operational CRM

What Is Operational CRM And How Companies Use It: Things You Want To Know

Zurab Samushia
Sep 1, 2021

CRM systems are in high demand in modern days while they were exotic in the biggest part of the world just 15-20 years ago. There exist many kinds of CRM systems, each for a profile work with a customer. However, an operational CRM is the most complete solution as of the time being, which might be used by all departments of a company, which work with client information and data.

Operational customer relationship management system definition

The most regular chunk of CRM systems would focus on one or two major business processes of a company, like sales or being a base for the work of a call/support center. Operational CRM is a system, which embraces all business functions, divisions, and processes, where customer data and information are used for work and has such general functionality:

  • automated communication with clients, prospects, and leads
  • scheduling various client-connected actions, like sending emails, SMS, making phone calls, or collecting feedback, and do other marketing tasks
  • connection of all client contact points through a powerful interface that’s reused by sales teams, support operators, service engineers, up-sale & cross-sale teams, and back-office teams, which might handle various issues of client servicing during the client’s life term
  • self-service management allows clients to receive automated communication to solve their issues (including chatbots) and effectively lower the workload of client support operators
  • lead, client, and prospect sorting and prioritization
  • cross-team collaboration
  • various performance metrics
  • data analysis and reporting.

Those companies that had implemented operational CRM have noticed an increase in such basic business indices as more propositions, quotes, and responses to and from customers, better sales and client attainment, and a better lead conversion rate.

Operational CRM pros and cons

An operational CRM used by CRM teams has the following benefits:

  1. Facilitation and improvement of client sales and service functions
  2. Automation of routine tasks like scheduling, follow-ups, contacts, and standardized communication
  3. Customer tracking becomes more reliable & transparent, so a company can build an online sales funnel and find out the bottlenecks automatically
  4. Orientation at primary client functions: sales, support, and service.

Along with pros, there are cons of an operational CRM:

  • Lower embrace of data analysis, as one would find in an analytical CRM
  • It is not the best source of managerial reporting, which helps make business decisions and set goals and aims for a long term
  • Document sharing is not the direct function (although possible)
  • It is not a single database for the entire company and does not support many processes not directly connected to clients.

Gratefully, companies are not prevented from linking their operational CRMs to other software tools that a company uses. Actually, that’s a direct responsibility of a process manager to consider links to other pieces of software in a company to receive much better workflows, so as to make an operational CRM a single point of client data gathering, formalization, generalization, and transfer across other pieces of software.

One can powerfully broaden the functionality of an operational CRM when connecting it to document workflow systems (for instance, to upload scan documents of clients directly through an operational CRM to the storage of scanned documents), analytical tools to make data more structured, clearer, and avoid re-entering data manually across different systems. A perfectly implemented operational CRM will be a cross-department tool, which is smoothly integrated across all pieces of software so the systems interexchange information in real-time. As a result of such implementation work, any company will face such positive outcomes (more or less distinctive):

  • Enhanced marketing processes with a focus on a client
  • Better and swifter internal communication among all departments
  • Improvement of sales, cross-sales, and up-sales
  • Increasing satisfaction of customers
  • Eventually, increasing the company’s revenue.

Additional results, which are obtained in the long run are no less important for the operational result of a company and eventually lead to a decrease in the need to employ so many staff:

  1. Cleansing customer data and avoiding its duplication. For instance, some client records may be effectively merged and you will have one “John William Smith” instead of 4 different instances such as “J. Smith”, “John W. Smith”, “Joe Smith”, and “John Smith”. That is especially relevant for companies running their businesses for decades
  2. Collection of documents of clients (including scans), their storage in one place, and setting up a process of their periodic update when required
  3. Streamlining all channels of communication with customers so every contact and its results would be recorded to make duplicated contacts avoided (duplication is when making a contact with the same client by different departments on the same or similar issues without knowing about one another).

Operational customer relationship management examples

There are many solutions for operational CRMs on the market. We’ll highlight below two of the best CRM examples.

  • Nextiva.

This CRM is a cloud-based SaaS solution with a monthly payment, which fits businesses of various sizes. It has a clear interface. According to most users, it is very comprehensible & easy to use. It allows many functions to cut the time of client servicing and reporting, like calls, chats, notifications, emails, in-app messaging, and various customizations. It has lead development, knowledge base, conversation archiving, team inbox, customer profile settings, software pairing, browser extension, and several operating languages. The payment can be made for any number of working places, starting with just 1.

  • Creatio.

This CRM was previously named BPM Online (thousands of users have gotten used to its previous name and better know Creatio under it). Although 2 out of 10 people find it hard to set up, 9 of 10 users still highly estimate its simplicity of use after initial setup and comprehensible interface with tremendous opportunities. The tool is a perfect CRM strategy example for lead and campaign management, has sheer integration possibilities with other pieces of software, and is able to generate various output documents, including client forms and reporting. It has tools for managing accounts, partners, clients, tasks, opportunities, pipelines, products, price lists, and many others. Just like Nextiva, there are many communication channels and opportunities, databases, support options, and process management options. It is also SaaS-type software with a monthly subscription per user.


An operational CRM is a great choice for companies seeking to implement a next-generation system to help their business grow. Modern vendors of CRM systems offer help in implementation and step-by-step guides of working in their systems.

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