CRM Trends: What to Look for in 2017

By Erika Sommer, Content Writer at PipelineDeals

Technology is one of the fastest growing industries. And Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is no exception. According to Gartner Inc., a world leader in information technology research, CRM will be a 36-billion-dollar market by 2017. This is a steep incline from the 26.3 billion it was worth in 2015.

And a growing market means a continuously evolving product. Thus, based on prior analytics, we can already predict what 2017 has in store for us.

If you’re in the market for a CRM, here’s what you should know about both the industry and product development in the coming months. More specifically, here are the top CRM trends of 2017.

1.Mobile CRM

In 2016, we saw a major shift from desktop to mobile—which allows representatives to manage and track their sales prospects and customers on the go. Being able to access your sales pipeline from any entry point truly increases productivity and helps convert leads to sales.

And 2017 is launching us even further into the mobile age. We’ll begin to see a shift from CRM’s with mobile features and extensions, to “native to your device” mobile applications that are linked to your CRM.

Mobile CRM will allow for faster data collection and analysis, allow sales representatives to follow up with leads on the go, and help with overall lead management. In turn, it can help expedite the sales process and increase adoption rates.

2. Cloud CRM

CRM in the Cloud isn’t new, but expect businesses to continue to push for Cloud CRM options in 2017. The advantage? Users will be able to access all information stored in the system at any time. This is especially helpful if your company is switching over to mobile CRM.

3. Vertical CRM

In 2017, we will continue to see CRM software move more vertically and tailor itself to specific industries. And while CRM companies won’t necessarily be pooling all their resources into specific commercial enterprises, many of the larger players in the business will offer additional software that can be of benefit to specific industries.  

4. Migration Away from Large CRM Vendors

While large companies have ruled the CRM world since the development of the industry, smaller vendors have been picking up popularity. The reason? Their product is often cheaper and more simplistic than the overly complex and expensive CRM’s that tend to dominate the industry.

So, while the big named companies aren’t going anywhere, they are making way for small scale businesses to gain traction.

2017 will be the year we start to see a revolution of small market CRM’s starting to make way.

5.Automations Will Continue to Thrive

Automations were a large part of the CRM sphere in 2016, and will continue to pick up pace in 2017. In its simplest form, marketing automation helps nurture the leads through the top of the funnel, down to the bottom. It does this through automating key components of inbound marketing such as email and social media. It automates “repetitive” tasks for you. And it helps to measure these tasks for a better ROI.  

But while integrating marketing automations with your CRM can help streamline your campaigns and make your team more efficient, make sure not to steer completely clear of human interaction.

According to CRM Magazine, it’s important to find a way to use automations to increase efficiency, but not completely avoid human interaction. Find a medium between both. You don’t want to lose that human element to a sale.    

6. Artificial Intelligence Technologies

By far the biggest advancement to the CRM world in 2017 will be the rise in development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology platforms. And while they are imminent, they probably won’t be pushed out until 2018 or 2019. This is due to the extremely complex nature of the technology.

The idea is that these AI bots will help with the tasks that marketers and salespeople deal with on a daily basis. They’ll be able to gather information on a lead or customer from all data points, analyze the data, predict trends, and make critical decisions.

And while software such as marketing automations and integrations already helps simplify the marketing and sales process, this technology will take it a notch further. The technology will be able to save marketing and sales departments hours upon hours of work.

So even though it probably isn’t something that will be deployed this year, it should at least be on your radar.