Customer relationship management (CRM) software is considered “table stakes” technology to help businesses store and utilize customer data at scale. Traditional CRM solutions have evolved to become complete customer experience (CX) platforms integrating cross-functional capabilities to help businesses manage customer relationships and deliver consistent omnichannel experiences across sales, marketing, commerce, and customer service.
In the past, CRM tools and technology were considered to be only relevant to sales and marketing, but increasingly other departments such as customer support, supply chain, HR, and partner management have come to rely on the same customer data. A common customer data profile is critically important when sharing information across front- and back-office operations. It also heavily influences a company’s overall CX strategy and how effectively the business can meet modern customer expectations.
Using software to manage customer data, build relationships, and drive sales has its roots in the 1970s when organizations began to store and track increasingly complex customer data. But it wasn’t until the twenty-first century that online CRM took hold. As mobile technology gained popularity, Siebel, Oracle, and other companies developed mobile CRM and cloud-based solutions. By 2010, there was a plethora of point CRM systems and CRM quickly became the center of front-office activity and customer knowledge at companies large and small.
Businesses today leverage a wide array of cloud-based CRM software for multiple lines of business including sales (sales force automation), service (customer service automation), and marketing (marketing automation). This proliferation of point CRM solutions is due to isolated decision-making at the line of business (LOB) level. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a company to have several CRM technologies harboring multiple versions of customer data. Today, modern organizations now realize that this tactical cloud adoption is a costly inhibitor to reaching future digital growth goals. Which is why many organizations are now looking to consolidate point CRM solutions and partner with leading all-in-one technology vendors.
Our digital lives increasingly mandate more from CRM software. There are more customer channels and more data than ever before. The sheer amount of data created today outpaces the capabilities of many CRM systems that were developed years ago. Instead of adopting more point solutions from multiple vendors, businesses are considering a single technology and innovation partner who can deliver a complete customer experience platform that connects all LOB applications, consolidates customer data, embeds analytics and artificial intelligence, and offers preferred experiences at scale. This is otherwise known as CX technology.
|Integrated LoB Applications||A connected CX platform helps businesses break through functional silos and provide connections throughout the buyer's journey to make operations more efficient.|
|Single Customer Data Profile||Shared customer data across LoBs can help close sales faster, resolve service issues faster, and improve omnichannel conversion rates.|
|Ready to Support Artificial Intelligence (AI)||As the cornerstone of innovation, AI stretches the bounds of most traditional CRM solutions. It takes a connected CX platform with embedded AI to take sales, marketing, commerce, and service to the next level of CX. data comes from websites and social media platforms other than your own. Can be used to reach a wider audience.|
CRM for Sales Teams
As part of a connected CX ecosystem, modern sales force automation (SFA) gives sales teams a clear advantage. Today's mobile sales force needs to leverage a solution that’s modular as an application yet connected to a larger CX platform. It needs to be easy to use and provide the relevant information needed to progress and close deals. Sales management needs real-time insight into pipeline opportunities and sales numbers and an efficient way to manage sales reps on the go.
CRM for Marketing Teams
Marketing automation refers to the technology and processes that deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. This is accomplished using a variety of communication channels and requires the ability to quickly collect customer data, gain insight, and parlay that insight into action. Just like SFA technology, connecting this data is key. As part of a connected CX platform, modern marketing automation technology enables marketers to create personalized, meaningful experiences for customers, turning casual prospects into passionate advocates and achieving more revenue faster.
CRM for Customer Service
A modern, integrated customer service CRM leverages a multichannel CX environment to provide better service at a reduced cost, monitor social media to identify and address potential service issues, and help drive higher sales conversions. When service and support are required, understanding the complete customer journey is critical. Bottom line: customer service is better when reps leverage a complete customer profile shared by sales and marketing.
Customers expect consistent experiences regardless of where the interaction takes place—on social media, in-store, on a mobile app, or through a call center. Businesses that fall short of these modern CX expectations stand to lose revenue. In hypercompetitive, commoditized markets, customer experience is a competitive advantage and businesses need more than siloed CRM solutions. They need a complete CX platform of modular, yet connected, CRM systems across sales, marketing, customer service, and ecommerce.