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Top 4 CRM trends to watch in 2018
CRM is changing (finally). In the past, companies have been using CRM as a selling tool, a disposable and often time optional instrument to help keep track of customers and manage sales. Over the past year we have seen a shift in our clients’ businesses, more focus on becoming strategic and less tactical in regards to sales, marketing, automation and business process.
Whether you are ready or not, AI (artificial intelligence) is here and it’s going to make some serious waves in the way you have been doing business. From machine learning to deep learning, soon AI will be evaluating and changing your business process in order to achieve the outcome you’ve requested. The steps towards developing an AI ready business is to have healthy data hygiene including consistent CRM use, breaking down silos between departments and having an honest discussion with your “old school” users. Salesforce recently announced they have invited Amazon Alexa to be your very own AI assistant, granting her the ability to create new leads, change status fields, book appointments and much more.
Collaboration and knowledge sharing
Salesforce nailed this years ago with chatter, now more CRM vendors are seeing the power behind user collaboration. In the old way data in your CRM, Marketing Automation and ERP/Accounting platforms were accessed by different people with unique business objectives and rules. 2018 brings the age of technological transparency, your sales users want to see marketing history and your leaders need to see the whole picture and all need data instantly without writing complex reports or opening Excel. The legacy systems that have left your business handcuffed with data silos should be replaced with SaaS products that create a kinetic environment.
Sales and Marketing Automation
Every client introduced to your company should follow the same journey, in 2018 most CRM vendors will release or perfect their customer journey modules, allowing you to craft the flawless customer journey. The right systems will not only introduce your company to the ideal client but bring them through the entire sales process from unaware all the way to a champion of your brand. Workflow in CRM coupled with lead scoring and behavioral marketing from Marketing Automation will allow your prospects and clients to market to themselves with content that speaks directly to their needs based on their position in the sales cycle and actions they take.
Data enrichment tools, CPQ, VOIP connections and email syncing used to be a “nice to have” when evaluating CRM systems. 2018 will bring us exciting advancements in the growing ecosystem of the CRM world. SugarCRM recently released HINT, a new relationship intelligence product that automatically searches the web for personal and company information. PandaDoc a document generation and process startup landed 15m in series B funding, they are on the move to take over the CPQ world In the very near future. TenFold, another wildly successful startup focused on creating a seamless VOIP/CRM/Marketing connector has added new features including Zoom meeting integrations, smart agent AI and has refined their analytics showing connection rates, phone talk time for both you and your team. A new release of FrontEnd4, a completely redesigned email archive tool for outlook users (MAC and PC) offers one-click email archive, email templates and tracking and the ability to create real-time records for both out of the box modules and custom objects.
Our core focus at BrainSell is to engineer smart business growth with technology and consulting services. If you would like to learn more about BrainSell or see if your company is ready for the tech changes in 2018 please contact us here.
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