How will CRM evolve this year?

11th Jan 2016

2015 saw CRM software blur the lines between sales, marketing and customer service. 2016 will see this evolution continue, with an emphasis on business intelligence and integration. 

In 2015, it was predicted businesses would begin to use CRM software to bridge the gap between sales and marketing. New CRM releases have facilitated this, allowing businesses to connect and communicate with their prospects and customers and attend to their needs 24/7. This has been made possible through the development of social, cloud and mobile CRM capabilities.

Through 2016 we anticipate CRM solutions evolving to become more intelligent, predicting future trends and providing recommendations, supporting businesses and enabling them to grow quicker than ever before.

Nucleus Research explains: “Although marketing was the first area to get predictive, the future for all three pillars (sales, marketing, and service) of CRM is predictive – taking advantage of the intelligence of the software to look forward, not just track progress.” In 2016 we can expect to see other business areas get predictive too.

With technology evolving at an increasing rate, we can expect to see the adoption of CRM software increase. In 2016 we will see the following:

CRM data will transform insights into action with advances in intelligence

Business intelligence functionality will and how it is applied, will continue to develop within CRM software. As CRM software becomes more intelligent, it will enable businesses to become proactive rather than reactive, providing recommendations reflective of data and behavioural trends. This will allow users to easily capitalise on cross-sell and upsell opportunities to prospects and customers based upon their profile, interactions and engagement.

Integration will be key, increasing productivity by 40%

In 2016, CRM software will become more flexible, integrating external SmartPhone apps, to provide additional customer behaviour insight. As the IoT (Internet of Things) grows, the demand and the ability to pull in and analyse data from multiple locations to remain competitive will grow.

Mobile CRM will explode by more than 500%

In 2015, the rules and regulations regarding flexible working changed, opening the gates for flexible working hours and individuals working away from the office environment. This coupled with BYOD had made accessibility a priority for many businesses, along with the security of their data. To address this, we’ll see software vendors stepping up security to defend users from new risks and the adoption of Mobile CRM solutions is likely to rise.

Cloud deployments will dominate the CRM industry

Upon the introduction of cloud there were many misconceptions about security. However, as awareness increases people are selecting cloud-based applications as they offer greater security, as well as being affordable and accessible. In 2016 we can expect adoption of cloud CRM deployments to surpass the amount of CRM solutions deployed on-premise. According to Gartner, by the end of 2015 over half of CRM deployments will move to the cloud with this set to increase to 85% by 2025.

Social CRM will advance, enabling businesses to provide a better service

Social CRM has previously allowed businesses to monitor and collate data from what customers say about their business and products online. In 2016, this will evolve to provide businesses with an intuitive way to engage with their customers and prospects to create more personalised recommendations based upon what they say via their social media channels. It will also highlight accounts that are potentially at risk due to the conversations they’re having, which will allow businesses to react and provide support accordingly. Added to this, CRM integration will become more functional, linking social channels to customer service issues in CRM systems.

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