Cloud Wars & Mobile Accords - Trends that Could Impact CRM in 2020

Mushtaq Ahmad, Chief Information Officer, CSS Corp | Monday, 10 February 2020, 06:05 IST

Mushtaq Ahmad, Chief Information Officer, CSS CorpThe CRM software market size is expected to reach USD 80 billion by 2025, and the battles to claim a stake have already begun. At the forefront of the action are some leading technology trends that will shape up the CRM landscape in 2020.

Boost in Cloud-based Services

By moving the on-premise CRM to Cloud, enterprises have brought in substantial real-time intelligence and 360-degree views of customers and prospects. The cloud migration has enabled them to fuse demand chains with supply chains and channelize their digital transformation around their customers. Hassle-free installations, coupled with remote data migration and upgrades, bring in a level of flexibility that on-premise services lack. Moreover, with expenses on hardware, server, and software maintenance eliminated, the Cloudbased CRM makes customers the real winner.

The Need for Mobility

Leading research has found that 65 percent of sales reps who work on mobile CRM achieve their targets, versus a mere 22 percent working on a traditional model. By adding mobility to the primary source of all critical customer-information – the CRM, it can be made available anytime, anywhere - making an organization much more responsive to its customers. A robust mobileCRM strategy can not only increase productivity but also boost sales revenue. Improvement in data quality due to real-time data entry and the flexibility to choose devices with different screen sizes and data syncing capabilities are bound to increase the mobile CRM adoption rate in the coming years.

“AI is poised to drive CRM capabilities to new levels of customer engagement, leading to market expansion with new use cases across unexplored market opportunities”

The Rise of Social CRM

As per Nucleus Research, social CRM can boost customer experience and, thus, retention by as much as 26 percent. It opens up a whole new paradigm by feeding sales, marketing, and service with unstructured customer data captured from real-time conversations - pulsing through innumerable tweets, comments, and likes, all at an incredible speed. By combining the high-velocity social communication data with a CRM that incorporates social analytics and commerce, companies can convert customer interactions into instant sales opportunities. The integration of social media interactions to the CRM can eliminate the guesswork and construct a clearer picture of consumers' needs and wishes.

Compliance with Data Regulations

Customer data is at the core of any CRM. The same data can become a double-edged sword if not appropriately managed. Several data regulations are already in force and this trend is going to continue and will become more stringent. Hence it will become necessary for CRMs to have robust data collection and management capability to comply with various data regulations.

A Surge in AI-driven Use Cases

AI is poised to drive CRM capabilities to new levels of customer engagement, leading to market expansion with new use cases across unexplored market opportunities. The areas consummate for prolific growth include: targeted customer segmentation, lookalike data modeling, programmatic advertising, smart media buying, and hyper-personalization of the customer experience, to name a few.

Leading research firm IDC has found that AI-powered CRM activities are expected to create more than $1.1 trillion in new GDP impact worldwide and 800,000 net-new jobs by 2021. As such, AI is sure to have an enormous effect on fundamental CRM activities and could comprehensively transform the way companies sell, service, and market their offerings in the next few years.

Customer Engagement via Cognitive CRM

A focus on improving operational efficiency and powering conversational features has spurred enterprises to utilize the growing potential of cognitive technology to augment the capabilities of their human resources, especially in tech support. The next evolution of the CRM system is destined to append systems with increasingly human-like cognitive and conversational capabilities and could be referred to as Cognitive CRM. The year 2020 will witness enterprises focusing on cognitive CRM strategies to differentiate and create a competitive edge in the market.

Ability to Integrate and Complement New Services

Thanks to Cloud adoption, several services like AI, speech to text, emotional intelligence and other cognitive services have become commoditized. With a treasure trove of CRM data and accessibility to the above services, companies can build various customized services both in B2B and B2C segments. To achieve this, CRMs should support API integration.

Focus on Automation

Automation of sales and support cycle can vastly improve turnaround time and customer experience. It can even help in up-selling of services. Any CRM that provides an orchestration platform to customize the relevant business process workflow will give companies an edge over the competition. RPA based automation is already making a mark in improving business outcomes.

Conclusion

At CSS Corp, we have already leveraged the above capabilities to build unique service offerings to our customers both at the enterprise and retail levels. We have developed a diagnostic service platform leveraging cloud based cognitive services and analytics engines that provide insight based on CRM data to provide customized and focused technical support to our customers. We have already started seeing several successful stories of cognitive services and bot-integrated CRM platforms, decreasing the need for human intervention to deliver services.

I see the next phase of CRM will be the integration of the above capabilities in a SaaS-based CRM platform, enabling organizations of all sizes to bring more customer focus and a better experience.

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