When the first CRM system came to life in the 1980s, it was nothing more than a robust database structured like a funnel; collecting and filtering client information. The 1990s brought with it one of the most crucial advancements in CRM still prevalent today- the ability to use the system as a two-way street: gathering client data and giving back a customer experience. The combination of newer software, the internet and superior capabilities has lead CRM to evolve into one of the largest and most competitive industries in today’s economy.
From a static database to a cyclical business tool, CRM’s transformation over time has impacted the way companies conduct business and communicate with clients. The big question people are now asking is: What does the future of CRM hold? The answers to this question are endless but for this blog, I will explore three possible paths of where the CRM industry might be heading and how CRM vendors like us, plan on getting there.
Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook oh my!
Integrating social media websites into a CRM system is the first step CRM vendors should take. These online social networks provide companies with a wealth of information on how their customers think, act and feel. It also offers additional points of contact to interact and strengthen relationships with customers in an informal environment.
Due to sheer popularity of online social networks, it is imperative for CRM companies to investigate its compatibility with their CRM system. Not only can companies gather what their customers think of them, they can also examine customers’ buying preferences and behavior, so to assist them with tailoring their pr
oducts and services. Companies must also recognize the Lead Generation component of social networking sites. For example, if you want to know whether people are actively seeking a product or service you provide, simply go to Twitter where you can find their specific needs and requirements listed in under 140 characters.
Let the Phone do the Talking
Technological advancements have been the driving force in the evolution of CRM. The next plausible development is most likely Voice-Enabled Software. Most CRM vendors offer mobile access to their system, allowing companies to continually update their database while on the go. However, what if salespeople were equipped with the ability to interact with the CRM using nothing but their voice and their mobile?
This incredible advancement would entail the CRM to first authenticate the user’s voice through their mobile, which would then allow for them to update their system account by verbally instructing it to do so. The other side of it would be for the CRM to readily read out the user’s schedule, appointments, to-dos and so forth through their phone. Though this prediction may seem extreme, I truly think that within the next 5 years, CRM will become one of the most interactive, business tools.
CRM Packaged for Success
With the mass amount of CRM contenders entering the marketplace, the only way to survive into the future is to find a unique competitive advantage. The majority of CRM systems offer the same functionality, the same intuitive features, and it goes without notice that some do it better than others. However, in order to really stand apart from the rest, CRM vendors will need to switch their product-oriented focus, to a more service-based approach.
Instead of simply selling a product, CRM vendors need to sell a complete CRM package, consisting of a thorough strategy and value-added s
ervices. The impact of doing so is that of establishing a long-term partnership with their clients and ensuring that their system’s features are being optimized to the utmost degree. At Luxor CRM, we offer a bundle of services with our system, such as assisted deployment, monthly health checks and unlimited support, which we have found to greatly increase the success rate of our deployments and the level of satisfaction of our clients.
Though the historical concept behind CRM has remained the same, the technology and selling strategies fronting it are in an ever-evolving state. The three predictions outlined in this blog shed some light on where I think CRM might be heading in the future and will hopefully provide some guidance for how CRM vendors can follow suit.