The way people research, compare, and buy has drastically changed in the last five years. The days when buyers would simply talk to their sales rep or meet suppliers at an industry event are disappearing.
In this new environment, you can’t rely on traditional approaches.
Your approach to customer relationship management (CRM) needs to be flexible, intuitive, and collaborative to be successful.
Yet knowing where to start can feel daunting. That’s why we are sharing key insight into the future of CRM and five best practices to futureproof your CRM for years to come. We’ll also introduce a platform that empowers sales reps from dozens of industries to capture leads, manage communications, and run any stage of the funnel, all from one place.
Key CRM trends over the next 5 years
Over the next few years, we’ll likely see several new trends spring up. Here are the ones we’re most excited to watch:
1. Aligning sales, marketing, and operations around common goals
A cohesive combined effort with these core teams will help ensure teams meet KPIs and short- and long-term objectives.
Operating in sync ensures each area of the business contributes to the end goal and supports each other and, most importantly, the customer. Once this happens, the CRM platform can show how departments support customers at each point of the sales funnel.
2. New sales and marketing definitions
Both teams need to work together to establish key rules, such as the ideal customer profile and what’s deemed a quality lead.
From here, marketing needs to quickly and easily hand over pre-qualified leads to sales. And sales need to be notified so they can follow-up within SLAs. CRM platforms hugely help here due to automation and ease of filtering for target information.
3. Customer first, not company first
The latest generation of CRM systems are built to be “customer first, not company first.” This means focusing on customer retention and highly personalized experiences. While these trends are recurring from previous years, we believe they will still be key over the next few years.
- Customer retention: With all the data available today, there’s no excuse for not having a complete 360-degree view of customers. Today’s CRM systems should provide teams with customer information at their fingertips. This makes for a much more considerate journey. For example, when speaking to customer services, the customer feels valued, doesn’t need to reiterate what’s happened, and the representative can empathize and help solve any problems.
- Personalized experiences: As we’ve touched on, the experience a company provides is just as important as its products or services. While CRM platforms have proved essential for sales and customer success teams, marketers are a little behind the curve. This is changing. With the ability to monitor interactions and how CTAs convert, the data provides insight to improve campaigns overall. Going forward, any business using a CRM should leverage the behavioral insight it accrues to inform more personalized interactions.
4. Easy-to-use and mobile-ready CRMs
CRMs have long struggled to gain the favor of sales professionals. Traditionally, CRM systems have been extremely complex and hard to set-up. This is likely why only 43% of salespeople use intelligence tools. Thankfully, some CRM systems now focus on software that’s simple to set up and easy to use.
Mobile compatibility is moving from a “nice to have” to a “need to have” – by allowing teams to update and access the system on the go.
5. AI functionality
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly essential for both sales and marketing.
The good news is we’re starting to see Artificial Intelligence become embedded within CRM systems. This added functionality promises to enhance, not replace, the human component of sales. Tomorrow’s sales professionals will use AI to complement their skills and efforts.
AI has the ability to reduce manual data entry, centralize disparate databases, and capture the complete customer lifecycle. Likewise, AI is also able to detect data irregularities, anomalies, duplicates, and other errors that compromise CRM data.
Finally, AI could support predictive lead scoring to ensure contacts are ready to buy when they are passed through to sales for follow-up.
Over the next few years, CRMs will play an increasingly important role in sales organizations. That’s why it’s important to choose a CRM that empowers sales reps, provides a complete picture of the customer journey, and can adopt to your changing needs.
5 best practices for future-proof CRM
This year and beyond, we’re sure to witness a transformation that amplifies the capabilities and effectiveness of traditional CRM systems.
Let’s take a look at CRM best practices that support these goals.
1. Centralize client communication and management
By centralizing client communications, you can communicate efficiently with your contacts. Look for solutions that allow you to integrate your email. This will allow you to automatically log sent emails, keep track of interactions, and use personalized email templates to save you time.
2. Automate sales processes
A large portion of the sales team’s time is spent on admin. But a lot of this activity can now be automated. With the right CRM platform, businesses can also easily see the visibility of sales pipelines and daily activity — supporting more timely follow-up and preventing opportunities from leaking through the cracks.
3. See the full picture
With useful integrations, CRM platforms will become even more convenient and powerful. For example, you could link in email marketing platforms to pull engagement data through to individual contacts. This saves an abundance of time compared to manually updating it. The more integrations that are plugged in, the greater the insight — particularly as some teams won’t have access to individual applications.
4. Improve customer intelligence with AI
CRM platforms with AI technologies can level-up customer intelligence. It can be used to evaluate customer needs, plus predict their pain points, analyze customer data down to location, interests, and so much more.
5. Invest in the right technology
In a business environment where disruptive technologies help businesses get ahead, it becomes a priority to ensure you have the right technology. There are so many CRM platforms out there. The solution you choose needs to improve efficiencies and service delivery to be worth the investment.
Let’s look at how you might put this to work.
How to manage CRM with monday.com
You can now unify all customer processes under one platform with monday sales CRM.
Developed on monday.com Work OS’ flexible low-code/no-code framework, the system helps business leaders and sales teams manage their entire sales cycle and customer data from one centralized place — including compatibility with third-party apps and services.
With monday.com you can easily tailor your CRM software to work for you, without any dev time. You can edit deal stages, add as many columns as you want, and manage multiple pipelines at once.
Key features of monday sales CRM include:
- Automations — Automate administrative tasks to speed up time to deal completion.
- Customisation — No code and third-party integrations make the system fully customizable for any team’s needs.
- Email sync and tracking — Sync Gmail or Outlook accounts to the system to send and receive emails, or automatically log sent emails within monday.com. Receive notifications when a lead opens or replies to emails.
- Post-sales management — Manage post-sale activities in one place, allowing for easier client onboarding, and project management.
- Team goals — Manage quota attainment over time, and assign and view goals for specific members or the entire team.
You can get started with a pre-made CRM and sales template here. These let you organize leads while tracking pipeline and revenue from the start.
Invest in a CRM that grows with you
CRM platforms boost any industry. Any platform you choose should improve the customer experience and increase efficiency, flexibility, and scalability to add value to your business. Yet, not all CRM systems have the level of ease-of-use or the integrations to meet both current and future business needs.
That’s why we’ve made monday sales CRM to support a variety of businesses as a cost-effective and robust alternative to traditional CRM software.
You get to know your customer better, anticipate customer needs, and build customer loyalty. All while streamlining other critical business activities like onboarding and forecasting.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here’s a quick overview of the top frequently asked questions related to the future of CRM.
What is the future of CRM?
CRM is predicted to become more powerful to support customer first, not company first businesses. Bringing together disparate teams, data, and system integrations, the CRM of the future is set to be centralized and empowered by AI and mobile capabilities.
What are the key CRM trends to watch in 2023?
The overarching theme for the key trend to watch in 2023 is that customer demands are changing fast, and companies need to keep up. In years to come, CRM will see general advancements in key technology areas like Artificial Intelligence (AI) coupled with the modernization among legacy CRM systems, which will lead to a lot of interesting moves in the market, both from vendors and CRM users alike.