5 CRM trends for 2018

crm trends

Customer relationship management (CRM) software gives business owners and managers the peace of mind that comes with knowing their teams have easy access to the customer data they need to make sales, retain clients, and keep satisfaction levels high. By keeping all of this crucial data in a centralized system, a CRM also boosts overall efficiency by streamlining business practices and simplifying workflows. With the right CRM in place, resources that were once dedicated to managing data across a half-dozen disconnected systems can now be dedicated to growing and supporting the business.

As your business changes and adapts to the times, so should your CRM software. New business tools, analysis needs, and other changes may require updates and changes to your CRM. As we move into a new year, it’s worth taking a look at the major CRM trends for 2018.

Relationship Intelligence

Possibly the biggest recent debut in the CRM world is the advancement of relationship intelligence in customer relationship management. With the advent of social media and other technological advancements, customers and potential customers expect you to know more about them and to understand their needs…and quickly. Relationship intelligence allows you to start to form business relationships by the click of a button.

For instance, SugarCRM’s Hint tool automatically searches, tunes, and inputs helpful personal and corporate profile details about your prospect from just a name and an email.  As an added bonus, one click of a button brings this vital information directly into Sugar.

For more information about relationship intelligence and CRM, check out our next blog on Jan. 25.

Cloud-based CRM

As CRM technology continues to advance, so do the many options it can provide for businesses of all sizes and needs. One such avenue is cloud-based CRM. According to Forbes, 50 percent of business activity is already executed in the cloud. Benefits of having cloud-based CRM is the ability to quickly get up to speed and not having the added cost or pressure of managing software on your own server.

Artificial intelligence

While AI isn’t necessarily new to the CRM world, it is quickly becoming a must-have item for the software. One of the main benefits of a CRM system is the ability to streamline processes, making life easier for both your and your employees. That’s where AI can help.

Whether its using an AI chatbot to answer common questions, or using a voice-capable intelligent digital assistant to automate or speed up specific processes, companies are gravitating to utilizing AI when applicable.

(For an artificial intelligence in business decision making, check out Sugar’s survey.)

Work imitates life (and vice versa)

In today’s world – with the above technologies included – the traditional 9-5 worker is becoming less common. Whether they work remotely from the office, or are sales personnel in the field, employees continue expand their physical distance from the office.

These changes mean that that companies will need to find new ways to interact with their employees, and to give them the right tools to do that work efficiently. Customer relationship management (CRM) software can be accessed by both desktop and mobile, enabling full access to customer data no matter where your team is.

Customization Your Way

One of the greatest elements of a CRM system is that is can come with a wide range of tools and features. However, sometimes companies dig in too deep, and soon find themselves stuck with overly complicated software. It’s fantastic to have options, but the more steps in a process, the more likely it is for your team to get lost or give up.

Going into 2018, companies are expected to turn away from “bloatware” and instead move toward more simplistic, useful CRM systems.

One of the best ways to ensure your company gets the most from its CRM software is to partner with an CRM implementations firm that can walk you through the process and build solutions that you need.

Ready to get started? Contact us today!

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