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Trend Spotting: CRM in 2016

Winning the loyalty of customer’s today means staying connected with them, always knowing what their needs are and making sure you meet those needs.

2016 is a very big year for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions.

Gartner forecasts the global CRM software market will grow at a 14.8% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2017, which is about $36.5 Billion in size, up from $20.4 Billion in 2013.

Through extensive research with industry experts, top Microsoft partners, and customer research, Microsoft created the ModernBiz campaign, aimed at driving awareness and adoption of cloud technologies to put business owners’ minds at ease.

Here are the top CRM trends that will be help you effectively connect with Customers in 2016.

Social CRM goes viral

The overall global social CRM market is forecasted to be $17.92 billion by 2019 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 51.9% for 2014 to 2019, as reported by research firm Reports N Reports.

Social CRM solutions aim to build a connection between social media and a company’s internal and external communication systems.

“The recent explosion in social media usage has permanently changed the relationship between a company and its customers. Their views have a major impact on the purchasing decisions of others within their social circle and companies are unable to control them”, says Stanislas Magniant, Head of Digital, EMEA, MSL Group. For more info read the Social CRM whitepaper.

Find more leads by using social media to identify and act on buying signals and create leads based on social posts. You can better understand your customers by getting snapshot of their social activities through embedded social buzz volume, trends, and sentiment analysis, using Microsoft Social Engagement.

CRM is on cloud 9

Even though the numbers that CRM experts suggest might vary, they all announce that SaaS will be dominating the CRM industry this year. As per Gartner 2016 is a year when businesses will benefit in a big way by investing in CRM cloud solutions.

In 2016 50% of all CRM software will be cloud based and increasing to 62% by 2018, this is up from 35% in 2013. According to the Cloud Report, a research study by Bessemer Venture Partners.

Microsoft partners can take advantage of this tremendous growth opportunity; here are the resources you need to get started with building a CRM Cloud business.

Mobile CRM is going places

CRM users will expect mobile apps that provide contextual news, social data, and task flows for quickly completing frequent activities.

Apps that use intuitive natural language voice commands to create new records, schedule meetings, set reminders, and find information.

Research also says that adding mobile access to your CRM can help increase sales exponentially as salespeople with Mobile CRM have immediate access to account history, product information, price lists and promotions – empowering them to offer the customer expanded options and close sales on-the-spot.

Check out this very relevant infographic by Microsoft partner Able Bridge, and further understand the strategic advantages of Mobile CRM, and how it helps to increase sales values, shorten sales cycles, collect information at source and much more.

Swiss knife: CRM users want more integration with related software tools

In the past CRM applications used to be a system with limited or no ability to integrate and gather data from other sources. Today, as users demand more value from their CRM providers, modern CRM applications are starting to significantly improve integrating with related software applications.

The winning CRM solutions will provide seamless integration with marketing automation software, ecommerce platforms, analytics software, productivity software, accounting systems etc.

Interactive visualizations and dashboards make it easy to quickly identify and act on opportunities with Power BI, which is fully integrated with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

As a Microsoft partner you can utilize the ModernBiz “Connect with Customers” resource materials to have a relevant and well informed conversation with your customers and provide them with true business value.

Big Data + CRM Predictive Analytics = Match made in heaven

Data analytics are no longer optional in business. As data expands at an exponential rate (Big Data), the ability for a business to make actionable insights and decisions stand as a core differentiator between good and great.

CRM systems generate a lot of data but when big data is too large and unspecified, it cannot be very practical and businesses need to find a way to overcome this challenge.

As an example, Microsoft Dynamics CRM brings in advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities of the Cortana Analytics Suite and provides customers with intelligent, adaptive processes for sales, customer service and social CRM.

Thus, It is more important than ever before for businesses to have an integrated and affordable CRM solution that helps them gain a complete view of their customers, close more sales, and build ongoing relationships.

Now that you know the trends! Market them! Make sure new and existing customers know about your expertise in these areas. And don’t forget, Microsoft’s ModernBiz campaign has resources designed to help you market these solutions and drive your business forward.

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