CRM has evolved at a lightning pace. Today it’s the no-brainer marketing tool that’s driving businesses – big and small – to commercial success. There’s no denying CRM is mandatory in the current highly competitive business landscape. But where is it likely to go in the coming years? CRM is pretty impressive as it is. Just how more mind-blowing it is going to get is exciting. Read on to find out what CRM will look like in the future.
What you will learn in this article
- What CRM does for us today
- Major CRM trends
- 7 predictions about CRM
- What the experts really think
- CRM and the small business
CRM in the present day
Most of the manual labor of marketing has been taken over by CRM thanks to automation and so on. Today, thanks to CRM, we can now predict with 80% accuracy when someone will make a purchase. Before marketing pivoted around gut instinct and guesswork. But no more. All your customer data can be sliced and diced to work out when to strike.
Every move a potential customer makes is logged, every click, every page visited, and much more besides. This data builds up a rich and detailed picture to allow marketers to target potential customers with surgical precision. The end result is increased sales and happier customers delighted with your customer experience.
This functionality is impressive enough as it stands. But what is down the line for large enterprise and small business use of CRM?
Major CRM trends up ahead
It is widely considered that over 80% of customers today place as much if not more value on customer experience than the product or service you provide. The rise of AI-powered marketing tools will only strengthen a company’s response to changing customer needs.
Depending on who you ask, customer satisfaction has now overtaken customer experience as the primary determinant of customer relationship excellence. CRM solutions are at the nexus of all this. CRM is unrecognizable from its contact management system roots of the past. Today, it’s more an all-seeing oracle than a glorified digital contact book.
Given the current state of play, where can CRM go next?
Top 7 predictions about CRM in the future
Evidence abounds that customers want to do more for themselves. This includes educating themselves about the product or service you offer. For businesses, this means ensuring potential customers get the correct information at the right time in a way that customer wants.
Eventually, everyone will be using unified CRM systems. These combine a host of business functions under one umbrella, including content management, project management, marketing, and sales, all on one central data platform. These all-encompassing platforms will streamline business processes and bring a sea change in customer experience.
We are already seeing AI-powered tools gain a foothold in CRM. AI will only get more powerful and valuable for business in the future, carrying out a wider variety of nuanced business tasks. Those tools will eventually be indistinguishable from humans.
The idea of ever-greater levels of personalization has been around for a while. But changing up a gear is on the horizon as personalization within CRM gets ever more sophisticated and essential to forging close relationships with customers.
The top thing that is a cert is that you will be handling more data. However, big data techniques are moving toward emerging technologies to analyze data and draw actionable conclusions. More data means better analysis and improved levels of customer satisfaction.
We are already seeing this happening. However, mobile-first means that providers will be firmly placing their mobile CRM solutions center stage. As remote teams and remote working continue to dominate, the need for mobile CRM is sure to grow even further.
CRM multi Channeling
In becoming all-encompassing, CRM must embrace all your channels, be it a phone call, a website form inquiry, an email, live chat, SMS text message, etc. By communicating and responding to customers on the channels they prefer, CRM can continue to build on its gains in business expansion and customer experience.
What the experts really think
If there’s one thing the marketing experts can agree on, it’s the continuing and growing role of CRM in improving customer experience.
JP Saunders (top CRM guru): Data management is going to be crucial to delivering a personalized customer experience. The Internet of Things is the new frontier, and investment in this area is already paying off for early adopters.
Matt Kretsch (CRM specialist): Multi-channel notifications will be vital to keeping staff on the ball with customer experience. As well as increasing staff efficiency, it will create a better customer experience.
Marshall Lager (leading customer experience analyst): Good data is key to a good customer experience. AI is particularly vulnerable in this respect.
CRM and small business
The one message that is clear about the future is the need to continually gather data and analyze it to find ways of growing your business. It is only by doing this can you hope to gain a proper understanding of what makes your customers tick. And, more importantly, what makes them want to buy.
CRM is the solution. Its role is only going to get greater. Fortunately, the technology is evolving at breakneck speed to meet the challenges faced by today’s discerning customers. Buying products and services has radically altered, and so too is how you sell to customers.
The future, though challenging, has nothing that CRM will fear. You, too, be you a startup or small business, have nothing to lose sleep over with CRM in your corner.
If you are a small business or even a startup, now is the time to get on board with CRM. However, you can probably think of a dozen reasons not to jump. If you fall into this category – or you’re considering a small business-friendly CRM solution – like Samdock! We will help you get a future-proof CRM system that’s based on your needs now and beyond.