CRM and voice are talked about but not often linked in a practical way. While more is being spent on CRM than ever before, more needs to be done for it to be as helpful as it should be.
When it comes to the enterprise software space, CRM is large and in charge. According to Gartner, worldwide CRM software revenue last year closed in on the $40 billion mark ($39.5 billion to be exact) and overtook database software spending ($36.8 billion) for the top spot for the first time. Not only is it number one, but CRM is also the fastest growing software market with a growth rate of 16 percent. And, as estimated by Grand View Research, CRM market will double to over $80 billion by 2025 from where it is today.
Considering the variety of software used in businesses today, that says a great deal about the importance of CRM/customer engagement in the enterprise. But even with all the money being invested in the software, and the central role it is playing in digital transformation efforts in the enterprise, CRM is still a challenge for some of the most important users of the software.
The formation of platforms and clouds, and integrations between siloed apps, are getting users closer to a more complete view of a customer/prospect. But there is still a great deal of time and effort needed to identify insights that can positively impact individual deals, or to create experiences that extend customer relationships. And that is still causing folks not to get the most out using their CRM.
According to a 2017 CRM Essentials study of 500 CRM users that was sponsored by Introhive:
- 73 percent say their most frequent task in using CRM is to manually update contact and account records
- 68 percent say their most frequent task in using CRM app is manually inputting contacts and accounts
- 45 percent say the most important task for being successful in their job is face-to-face relationship building
- 43 percent say CRM is very helpful in meeting their goals and objectives
- 12 percent say CRM isn’t helpful at all in helping them meet their goals and objectives
These numbers tell an important story, particularly when 60 percent of those surveyed say they use CRM on a daily basis, 70 percent spend at least ten percent of their work week inputting data into their CRM app, and 60 percent spend the same percentage of their day looking for insights to help them connect with customers and prospects.
So for all of the recent developments in CRM, particularly when it comes to sales, it’s still not freeing people up from the mundane tasks and keeping them from spending more time on what they feel is most important to their success — spending actual time building relationships. And while 73 percent say keeping contact and account records updated is their most frequent CRM task, only 27 percent say it’s their most important task.
Voicing a New Way Forward
So, while more is being spent on CRM than ever before, more needs to be done for it to be as helpful as it should be — at least when looking at it from a sales perspective. But the good news is there are things that will help make CRM more usable, and at the top of the list our survey found:
- Automating the input/maintenance of CRM data
- Better integration of CRM with other important apps used
- Automatically surfacing insights on contacts, accounts and deals
- Automatically formatting insights for easy communication with customers and prospects
So basically, the answer to making CRM more helpful to sales professionals can be summed up in two letters — AI. But AI has multiple meanings in this case: Artificial Intelligence, and Automation & Integration. And you can even throw in automated insights too. Basically, making it easy for sales folks to use insights based on a cleaner/fuller data set — without needing to jump through hoops to make it happen — is the answer.