The Ultimate Guide on CRM Tools For Every Industry [2023 Edition]

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Another day, another CRM.

The market saturation definitely demonstrates how important these tools have become - we can hardly imagine our day-to-day business without them!

But that doesn't make choosing one for yourself any easier.

You can't “just pick one.”

There's a budget to think of, plus you need to guarantee that this will actually pay off before you can even mention it to the higher-ups.

But how do you identify the best fit? Should you start with a popular option and hope for the best?

Can the software your sales buddy recommended be used to make your eCommerce biz flourish just the same?

Well, we don't know. Depends on what they recommended.

But we do know a thing or two about our CRM tools.

So we're about to save you the internet window shopping and explain all you need to know, in terms you won't have to google.

You in?

What Are CRM Tools?

Okay, we said something-something-market saturation in the introduction, but just to give you a clearer point of reference, the CRM market should be worth $128.97 billion by 2028.

That means there are a lot of CRM tools on the market, and basically, everybody who's serious about their business uses one.

But what exactly are they?

A customer relationship management (CRM) tool is software designed to help companies carry out their usual activities in a better, faster, and more organized way.

There are different CRM tools specifically made to cater to different industries, like financial advisor CRMs or CRM tools for eCommerce.

Also known as vertical CRMs, these will typically be super tailored to cover all the needs of an industry vertical, but won't offer as many or broad features as a horizontal CRM.

Horizontal CRMs, on the other hand, cover a wide range of standardized features which can be further customized as needed.

These will often be marketed for sales, customer service, recruiting, etc. across the board.

To sum it up:

  1. Vertical CRMs are laser-focused on a specific industry
  2. Horizontal CRMs are the common, mass-appealing type with tons of features to choose from

Both have their ideal uses.

Speaking of…

What Are CRM Tools Used For?

What Are CRM Tools Used For

This is what all CRM software tools do in some capacity, regardless of who they're intended for:

  • Data storage, organization, and analysis
  • Contact and lead management
  • Performance measurement (and improvement)
  • Inbound and outbound communication
  • Automating SMS and email campaigns
  • Task automation
  • Tracking and reporting, etc.

Let's say you're in sales. Your average sales rep spends most of their time on admin and other non-selling activities.

This part isn't hypothetical, by the way - salespeople really spend only around 33% of their time on calls, dazzling clients.

The overwhelming majority of their day is spent on emails, manual data entry, research, etc.

A decent CRM can change that.

Just one common perk like automatic data capturing already means less work for your reps.

Add to that advanced features like automated drip email campaigns which allow you to schedule personalized messages that nurture your leads for you, and your reps get huge chunks of time freed up to do what they do best.

Winning deals!

Of course, different CRM tools will focus on different priorities.

What you want is to find one that matches your needs so you don't end up using spreadsheets or other creative (read: time-wasting) solutions to make up for what your CRM fails to deliver.

But that extends beyond the horizontal vs. vertical discussion.

A Note About the A2P 10DLC Legislation

The A2P 10DLC stands for Application-to-Person 10-digit Long Code. It's a new SMS legislation in the United States that was put in place to ensure that SMS traffic to US end-users through long-code phone numbers is verified and consensual.

The legislation was created by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and went into effect on April 1, 2021. It is mandatory for all businesses that use 10-digit long code numbers to send text message campaigns.

There are two main requirements under the A2P 10DLC system:

  • Brand registration: Businesses must identify who they are to the carrier networks. This includes providing their legal name, contact information, and a description of their business.
  • Campaign registration: Businesses must register what type of messages they are sending, i.e. notifications, marketing, or transactional. They must also provide a list of the phone numbers they will be sending messages to.

Once a business has completed the registration process, they will be assigned a unique 10DLC identifier. This identifier will be used by the carriers to route messages to the correct recipient.

The A2P 10DLC legislation is designed to protect consumers from spam and unwanted text messages. It also helps to ensure that businesses are using SMS messaging in a responsible and transparent way. If a business does not comply with the A2P 10DLC legislation, their messages may be blocked by the carriers. They may also face fines from the FCC.

Types of CRM

Note that these types usually aren't separate.

Ringy (our baby) and most other CRMs include elements of all three to provide a unified experience for your teams.

The idea here is that you learn how to recognize what a provider mainly focuses on if they use these terms so you don't waste time pondering the differences.

After you.

Type of CRM


Operational CRM

Focuses on streamlining and automating customer-facing processes like sales, marketing, and service.

Analytical CRM

Emphasizes data analysis and insights to understand customer behavior and preferences better.

Collaborative CRM

Enhances communication and collaboration across various departments to improve customer interactions.

Collaborative CRM systems

Collaborative CRM systems allow multiple teams across an organization as well as external stakeholders to collaborate on projects, add and share info, and strategize.

So this would include multiple departments like combining intelligence from marketing, sales, and customer support to form a comprehensive customer overview and provide a seamless multichannel service.

‘Tis what the customers want, after all.

This eliminates the need to ask the same questions on different ends and irritate them, or duplicate admin tasks between your teams.

Operational CRM systems

These are the most holistic and common CRM tools, the ones most people think about when they hear the word.

An operational CRM basically allows you to manage your activities and communication facing the customers, helps with productivity, improves your performance, etc.

One of the main ways is automation.

Automation of tasks like manual data entry, processing, emailing, or phone dialing can help you save precious time and focus on the important parts of your job.

A bunch of other features like fancy marketing templates, mobile apps, and data tracking are there to make sure the tasks you can't delegate to AI are done better and faster.

Analytical CRM systems

Analytical CRM systems

Last up, analytical CRM systems collect, organize, store, and analyze your data.

This can include:

  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Calls
  • Customer
  • Other/custom types of data tracking and analytics

Alone, they're proficient databases that can sort all of your information into one place and give you great insight into your performance.

This helps businesses pinpoint the specifics in terms of what their target audience really wants and needs, not just what they're behaving like on the surface.

This, in turn, can help you set attainable goals and keep track of how you're doing.

But that's pretty much it for this type.

That's why they work best when combined with the other two - after all, the data is worth nothing while it's just sitting there, collecting dust.

You have to act on it!

What that means for your business can depend on factors like your size and industry, as we established earlier.

CRM Tool Requirements for Different Industries

There are certain tasks and activities that are unique to different industries, so any hope to streamline them would have to be pretty industry-specific.

For example, a field sales agent might need help with cost reimbursement and route planning.

This isn't something all CRMs necessarily provide by default.

As a result, your average CRM might not be a great fit.

So let's filter things out and focus on what's important for each industry in terms of software.

CRM Tools for Customer Service

Customer service is often the only human contact people have with a company. Naturally, a customer service CRM has to be all about making that and any future touchpoints stellar on all ends.

Especially because 65% of revenue is generated from repeat business.

That doesn't mean you have to change your customers' lives every time you're on a call - you can't really affect their everyday life in any big way.

But there's a lot you can do if you happen to use CRM with these essential features:

  • Contact tagging and organizing to help you find the right info fast
  • Customer history to tell you whether you've already interacted, how you helped them before, etc.
  • Ticket management
  • Integration with other applications so you don't overlook marketing or sales touchpoints
  • VoIP softphone for remote availability and call quality

In simple terms, you need a CRM tool that will make you look like you've been actively tracking and thinking about the customer since the first moment they stumbled upon you.

Sales Tools CRM

Sales tools CRM

If you closed your eyes and pointed at any CRM at random, chances are it would be geared towards sales.

That doesn't mean any CRM tool would be a great choice!

But it's safe to say that it would have most of the basic features you'd imagine for sales:

  • Sales tracking and forecasting. These features allow businesses to monitor the progress of sales activities, track leads and opportunities, and analyze historical data to predict future sales trends.
  • Built-in VoIP. Built-in VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) integration in CRM tools enables users to make and receive calls directly within the CRM interface. This integration streamlines communication by eliminating the need to switch between multiple applications or devices.
  • Power dialers. Power dialers are a type of sales acceleration technology integrated into CRM tools. They automate the process of calling leads and prospects by automatically dialing phone numbers and connecting sales representatives to live calls when someone answers.
  • Sales automation. Sales automation is a core component of CRM tools, designed to streamline repetitive tasks and workflows in the sales process. It includes features like email automation, lead scoring, task automation, and workflow automation.

Sales rep tracking for field sales isn't as common, so for that, you'd have to consider a more specialized app like Spotio.

CRM Tools for eCommerce

CRM can significantly enhance the performance of an ecommerce store by fostering deeper customer relationships and driving sales growth. Features such as customer segmentation and personalization enable tailored marketing campaigns, resulting in higher customer engagement and increased conversions.

Moreover, order tracking and customer support integration improve the post-purchase experience, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

CRM tools also offer insights through analytics, helping businesses understand customer behavior, optimize inventory management, and refine product recommendations, ultimately leading to a more profitable and customer-centric ecommerce operation.

Financial Advisor CRM Tools

Financial advisor CRM

Compared to a financial advisor CRM, which is already tailor-made for finance professionals, an ad-hoc solution would require a lot of customization to meet all the industry requirements.

Yeah, almost any CRM looks like it would fit the bill (sorry).

But this essentially means you might need to spend more money on higher pricing tiers to unlock all the features unless you know exactly what you're doing.

If you just want to be safe (who doesn't?), you could just take a specialized financial advisor CRM and be done with it.

Here are the essentials we're talking about:

  1. Client profile management with room for assets, financial accounts, household and other data rather than the normal interaction or transaction history
  2. Focused reporting that includes financial accounts and assets
  3. Integrations with risk assessment and other relevant tools
  4. Workflow that accounts for regulatory requirements

Insurance CRM Tools

CRM tools can greatly enhance customer management in the insurance industry by centralizing and streamlining interactions with policyholders and potential clients. Here’s how:

  1. Lead and Contact Management: This tool can categorize leads based on criteria such as demographics and insurance needs. It ensures agents can tailor their outreach effectively, reaching out to the right people at the right time.
  2. Policy Tracking: Agents can set up automated reminders for policy renewals, ensuring that customers are contacted promptly. This feature helps improve customer satisfaction by preventing lapses in coverage.
  3. Communication Tracking: CRM tools record all customer interactions, including emails, phone calls, and meetings. This historical data helps agents provide personalized service by referencing past conversations, which can lead to increased trust and customer loyalty.
  4. Analytics and Reporting: CRM systems offer data analytics tools that can help insurance companies identify trends and customer preferences. By understanding customer behavior and needs better, insurance providers can create more tailored products and services.

Recruiting CRM Tools

In the recruiting industry, CRM tools are crucial for managing both candidates and clients efficiently. Some of the specific responsibilities here include the following:

  1. Candidate Relationship Management: Using CRMs, recruiters can track candidate profiles, communication history, and job preferences. This information helps recruiters match candidates with suitable job openings more effectively.
  2. Job Order Management: CRM systems enable recruiters to manage job orders from clients more efficiently. They can track the specific requirements of each job, deadlines, and client preferences.
  3. Communication and Follow-up: By automating communication processes, sending follow-up emails and reminders to clients and candidates, recruiters stay in touch with both parties and provide a seamless and professional experience.
  4. Talent Pool Building: CRM systems allow recruiters to create and manage talent pools. This means that even if a candidate isn't a fit for a current job, they can be considered for future opportunities. This feature helps recruiters save time and ensures that no potential talent is overlooked.

CRM Software Tools Selection Criteria

No matter the industry, these are the elements you do not want to miss out on because they are simply THAT important:

CRM software tool selection criteria

Why it matters

1. Ease of use

  • It will help with adoption
  • You'll use this software everyday
  • The whole point of it is to make your life easier

2. Mobile responsiveness

  • Workers who can switch between devices get more work done than those who can't
  • Be available to customers all the time has become the norm

3. Automation

  • Saves time and, by extension, money
  • Saves even more money you'd spend on wages for tasks that can be done by a robot

4. Integrations

  • Make your workspace really centralized and eliminate double work
  • All the info gets combined and pulled as needed without switching apps
  • Improves productivity and saves time

All the candidates we'll talk about shortly went through this sieve in the first round of qualification and managed to stay on the CRM tools list.

But honestly, these are baseline-level requirements for a passing grade.

It's what we believe common CRM tools should all be required to have.

But you don't want the bare minimum, so let's go beyond that and see what kind of software absolutely aced the test.

Best CRM Tools Per Industry Vertical

Best CRM Tools

Finally, let's have a look at some candidates that actually fulfill all those requirements for different industries.

We've compiled a list with two or three CRMs per industry so you don't have to hunt for them on your own.

*Pricing information accurate as of March 2022.

Customer service

Let's get this show on the road with our favorite customer service CRM:

Hubspot Service Hub

It centralizes customer interactions, allowing support teams to efficiently manage and track customer inquiries, tickets, and issues. With features like automated ticketing, knowledge base creation, and multi-channel support, Service Hub improves response times and ensures consistent, high-quality customer service.

Additionally, it offers robust reporting and analytics tools, enabling businesses to gain valuable insights into customer support performance and satisfaction.


We talk about the best CRM options for sales a lot, but if we have to keep it short, this is our chosen one!


Ringy CRM is a powerful solution for sales CRM with several standout tools and features that make it a top choice for businesses. Here are four key features that set Ringy CRM apart:

  1. Intuitive Lead Management: Our platform offers a user-friendly lead management system that allows you to efficiently capture, organize, and track leads from various sources, ensuring no potential customer falls through the cracks.
  2. Customizable Sales Pipeline: One of Ringy’s standout features is its highly customizable sales pipeline. You can tailor it to match their specific sales process, creating a visual roadmap that helps sales teams prioritize tasks and close deals more effectively.
  3. Advanced Reporting and Analytics: Ringy CRM provides robust reporting and analytics tools, offering valuable insights into sales performance. It allows you to track key metrics, such as conversion rates, sales velocity, and revenue forecasts, enabling data-driven decision-making and strategy refinement.
  4. Email Integration and Automation: Ringy CRM seamlessly integrates with email platforms, allowing sales teams to send, receive, and track emails directly from the CRM interface. Moreover, it offers automation capabilities that streamline repetitive tasks like email follow-ups and appointment scheduling, saving valuable time and increasing productivity.


eCommerce CRM

Next up, our top CRM for eCommerce:


Ontraport is an obvious choice for eCommerce.

It focuses on online shopping kind of sales intelligence and integrates with platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce to allow for:

  • Customer journey tracking
  • Payments and account management
  • Abandoned cart recapturing
  • Customer segmentation and personalized interactions, etc.

It makes eCommerce easy on all ends.

Financial services

Halfway through, we're at the financial services station, presenting:

Redtail CRM

Redtail CRM is one of the most established and successful players out there due to the same reason as Capsule: ease of use.

But in a financial advisor software packaging.

They pride themselves in being approachable and go the extra mile with Redtail University and seminar management tools. The only thing that's missing here is VoIP.


Insurance CRM Tools

We have a total of two more customer relationship management tools to go. Let's power through them:

Applied Epic

Applied Epic is a popular CRM for insurance because it has that sweet, sweet specification that you'd want from an industry-specific solution.

Its capabilities include:

  • Policy and claims management. Applied Epic CRM provides a robust platform for efficient policy and claims management, allowing insurance professionals to track, update, and manage policies and claims with ease.
  • Basic lead management. The CRM includes basic lead management functionality, helping users organize and track leads, enabling more effective follow-ups and conversions.
  • Sales and admin task automation. You can automate sales and administrative tasks, reducing manual workload and improving productivity, allowing you to focus on strategic activities.
  • Native integrations with other insurance-friendly tools. Applied Epic CRM seamlessly integrates with a range of insurance-friendly tools, enhancing connectivity and data sharing across the insurance ecosystem, promoting efficiency and accuracy in operations.

Its focus definitely isn't on client-facing features, so you'll have to cover that some other way if you opt for Applied Epic.


Finally, our last CRM option of the day:


Beamery lets you source and track candidates directly from web pages and social media and gives you an overview of all data in one place.

It's a great tool for segmentation and pipeline optimization. And we like the ease of collaboration with this system:

You can share candidates, and create tasks and notes as needed to get the right people for the job without a hassle every time.

All in all, a well-rounded recruiting solution.

Conclusion: There Is a CRM Tool For Everything

There may not be a perfect CRM tool (although, we know one that's pretty darn close…).

But there is a perfect CRM fit for every company.

Taking into account your industry, size, goals, existing applications, and future plans, you can use this checklist to find the software worth your penny.

We don't know exactly what that will look like for you.

But what we do know and can recommend is our own CRM.

You can book a demo with Ringy to test the waters.

Skyrocket your sales with the CRM that does it all

Skyrocket your sales with the CRM that does it all.

Calling? Check. SMS? Check. Automation and AI? Check. Effortlessly keep in touch with your customers and boost your revenue without limits.

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