CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems have come a LONG way over the course of their approximately 50-year existence. Yes, probably shocking to many, the first incarnation of a CRM surfaced way back in the 1970s and has been evolving along with technology ever since. This article provides CRM history by the decade for those interested in this technological evolution.
For the rest of us firmly planted in 2018, the focus of this article is to categorize the attributes of a kick-ass CRM. As the workhorse of any organization, your CRM should be making business more streamlined, efficient, and effective. Here are a few ideal CRM attributes you should look for when evaluating your options.
Insightful & Intelligent
Many prominent CRMs have already begun using artificial intelligence (AI) to fuel and support their systems. The explosion of this technology should provide a lot of love to CRMs in the coming years.
AI can predict our needs—and automate and improve repetitive tasks—in turn saving us time and making our systems better. Salespeople and marketers can be relieved of manual tasks and enlightened by data trends which allow them to be much better at their jobs!
Insight and intelligence should be baked into your CRM. If your CRM isn’t making your business processes infinitely better, you may need to look elsewhere.
Integrated & Inclusive
The ability to harness all of your data sources in the most holistic manner requires proper integration with your CRM. Talk to most marketers, and you’ll find there is a fair amount of jumping through hoops to make this happen.
CRM experts agree that there is a need for better integration for external tools and services. While most major CRMs support various integrations, there is much room for improvement. Ensure your CRM can integrate with your business applications efficiently before making your choice – and that continually making upgrades is part of their long-term strategy.
Invested in Innovation
Choosing a CRM is a BIG deal. In fact, once a company is set up, we find they are unlikely to switch. So, choose carefully. We use the HubSpot CRM and love it. For us, the seamless integration between inbound marketing and sales is business perfection!
Whichever you choose, be sure your CRM will grow with you, and that the company behind the CRM has plans for continued improvement and expansion via emerging technology.
Need help assessing your own company’s needs? While we are not CRM consultants, we DO have a deep understanding of the needs of our personas regarding customer data and the powerful impact it can have on marketing and sales. Feel free to reach out for a chat!
About the Author
Alysa Wax, Director of Client Operations
Alysa Wax, PMG Director of Client Operations, thrives on helping her clients and PMG grow. She does this by understanding and sharing the vertical function marketing has in modern businesses. During her blogging time, she can usually be found integrating business and personal experience into her writing.