2018 turned out to be a huge year for CRM as companies realized the full extent of its functionalities and paved the way for Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and Internet of Things. Big data cemented its place as the source of all good things when it comes to customers but things took a turn for the worse when the world caught up with lackluster security protocols in the virtual ecosystem. Things only go uphill from here because CRM is a household name and everyone wants a piece of this cake.
Let’s look at some of the top CRM trends to look out for in 2019
CRM goes Mainstream
The CRM industry is truly evolving beyond its reach and 2018 showed how the mainstream industry has caught on with it. More and more companies these days look for a Customer Relationship Management platform early on in their existence. The multitude of benefits in terms of customer acquisition, retention, and management are hallmarks that make CRM a must-have software. SugarCRM and Salesforce still hold the top spots when it comes to the best but expect more CRM vendors to sprout in 2019, offering basic or mid-scale services at cheaper rates to target the SMBs. However, a word of caution; the rise of GDPR and privacy regulations regarding big data is serious stuff, so opt for a CRM vendor that guarantees data privacy. The big two in the CRM Industry, SugarCRM and Salesforce, are both GDPR ready!
Artificial Intelligence and Marketing Automation take center stage!
2018 paved the way, 2019 will cement their footing! Artificial Intelligence is truly here and the amazing benefits it presents for companies worldwide means it’s not going away any time soon. Artificial Intelligence with CRM makes for an interesting combination that brings order and proactiveness to customer support and management. Expect companies to leverage AI in areas beyond customer support in 2019 to achieve a competitive edge. Voice-to-text functionalities, spam filters, sales forecasting, smart searches, and sentimental analysis are all areas that can do a lot more with Artificial Intelligence.
As for the other half of the sales cycle, expect Marketing Automation to secure a solid footing in a majority of marketing tasks and operations. Companies can grow their marketing to new heights as the bulk of the work gets automated, expect competition and cutting edge solutions heading into 2019.
Mobile CRM takes over!
Mobile CRM presents its users the core CRM functionalities on the go and brings a whole new range of possibilities for your CRM users. 2018 saw Mobile CRM breakthrough for Sales departments. With CRM functionalities on their phone, Sales teams improved their productivity by closing deals and managing clients on the go. By being constantly connected to the CRM, your sales people are always a touch away from your clients. Certain CRM integrations can add to the diverse functionality of Mobile CRM and improved data quality. Mobile CRM ensured new data into the database in real time and increased CRM adoption rates with its multi-device adaptability.
2019 will be the year when companies dig into years of customer data to personalize experiences for them. The number 1 rule to retaining customers is making them feel valued. If you as a company can target the customer’s need before the customer itself, you’ve hit gold. Years of data in CRM can be leveraged to do just that. The world is effectively heading into a territory where customer experience will grow to become the key differentiator, and deep personalization is the most popular train to it. Use your customer data to understand your customer, identify their preferences, needs, wants, and then tailor the experience with the help of AI to make them feel appreciated. Read more on how you can use SugarCRM to improve Customer Experience.
Our Two Bits!
Things may take a different route altogether but they will still have strings attached to the key differentiators we mentioned. The world of technology is volatile and it takes very little to change the course of things; who saw GDPR coming in 2018? Nonetheless, the focus on Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and Data is where we see the CRM Industry heading, but then again, who’s to say they’re not already there?