A Sneak Peek into the Future of CRM for Small Businesses

CRM for small business has evolved drastically in the last two decades, revolutionizing the way businesses function. With the capabilities to automate sales processes and integrate with multiple apps, it has become a valuable investment for companies of all sizes. Especially capturing the attention of small businesses, who are turning towards a CRM to increase their conversions and render better services to the client. 47% of small business CRM users have stated that their CRM had a significant impact on customer retention as well as customer satisfaction. Currently, the CRM is widely used by sales professionals to:

  • Manage their sales deals
  • Streamline their contact’s information
  • Centralize their data
  • Track emails
  • Follow-up in real time
  • Check the effectiveness of their outbound activities with real-time reporting
  • Predict future opportunities through sales forecasting

With the increase in demand, the expectation from this technology is also proliferating. In the competitive scenario where each company is trying to put their best foot forward, it has become a necessity to move beyond the fundamentals and explore the advanced features of this smart technology. In the coming years, Sales CRM is expected to break new ground. The growth of small business CRM is anticipated to reach US$48.4 billion by 2020. Small businesses can look ahead to grow with the evolution of this high-end sales tool.

Wondering what to expect from a small business CRM in the coming years?

Here is a sneak peek into the future of the CRM :

Automation Empowered with AI

Automation is one the core features of a CRM that has helped small businesses in reaching their sales goals. However, the demand is escalating with the rising pressure. By 2018 about half of companies say they will require greater automation to handle the volume of tasks being generated. By 2020 nearly 86% of them are expected to hit that breaking point. There are high possibilities of this prediction turning into reality with AI entering the CRM space.

AI is expected to bolster the future of automation by playing a significant role in streamlining workflows. CRM for small & mid sized business backed with AI can be of great help for sales reps as AI has the potential of acting as a personal assistant. AI-powered sales CRM can help in automating activities in a more advanced level like scheduling meetings, uncovering customer information or responding to frequently asked questions. It decreases human error and spares more time for sales reps to strategize, innovate and concentrate on more important projects.

Social CRM

Social media is the most powerful medium to reach customers. According to a study released by LinkedIn, roughly 81% of SMBs are using social media. The coming years will see a rise in social CRM that will take companies closer to their customers.

A CRM system with integrated social listening will give small businesses a competitive edge by helping them in capturing customer information and adding it to their CRM database. Social CRM renders detailed insights about customer behavior and purchasing patterns for providing optimum services. This information will help sales reps in understanding the needs and expectations of their potential prospects. With the aid of service bots, companies can boost their brand image by keeping the customers engaged and develop a better bond with them by instantly resolving their issues.

Mobility

For offering greater accessibility and more agility to sales professionals most of the small business CRM vendors have extended the functionalities of a CRM to the mobile. Mobility has positively impacted the performance of sales reps. 65% of the sales reps who adopted a mobile CRM could hit their sales quota.

48% of CRM users now access their software from a smartphone. According to Brian Vellmure, mobile CRM usages will continue to increase in the future. Mobility has become the major focus of CRM developers. They are now applying natural language processing technologies to their CRM for offering exceptional functionalities to enhance the voice-based interactions. With this smart technology sales reps can instantly update records and turn an hour-long call into a five-minute summary for getting vital insights about the prospect.

Tighter Integration With Third-Party Applications

Currently most of the sales CRMs are compatible with various external tools giving small business the flexibility to work with more functionalities. It increases efficiency and boosts productivity.

For instance, a small business CRM user can seamlessly integrate with the project management tool they are already using. This will help them in managing their projects and customers more efficiently without having to toggle between applications. All the vital information will be stored in a centralized location making things easier for the user.

“While most major sales CRMs have integrations today, they have a long way to go to allow for intelligent synchronization across platforms, ” says Bryan Clayton, CEO of online lawn care provider GreenPal. The future of CRM will see advanced integrations with a wide spectrum of applications. Like integration with wearable computing devices that will fuel customer engagements and acquaint small businesses with new opportunities.

Concluding Thought

This developing technology can dramatically boost your business revenue provided you take the right decision. Identifying the perfect CRM according to your specific small business needs is necessary to leverage the benefits of the future trends. There are many factors you need to consider before implementing a CRM to receive good ROI on your investment.


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Coreen Menezes

Coreen Menezes is an avid writer who likes to explore new fields and research about interesting subjects. A versatile content developer who plays with words to express my thoughts. Calm, carefree and creative are the words that describes me the best. At present she is associated with Salesmate - A CRM that helps in managing Sales Pipeline as an experienced content crafter. Follow Coreen on LinkedIn.