features


Lastly, let’s go over Monday.com!

What Is Monday.com?

Monday.com is a collaborative CRM software that aims to make managing and tracking customer relationships seamless and intuitive. With a sleek and user-friendly interface, it allows teams to collaborate and share information in real time, making it easier to stay on top of tasks and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. To find out more about this platform, read our comprehensive Monday.com review!

Monday.com Pricing

Monday.com has flexible pricing plans for every type of business. It offers a free plan and a 14-day free trial. However, its Basic plan begins at $8 a month for at least three seats, making it one of the most scalable CRM options out there!

Monday.com Pros and Cons

These are some of the main benefits and disadvantages of Monday.com.

Monday.com CRM Pros
  • Free forever plan
  • 14-free trial available
  • Built-in time tracking
Monday.com CRM Cons
  • Slow customer support
  • Limited feature options for low-tiered plans

Posted in Software/Business Services

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