Do you need a horizontal or vertical CRM?

Do you need a horizontal or vertical CRM?

Two Types of CRMs

There are two types of CRMs: vertical and horizontal. 

Vertical CRMs are designed to meet specific industries’ unique needs and challenges. They provide more targeted solutions to businesses operating in those sectors, with features and functionalities tailored to their particular requirements. Examples of vertical CRMs include healthcare CRMs, real estate CRMs, and legal CRMs. These CRMs may also provide industry-specific integrations that streamline workflows and improve productivity. However, if all businesses are different, integrating and optimizing for your business may require more effort for a vertical CRM.

On the other hand, horizontal CRMs are designed to work across different industries, providing more functional and flexible solutions. They offer a more comprehensive range of features and functionalities that are more customizable to suit your business needs. Examples of horizontal CRMs include Salesforce, HubSpot,, and Zoho. While they may not be ready to roll out of the box, horizontal CRMs provide more flexibility to customize and wrap around your unique business like a glove. Additionally, they may provide more visibility across your entire business.


A lot of the decision process for a CRM comes down to trade-offs. When choosing between vertical and horizontal CRMs, consider your business goals, the size and complexity of your business, and the level of customization you require. You should also evaluate the CRMs compatibility with your existing tech stack, including marketing automation software, social media management tools, customer service software, and even back-office applications. Your new CRM may enable you to retire some of your outdated tech.

It is extremely important that all departments are involved in developing requirements for a new CRM as all stand to gain from a functionality perspective. After your requirements are defined, it is time to weigh the trade-offs. Consider cost, ease of use, and scalability when comparing your CRM options. Some CRM systems are a lot more expensive than others, so understanding the trade-offs can be very challenging.


In conclusion, there is a lot at stake, so ensure you look at the decision holistically before you decide on a horizontal or vertical CRM.

Read more on how CRMs can increase revenue here.  Make sure to download your “5 Steps for Scaling Sales and Growing Revenue” ebook.

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