2016’s top 3 CRM predictions

In today’s modern enterprise ecosystem, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions have become a fundamental necessity. Organisations and users have come to expect that their CRM system is a core part of everyday responsibilities and in many cases serves as a key system of truth regarding a wide variety of business metrics. As employees compare their CRM system experience with the technologies that they use in their day-to-day lives, the value, impact, and accuracy of the CRM system comes into question.

With that challenge as the backdrop, we look to the top trends emerging in 2016 to answer the challenge. Trend predictions are useful to investigate as you look ahead to how your organisation should operate in the upcoming years. What to do with these predictions in 2016 will be the key to your organisation’s success this year and every year in the foreseeable future.

User empowerment

CRM solutions will be forced to become more intuitive as users demand an interface that includes best-practice usability from the current market leading consumer websites, thus eliminating the need for lengthy training to learn how to use the system. Users no longer need a training course or extensive manual to complete an online purchase, book a flight, etc. Instead, the user will be able to perform these simple tasks easily within their system. Designing CRM solutions with an experience that empowers the user is an important shift toward the increased adoptability of CRM solutions.

Measures of personal value

Simply collecting a vast array of numerical data from a CRM solution won’t make businesses smarter or salespeople more productive. CRM ROI will no longer be viewed primarily on the organisational level as the “Age of the User” is now in full effect. The user will determine the true value of the CRM solution based on their individual productivity gains and insight it brings to their job each day. Successful CRM solutions will be measured by the personal value they bring to the user first and the value they bring to the organisation second.

Micro-moments of productivity

In the digital age of things, relationships between machines and people are becoming increasingly competitive. Smart machines (i.e. smartphones, tablets, etc.) are acquiring the capabilities to perform more and more daily activities at a fast pace. The best CRM solutions will become integrated into the daily work life of a user, almost taking on more of a co-worker role rather than just added technology, allowing the user to access and input information whenever and wherever. In this mobile and hyper connected world, the user expects to have quick and seamless access to CRM data and analytics whether from their smartphone, tablet or desktop. The top CRM systems will deliver micro-moments of productivity and insight at the user’s point of access, enabling them to move at an extraordinary velocity. Adapting to the fast-paced user environment is critical to being proactive and making impactful business decisions.

Conclusion

With significant changes in the user’s personal adaptation of their CRM solution, there won’t be much rest in the year ahead for CRM professionals. Instead rather, there will be a fresh crop of new opportunities to consider. Keeping user experience, personal value of the solution, and the pace in which the digital age contributes to in mind will keep CRM professionals at the forefront in 2016.

Matt Keenan, Group Vice President - CRM Products at Aptean

Image Credit: Mikko Lemola / Shutterstock