CRM Trends for 2019 & Beyond

CRM Trends for 2019 & Beyond

The use of CRM is growing, and in a highly competitive market, it is crucial to be up-to-date with the trends. Top CRM vendors like Salesforce, Oracle, and SAP, have been making improvements in key CRM functionalities. Each have AI capabilities, and with the ability to improve conversion rates, boost sales, gather pertinent data, and improve customer satisfaction, standing out from the crowd isn’t a simple task. With changes and improvements in technology, this will be an exciting year for CRM as we move from standard to more complex features and functions.

4 CRM Trends Coming Up

1. Conversational AI-Powered CRM: Combining Artificial Intelligence with CRM will fuel the focus on conversational CRM systems. There are many new developments in the CRM world like text and face recognition, but voice functionalities will lead. Just like the voice assistants on smartphone, AI-powered CRM, such as Salesforce’s Einstein, enables organizations to get information from simple to complex data by using voice commands. The lesser-known, Zia, from Zoho CRM, is a voice assistant that allows users to easily and quickly access information through mobile or desktop applications. The use of voice is changing the way we live and work, and integrating it into CRM will only make tasks simpler, allowing for dictation instead of manually typing or to quickly access information through voice commands. Of 1,028 organizations worldwide, 28% said they have already adopted AI and another 41% said they’ll do so within two years. -IDC’s AI/CRM Economic Impact Survey AI associated with CRM activities will boost global business revenue by $1.1 trillion by the end of 2021. IDC White Paper

2. IoT in CRM for Proactive, Predictive & Prescriptive Customer Service: IoT in CRM is the future of customer service. IoT is believed to be one of the main drivers of CRM as it will give a big boost to CRM in terms of having CRM systems work better for organizations, driving sales, and improving customer service and satisfaction. One example of such integration is the ability to analyze information generated from connected devices, and if any issues are reported, even fixing them remotely. As everything is becoming connected to the network, varying industries will be transformed and IoT in CRM will be able to handle this transformation by being able to better automate customer service to solve problems faster, more efficiently and even before they occur. IoT will profoundly impact CRM as the vast amount of valuable data gathered from customers and potential customers will dramatically improve and enhance the function of CRM. The installed base of IoT devices worldwide is forecast to grow to almost 31 billion in 2020.

3. Increase of Mobile CRM Usage: Mobile CRM delivers full CRM capabilities on almost any device that can connect to the network. Enabling real time access at any time and place, it’s no surprise that this trend will continue to flourish. With mobile device usage continuing to grow, it’s only natural that the number of CRM users that access their system on smartphones and tablets will continue to grow as well. An increase in mobile CRM usage means increased efficiency, access to more accurate information, improved customer experience, and eliminating the need to learn new software. With 91% of companies with 10 or more employees having a CRM system in place, it’s pertinent to ensure that these systems are accessible on a variety of devices and internet speeds. 48% of users access CRM through their smartphones and 45% access CRM through their tablets. The use of mobile CRM increases the productivity of employees by 15%. 65% of sales reps who use mobile CRM achieved their sales targets compared to only 22% for those who use traditional CRM systems.- Capterra

4. Hyper-Individualization for Unbeatable CX: Many companies have years of data in their CRM systems that will enable them to provide customers with an unbeatable hyper-individualized customer experience; a trend that will be evident. Hyper-Individuialization, also referred to as “extreme,” or “deep” personalization is an experience that delivers service wherein customers feel valued and appreciated because organizations understand them and will know what they want and when they want it. Hyper- individualization will be crucial as it’ll give organizations a competitive edge on customer experience and engagement. It means gathering the right data as opposed to more data and being able to answer the question to why instead of what — insights that will provide more accurate and useful recommendations, thereby greatly improving the customer experience. 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer if they are recognized, are offered relevant recommendations, and remember their purchase history. Accenture

CRM & Digital Transformation

Digital presence is already more apparent than ever, and more so in the future. With an increasing amount of information being available, decisions that companies make have become even more crucial,  making sure that they’re targeting the right customer, at the right time, and with the right offers — all of which are possible with customer-related data available through digitalization.

CRM systems will need to use information from different but tightly related sources over time, including social signals, communication frequency, omni-channel support, and customer analytics; and collect them to generate meaningful relationship intelligence. Having a deep understanding of customers and a strong digital presence will lead to a seamless multi-channel experience, strong customer relations and increased profitability. Companies that transform digitally have customers that are 6 times more likely to try a new product or service from their preferred brand, four times more likely to refer your brand, and two times more likely to make a purchase with their preferred brand, even when a competitor has something better to offer at a lower price.

Final Thoughts

This year will bring an increase in spending on CRM as companies realize the importance of not just knowing but understanding their customers. As technology such as voice and mobile capabilities are used in CRM, it improves not only the customer experience, but the user experience as well. The trends for 2019 — those that allow CRM to use technology more efficiently or that integrate digital technology  has allowed CRM to evolve to what it is today and there’s certainly more to see in the future as CRM becomes increasingly crucial for companies.

This post was written by Balaji Ramachandran, Founder & CEO of SoftClouds. His mission is helping clients understand CRM, Cloud, IoT and AI, to stay ahead and ready for future trends. Bala has over 20 years of entrepreneurial and innovation leadership that has helped shape today’s CX software industry.