Are you struggling to stay on top of all the CRM trends happening in 2023?
I know, with AI, machine learning, and IoT, it’s nearly impossible to keep in the know.
Fortunately, you’ve just stumbled upon some of the top CRM trends this year!
Hi! I’m AJ, and after growing and selling my business, I’ve continually stayed on top of what was trending in the CRM industry.
After selling, I built Small Business Bonfire to help fellow entrepreneurs start, scale, and grow their businesses.
What CRM trends are most important? Keep reading, and you’ll learn all the goodies that are trending in the CRM industry (including XaaS)!
Let’s dive in!
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Top CRM Trends for 2023
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a fast-growing industry. An increasing number of businesses are investing in CRM software because it helps with the following business aspects:
- Building customer relationships
- Boosting sales and revenue
- Streamlining employee communication
- Organizing data
- Building in-depth reports
- Performing operations automatically
Your small business must know which CRM trends will impact its operations if you want to stay competitive in your industry!
Below I’ve listed 19 CRM trends in 2023. Let’s take a look at how CRM solutions are evolving!
1. Voice and Conversational UI Start Integrating with CRMs
More CRM systems incorporate intelligent virtual agents (IVA) to handle customer service processes.
Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) make these virtual agents almost indistinguishable from live agents.
How is technology building meaningful customer relations with robots? Here are some tools the CRM industry is implementing:
- Natural language processing
- Voice assistants
Chatbots manage customer interactions, primarily focusing on customer service efforts online.
However, chatbots also utilize natural language processing to determine high-priority requests and analyze customer information.
Additionally, more CRM providers offer voice assistants, and this is one of the CRM trends you can expect to continue.
Eventually, providers in the CRM market aim to have voice assist technology allow CRM users to dictate their commands rather than type them!
2. Artificial Intelligence is a Key Part of CRMs
Artificial intelligence is another fast-growing industry that works seamlessly with CRM technology.
AI influences the CRM space in many ways.
For instance, AI experts say the technology will eventually be able to summarize critical customer attributes, giving sales professionals more information on a potential customer.
Additional ways AI will apply to CRM tools in the future include the following:
- Marketing strategies (lead qualification and sentiment analysis)
- Sales processes (forecasting and customer churn reduction)
- Data (organizing, cleaning, and entry)
Put simply; AI provides valuable insights for you and your team.
As a result, better and more accurate information reveals patterns in current and potential customers, which your sales team utilizes to form better strategies.
While some people are wary of AI, there are certainly areas within your CRM platform where the technology can help a business thrive.
3. CRM Automation Plays a Huge Part of Business Operations
While most CRM software solutions already have and utilize automation, the future of CRM aims to enhance these abilities.
Therefore, aspects like employee productivity and efficiency improve drastically.
Currently, a CRM system can automate tasks like:
- Sending messages
- Sending calendar reminders
- Creating reports based on sales or marketing data
- Sending notifications about customer touchpoints
However, in the future, automation will be one of the key CRM trends that will provide a clearer customer profile.
Experts aim to have automation discover each customer’s primary needs and wants via a personalized AI agent.
Ultimately, robotic automation provides excellent operation efficiency because it gathers key customer data.
4. CRM Systems Work Synergistically with the Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) are physical objects with sensors and actuators communicating with wireless networks.
As a result, the physical world can be digitally monitored.
IoT already impacts CRM systems heavily, and experts predict this is one of the CRM trends that will continue advancing.
For example, CRM software systems aim to take advantage of connecting to IoT feeds to collect more in-depth customer data and analyze behaviors.
As a result, companies can provide a better customer experience, offer personalized customer service, and send targeted marketing efforts.
Additionally, this trend allows businesses to determine product performance issues ahead of time, leading to higher customer satisfaction levels.
You may have a CRM solution that currently has connections to IoT feeds. And if you do, it’s critical to use this information to build an advanced CRM strategy!
5. Mobile CRM Software is Becoming a Staple
One of the CRM trends your business must take advantage of is mobile CRM software.
Mobile CRMs allow sales and marketing teams to take CRM data and customer information anywhere.
Therefore, whether you have team members working from home or on the road for a meeting, they can quickly access the data they need.
CRM systems are advancing mobility to provide constant connectivity regardless of location or time.
Some features you should look for in a mobile CRM include the following:
- Strong security features
- Easy-to-use interface
- Third-party applications that work across any platform
- Online and offline access
Everyone on your team benefits from a mobile CRM because they improve operational efficiency, increases sales, and provides a better customer experience.
6. Social CRM is Increasing in Popularity
Social media channels are undoubtedly an important business aspect, whether you realize it or not.
With the rise in social media platforms and activity, a social CRM system has become necessary.
Social CRM tools help companies build personal and genuine customer connections.
Additionally, this technology allows you to track trends and customer interests based on their social media activity.
A social CRM lets your sales reps stay in touch with customers and offer real-time updates and assistance.
Some examples of social media platforms your business should consider using include the following:
Social media can help your business build meaningful customer relationships while gathering integral marketing and sales data.
Since social media isn’t going away anytime soon, building an online presence as soon as possible is critical!
7. Customer Experience and Personalization
Customer experience and personalization are two CRM trends you should consider in your strategy.
Customers value an excellent shopping experience. And most customers will purchase products or services from a company repeatedly if they have a good experience.
When it comes to a good shopping experience, customers prefer easier things to use. Therefore, you must make it as simple as possible for customers to purchase products or services from your business.
CRMs can segment customers based on their interests, behaviors, location, or purchase history.
Using customer data collected by a CRM platform helps companies create more personalized customer interactions at scale.
Further, personalization boosts customer satisfaction.
Therefore, businesses should strive to create unique customer experiences by using digital marketing, data analytics technologies like AI, and other CRM features.
You can boost your ROI significantly by providing personalized content and experiences to customers.
8. More Robust Integrations
One of my favorite aspects of CRM technology is the ability to connect third-party applications.
With these applications, my team and I enjoy niche tech tools that work alongside our CRM data.
Although most CRM platforms allow users to integrate outside applications, the future will ensure business owners can use fewer tools because apps are becoming more targeted.
Why are integrations important?
Integrations ensure your business can access specialized tools and functionalities that improve customer experiences and employee efficiency.
Some relevant CRM integration possibilities in the future include the following:
- Marketing automation
- Customer service tools
- Analytics software
- Customer data platforms
While integrations do an excellent job of tracking sales teams’ data and internal activities, there is room for improvement.
For instance, several external interactions occur separately from the CRM. This information is valuable, and future third-party apps can find a way to leverage that data.
Some popular integrations I’ve used within my company include data import services, APIs, SDKs, and Zapier.
Zapier is an excellent tool that’s easy to use and can connect almost any third-party application to your CRM!
9. Industry-Specific CRMs for SMBs
Industry-specific CRMs offer oriented business needs and specialized features depending on the industry.
So, while general CRMs work great for massive corporations, small businesses typically demand a more tailored experience.
Some of the industry-specific CRMs that currently exist include ones in the following industries:
- Real estate
- Call centers
What do I mean by specific functionalities?
Let’s consider a healthcare CRM. Healthcare facilities need HIPAA-compliant documents and practices, and CRMs that consider this make everyday operations easier.
Typically, a general-use CRM doesn’t consider HIPAA-compliancy because most businesses don’t need these tools.
Experts predict CRM vendors will continue offering specific tools and functionalities to cater to niche businesses.
10. Fewer Adoption Barriers for First-Time Users
As useful as a customer relationship management system is, several first-time CRM users give up using the technology.
Some popular reasons first-time users abandon CRM use include the following:
- Difficult to learn
- Training takes too long
- Manual data entry
- Low employee adoption rates
CRM platforms will aim to make the technology easier to understand and simple to use in the future.
That way, every company can benefit from the software.
Changes that streamline the user experience will make it significantly easier for first-time users to learn how to use the technology.
So, if your company tried to implement a customer relationship management technology in the past but found it too challenging to use, don’t lose hope!
One of the CRM trends that are currently developing focuses on fewer barriers for new users.
11. XaaS: Everything as a Service
XaaS is a growing trend in the tech industry.
XaaS can transform any IT function into a service consumers pay for enterprise consumption.
Some examples of XaaS companies include the following:
- Google Workspace
Everything as a Service includes technologies delivered right from the platform as a service, called PaaS, or infrastructure as a service (IaaS).
These services use the internet to ensure functionality and typically charge subscription charges rather than upfront costs.
The future will likely observe more companies utilizing cloud-based solutions for new parts of their business.
12. Inter-Department Alignment
Inter-departmental alignment is one of the CRM trends that will allow businesses to optimize their processes, communicate more efficiently, and ultimately maximize their ROI.
This trend involves unifying sales, marketing, customer service, finance, and other departments within a business and creating an interdependent system between them.
Companies can use this feature to ensure each department works in harmony and can access the same data.
Inter-departmental alignment is especially useful for sales teams because they need access to customer data from all departments to close deals effectively.
The last thing you want your team experiencing is miscommunication and data silos (trust me, I’ve been there).
When everyone can access the same, up-to-date information, you create a better customer experience and less employee frustration.
Employees don’t have to dig around for information or a file on a certain customer. Instead, CRMs will continually improve inter-department alignment!
13. More CRMs in the Market Than Ever Before
If you don’t know already, the CRM industry has exploded over the past few years.
More companies continually arise in the industry, and the market has proven extremely profitable (and worth billions!).
Because CRMs are an integral part of business operations, experts predict this growth is sustainable regardless of the industry.
Additionally, experts believe CRMs will continue offering different service levels and functionalities to fit specific needs.
Some people believe too many CRMs will crowd the industry. However, most people feel confident about the growing number of providers.
With more providers, small business owners can find the perfect fit for their CRM needs!
14. CRMs Continue to Become More Advanced
CRM technology continues to advance, and more powerful features are available daily.
Some popular advancements include the following:
- AI Chatbots
- Predictive analytics
- Customized dashboards
- Automated Lead Nurturing
- Voice and Conversational UI
- Automated Email Campaigns
- Lead scoring
- Mobile Responsiveness
- Social media integration
The future of CRMs will likely include sophisticated features such as customer segmentation and advanced AI integrations.
Advancing technology is one of the key trends for CRM because, despite how advanced and functional the programs are right now, you can expect even better things in the future.
Think about what cell phones looked like only five years ago compared to the latest iPhone!
Technology continually grows to meet and exceed consumer expectations, and CRMs are no different.
15. Millennials are Pushing for CRM Use
About a quarter of millennials view CRMs as vital to business operations (higher than older generations).
This age group sees CRMs as a critical factor in a successful business because of the predictive capabilities and integrations with artificial intelligence.
Millennials are accustomed to using innovative technology and catch onto functionalities faster than older generations (usually).
Therefore, it’s no surprise a cloud-based CRM is something this age group prefers for business operations.
The percentage of millennials who feel this way will likely continue growing as they and Gen Z consumers continue to gain buying power.
Therefore, future decades will observe more tech-centric structures emphasizing maximizing performance via CRM capabilities.
16. Single Member LLCs Will be Big Enough for a CRM
A common misconception about CRMs is that you must have several employees to utilize the functions and make them worth your money.
However, software vendors continue to prove that point incorrect.
One trend freelancers and small business startups will enjoy is that CRMs are starting to be designed for single-member companies.
You don’t need many employees to manage clients, create a sales funnel, and organize data.
Single-member LLCs prove to be significant marketing for CRM systems, and you can expect more companies to pop up that meet these needs in the future!
17. CRM Will be Integrated with Every Other Part of an SMB
CRM solutions are becoming increasingly integrated with other applications.
For small businesses, this means that CRMs will be more available than ever and easier to integrate into different departments, such as finance, customer service, marketing, and sales.
Additionally, this trend opens up possibilities for small businesses that want to optimize their operations and get ahead of their competition!
For instance, small businesses can now integrate CRMs with accounting systems to automate payments or customer service tools to provide better customer service.
The future looks bright for CRM technology and its integration into the business world, especially for small businesses!
18. Increased Customer Personalization with CRMs
An excellent customer experience is everything! And personalized experiences are proven to rake in more sales and loyal customers.
CRMs collect and organize valuable information about customer segments that lead to targeted marketing campaigns.
When customers feel like an ad addresses their needs and wants directly, they are likelier to buy the product or service they see.
Data collection and organization advancements ensure that CRMs will provide an even clearer picture of the customer journey.
In the future, you can expect your CRM to offer more details about customer preferences, buying habits, and which marketing techniques they are most attracted to.
Personalized messages will become even more targeted, which many consumers prefer.
Further, you can use this information to identify new customer segments and cater to their needs.
Building a loyal customer base is vital. Selling to repeat customers is less expensive than if a company were to try to find a new customer.
Therefore, by building personalized relationships, companies gain loyal consumers who will recommend their products or services to people in their circle.
19. CRMs Are Making it Even Easier to Access Customer Data.
As more businesses transition to digital operations, customer data becomes even easier to access.
CRMs are the key tool to collect and store all of this information.
Experts predict that CRMs will become even simpler to use and understand moving forward!
Most modern CRM systems offer simple user interfaces and handy reports so users can analyze and gain insights quickly.
Plus, more CRMs now offer mobile solutions so users can access the information they need anytime, anywhere.
In the future, you can expect to see more user-friendly dashboards and capabilities for accessing customer data.
The easier it is to use a CRM system, the better results businesses will receive from customer data.
CRM Trends Final Thoughts
CRM trends may seem like things of the distant future. However, vendors are continually making improvements to technology and CRM functionalities.
From AI to marketing automations, there are some fascinating CRM trends!
What’s better, some of these trends are in their early stages, allowing your business to get a leg up on the competition.
What CRM trend are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments section below!
Good luck finding and implementing the best CRM platform for your team!