CRM software has become a necessary tool for businesses of all sizes today. According to Gartner, one of the leading IT research and advisory company, CRM industry surpassed database management systems (DBMS) as the most used SaaS technology in the world in 2018.
A customer’s involvement with a product does not stop with a purchase anymore. Customer satisfaction has evolved into the customer experience. Irrespective of the industry, buyers are becoming more informed. So, businesses are focussing on how to enhance their personalization capabilities for every customer. They are increasingly demanding CRM software that is capable of integrating processes beyond sales and customer management.
None of the growing CRM trends are new in an absolute sense. But the CRM industry makes sure it keeps up with the latest tweaks in the existing technologies and accommodates even a slight change in customer behaviour.
CRM Trend 1 : will continue to expand
52.2 percent of website traffic was created through the use of mobile devices in 2018. This percentage will continue to increase. CRM solution providers are well aware of this. So, they will continue to adapt to mobile technologies in the years to come.
Mobile-adaptiveness can provide access to data at any time and at any place. This means a business can have live interaction with your customers and can give real-time solutions.
Sales teams can now track leads quickly through any device. Customer care teams can monitor problems as and when they arise and use the database of all the processes in their organization to resolve a problem. Needless to say, mobile CRM offers flexibility to other departments too as more and more people use mobile to make purchasing decisions.
CRM Trend 2 : More small businesses will invest in CRM technologies
There are already many CRM vendors who provide services to large-scale enterprises. The CRM solutions meant for large organizations are often too complex for the small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). SMBs do not need CRMs to process a huge amount of data. But they still need to boost their relationships with their customers.
But the number of SMBs using CRM technologies has increased. Techaisle and Salesforce studied more than 5,000 SMBs and found that more than 60 percent use cloud-based customer-facing technologies such as CRM.
With an increase in personalized customer service, more and more CRM companies are now targeting SMBs. They are offering more affordable, customized and uncomplicated solutions to choose from.
Solastis CRM is one such simple CRM which caters specifically to SMBs.
CRM Trend 3 : The demand for cloud-based CRM will surge
Cloud-computing is experiencing massive proliferation and it will continue to do so as per market forecasts. It continues to simplify data storage and its management including the CRM industry. According to Gartner, before 2018, the largest migration to cloud-based applications was driven by CRM.
Cloud-based CRM can be adapted for an organization of any size. For SMBs, it can be modified at a low cost as per individual business needs. It cuts down on the cost of having a full-fledged IT team, and it is easier to maintain and upgrade.
For large businesses, it offers options to integrate third-party applications be it social media or email. In such cases, its adaptability is handy for businesses that use many applications regularly. It also significantly saves resources that could be spent on storing and updating a vast amount of data.
CRM Trend 4: CRM will get more social
In the last decade, the use of social media has shot through the roof. Both customers and businesses have used it to engage it with each other.
The CRM industry has modified social media’s use in many ways. It is not just limited to creating brand awareness, handling customer feedback, generating leads and personalizing communication any longer. A lot of CRMs now offer an integrated social suite to monitor social media. It helps to segment and understand the buyer attitude in a better way. This can help businesses to predict the target audience’s expectations and act accordingly.
It is expected that social CRM will play a huge part in further strengthening a business’s brand advocacy.
CRM Trend 5 : CRM will integrate more automation and artificial intelligence (AI)
CRM can provide a lot of data. It is possible that employees may find it taxing to convert this data into usable insights. That is where automation and AI are used. They can augment an organization’s thinking abilities.
For example, a financial organization can use AI-enabled CRM to get a more accurate predictive analysis.
Likewise, automation is used to accelerate business processes so that employees will have more time to focus on the core functions of a business. With automation, it is also possible to mechanize tedious administrative tasks and smoothen its workflow.
In the end, both technology and customer experience will shape the future of CRM. But in 2019, the CRM market will continue to modify itself based on the developments in the existing CRM trends.
Despite these trends, the potential of CRM software will always depend on the quality of data businesses will use.