CRM solutions since their inception have gone through several stages of evolution, following technological and market trends to provide increasingly agile, complete and effective solutions. We bring this article to understand which are the main areas of evolution in CRM that all organizations should be watchful.
What is CRM?
CRM is an acronym for “Customer Relationship Management“. This category of business software was born out of the need to prevent important customer information from being dispersed between CEO emails, salespeople’s memory or accounting excel files.
Creating a central repository accessible to the relevant personnel, containing information about who the customers are, where they are, persons of contact, exchanged emails, meetings held, closed and under development deals, gave rise to CRM solutions and an increasingly popular business approach, of placing the customer at the center of business processes.
With the development of this business solutions category it’s scope was extended, expanding naturally in the sales area through the lead and opportunity management processes, but also on other areas such as marketing and customer support. In this evolution process, the CRM focus began to cover other areas such as sales force, marketing or support automation.
The main areas of evolution in CRM
With the adoption of CRM solutions and it’s principles to centralize and standardize information, other topics specific to this type of solution or with high relevance in this area began to emerge. The evolution of these subjects was reflected in the solutions development, with emphasis on these areas that we consider main contributors to CRM evolution.
Companies gained new capabilities with relationship management, sales force and support automation solutions, improving the capability to monitor and analyze their processes thanks to the level of information detail, but at what cost?
A company or contact record has several fields of information that cannot be overlooked, duplicates must be avoided in order to guarantee data consistency, activity records, tasks, opportunities, proposals, support requests. How to ensure the required information without overloading a resource with system update tasks?
This is where automation comes in. Through various methods over time, it has increasingly reduced the effort to update systems, without compromising the quality and quantity of information.
Customer Experience Management
Customer experience management is the following step of customer relationship management, deepening the original concept to cover all points of interaction with the customer, regardless of the source channels, products and services acquired or relationship stage.
The core aspect of customer experience management is the identification and improvement of customer journeys throughout all the interactions with the supplier, ensuring that all steps from acquisition to business completion and after-sales support follow the best practices and provide the best possible experience.
CRM tools have developed increasingly robust solutions that make it possible to standardize all steps according to channels, business areas or other desired criteria, ensuring detailed follow-up and monitoring and allowing that resources allocated to the processes comply with all steps outlined, through the creation and assignment of tasks and other relevant measurable actions.
Master Data Management
Or “MDM“, is not a CRM specific subject, however it provides crucial improvements to all the organization’s business solutions, including the areas assigned to CRM.
Information sharing between business areas, encompassing the solutions each area includes is a critical factor to organizational performance, therefore defining principles of ownership, accessibility and information sharing, allows to create synergies between all business areas in order to leverage their performance.
A basic example of master data is the customer record. Basic information such as the address of the headquarters should be common knowledge to several areas such as marketing, sales and finance. However, who is the “owner” of this information? At what stage can each of these areas update a customer’s address? If the systems are different how the update is guaranteed?
These questions can be simple or complex to answer depending on the size of each organization, therefore master data management has a crucial role to ensure the integrity of the information and in turn the quality and capacity that your CRM solution has to add value to the organization.
Digital transformation has changed society, which also generated an impact on CRM solutions, however the external factors that conditioned the evolution of business solutions, such as the case of social networks and overall digital presence, will be a subject to cover in another article.
As always, if you whish to know more about the topics included in this article, contact us through the available channels.