Behold These 11 Trends That Will Define CRM in 2017

CRM Solutions, CRM Software, CRM Trends 2017
January 1 has heralded another disruptive year for CRM.

What will be the latest CRM technological, conceptual and execution breakthroughs that will shape how brands connect and relate to customers?

Get your answers below.

CRM Trends 2017:

1. CRM market spend will cross $36 Billion
Gartner estimates that globally, CRM will grow at an annual rate of 14.8% in 2017, crossing approximately $36 Billion. Companies have finally witnessed the power of delightful customer engagement and will snap up solutions that offers all functionalities on a single powerful platform. The end game is ultimately winning customer loyalty.

2. 65% Companies to drive adoption of mobile applications and improve quality of information for the sales team
Companies will enable primary growth drivers (sales force) to ride their business to new growth and revenue milestones by adopting mobile SFA solutions. With the help of mobility, they are increasingly striving to bring in productivity at finger swipes.

3. Where will companies invest its digital budget?
5% will be invested in new customer experience initiatives including self buying service.
40% will be invested in a hybrid model where legacy and digital initiatives can co-exist. 
55% will be invested to refurbish their own core legacy systems.

4. 50% of companies to focus on forecasting functionalities for new and repeat sale
The dynamic nature of the present business environment gives added impetus on using forecasting for market trends, performance etc. The intelligence garnered with the help of forecasting will help in better planning, execution and resource allocation. It will also improve search for new revenue opportunities.

5. Future technology will be data driven, algorithm-driven, event driven
Continuing the trend last year, big data will feature prominently in the execution of CRM processes. Smart algorithms that makes cross selling, integrations easier will be given importance. Disruptive CRM technology will close the loop between sales and marketing by tracking lead conversions and ROI.

6. AI will increase effectiveness and efficiency of sales process by qualifying leads
Artificial intelligence (AI) is taking human intelligence to new heights. This will be the underlying momentum for sales tools in CRM solutions to significantly improve lead quality and scoring. In turn, improving conversion rates and overall business. Manual qualification will be redundant and sales professionals can spend more time in pursuing active connections that turns into relationships.

7. More customer insights will be delivered by mobile customer service
The ability of servicing customers no matter the location will take precedence over other factors while deciding customer satisfaction levels. Omni-channel and friction-less service capabilities will be critical to deliver hassle free customer service anytime, anywhere. The data garnered from such interactions will be used to improve service journeys to boost first time resolution rates.

8. Digital experience will go beyond just a basket of applications
Companies will increasingly want to offer unified experiences backed by an end to end solution. They will own their digital experience strategy and architecture. The critical expertise companies will look out for, based on priority, are single integration, customization and omni-channel capability.

9. Analytics and AI to power delightful customer interactions
Advancement in smart chat-bot technology will ensure that AI will be the first point of contact for customers. They will be smart, intuitive and will be designed, programmed with a human-centric focus. The data garnered by these chatbots will be analyzed inside CRM solutions and inferences to customer preferences, traffic trends etc. will be taken out.

10. Customer self service will be the first point of contact between brands and their customers
Customers will escalate their problems to human assisted channels only if they are unable to fulfill themselves on a self service platform. They demand intuitive and effective service journeys. As a result, contact centers field fewer calls as the volume of self-service and digital interactions through journeys increases. Process automation and analytics play an important role in cementing efficiency and productivity in customer service. This fosters an emotional bond with the customer, thus increasing loyalty, higher customer lifetime value, and brand advocacy.

11. Data confidentiality will take precedence
Making sure that only stakeholders that have a valid and authorized access to the enormous data generate by the system will be cornerstone of CRM ethos. With legal data protection frameworks designed across continents, vendors will strive to prove their security and confidentiality mechanisms.

These are the trends that will dominate CRM in 2017. How will you utilize this insight into your business? Share your thoughts!