CRM Buying Market Trends

By Neil Zawacki
Updated: August 31, 2011

The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) market grows and changes with each passing year. This article will take a look at some of the latest buying trends and what you may see in the near future.

1) User-Friendly Data Analysis Tools

Business professionals are looking for data analysis tools that allow the sales and marketing departments to obtain corporate information without having to contact the IT department. These tools are also sought for the customer support department so they can quickly assist users with issues.

2) eCommerce Integration

Many companies now view the internet as their central hub for marketing and sales.
They are thus seeking a Customer Relationship Management system that supports features like online transaction processing, supply chain management, and internet marketing. Automated data collection during eCommerce is also being sought with greater frequency.

3) Front Office Modifications

Business Project Management is slowly being added to several front office functions. The model allow companies to provide a more consistent customers experience and personalize service in some cases. It can also help organizations meet compliance requirements at a reasonable cost and save money in the long run.

4) Social Customer Engagements

Social media has gained in popularity in recent years. Users are looking for tools that allow them to communicate with their customer base, take part in community-based marketing research, create a functional self-service option for users, develop ideas on how to improve the company, and grant new opportunities for brand advocates to promote products.

5) The Lead-to-Revenue Management Process

This is a new model for the demand generation process. It adds much greater emphasis to the importance of marketing and states that the end goal of all operations should be increased revenue. It also uses nurturing and qualification processes to help facilitate the time between generating a lead and processing a sale.

6) Mobile Applications

More and more companies are demanding mobile versions of their CRM software. They want their employees to be able to follow up on leads when they’re on the go and resolve any problems that might arise. Look for a greater number of mobile applications across multiple platforms (iPhone, Android, etc.) in the years to come.

7) Software as a Service

Software as a Service (SaaS) has traditionally been viewed as an alternative deployment model for CRM. This is slowly changing due to its specialized capabilities for contacting customers and selecting vendors. Companies are also making use of the different organizational skill requirements with this model.

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