The State of the CRM Market is best summarized by Seeking Alpha who estimates the CRM market potential be $82B by 2025 and growing at 12% annually. If the current 12% annual growth rate for the entire CRM market continued until 2034, the CRM market potential would be $228B.
The State of the CRM Market – Key CRM Trend: Omni-channel Solutions
Omni-channel is a multichannel approach to sales that seeks to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience, whether they’re shopping online from any device, by telephone, or in a brick-and-mortar store. Omni-channel marketing gives businesses the ability to integrate channels through the back end.
Omni-channel marketing and customer support is a significant trend in 2018 because customers naturally gain a better experience by incorporating the way they like to do business with other channels.
Here’s what businesses use today in their omni-channel solutions
- Email – 97%
- SMS/MMS – 59%
- Mobile Message Pushing – 47%
- Own Website / eCommerce Site- 47%
- Social Media (advertising) – 44%
- Face-to-Face Sales or Service – 41%
- Print – 38%
- Call Center – 34%
- Mobile App Content Personalization – 31%
- Search Engine Advertising – 31%
The State of the CRM Market – Key CRM Trend: Self Service
Customers will always think they know more than the business who hires professionals in their field to handle problems that inevitably arise. It’s just the nature of the beast. What’s changing in 2018, however, is that businesses are running with that idea to turn self-service into a powerful customer support channel for those who want to do-it-themself.
Vendors now offer customers AI-backed chatbots that are much smarter than the chatbots we’re all accustomed to (generic responses in weird vopic es that are often inaccurate and unhelpful). Chatbots now offer more personalized responses to customers based on previous history and that provides a more personalized and relevant experience for each specific need.
Vendors also help customers manage their own issues through social media by enabling customers to collaborate and form tight-knit communities centered around helping each other that would-albeit, moderated by the vendor’s support agents.
The State of the CRM Market – Key CRM Trend: Social CRM
Social CRM software works similarly to regular CRM software, except there is more of an emphasis in gathering customer data through social media — as the name suggests. Social CRM will help boost marketing, customer support, and sales campaigns in a variety of ways.
Social media is an omnichannel experience in and of itself, meaning that social media can allow potential customers to interact with a business in a variety of ways at the same time. A great example would be a company creating a post on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, all of which have links to the website, a phone number and email in the bios, and comments open to the public. That alone gives customers seven ways of reaching out.
Social CRM’s focus on social media also gives CRM software a different channel of data that in many ways can be more accurate, given the personal nature of social media and how willing people are to share their feelings to everyone who follows them. Expect to see CRM providers implementing key social CRM features in 2018 to further develop customer profiles.
Organizations are also shifting towards Cloud-based CRM software at a much more rapid pace. Research suggest that up to 88% of CRMs were on-premise systems in 2008. Today, 87% of CRM systems are now powered by the Cloud. This shift is significant because businesses who didn’t have the money to set up a proper on-premise system are no longer held back from the lack of funding.
The State of the CRM Market – Key Verticals
There are seven major fields CRM software works with:
- Pharma & Biotech
- High-tech manufacturing
- Media &Entertainment
- Retail & Wholesale
The State of the CRM Market – CRM Adoption
SMBs implementing, implemented or expanding or upgrading the following types of software:
- SFA / sales operations solutions – 60%
- Customer Service – 63%
- Enterprise Marketing solutions – 67%
SMBs planning to implement the following types of software:
- SFA / sales operations solutions – 19%
- Customer Service – 17%
- Enterprise Marketing solutions – 18%
Enterprise implementing, implemented or expanding or upgrading the following types of software:
- SFA / sales operations solutions – 67%
- Customer Service – 69%
- Enterprise Marketing solutions – 70%
SMBs planning to implement the following types of software:
- SFA / sales operations solutions – 18%
- Customer Service – 16%
- Enterprise Marketing solutions – 15%
The State of the CRM Market – Key Takeaways
- By 2020, the CRM application software market is expected to overtake the data management market – becoming the largest of all software markets.
- Overall, 2018 will be seen as the start of something new for CRM software. The market is continuing to rise along with the implementation of AI, which will make CRM software a much smarter solution for businesses interested in improving customer experience, generating sales, and acquiring better forecasts for better business plans.
- However, with AI being the biggest business trend of 2018, CRM providers are expecting businesses to implement CRM software at a much higher rate due to the ease of use it would offer sales, marketing, and support teams. AI will improve user and customer experience significantly, which will encourage agents in every department to adopt CRM software more readily.
- The other big trend that’s continuing to play a significant role in the world of CRM software is customer experience. The other trends, like omni-channel experience, automations, and self-service options all provide customers and businesses the tools they need to ensure the customer is always being prioritized, either through personalized interactions or more simplified user experiences.
The State of the CRM Market – CRM Challenges
There are still some challenges CRM software providers are faced with, like providing users with a better user experience. Many businesses still find it difficult to get their employees to switch to CRM software. Some of them believe the software just adds to the list of tasks that employees are already dealing with.
Some of the challenges are out of the provider’s hands, though. Many businesses claim that not everyone is jumping on the CRM software bandwagon, meaning there are some who have to use it and some who feel like they don’t. Businesses need to do more to commit to the software, which can be done through gamification or dedicated training.
The State of the CRM Market – Final Thoughts
It’s clear that CRM software will be a norm in the business world from this point on — regardless of the size of a business (small, medium or enterprise). Not everyone has switched over from spreadsheets and other outdated software to CRM yet, but the numbers suggest that majority of the holdouts are simply just finding ways to implement the software into their business plan.