The Future of CRM: Our practice leaders share their vision

What happens when you put many CRM geniuses in the same room? 

They start talking about the future… 

That talk about the future turned into this article! 

So what should you expect from CRM in the next 10 years? 

Let’s dive right into it! 

Personalization will be king 

Well… Personalization is already king. But, in the new era of CRM, personalization at scale will be facilitated.

In 2022 and beyond, personalization and segmentation are no longer an option, they’re a must. 

Marketers must create personalized email marketing campaigns that the subscribers actually want to read.

“Personalization—it is not about first/last name. It’s about relevant content.” – Dan Jak

If your personalization isn’t data-driven using CRMs, it’s time to rethink your content strategy. And here’s a fact: 56% of B2B organizations use CRMs to assist with content marketing.

Here’s what you should already be focusing on: 

  1. Prioritize transparency. Consumers are already mistrustful about sharing their personal information, so don’t make it worse. Make sure that you tell your customers how you’ll use their data 
  2. Emphasize your efforts on first-party data. First-party data is data that you collect from your customers — interests, purchase history, etc. 
  3. Enable site tracking: Site tracking is a feature that gives you insights into what your contacts are doing on your site. It allows for advanced segmentation. 

Fewer silos 

54% of organizations report their customer experience operations are managed in silos

Source: Dimension Data CX Benchmarking Report.

87% of sales and marketing leaders say alignment between sales and marketing teams is key to critical business growth.

Source: LinkedIn Business Research 

This is because when departments work in silos, it reduces productivity, efficiency and slows down progress. 

For companies, the future of CRM platforms will increasingly be its use as a single source of truth which according to MuleSoft, “is the practice of aggregating the data from many systems within an organization to a single location.” 

A company that uses a CRM platform as a single source of truth allows it to connect employees, teams, departments, and even partners around providing a cohesive customer experience.

Here’s what you should already be focusing on: 

  1. Your data should be stored in one place. From there you can integrate your tools with your CRM in order to provide your teams with a single source of information. Doing so will help prevent communication silos. 
  1. Share a common vision and plan. Align your teams so that everyone is aware of business objectives and the strategy to achieve them. 

AI will empower your CRM

The future of CRM will use the power of AI to help organizations make smarter and faster decisions. 

This already exists and will only become more powerful. 

Salesforce Einstein is built for Salesforce’s CRM and gives sales and marketing departments more comprehensive and up-to-date views of customers and sales prospects. It’s also used to analyze data from different sources and predict where new leads will come from. It can also help customers resolve issues on real-time channels, like chat.

And research shows that uses of artificial intelligence (AI) in CRM are predicted to grow more than 250% in the following few years.

Here’s how you can already start using AI in your CRM:

  1. Leverage lead scoring. Lead scoring is the process of assigning values, often in the form of numerical “points,” to each lead you generate for the business. You can score your leads based on multiple attributes, including the professional information they’ve submitted to you and how they’ve engaged with your website and brand across the internet. This process helps sales and marketing teams prioritize leads, respond to them appropriately, and increase the rate at which those leads become customers.
  1. Predict win probability: Win probability uses machine learning, a subset of AI, to tell you how likely a lead is to convert. It helps your sales team determine where they should focus their efforts. 

More and more automation

According to research conducted by Asana, employees spend just 27% of their time on the skilled work they were hired for. 

They devote a significant portion of their time (60%) to tasks like clarifying work details, hunting down documents, updating spreadsheets, etc.

Automation allows sales teams to automate redundant prospecting and customer management tasks which are otherwise time-consuming. 

These tasks involve day-to-day activities such as data entry, contact updates, communication details, calendar management, and lead and opportunity updates.

In the near future, companies will automate more of their sales processes and marketing campaigns so employees can focus on what they’ve actually been hired to do. 

Here’s what you should already be doing: 

  1. Create a customer journey map. A customer journey map is a very simple idea: a diagram that illustrates the steps your customers go through in engaging with your company, whether it be a product, an online experience, retail experience, or a service, or any combination. This helps identify gaps in service or communications. 
  1. Create specific content for specific personas. When you’re done creating your customer journey map, you’ll better understand your audience. Which allows you to create different types of content for each touchpoint. You can then use content automation to nurture these leads.  

It’s a CRM, but on a phone

65% of CRM sales reps that use mobiles reach their sales target. Only 22% of non-mobile using CRM reps do the same. 

Source: MacDonald, 2021

With a mobile CRM, your sales, marketing, and customer service teams can access customer data and work productively without being tied to a desktop. 

It only makes sense if you think about it. 

Office employees are no longer tied to their desks, they’re working on the go. Sales teams travel between offices and other locations to meet with prospects. 

Field service agents also need access to schedules and work orders even when they’re not in the office.

Here’s how you can start:

  1. Provide employees with a mobile device and pre-configure the CRM application. This is ideal because sales teams may hesitate to install a mobile CRM on their personal devices.
  2. Train your sales team. Have your team go through any learning materials to ensure they know how to use specific features on mobile devices.

Plan or plan to fail 

Before thinking about the future of CRM and how it can help your organization, it’s crucial to make sure that your current system is up to date, data is clean and users are leveraging all functionalities properly. 

Contact us today to fix your Salesforce instance!

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