The history of customer relationship management spans five decades and has driven the continuous development of CRM technology. The global CRM market was valued at $ 47.79 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $ 113.46 billion by 2027, a growth rate of 11.6%. It’s a lucrative business.

Customer experience (CX) and satisfaction are some of the driving forces behind modern business success. In order to achieve customer-oriented goals, new CRM tools are being developed with greater precision.

Every year new trends emerge in the CRM area. By following these trends, you can plan ahead, meet changing business needs, and gain a competitive advantage.

Here are the top CRM trends for 2021.

IoT technologies

IoT stands for “the Internet of Things” and describes a network of physical objects that are connected to the Internet via sensors, scanners, software and other technologies.

It is estimated that 93% of companies had adopted IoT technologies in 2019, and by 2025 there are expected to be over 64 billion IoT devices worldwide.

One of the main purposes of connecting the physical and digital world is to exchange information. CRM integrations with IoT technology have grown to make life a little easier.

Enriched IoT data

With the help of IoT technology, customers can be proactively monitored and looked after. The data generated from these solutions is used to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.

CRMs can be integrated into compact resources with flexible offline / online functions, e.g.

  • Portable monitors
  • GPS systems
  • Cybersecurity scanners
  • Smart devices
  • Energy meter
  • And moreā€¦

These advanced solutions lead to more transparency and cost efficiency. The more mobile people become, the more IoT integrations we will see.

Workflow automation

Automation-capable self-service is another emerging trend in 2021. The concept of self-help in the CRM world is gaining ground.

New virtual assistants should not only ask questions, but also involve customers, summarize details and provide productive and personalized answers. Artificial intelligence (AI) can then automatically guide users through sales and marketing pipelines.

This synergy has allowed chatbots to do more contact management tasks without human intervention. You can quickly guide users through the right channels and deliver actionable insights. When you incorporate this into a CRM, you have a complete workflow that is entirely done by machine learning.

This also applies to e-mail communication. Thanks to the concept of self-service CRMs, customers receive faster answers without great effort on the part of employees. Entire drip campaigns can be automated to boost sales prospects in the funnel.

Workflow automation enables a company to offer high quality customer service while optimizing operating costs. CRMs support this in new and innovative ways.

Flexible APIs

In CRM, APIs are the roadmap for customer intelligence. An API integrates platforms with one another. It is the glue that binds business systems and contributes to higher sales growth.

Flexible APIs create a valuable record of customer preferences and drive successful strategies. This is one of the key technologies with which cloud-based CRM applications can react flexibly to sales and marketing requirements. They deliver an unprecedented level of data-driven insight.

In addition, CRMs with open API integration enable completely new business models. As development becomes increasingly customer-centric, APIs allow greater versatility and flexibility in designing custom functions:

  • Workflows
  • Graphic user interfaces (GUI)
  • Screen designs
  • Process steps

Over time, APIs will redefine how cloud-based CRMs work. Nowadays almost every CRM has API functionality (some are more scalable and more mature than others).

Cloud-based CRMs have enterprise APIs that orchestrate a wide variety of databases. Cloud management helps APIs become more customer-centric by providing scalable integration frameworks and technologies. This enables better collaboration between departments, teams, departments and channels.

APIs enable a new era of integrated CRM systems that are innovative and data-driven.

Dynamic user interface

One of the most important CRM trends for 2021 is also dynamic user interfaces. As CRMs evolve, the need to manage multiple functions in one place becomes apparent. Instead of using separate systems for sales, marketing, service and operations, new CRM dashboards are diverse.

A company can bring robust sales and marketing tech stacks together in a single place. Brands like Insightly offer multiple dashboards for universal insights. Switch between opportunities, projects and leads with a simple click. Colorful graphs with charts, graphs and gauges help a company evaluate important data at a glance.

Dynamic CRM dashboards show a quick overview of your most important reports. It contains complex information that is easy to digest and share with the team. As CRMs evolve, the user interface will transfer more and more data streams in less time.

Speech and conversation AI

As technologies like Alexa and other voice activated hardware hit the market, business software will soon follow suit. Customers are becoming familiar with conversational AI, and that means CRMs are following suit.

According to an Adobe speech technology report, 94% of users find speech technology not only easy to use, but also say it improves their quality of life.

That means conversational apps are critical to CRM tool development. Speech technology is a key factor for accessibility and helps increase user interaction.

Voice-enabled virtual assistants in CRM infrastructures help sales reps to track, manage, send messages, update and inform teams of customer data in real time. This translates into faster decision making and completion.

An increase in the use of voice assistants and hardware support in CRM processes and interfaces can be expected in the near future.

One last thought

Most of the trends in CRM are influenced by brands that can change quickly to meet changing customer needs. To remain relevant to tech-savvy consumers, top CRMs need to offer tools with advanced automation, IoT integrations, flexible APIs, a dynamic user interface, and conversational AI technology.

Does that seem like a big question?

Not really. The truth is that most of that technology is there right now. Smarter and more context-sensitive CRM applications already include machine learning, AI and business intelligence.

The companies that are advancing are using CRMs to build lasting customer relationships, increase sales, measure performance, and contribute to business growth. At the same time, customer satisfaction is kept at an all-time high.

According to a study by McKinsey & Company, customer relationship management platforms will continue to outperform all other business software. This is because the technologies and strategies supported by CRM applications directly contribute to new customer acquisition and retention, gross margin growth and a healthy return on investment.

If you’re looking for a CRM that is always up to date, Insightly is a good place to start. You can try it for free and with no obligation.