CRM Trends – What to expect in 2021?

In this blog post, we will cover CRM trends and what to expect for the future of customer relationship management.  There are a few key things that you should know about these trends in order to stay ahead of the game when it comes to your own business development.

As 2021 is moving forward, we are getting ready to witness huge changes in metrics and trends across different markets and industries. However, when it comes to businesses and customer relationships, some huge expectations and predictions are linked with CRM trends in 2021. 

As it has been previously seen that CRM technology has helped businesses in numerous ways, CRM providers are continuously working on increasing the capabilities related to their solutions. Due to the increasing demands of businesses and the relatively shrinking array of solutions to their problems, CRM has become a crucial need of time. 

With changing times, there is a possibility of seeing innovations never seen before. We can expect to see new ways of interacting with customers and much more. Let’s take a look at the key CRM trends that are expected to take shape in the coming days.

What are the latest trends in CRM? What should we expect to see in the future of CRM? Join us as we dive into some of these topics, and discuss what is coming next for this ever-changing industry. 

The world of customer relationship management (CRM) is always changing. With new technologies and devices emerging all the time, it can be hard to keep up with which features will matter most for your business going forward. 

We’re here to help you stay on top of things by highlighting some current trends and what you can look forward to seeing more often in the future.

CRM AI for the Win

Artificial Intelligence

Nowadays, AI is the talk of every industry and has gained enough attention to make its way to CRM technology. It is confirmed that AI will become the new CRM trend in 2021. Analysis of different organizations has shown that when integrated with CRM, AI alone is capable of boosting global business revenues by more than a trillion by the end of this year. The worth of AI in the CRM market would be a topic of greater discussion. Hence, AI isn’t just the next major trend; it is the next king too.

For converting manual tasks into automation-driven functions, AI coupled with CRM can contribute to the enhanced efficacy. Chatbots automated by AI can ascertain and forecast what additional details a customer might need. 

A recent report suggests that CRM acts linked with AI will push the global business revenue by up to $1.1 trillion by the end of the year 2021. And the CRM market would pounce to $72.9 in the coming couple of years.

If there’s one thing that’s affecting all industries, it’s artificial intelligence (AI). We’re using a lot more AI than we might think in our daily lives as well as at work.

14% of global CIOs have already deployed AI, according to Gartner’s 2019 CIO Agenda survey, and it’s estimated that AI associated with CRM activities will boost global business revenue by $1.1 trillion by the end of 2021.

Businesses can condense their sales and marketing tech stacks

With the rise of sophisticated CRMs and core tech tools, sales and marketing teams can get away with using fewer tools than before.

As a tech trend for 2021, teams will increasingly wonder: why do we pay for App A when App B can now tick that box and more?

For best results from their tech stack, teams will be creating more integrations and two-way syncs to ensure contact data is always updated across all apps.

Advancements in Conversational Technology

Voice Technology

Moving on from AI, next up in the list of trends is another technology that is revolutionizing across industries. Studies have shown that more than 90% of users prefer voice technology over others. 

The integration of voice technology into different aspects of CRM software would be so beneficial for companies as it would allow them to carry out different business tasks more easily. Hence, in the coming days, we can see more and more CRMs in line with their voice assistants and a set of conversational technology applications.

Integration with IoT

IoT is a huge domain that has excelled across different industries in the past years and would continue to do so in the coming years. But, the corporate world is among those who haven’t leveraged the potential of IoT yet. The coming year is expected to bring huge changes in the adoption of IoT technology as companies would improve the use of data collected by IoT devices to improve customer experience and ultimately foster a great relationship with their customers.

Advanced CRM systems will leverage this by linking connections to IoT feeds from their respective devices. A user mainly uses an IoT machine to transfer data about maintenance or product issues to the service provider. 

Now that IoT joins hands with CRM, a company can easily identify potential threats and performance defects raised from the customer satisfaction quotient. The future years are yet to see a hefty transition from wearable health monitors to cybersecurity scanners which were a dream in the past.

From smart home devices to wearable health monitors and cybersecurity scanners, there are expected to be more than 64 billion IoT devices worldwide by 2025, says TechJury.

This also applies to the corporate world: 93% of enterprises are believed to have adopted IoT technology in 2019, according to Fierce Electronics, which will only continue in coming years. This ranges from simple IoT devices, such as energy meters and smart appliances, to more advanced solutions for greater cost efficiencies, organizational capabilities and supply chain visibility.

Improving customer experience is the area where most enterprises are using data generated from IoT solutions. With IoT technologies, companies can monitor and service their clients in new and proactive ways that were previously unimaginable.

Consumers expect companies to know more about them

A business-to-customer relationship is becoming increasingly like any other human relationship. 

A company needs to remember previous conversations with a customer, understand their needs and expectations, and adjust communication accordingly. To enable this, all required customer data must be quickly accessible and accurate.

This isn’t always guaranteed: 87% of consumers believe companies need to provide a more consistent customer experience.

Having a CRM as part of a connected tech stack is the best way to fix this, as it allows different team members to store customer data about all previous conversations and known preferences.

Prime Focus on Customer Experience

Customer Experience

One of the major factors that contribute to the success of a company is the customer experience. For a long time, customers have been judging the quality of the business from the experience they have had while dealing with it. 

So, it is not of surprise that companies would focus mainly on improving the factors that result in affecting their customer experience. They would certainly work on better and more customized customer service to provide the best customer experience.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are the by-products of immersive technologies. They are paving the way for the customer journey by bringing out engrossing engagements. It is a given that amalgamating CRM with the goodness of AR and VR will offer brands a distinctive edge. 

This includes advanced tools, which, when used, can augment the buyer experience and can create a difference in conversion success. Not only this, this combination can render real-time information, which would benefit a user in deploying hands-on application of skills.

One of the latest addition to the CRM market trends will be self-service and automation. Bots will take up more responsibility and cut down on manual management tasks gradually. In fact, many platforms have started rendering chatbots that are programmed to sum up details, ask questions, and provide rather personalized content for the users. 

Imbuing self-service will help customers get their answers without much intervention from the company side, thereby saving time and energy. And thus a win-win situation.

Importance of Self Service

In the age of automation, it is important to address the impact of technology on your customers and your relationship with them. Chatbots and conversational AI are the frontiers of new businesses, but they don’t effectively serve in some conditions when they aren’t required. 

So, CRM providers are expected to work on integrating AI solutions in their CRMs so that it allows them to solve their issues by themselves without wasting their valuable time in call queues to the support executives.

Mobile CRM is the New Face

Looking a few years back, CRM was just a technology confined to office spaces without even reaching digital platforms inside the offices. But as different technologies are advancing, it is expected from CRM software to match the standards of other technologies thereby, bringing the best experience to mobile users. 

Businesses are encouraging their employees to work remotely, and in that condition, a Mobile CRM experience is necessary for them to have a great working option. Hence, Mobile CRM is the latest trend to look forward to.

Voice Technology to the Rescue 

It becomes vehemently easier for sales folks to notify, update, and track their teams regarding customer data with the usage of voice technology. 

One of the succeeding facets to be explored by the CRM systems is voice engagement. And it is anticipated that this technology can engender bigger waves when teamed up with a CRM network.

Vertical Markets and Customizable CRM 

Vertical Markets

The evolution of CRM trends can never be complete without fostering the vertical markets. As the world of CRM is engulfing more changes, the platforms are expected to get more niche-oriented. 

Some of the highly regularized industries such as finance manufacturing and healthcare might soon be able to pick from an eclectic collection of CRM platforms. These will automatically be equipped with in-built functionaries to meet the future of industry standards.

CX will still be the top priority. 

It goes without saying. Customer experience will continue to mold the future of CRM systems. Experts predict that the CRM systems of tomorrow will evolve to provide simplicity in use, access, and analysis. 

This, in turn, will trigger revamped and more personalized customer service, which will produce a better customer experience. It will now be possible to deliver information that responds to the needs of the customers and directs them into the marketing funnel.

Integration with Social Media

The integration of CRM with social media is expected to be of great benefit for various businesses. It is the most anticipated trend in the CRM industry as businesses would be able to gain valuable insights on their customers from the data being made available to them from social media.

Analyzing the data on their social media platforms and leveraging it would lead them to create better customer relationships. It would also allow them to link and interact with their potential customers and stakeholders aside from business terms to have a better connection with them.

Understanding the new generation

As the world is moving forward, we’re entering into a newer generation where people at all levels of industries, markets, and networks are focused on new mindsets and working practices. 

So, CRM providers must account for changing trends in the corporate communities and software users. Also, they need to work on better analytics so that the users get access to better customer information as well as valuable insights on future trends.

These are the key CRM trends to look for in 2021 as we are witnessing huge changes in different aspects of markets and industries because of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, the new trends are likely to remain for a long time now, and it would be great for companies who account for the same.

Businesses are automating more processes using their CRM

Process Automation

To stay relevant to tech-savvy customers, top CRMs need to offer advanced automation features.

Many of the top players have been investing heavily in automation in the last few years, including HubSpot, Salesforce, and ActiveCampaign, which have placed automation front-and-center in their product and marketing.

In 2021, we predict CRM will become more synonymous with automation. For instance, we are using chatbots to communicate with customers and solve help tickets automatically or using automated email workflows to nurture sales prospects down the funnel.

With automation, businesses can offer high-quality customer services while optimizing operational costs – something that an increasing number of businesses are realizing, and CRMs are continuing to support in new ways.

Powerful Integrations and CRM 

Advanced integrations teaming up with future CRM software will facilitate more information on the users and expand the overall platform functionality. Also, these integrations with data sources and various business systems make it possible to track external interactions with the users. This gives the company a notch up, too, as they can get a unified perception of the customer’s journey with more effective data.

Social CRM on the Go 

Linking social CRM with CRM systems can pull out many additional benefits. Mixing these together gives you a better perspective of how people see their brand and what are they posting about them. When social CRM is deployed, it becomes really easy to wreathe deeper relationships with customers. In simpler words, you can now conveniently get a better picture of how your clients see you and get fast answers to their tastes.

XaaS – everything as a service

SaaS – software as a service – is well-known, but what’s XaaS? Everything as a Service takes the concept of SaaS and spreads it to encompass every form of product and service.

With XaaS, any IT function can be transformed into a service for enterprise consumption – from the platform as a service (PaaS) to infrastructure as a service (IaaS), among many others. XaaS includes any computing service delivered via the internet and paid for via a subscription rather than an upfront cost.

As a tech trend for 2021, we predict more organizations will seek cloud solutions for new corners of their business, whether as part of their CRM, a stand-alone system, or a connected tool.

CRMs need to be connected to every other part of a business.

CRM Business Tools and Processes

As each year rolls by, more organizations are viewing their CRM as an essential organ for the wellbeing of their company. To make this happen and reap the benefits, a CRM has to be connected to all other tools and processes in your organization.

From your email marketing tool to your invoicing system, make sure to have two-way syncs set up between tools that store customer data and your CRM.

Keeping your data in sync is the best way to avoid human error, resolve pesky data silos, save time on manual input and paint the clearest picture of your business for every team.

In the 2020s, you should have no reason to distrust your customer data and wrestle with unending lists of duplicate emails and misleading data.

CRM Software has been a great tool for corporates for some time now, and in the coming time, it is set to become better as new trends would bring more changes in the dynamics of the industry. 

About Us

Focus on Force is the ideal preparation for your Salesforce Certification. I’ve spent eight years working with the Salesforce platform in various roles (including business analyst, project manager, consultant, solutions designer, and solutions architect), and worked my way through 10 certifications in order to move up the career ladder. 

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