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5 CRM trends to watch out for in 2021

Discover 5 CRM trends to watch out for in 2021 to thrive in a world shaken up by COVID-19.

Your relationship with customers is what will win you new business over and over again. If you manage to do it right of course. So, what do you need to do to stay ahead of the fierce competition during these troublesome times? Find out what direction CRM is heading in. Take a look at these trends to spot if your business is on the right track.

Keep reading to find out why you should watch out for these 5 leading CRM trends in 2021.

[READ ALSO] Digital Transformation Trends of 2021 >>


How AI-powered CRM tools can boost your Customer Service

Artificial Intelligence to power CRM and Customer Service

Last year, it became clear that customers’ behaviour is changing drastically and continues to grow more unpredictable each passing day.

The importance of gaining deeper insights is highlighted yet again and also challenges your business to achieve much more.

How do you manage then to do more with your real-time customer data today?

Hence why Artificial Intelligence (AI) is currently one of the most anticipated developments to come in CRM. You can expect AI-powered CRM tools to push the limits of your CRM further.

Think of applications such as automating time-consuming tasks, improving your service agents’ productivity, proactively solving customer issues, advancing your chatbots, predicting your customers’ needs, and many more.


Fewer channels to spark more conversations

One-Channel or Channel-less CRM

Omnichannel is no stranger to many. Plenty of businesses already adopted the omnichannel strategy to create a seamless customer experience, even as customers jump from channel to channel.

However, this year turns out to be quite different as a single-channel approach to CRM is becoming more favoured.

What is a single-channel approach?

What this means is that current communication channels will in fact unite. Through one-channel, your sales agents and also your customer service agents no longer need to switch channels to communicate with your customers.

Add AI into the mix and the majority of the work is done, leaving you with a channel-less CRM.


Big data: The next big thing to happen to CRM

Big data and customer data platforms in CRM

Let us state the obvious. The success of CRM relies on the data that you collect as well as what you do with it. Nowadays, the personalisation of customer experience is what determines the outcome of any interaction you have with a customer. How does this actually influence your business?

Here is what you can expect from big data and customer data platform software

  • Get complete and data-driven insights on your customers.
  • Perfect your marketing strategy through one, unified view of the customer experience.
  • Allow AI to analyse your data so you can identify buying patterns and conversion opportunities.


Voice Technology on its way to CRM

Voice Assistance expected in CRM

With the rise of voice technology, it only makes sense that voice engagement is on its way to CRM. Microsoft for instance is already showing interest by funding Tact.ai, a company that owns smart voice assistance technology.

Why is Voice Technology a CRM trend to watch out for?

Currently, voice assistance empowers sales representatives to follow, message, and also alert their teams about related customer data. Now here is where things start to take an interesting turn. Imagine what voice technology paired with AI and machine learning could do for your business.

This could enable you to fuel your business with more data in addition to helpful insights.


CRM shifting to mobile and social in 2021

CRM going more social and movbile

There are two things you need to know about your customers. The first thing is that your customers crave constant connectivity.

This is what strongly drives CRM platforms to provide full and secure mobile functionality. From smartphones and tablets to any other devices that can connect to the internet.

Social Media is not slowing down in 2021

Another thing you should keep in mind is how the importance of social media is not slowing down anytime soon. Social media users today expect a response from your company almost instantly. Is this is a challenge your business is trying to overcome?

Leading CRM platforms are now planning integrations with more social networks, but the technology is not new. Current integrations with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can still strengthen and boost your relationship with customers.


Next-up: What to expect of Digital Transformation in 2021?

Digital Transformation Trends in 2021

Questions on how you can make these 5 CRM trends work in 2021?

This is how COVID-19 reshaped the future of sales

While the full consequences of the pandemic are still unknown, it is already obvious that the economic consequences are serious.

New customer habits and these difficult economic times are affecting your sales strategy. Managing your sales team through this crisis proves to be quite challenging. Especially when COVID-19 disrupts the daily work of your sales team and reshaped your clients’ behaviour

What caused these undeniable changes in your customers’ behaviour?

Before the pandemic, digital trends were already in motion and accelerating. Now, we find ourselves at a critical digital turning point. What we can say with certainty is that future sales business will look different. You have to ask yourself if you are prepared to adapt your sales strategy to overcome this crisis.


The age of the customer

How have digital channels changed for companies since the COVID-19 tragedy began? Sales leaders rate digital interaction approximately twice as important now as they did before. Digital channels have radically accelerated which is affecting your business.

Is this shift reflected in your customers’ behaviours?

When customers search for products and services, they prefer digitally-enabled sales interactions. This shift in preference contributed to the sharp increase in suppliers’ mobile apps, social media, and online tools.

Buyers express a strong preference for self-service channels when looking to perform a purchase. Since 2019 suppliers’ mobile apps and website have doubled in importance. In other words, your customers now have new expectations and higher standards.

How do you adapt to your customers’ needs?

It is not enough to just give customers multiple self-service options. Customers no longer accept less from their professional life as buyers. They grew familiar with their personal experience as consumers and expect the same treatment.

Additionally, your customer wants to be treated the same way at all times. No matter what channel they are using or switching to. Your customers want a personalised and unified experience through your omnichannel.

Get it right by delivering on the key assets that customers value the most

Keep these three assets in mind: be fast, act transparent, and show know-how. You should make it a priority to apply these across all communication channels.


The great shift in virtual Sales models

For almost all functions in most sectors, the shift to remote selling was born out of necessity due to the lockdowns and social distancing. The situation forced people to work from home.

How have Sales teams reacted to this shift?

A large proportion of them started to work via video conferencing or telephone. Many companies supported their sales teams by establishing multidisciplinary commercial central centres. Sales teams could now manage sales activities both inhouse and onsite for customers.

What can you do to help and support your customers at all times?

You need to figure out how to deploy your sales professionals across your omnichannel. You probably noticed video meetings, webinars, (soft)phone, virtual chatbots, etc. taking over traditional face-to-face touchpoints. However, keep in mind that the human touch still plays a crucial role.


Connect your Marketing and Sales

Today we see more cross-functional collaboration between Sales and Marketing. Marketing observed more engagement with their content since COVID-19, making it a valuable source of warm leads for Sales.

How can Marketing and Sales keep your buyers’ attention?

The pandemic greatly impacted buyer behaviour and the economy needs time to recover. Your sales professionals must now define a data-driven sales approach to instantly act on opportunities. Above all, your sales and marketing data will play a crucial role in your strategy.

Why is Human Resources becoming more relevant to Sales leaders?

New skillsets are required in addition to the traditional sales skills. Therefore, HR needs to actively train and educate your sales teams if you want to win your battles.

How does the ideal Sales professional look like today?

Future sales require various tools and more technology than before. Your typical business-savvy sales professional needs more flavour. What you are looking for is someone who has deep insights, absorbs sales and marketing data, and puts the customer at the centre of all his or her actions.


Next-up: Rethinking sales in the field

Anyone can sell in the field - Teach your field service technicians

Questions on how your business can start selling smarter?

You can always get in touch for more detailed information about these topics. Don’t hesitate to contact us.


Think Digital

The latest 5 trends in sales automation you must know about

It is undeniable that our business world and technology landscape is rapidly changing and even shaping the top sales trends. Just take a look at the countless smart solutions available right now to attract and build relationships with new customers.

What does that mean for your business if you want to maintain your position as a company?

First, you need to know that welcoming and incorporating change is vital to stay ahead of the competition. Your sales team’s ability to keep up with the top trends can be a key difference-maker. Therefore modernising your sales strategy is a must to sustain your road to success.

Take a look at these 5 digital sales trends that every ambitious brand should know about and embrace:


Shift to a Personalised and Authentic Approach 

Over the past years, there was a huge focus on making the sales process more efficient. Software Solutions and Artificial Intelligence (AI) were deployed to achieve this goal. While the use of these applications meant greater efficiency, it also introduced a downside – “reduced personal interaction”.

How you can build strong and personal relationships with your customers?

It all drills down to creating memorable customer experiences by having real conversations. Focus on acting authentically. Your goal should be to make it as engaging as possible for your customers.


Yes – More Automation, please  

In contrast to the previous trend, you can also expect companies to invest more in AI solutions. Technology still enables you to collect important insights about customer behaviour and can help you automate everyday tasks.

How can AI empower you to develop a more informed strategy?

Think about how you can use your data to shift to a more personalised approach. A combination of personalised interaction and AI-assisted decision-making is a delicious recipe for success.


Selling Through Social Media 

You might have already noticed how social media is becoming a more integrated part of companies’ sales strategies. More sales reps are looking to connect and build relationships through social selling tools and digital platforms.

What do you need to watch out for?

LinkedIn continues to create new features that will help professionals connect and do business together. The platform makes it easier for sales professionals to follow up and connect with potential customers. You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to stay connected!


Turn your Sales Team into “Trusted Advisors” 

Your sales reps can do more than just sell. Take a look at the current top-performing sales companies. They fully understand the importance of becoming a source of reliable and added value content.

What does ‘doing more than just sell’ mean?

What your business needs in these competitive times are strategic partners, also known as “trusted advisors”. This is the person your customer turns to with burning questions or for advice. Your trusted advisor becomes the individual they reach out to in search of a solution.

How do you achieve that?

You need to be perceived as a credible source on industry trends, competition, and strategic solutions. Have your sales reps ask questions and help customers find more effective ways to run their business. This way your sales reps can have a measurable impact on their customer’s bottom line.


Sales and marketing recognise a deep commitment 

How did a marketing and communication department look like up until recently? Well, it was not spectacular. You would find one or more communication employees doing a bit of marketing on the side. These employees were mainly focused on advertising printed collateral and organising business events.

Do you notice something missing?

Not too long ago, collaboration with the sales team was hard to find. Fortunately, many companies realise today that marketing is simply inseparable from sales.

What can you expect from now on?

We already know Sales and Marketing need to join forces to have the greatest success. Companies will start bringing both teams together while using one performance, unified digital platform and an end-to-end process. If you want to maintain your position as a company, you need to start thinking digital to succeed.


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Questions on how your business can start selling smarter?

You can always get in touch for more detailed information about these topics. Don’t hesitate to contact us.