Winning today’s customers’ loyalty means staying connected, always knowing their needs, and being able to move quickly to meet these needs. Here are five CRM trends you need to know.

1. Social CRM is going viral.

Social CRM involves using social media strategies to engage with customers and its presence in the market is growing quickly.

In a CRM whitepaper, the MSL Group, a communication strategy agency, notes that social CRM solutions aim to “build a connection between social media and a company’s internal and external communication systems.”

Using social media helps to identify and act on your customers’ buying signals. You can better understand your customers by getting a snapshot of their social activities through embedded social buzz volume, trends, and sentiment analysis, using the Microsoft Social Engagement tool.

2. CRM is moving to the cloud.

Though the numbers that CRM experts suggest might vary, they all announce that SaaS will be dominating the CRM industry this year, including Gartner.

“This is driven by organizations of all sizes seeking easier-to-deploy and faster-ROI alternatives to modernizing legacy systems, implementing new applications, or providing alternative complementary functionality,” said Joanne Correia, research vice president at Gartner.

“We are seeing many of our clients exploring or migrating to cloud-based CRM,” says LBMC Technology Solutions Vice President of Business Systems Kenneth Sims. “It offers flexibility, anytime anywhere access, and affordability.”

3. Mobile CRM will take you places.

Adding mobile access to your CRM can help increase sales exponentially, as salespeople with Mobile CRM have immediate access to account history, product information, price lists and promotions. This empowers them to offer the customer expanded options and close sales on-the-spot.

CRM users can expect mobile apps that provide contextual news, social data, and task flows for quickly completing frequent activities. They’ll want apps that use intuitive natural language voice commands to create new records, schedule meetings, set reminders, and find information.

Mobile CRM helps to increase sales values, shorten sales cycles, collect information at the source and much more.

4. CRM users are interested in integration.

In the past, CRM applications had limited or no ability to integrate and gather data from other sources. Today, as users demand more value from their CRM providers, modern CRM applications are starting to integrate with related software applications more often and more fully.

The winning CRM solutions will provide seamless integration with marketing automation software, ecommerce platforms, analytics software, productivity software, accounting systems and more.

Interactive visualizations and dashboards make it easy to quickly identify and act on opportunities with tools like Power BI, which is fully integrated with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

5. Big Data joins CRM Predictive Analytics.

Data analytics are no longer optional in business. As data expands at an exponential rate (Big Data), the ability for a business to take action and make decisions based on hard evidence is a core differentiator between good and great.

CRM systems generate a lot of data, but when big data is too large and unspecified, it cannot be very practical and businesses need to find a way to overcome this challenge.

Use tools like Microsoft Dynamics CRM to gain insight into advanced analytics, and access to the machine learning capabilities of the Cortana Analytics Suite. Plus, use the tool to provide customers with intelligent, adaptive processes for sales, customer service and social CRM.

These five trends mean one thing: it’s more important than ever for businesses to use an integrated and affordable CRM solution that helps them gain a complete view of their customers, close more sales, and build ongoing relationships.

LBMC Technology Solutions can help you with your CRM Online needs. Contact us to set up a time to do the following:

    • Review your business needs and discuss how Dynamics CRM Online can help
    • Sit down with you and walk through the basics of Dynamics CRM Online
    • Provide tips and best practices for getting the most out of Dynamics CRM Online’s capabilities