In January this year, Xperience Group predicted advancements in CRM software that could change the way businesses operate. Now, Xperience Group return to review the 2014 CRM predictions and their effect.

Iain O’Kane, Managing Director of Xperience Group has confirmed what was originally predicted, “We have seen an increasing amount of businesses enquiring about collaborative CRM software that allows them to utilise social media, as well as remotely accessing the information they require via mobile devices. This trend looks set to stay as we move in to the third quarter of the year.”

As predicted, Mobile CRM solutions have grown in popularity, and continue to shape the way business relationships are managed. According to Sage, ‘Today 89% of employees use a mobile for work and 67% of companies say they would lose competitive ground without these devices.’ To capitalise on the value mobile devices offer, it is important to utilise and integrate Mobile CRM. Saleslogix Mobile is ideal as the new Saleslogix mobile 3.0 offers mobile only user licenses for field based users.

Cloud CRM software is also flourishing as technology advances, just as Xperience Group originally forecasted back in January. Google Trends supports this, forecasting a steady increase in interest for Cloud CRM moving into 2015. Cloud and SaaS CRM options add value to businesses with limited resource by removing the need for both implementation and hardware, and offering a predictable cost structure.

As well as Mobile and Cloud CRM, the popularity of Social CRM is increasing significantly as the way people connect evolves, and looks set to hit the expected target by growing 28.4% annually until 2015. It is no surprise, as the latest CRM solutions offer more sophisticated integration to social channels to observe prospect and customer behaviour. With Social CRM all of this data can be collaborated and analysed, to help easily and efficiently develop the services a business provides.

Jacob Morgan on Thesocialmediaexaminer.com comments on this transition, “The customer is actually the focal point of how an organisation operates. Instead of marketing or pushing messages to customer, brands now talk to and collaborate with customers to solve business problems, empower customers to shape their own experiences and build customer relationships, which will hopefully turn into customer advocates.” The latest Microsoft Dynamics CRM release reflects this and now incorporates new social listening capabilities enabling business to adapt and better meet customer needs.

The big shift is well underway. With accessibility to higher volumes of quality data now becoming a reality, it could mean that CRM software of the future evolves so that it can automatically recommend customers to a business, just as Darian Shirazi predicts in his article on Forbes, where he states:

“CRMs of the future should be purchased and upon first use recommend and identify customers for your business. The solution should completely eliminate the need to buy leads separately or hire a lead management team to find good leads.”

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