Like much of your Martech stack, the humble CRM system has evolved tremendously in recent years. No longer just a simple central repository for your customer contact and engagement details, the modern CRM has become a powerful engine that can drive your entire email marketing/marketing automation, social media, and content marketing strategies.
These changes all make sense for busy marketers who want to spend less time jumping between platforms and more time producing productive campaigns. But it also makes perfect sense for your sales and customer service teams that deal with customer engagements following the deployment of your campaigns and the senior leadership teams who want to understand the impact of your output.
So what can you expect from your CRM in 2023? Here are six CRM trends we’re excited to share.
1. Greater Cross-Departmental Alignment
More of a movement than a trend. Your CRM strategy is a great unifier, encouraging greater cross-departmental alignment and cooperation. The idea that sales, marketing, and customer service are on different teams is long gone. When we are all working towards the same objectives, those silos really need to come down. Your CRM doesn’t belong to any one department. Therefore, having a CRM administrator that can straddle all teams (sales, marketing, customer service, support, accounts, etc.) and ensure everyone is on the same page is essential.
2. Native Applications
With everyone on the same page, it would be a shame to distract them with software that’s only partially integrated with your CRM system. First, think about how much time you waste switching between technology platforms. Then think about how much data is left lost in disconnected silos. Native applications enable your team to manage their activities exclusively within your CRM. This approach helps promote greater CRM hygiene, ensuring that your data is always up-to-date and readily available to everyone in your organization. It also reduces the risk of corrupt, inaccurate, or completely contradictory data entering the system via mismanaged spreadsheets or dodgy flash drives (a huge security risk). When native applications, like emfluence’s marketing automation platform for Microsoft Dynamics 365, are already so familiar to your team, time spent training your colleagues is dramatically reduced, allowing everyone to explore its features and deploy more sophisticated campaign strategies.
3. Mobile First CRM
With the world of work more remote than ever, it’s essential that your CRM strategy is as mobile as your colleagues. If your teams cannot update your CRM on the move, your data will never be as accurate as it should be. You need to carefully manage any opportunity to collect data directly from the customer (at meetings, tradeshows, in-store, and events) in the mobile environment. And it’s not just your employees that will benefit from a mobile-first CRM strategy. Careful consideration relating to mobile data collection via mobile-friendly landing pages, forms, surveys, and eCommerce transactions will improve your customer’s experience, ensuring that they only ever receive the right message at the right time, delivered and explicitly rendered to suit their device of choice.
4. 100% Customer-Centric Communications
With so much data freely available across the entire organization, it would be remiss for your marketing team ever to send a “bulk” email communication again. Not only do you have the ability to segment your lists to the nth degree. You can now tailor your marketing campaigns so they are 100% relevant to your individual customers. Consider how much more efficient your marketing campaigns could be when they focus entirely on your customers’ needs and current position in the sales funnel. Similarly, your sales team will never have to make a “cold” call again. When your salespeople are presented with details about every single customer engagement across your email, content, and social media landscape, every call they make will be “warm” if not “red hot.”
5. One Size Fits All
CRM and associated technology is no longer the sole preserve of big businesses. Whether your business employs one or 1,000 people, it’s essential to have the right tools to manage your data. In this digital age, even the smallest of businesses can collect vast amounts of data. Don’t let limited human resources stop you from maximizing the opportunity from a constantly up-to-date database. Using your CRM technology wisely will ensure you can do more with less, ensuring your campaigns deliver against your objectives without putting undue pressure on your budgets.
6. AI Functionality
You cannot write a blog post these days without talking about Artificial Intelligence (AI), and AI is undoubtedly impacting the world of CRM and Marketing Automation. Whether you are deploying smart strategies based on business rules around lead scoring or triggered campaigns or employing highly sophisticated machine learning to optimize absolutely everything you do, there is little doubt the technology you use to manage your business is moving at a pace never seen before. If you are not taking advantage of the latest trends, you can bet your competitors will. Is that a risk you can afford to take?
To learn more about how the marketing experts at emfluence can help you keep up to speed with CRM and Marketing Automation trends in 2023, contact us today at email@example.com.