Smart CRMs (Customer Relationship Management) or the next generation CRMs have become increasingly essential tools to achieve good business results in today’s world, a world that forces us to be constantly innovating and improving for two things. On the one hand, competitiveness (globalization), and data (we handle more information than any previous generation), that is, we must be permanently alert analyzing risks and opportunities.
A study on Marketing & Sales tools and the use of CRM found that in 2008 only 12% of companies worldwide used cloud-based CRM. In 2018 this figure has increased to 87%. It shows that there is a clear awareness of the need for this type of software to be competitive.
On the other hand, just over 14% of the companies consulted that have a CRM, claim not to find utility in their business. This is mainly due to the difficulty of using a CRM correctly, and I do not mean its user-level management difficulty (which in some cases also) but to have a clear strategy of what you want CRM for and how you’re going to use in your organization.
It is very important to make a clear commitment to the “feeding of the beast”. In the end a CRM without data is like a car without fuel, it does not take you anywhere.
And precisely to solve these problems comes the new generation of CRMs, the Smart CRMs.
The Artificial Intelligence is an emerging technology that combined with machine learning, predictive analytics and natural language processing; no one knows where it will lead us.
We are used to living with Siri or Google Assistant (among others) for a few years and they solve small problems of everyday life in a natural way (reminders, answering simple questions …) and the time has come for these new tools to be complement the classic CRMs to turn them into the ultimate sales tool.
Introduction of information (The great time thief)
One of the problems of the current CRMs is that, in order to really be useful to you (which they are), it is necessary to devote a great effort to keep the systems updated with all the available information, which causes the commercial teams to lose a lot of time in those tasks that have no added value and cannot invest that time in other tasks that really matter as being close to customers, supporting them and generating trust.
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In the same way that you now ask Siri to keep an appointment in the calendar, you can dictate to the CRM a report about a visit you make to a client or fill in the form with the data of your client that you can find (surely) on the Internet and in many cases much more exhaustively than you could and in less time. All this using natural language, without having to navigate through tedious screens and have your eyes fixed on the PC or tablet or keyboard need.
Assistant and task automation (End of missed opportunities due to forgetfulness or lack of time)
Some time ago virtual assistants (Siri or Google Assistant for example) were implanted in your daily life and in the same way that you ask the mobile what time it is, it does not make sense that to get a report you have to go through four screens and do six clicks
The next generation of CRMs will allow you to access the information you need with natural language, it will be as easy as saying: “Show me the sales report of the last quarter” and “auto-magically” will appear on the screen of your mobile, tablet or PC. This example is already being implemented by SAP in its ERP solutions thanks to its agreement with Apple.
The same goes for the actions: you can give simple orders that until now could be a bit cumbersome: “Send an email to all customers with whom we have not had contact in the last year using the Recontact template “.
Here are new features that are even more interesting, the Smart CRMs will no longer be limited to sending an email to a distribution list at a specific time, but if you have enough information about your customers you will choose from each one what is the best time to send them based on previous data of success of openings.
Active Prediction (End of the loss of opportunities due to ignorance)
What do I call active prediction? Currently many CRMs already allow you to make pseudo-intelligent reports, in which it indicates that: customers who have bought A have bought B in a high percentage and therefore it is a good option to offer it to the rest of customers who have bought A.
But this was “passive”, that is, the operator had to go to the Smart CRMs and ask for the report in question. What happens in reality? That in many cases for lack of time or simply knowledge that query never came to be carried out and therefore no action was taken.
With artificial intelligence this problem is over. The system itself will be responsible for carrying out all these consultations and putting the information and possible actions to be carried out in a clearly visible place.
There are even more spectacular cases such as Salesforce’s Einstein, who is capable of taking a selfie, of detecting your personal traits (sex, height, haircut, complexion, color, etc …) and of your previous purchases to make recommendations of custom products.
Business monitoring (Access to opportunities you simply did not know)
To the active prediction that you indicated before you have to add business monitoring and I believe that this is going to be the fundamental point that makes Smart CRMs an essential tool, and it will be their ability to analyze not only the internal information but also the external (bag, news, weather, life of our customers in social networks (I know this is unpopular, but it is real, etc …) and through Big Data to be able to make predictions impossible until now.
Monitor not only your customers but will be able to give information on potential customers or potential markets for lack of time, resources or knowledge, had not even shuffle. Opportunities as “simple” as you present a tender in Poland because your company meets 90% of requirements and has a competitive product and all you need is a union with the Polish company “and” having the 10% you lack and that by its historical fits with the philosophy of your company.
And it will take vigilance business to a new stage thanks to Big Data, so that you can anticipate, for example, payments problem because it detects a client personnel are leaving the company, etc …
Smart CRMs – Reality or Fiction?
You may have the perception that what I just told you here is science fiction, but I’m afraid not. In fact this is just the tip of the iceberg. The functionalities that I have just told you are the basic ones that anyone who spends a while would intuit, but the reality is that we do not know how far you can go. In fact, the big companies that have already begun to implement solutions of this type in their CRM, for example Einstein of Salesforce, Cortana of Microsoft or SugarCRM with Candance.