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Top 7 CRM Trends to Look for in 2021

Today, providing the best products and services is just not enough. Building meaningful relationships with customers to foster loyalty and retention is equally important. Customer Relationship Management plays a pivotal role for each and every business, and staying ahead of CRM trends can provide you with a competitive advantage.

In the past few years, the Customer Relationship Management system has grown well beyond just being a contact management mechanism to a holistic business solution. It offers something for everyone and adds a lot of value to your organization.

Brands around the world are choosing CRM to support their customers with a more conversational approach. It is expected that the global CRM market will grow to an impressive $81.9 billion by 2025. CRM is emerging as a one-stop solution helping organizations make data-driven decisions to drive hyper sales growth and boost revenue.

As we progress into this new decade, the industry as we know it has shaken up by key CRM trends. In this article, we’ve gathered the top CRM trends that you should know for 2021 and beyond. Here are some of our top CRM predictions, including increased use of CRM from new markets, strong features and integrations, and the effect of wider tech trends on CRM.

1. AI is becoming a central part of CRM

There’s a ton of noise around Artificial Intelligence these days, and CRM is not going to be excluded from this trend. According to Gartner’s 2019 CIO Agenda survey, 14% of global CIOs have already deployed AI, and it is estimated that AI associated with CRM activities will boost global business revenue by $1.1 trillion by the end of 2021.

To allow personalization of customer interactions, CRM analyses vast amounts of data. Different CRM tools provide organizations with access to information from multiple touchpoints across various departments and channels, such as sales, marketing, and contact centers, to build effective business strategies. Businesses can expect AI-powered CRM platforms to shed light on real-time consumer behaviors and provide insights into purchase trends to facilitate potential conversions.

AI will assist CRM to simplify laborious and repetitive manual activities, thereby enhancing employee productivity. AI and Machine Learning (ML) will boost the conversational options currently available with CRM platforms. CRM chatbots backed by AI will soon be able to anticipate future customer queries and provide additional information that might be required. AI-powered CRM will deliver quicker and better solutions, eliminating the incidence of human errors.

2. CRM will join hands with IoT

IoT is emerging as the biggest game-changer in almost every industry vertical. The integration of CRM and IoT will be witnessed this year on a larger scale. CRM and IoT combined offers numerous advantages, such as an advanced level of customization, increased customer loyalty, improved customer retention, and helps deliver personalized marketing campaigns.

According to experts, IoT will continue to make substantial changes in the manner in which CRM is done. According to research, IoT devices will increase to 39 billion by 2025. By adding connections to IoT feeds from devices, advanced CRM systems are taking advantage of this trend. These smart devices provide a treasure trove of insights into customer behaviour and enable businesses to use these insights not only to provide enhanced customer support but also to deliver more personalized marketing strategies.

3. Voice Technology and Conversational User Interface (UI)

Voice technology plays a fundamental role in the advancement of SaaS solutions. According to an Adobe study on voice technology, around 94% of users consider voice technology easy to use and believe that it saves more time and enhances their quality of life. Voice assistants help sales staff monitor customer data faster. Leading CRM solution providers have embraced voice technology and more CRM solution providers are expected to follow suit.

4. Customer Experience will take centre stage

Usability has always been a challenge for CRM platforms, but the most popular CRM systems in the future will have an interface that focuses on ease of use. User experience will always be at the heart of CRM. Experts have predicted that CRM systems will soon grow to be easy to use, making it easier to access and evaluate information. We might also see advanced CRM functionality that will make it easier for sales and customer service agents to initiate contact with customers.

With the ease of use in CRM, businesses can be expected to provide enhanced and personalized customer service. CRM systems will be able to deliver information that addresses the needs of consumers reliably and guide them further into the marketing funnel.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a powerful, scalable CRM solution. With a familiar and intuitive user interface, it ranks among the highest in user adoption. With great functionality, value, and flexibility, it is not easy to lose sight of the advantages that Dynamics 365 CRM can bring to an organization that wants minimal configuration and ease of use to optimize business operations and provide a fast return on investment.

5. Mobile CRM will pave the way

The advent of smartphones has transformed the way businesses manage their operations. To keep up with the ever-evolving trends in the digital world, CRM technology has evolved as well. With ‘work from home’ being the standard of the day, all concerned stakeholders need to access CRM resources. This requires compact CRM tools with easy, interchangeable online-offline capabilities. More mobile compatible CRM features are expected to enter the market to meet the increasing connectivity needs of the end-users.

6. Social CRM will be on the rise

Social CRM can be defined as the integration of social media networks into CRM platforms. When social media and CRM come together, businesses get to derive more powerful insights from social media and get a greater understanding of brand awareness. By delivering timely and insightful responses to comments posted, businesses can utilize social CRM to create stronger relationships with customers, both current and prospective. CRM is expected to dive deeper into social networking helping businesses to better understand how consumers view their goods and services and provide quick responses to their queries. Adopting social CRM will help companies generate more leads, win more customers and retain them in the long run.

7. Integration of CRM with Other Processes

In order to work, CRM systems use data from as many as 12 sources. Advanced integration with multiple data sources and other third-party applications will certainly become a prerequisite for future CRM platforms to gain more insights into customers while enhancing their software functionality. Integration with marketing automation and analytical tools, for instance, will help CRM systems monitor and analyze external customer interactions. Similarly, the incorporation of different accounting tools will help organizations streamline their billing processes and better implement customer segmentation.

Conclusion

Today, a large share of the software industry is dominated by CRM, and it is only going to get bigger in the years to come. Getting ahead of these trends will help you find out which functions to look for in a CRM platform for your business.

Author Bio: Scarlett Jonathon is the head of marketing at DynamicsSmartz. She is a Microsoft Dynamics enthusiast with rich experience in integrated business solutions. She has a special knack for Dynamics 365 Business Central and Microsoft CRM solutions. She always tries to work on new ways of improving the entire concept of custom business solutions by providing truly user-oriented services.