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Every new year brings with it, a whole bunch of celebrations (with lots of wine of course) & a lot of new trends emerge.
When it comes to CRM, it’s really tough to predict which way the wind will blow. However, taking the market response & experts’ opinions into account… here’re a few trends which I think will go BIG this year.
AI (Artificial Intelligence)
Like everything else, AI is also set to make BIG inroads into the world of CRM this year. It’s just inevitable, like it or not.
At times when users get overwhelmed with the huge amount of data a CRM gives out, AI will be like a breath of fresh air. Imagine it predicting what product/service a particular lead will most likely be interested in, depending on a set of parameters such as demographics, buying habits to name a few. Things will be so cool.
For marketers, AI may also give valuable info about where they’ll get the best RoI from, which areas serve as their cash cows.
In short, AI will make decision making a lot easier by making best use of the data available.
Automation is going to play a major part in sales cycles this year. Because, most of the sales folks want repetitive works like email follow ups, scheduling a meeting out of their kitty.
Also, a report in the US states that people are increasingly getting more comfortable with automated interactions, rather than talking to an actual guy over telephone. Yes it’s heartbreaking but true, no one likes those sales calls.
In today’s jet-set-go world, startups & small businesses hardly spend their time & effort on training. They need resources to be able to use the CRM straight away.
That’s exactly where simplicity or easy-to-use interface comes into play. Almost everyone is running tirelessly behind this, but very few have come close to cracking this.
Also, it’s not just the sales & marketing team that’s involved in the CRM. The product development team may also want to take a look at the buying behaviours to work on new products or updates. Even the finance dept can take a look at your CRM to predict the financial requirements of your firm. Hence, the key here is to make the CRM tool as easy as possible for all parties to use.
Closed Eco-systems are things of the past now. Open is the new trend.
With cloud computing going places, demand for third party integrations has gone up by multiple folds. People now want carry out multiple operations at one place & it’s now so much easier for developers to seamlessly allow external softwares to integrate into their CRMs & work together.
The future will be where different technologies & software talk to each other, work seamlessly with each other. Won’t it be awesome!
Sharing is no more just limited to cars and BnBs. Businesses across the world are increasingly focusing on virtual collaboration, rather than the traditional looking over-the-shoulder approach.
Everyone has started to believe that they can achieve so much more in a group. And it’s not a bad thing either. If a group of like minded & able folks work towards the same goal, the limit is too high.
Hence, CRMs will be no different either. With time, there will more and more focus on multi-user / team collaboration within the app itself.
Another trend which just missed my shortlist by a whisker is the CRM world going ‘Mobile Only‘ route. I think we’re just talking too soon about it & it might still take a year or two for people to totally get rid of computers. Nonetheless, it’s inevitable. That’s for sure.
Do you see any other trends going BIG this year? Did I miss anything? Please leave your suggestions below. I would appreciate it.