23 Jun CRM Software Trends
CRM software trends are well worth considering when looking into which platform would best suit your business needs. Knowing what’s developing in the market for any SaaS platform is essential to making the right move when investing in tech software.
Here’s a little insight into how CRM software has evolved.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems have been developed to a point where they are remarkably different today compared to when they were first launched.
In their first digitised iteration in the 1970s, CRMs were more like giant databases which allowed businesses to store their customer’s data such as name, address and purchase history.
The CRM allows businesses to use customer information to reach their client base with targeted marketing and also monitor buying behaviour, enabling both parties to develop a mutually beneficial relationship.
Building respectful and mutually beneficial relationships ensures business success.
By the late 1980s, the Customer Relationship Management software was developed to include a Content Management System (CMS), which helped revolutionise website development.
This progression of the CRM enabled businesses to reach their target audience via database marketing, but the system development hadn’t even scratched the surface of what it could do.
As we moved into the 1990s, CRM development branched into more sophisticated abilities which included tracking and analysing the data stored within them.
Thanks to this development, greater automation capabilities were introduced, which once again revolutionised the way we use the internet and digital software today.
The automation within CRMs has made it far easier for businesses to work smarter and more efficiently. Whilst being able to convert leads and target marketing campaigns specific to customers’ needs at the click of a button.
The next stage on the CRM development journey was cloud computing. It’s these capabilities which made the CRM accessible to more businesses and what we built our very own SurCo CRM on.
Today, CRM is a must have business tool that can help increase growth and provide sustainability.
It is thought that as many as one third of businesses still haven’t employed the superpowers of a CRM system. The reservations seem to be focused on cost, software implementation and time.
Thankfully, the cost of CRM systems has reduced considerably, and many CRM providers also offer a free trial period.
CRM platforms are now developed in the cloud, so there’s no need to install lots of software and training is always provided, saving time before the CRM system has even had the chance to do so.
CRM software is now easier, smarter and quicker than ever before.
In this post, we look at how CRM will continue to evolve and what tech trends are emerging.
CRM Software Trends
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI is now being integrated with CRM software which probably doesn’t come as a surprise. AI can and is helping CRM systems enhance their capabilities through data sourcing, organising, analysing, cleansing, and reporting.
Measuring analytics is crucial for business success and AI coupled with CRM data makes this a very powerful measuring tool.
Performance stats can help any sized business identify issues, narrow down solutions and observe opportunities from the data held within the platform.
Analytics in real time is one powerful tool that more businesses are now investing in and this will likely increase thanks to the addition of AI technology.
This is just the beginning.
- Social Channel Integration
Social media channels are now a powerful tool for many businesses to reach and connect with their online audience. By integrating social channels and statistical reporting within the CRM software, providers are further enhancing an organisation’s reach and communication capabilities.
Social media accounts have soared in popularity largely due to their accessibility via mobile devices. CRMs also need to be as accessible via smartphones to ensure they can truly provide the anywhere/anytime service businesses have come to rely on.
Bringing apps together under one CRM ‘roof’ allows for the platform to do exactly what it was designed to do; manage customer relationships.
- Lessening Software Bloat
The one thing everyone wants in 2022 is less faff and bloat. CRMs provide this solution for businesses because they house the majority of tools required within the cloud based platform.
CRMs enable app integrations and two-way syncing, therefore reducing data duplication and time spent on updating multiple systems.
The trend to seek more streamlined ways of working is set to continue as companies look to reduce their financial and physical outputs.
Why pay and use multiple apps when one system can do everything needed?
- Increased Automation
Automation is already a key feature in most CRM systems. We see this increasing, even more, to enhance customer communication via chatbots, initiate help desk queries and funnel emails and prospects into specific pipelines.
Enhanced automation means sales professionals can focus more on the elements of their role, which require personalised human interaction and both of these inputs can help increase sales.
Chatbots can now help prospects journey through sales and marketing pipelines by asking questions, collecting data and delivering personalised outcomes.
This style of self service automation benefits both the client and business because the customer receives what they want with minimal effort from the provider.
- Enhanced CRM Capabilities
Business professionals want more than a glorified database, contact management, scheduling, interaction tracking and sales reporting should come as standard.
CRM systems are far more advanced in their capabilities and we see the trend for more enhanced features like email marketing, quote and buy payments and website integration continuing.
The more features a CRM can house within the one interface, the better for the client, users and customers because it saves time, and money and helps to enhance service delivery.
- A New CRM Audience Will Emerge
As Gen Z moves into the workplace, technologies such as CRMs and those enabling tech savvy folks to maximise their productivity, while providing a more personalised experience for their ‘following’ (aka client base) will be the winners.
While SaaS goes way back to the 1960s and seems little to do with newer generations, it has exploded since these generations got their hands on tech, and it’s not slowing down any time soon.
Now we have XaaS, which can transform an internet function into a service for subscription consumption, alongside PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service).
We see this developing further with eCommerce sites finding new ways to monetise business offshoots and linking that with CRM functions.
- CRM Accessibility Will Increase
Thanks to cloud computing, CRMs are now more accessible than ever, even to small businesses.
CRMs are no longer reserved for large organisations, even if there’s only one employee or a small team of freelancers; a CRM can be the exact tool that’s needed to help develop services and manage business data through growth phases.
- A Personal CRM Plan of Action
The data stored in a CRM provides valuable insight into customers’ personal preferences, which can help companies win repeat business and increase retention.
Consumers prefer a personal approach to marketing. It increases trust because they feel understood and also the client’s time, two ingredients for the perfect business relationship.
By using the personal customer data held within the CRM and leveraging that to communicate with customers about new products, services or offers, businesses are creating more targeted campaigns and able to win more sales as a result.
Businesses worldwide are seeing the increasing power of CRM systems and how they can help to streamline operations, increase sales and enhance customer communication.
These are the reasons why this investment in CRMs is set to continue. Especially when it’s possible to develop a CRM platform around personal business needs and make it truly bespoke, as we have been doing for our clients now for many years.
While CRM is an incredible tool to add to any business, it does require a well thought out and executed strategy to harness its full potential.
Putting a strategy in place means there are no limits to what it can help a business achieve.
Automating time intensive tasks, enhancing employee efforts and monitoring analytics from across the entire organisation can and are making businesses more efficient, effective and lucrative.
Contact us today about how a cloud CRM system can enhance your business operations and help you increase sales.