Top 7 CRM Trends To Watch out & Implement In 2016

CRM solutions today have evolved from its early days as desktop-based conventional sales software to a agile and complete business management platform. Increasingly, businesses are realizing that earning profit is just a small part and not the complete means for business success. Whereas, acquiring customer trust and making a positive impact is equally (or more) important.

Let's take a look at the upcoming 2016 CRM trends that will contribute towards delivering amazing customer experience and fuel organizational growth.

#1. CRM software will drive innovation on the System of Engagement layer & be a critical part of Digital Strategy
2016 will see a lot of CRM end-users implementing, replacing, upgrading and leveraging the CRM solution. With added impetus given by Digital trends, that promises (and in fact is delivering) multiplied facilities, benefits and speed.

The concept of Zero will gain more prominence - Zero Touch, Zero TAT and Zero Rework, enveloping a complete customer engagement strategy that will re-imagine current processes and service designs.

#2. CRM Software would become the One System at front end, with prominent focus on integration across the business environment
Businesses across the globe are looking for the Next Big Thing is Customer Engagement. You can offer a delightful customer experience only if your CRM solution has the ability to integrate seamlessly with your business platform. Integration will include...

  • Marketing automation
  • Analytics
  • Accounts
  • ERP and other core systems

Customers, regardless of size, are increasingly demanding 'on the fly' and 'real time' integrations (thanks to simplified smartphone app habits), making their incumbent platforms efficient & effective.

#3. CRM Software would be accessible Anytime, Any Platform, Anywhere – device agnostics from day one
2016 will see more customers demanding CRM platforms to be available across technical platforms from day one. It would also see CRM vendors shifting mobile device functionality from being a mere display screen to a holistic CRM platform

This would result in a more intuitive and interactive screen with human-centric focus. Different features like...
  • Lead management
  • Appointment management
  • Service management
  • GPS & map integration 
  • Meetings & notes management
will be offered with improved UI and UX. 

Real-time data helps sales reps to be aware about everything from usage rates to open service tickets to breaking news about the prospect they’re about to visit. Sales pros will now eschew traditional slides in favor of showing a demo or pulling the latest analytics on dashboards from their phone. This will result in CRM becoming less complex, making it easier to use on the go.

#4. CRM solution would evolve to be a single integrated platform of sales, service and marketing
CRM would take a leap from siloed sales, marketing & service platforms, to being a combined platform of the Holy Trinity. Traditional tools like...
  • Document Management System
  • Workflow automation
  • Screen flow automation
  • Business rules driven processes
will now be available on your CRM solution.

This would entail myriad benefits like..
  • Enabling Straight Through Processing
  • Cutting down the TAT drastically.
  • Enabling auto processing etc.
CRM Vendors will now pitching for a single CRM system instead of different solutions. (In case you are looking for one, here's the World's No.1 Commutable Cloud CRM Solution).

#5. Customers will start demanding scalability as a primary feature
From 2016, having plenty of drop dead gorgeous features is not going to be enough. Is the CRM solution scalable to my business growth? Will scaling scenarios need me keeping Tylenol on the side? CRM vendors will have to conclusively take care of scalability challenges. Seamless scalability will now be a pre-requisite for CRM adoption. 

#6. Personalization would be the key to waltzing with customers across the world
Businesses will win the customer engagement and experience game with personalization at each step, be it Customer Acquisition, Service or Campaigns. One Approach РFit РAll will now be pass̩.

Source: Cisco Research
Rich customer experience would be a key differentiator through Vivid Journey designs that are based on customer preferences. The interaction journeys between the organization & customer would take its shape, keeping in sight the end goal of mutual benefits.

2016 will see personalization taking the lead in pre-configured vertical CRM platforms that would take precedence over horizontal CRM Platforms. The reason being vertical CRMs are fully optimized to quickly address respective industry needs.

#7. CRM Solutions will up the ante on Reporting, Dash boarding and Analytics front 
Going forward from 2016, CRM platforms would evolve and be equipped with much better Reporting & Dash Boarding capabilities, thus enabling organizations to leverage the data based proactive insights. This would then result in platforms becoming more powerful and intelligent to execute Performance & Cross Sell Models (based on modelers, which would be configured basis the organization’s needs).

While cross sell modelers would enable prediction of what to propose to customers, which would result in increasing the wallet share, the performance modelers would enable reviewing and projecting the performance of teams/individuals. These models would provide enough information & insights to various teams (Marketing, sales, product, operations), which would result in improving the quality of engagement (sales & service) and result in higher retention.

This post is a special guest contribution by Hitesh  Arora, Director – Strategy & Customer Advocacy at  CRMNEXT. He is responsible for envisioning product development strategies and enabling customers to  achieve  more with their investments in CRMNEXT, while evangelizing  the company’s core values and abilities.
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