A complete buyer’s guide to CRM

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a technology for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. The goal is simple: Improve business relationships. A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability.

When people talk about CRM, they are usually referring to a CRM system, a tool that helps with contact management, sales management, productivity, and more.

A CRM solution helps you focus on your organization’s relationships with individual people — including customers, service users, colleagues, or suppliers, including finding new customers, winning their business, and providing support and additional services throughout the relationship.

Trends in 2021

We can expect to see new ways of interacting with customers and much more. Let’s take a look at the key CRM trends that are expected to take shape in the coming days:-

1. Artificial Intelligence: It is confirmed that AI will become the new CRM trend in 2021. Analysis of different organizations has shown that when integrated with CRM, AI alone is capable of boosting global business revenues by more than a trillion by the end of this year. Further, it is predicted that AI use will create more jobs in the customer relationship management CRM softwares. Contrary to common belief, AI will create more jobs than it replaces the existing ones. This job generation will increase the scope of CRM tools, thereby, increasing the visibility of businesses.

2. Voice Technology integrated into CRM: Voice technology is critical to the advancement of SaaS solutions. An Adobe study on voice technology says that around 94% of users consider voice technology easy to use, and say it does more than save time – it improves their quality of life. For example, Salesforce’s Einstein Voice Assistant helps sales personnel track customer data faster and update their teams about the same. SAP, another CRM solution provider, too has embraced voice technology. More CRM solution providers are expected to follow suit and incorporate voice technology into their operational processes and interfaces.

3. Integration with IoT: Experts expect IoT to redefine CRM activities in future. TechJury says the world would be flooded with more than 64 billion IoT devices by 2025 which may range from smart home devices to wearable health monitors to cyber security scanners. Companies are increasingly using data generated from IoT solutions to improve overall customer experiences. Embracing IoT will offer CRM platforms deep insights into customer usage and behavior to devise personalized marketing strategies while providing enhanced customer support.

4. Social CRM: What is social CRM? It’s the integration of social media channels into CRM platforms. By viewing social media and CRM together, companies gain a more powerful overview of what people are posting about them on social media, as well as a clearer understanding of brand sentiment. If organizations can use social CRM to respond to comments quickly and thoughtfully, they can build stronger relationships with existing and potential customers and incorporate more user feedback into their roadmap.

5. Customer Experience: Customer satisfaction can either make or break a business. Since they are the pillars of any business, it is of paramount importance to ensure that the best service is delivered when they reach out to your team. Be it the first call, purchase call, or support call – they must receive the best service that will increase the lifetime value of customers. Hence, customer experience is an important CRM trend.

6. Mobile CRM: When your teams have a mobile solution, the employees can easily follow up on their tasks and provide solutions from anywhere, even when they are away from their desks. The development of Mobile CRM has become a boon for employees to easily collaborate among themselves and communicate with the customers. Since Businesses are encouraging their employees to work remotely and in that condition, a Mobile CRM experience is necessary for them to have a great working option. Hence, Mobile CRM is the latest trend to look forward to.

7. Chatbots: Chatbots are programmed to engage customers, ask questions, sum up details, and provide the end-users with more personalized content. The synergy between automation and CRM has enabled chatbots to complete more contact management tasks without any human interference on the part of sales team members. Chatbots ensure that the customers get quicker answers with little or no effort on the part of the company employees. Automation renders interaction, engagement and management tasks much easier for businesses.

8. Integrations to CRM: Future CRM platforms would definitely go for advanced integration with multiple data sources and other third-party applications to draw more insights on consumers while improving the functionality of their software. For example, integration with marketing automation and analytical tools would help CRM platforms track and analyze external interactions with consumers. Similarly, integration with various accounting tools would help businesses streamline the billing process and implement customer segmentation better. As already stated, integration with IoT devices would give CRM platforms access to voluminous data on consumer usage to offer better customer support and formulate personalized marketing strategies.

9. Analytics: Advanced analytical tools help companies identify challenges and find solutions to meet them. This is achieved by analyzing data in real-time and reporting on it. Advanced analytics backed up by CRM processes would offer actionable insights on sales pipelines, lead generation, and customer satisfaction. Most businesses have come to accept that CRM Analytics is integral to their growth in more ways than one.

10. CRMs need to be connected to every other part of a business: From your email marketing tool to your invoicing system, make sure to have two-way syncs set up between tools that store customer data and your CRM. Keeping your data in sync is the best way to avoid human error, resolve pesky data silos, save time on manual input and paint the clearest picture of your business for every team. In the 2020s, you should have no reason to distrust your customer data and wrestle with unending lists of duplicate emails and misleading data.


Following are some real facts and figures regarding CRMs:-
1. According to Fortune Business Insights, In 2020, the global market for Customer Relationship Management was valued at $52.64 billion.

2. Nucleus Research revealed an average of $8.71 returned for every dollar spent in 2014. Though this number hasn’t been updated since then, Dynamic Consultants commented on the evolution of the CRM market in 2021 and calculated that this number may have increased to an average of around $30.48 for every dollar spent in 2021.

3. According to industry estimates from Grandview Research, more than 91% of companies with 10 or more employees use a CRM to manage conversations with customers.

4. Gartner predicts that by the end of 2021, CRM technology will represent the largest area of enterprise software investment. Companies from small brands to large banks and consulting agencies are all increasingly turning to CRM.

5. Salesforce believes that artificial intelligence will be one of the major factors accelerating the growth of CRM going forward. In a report conducted in 2017, the company revealed that AI could lead to $1.1 trillion in additional CRM revenues.

6. A report on the State of Sales by LinkedIn found that 64% of companies consider CRM technology to be either impactful or very impactful. Additionally, sales teams using CRMs also showed a 17% higher job satisfaction.

7 According to Grandview Research, Around 82% of the companies surveyed in a recent report say they use their CRM systems for sales reporting and process automation. However, senior management across companies is also relying more on CRM solutions to handle actionable customer data.

8. According to resco.net, Around 72% of companies say that using a CRM gives them access to better customer data. Users also recommended CRM technology for improved relationship management and enhanced interaction tracking.

9. According to OnePage Express, CRM technology isn’t just for the desktop or laptop anymore. CRM solutions are becoming increasingly common on mobile devices. 81% of users say they frequently access their technology from more than one device.

10. GWI finds that around 1 in 4 customers interacts with their favorite brands on social media. These customers want access to more support, sales, and services on their preferred social channels, paving the way to more CRMs with social technology.