CRM Trends That Will Continue This Year

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CRM has become an integral part of many businesses, and that is going to continue into 2017. As the year moves forward, certain trends relating to improved functionality, especially as it relates to the user experience, are going to continue in the forms of solution upgrades and fully new developments. Here is an overview of some of the strongest trends that will shape development into the new year and possibly beyond.


Configuration

The idea of buying an off-the-shelf CRM is long gone. Businesses and employees will continue to demand options for increased customization and personalization, and that means those developing in the CRM space will be adding new capabilities to meet these expectations. Organizations will see the ability to set and define standards more thoroughly while departments can adjust their user experience based on specific needs. Further, end users will see increased options for dashboard customization, report generation, and data views.

While this level of customization may appear cumbersome, it increases engagement amongst end users and promotes a sense of ownership regarding one’s duties. Ultimately, this can lead to increased productivity while also promoting ease of use.

Simplification

Currently, CRM solutions have often been built from a central point and then extended based on add-ons connecting to the primary program. This creates a complexity that can make certain tasks relating to data modeling difficult and makes executing certain tasks more involved.

New CRM solutions are being designed to create a more seamless system. This improves cross-connectivity between what would have previously been somewhat encapsulated modules. This increases the effectiveness of predictive data analytics through improved data quality.

Much of the simplification is desired in increasing the level of adoption while lowering many of the costs associated with owning and operating a CRM solution. Some of the savings are experienced as lower training costs associated with familiarizing the end user with the product as well as decreased costs associated with ongoing support.

Flexible User Experience

The number of devices being used within a single enterprise has skyrocketed over the past decade. While traditional desktops and laptops are still prevalent, the addition of tablets and smartphones has complicated the landscape. CRM solution developers understand the importance of providing a solution that operates seamlessly between different devices, as this helps drive a more effective user experience regardless of the preferred platform.

Additionally, stronger integration with many voice-based services that use advanced language processing to complete tasks, many of which customers have already become accustomed, such as Siri and Cortana, allow users to access information using voice-based searches and inputs similar to what they use for other purposes.

Messenger-based support is also being integrated. Again, this promotes increased end-user comfort by keeping with communication mechanisms which are already widely adopted across the business landscape. This also allows users to access assistance in the form of conversational chatbots, providing access to information based on simple searches as well as more sophisticated analytics.

By utilizing platforms that users have typically already adopted, in some cases with years of experience using the tools, the transition into a new CRM solution requires less planning in order to reach a targeted level of success.

With these changes on the horizon, 2017 is set to become a year of process improvement coupled with more sophisticated end-user experiences. This improves overall function and ease adoption for companies that have yet to make the leap into CRM.


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