AI In 2021 And Beyond-Future Of CRM Platforms

The future has finally arrived! - at least for customer relationship management or CRM software users. Today, we have entered the era of integrated, intelligent CRM and the journey ahead is even brighter. From small to Fortune 500 organisations, marketing and sales teams are adopting CRM to gain invaluable customer-centric insights, acquire and retain customers, and deliver better customer experiences.

Today, the best products and services alone cannot put you closer to profitability. Building long-lasting and engaging relationships with customers to foster retention and loyalty is critical to influencing the bottom line.


This is where customer relationship management matters. The best thing is that organisations can get a distinctive edge over their peers by staying ahead of CRM trends and finding innovative ways to flourish even during challenging times.


Here are some of the Top predictions for CRM in 2021 and beyond, including a surge in CRM use in new markets, AI getting further embedded within CRM, the impact of wider technology trends on customer relationship management, and powerful integrations.


AI will super-charge CRM platforms

According to Gartner's CIO Agenda Survey, 14 percent of global CIO’s have already deployed artificial intelligence and it is estimated that AI associated with CRM activities will boost global business revenue by as much as $1.1 trillion by the end of 2021.


Artificial Intelligence can impact CRM activities in different ways:

  • Improving lead qualification and generation

  • Speeding up sales cycles

  • Optimising pricing and distribution logistics

  • Assisting organisations to enhance brand campaigns and recognition

  • Reducing the cost of partner and employee recruitment

  • Providing faster solutions to customer support problems

  • Enhancing revenue from optimised product marketing

  • Preventing loss via fraud detection

  • Reducing support call costs while enhancing resolution rates

With CRM tools becoming more intelligent and empowered, they would be better positioned than ever to provide more accurate insights to help organisations make better and informed decisions. In the past few years, AI has demonstrated its usefulness in transforming CRM platforms. Continuing with these trends, bots and robotic process automation (RPA) are likely to be top priorities for organisations in the future.


Real-time insights can be accessed through AI-fuelled CRMs to identify buying patterns capable of transforming them into conversion opportunities. For instance, Dynamics 365 (embedded intelligence) is already helping organisations improve productivity and grow through advanced insights.


Self-service to be delivered through CRM

Customers today want their problems solved and questions answered promptly and proactively. Self-service is no longer considered a luxury but instead a necessity to provide positive and prompt customer experiences continuously.


Bots are now performing a majority of contact management activities as automation is escalating with CRM; they are also saving the time and efforts of employees to avoid the delivery of repetitive, mundane replies and focus on core activities. As customers solve their queries on their own, less support staff is required by organisations. It’s a win-win for everyone!


For instance, Power Virtual Agents from Microsoft Dynamics Power Platform (available as a discrete app within Microsoft Teams and a standalone web app) help you create powerful chatbots that can be used for providing answers to questions of customers, employees, website visitors, or service users.


Process automation will happen through CRM

CRM is likely to become more synonymous with automation in 2021 and beyond. Top players like Microsoft have invested heavily in automation. Administration overheads are reduced by Microsoft Dynamics 365 workflows to create streamlined processes for marketing, sales, and customer service.


For instance, Power Virtual Agents from Microsoft Dynamics Power Platform can be leveraged to seamlessly communicate with existing and potential customers. Chatbots can help in solving support tickets automatically to nurture sales prospects down the funnel.


Rise of 'Mobile' and 'Social' CRM

Customer experience and service are the heart of every success-oriented organisation. Customer-centric organisations can gain a powerful overview of what customers and people are posting about the brand, products, and services on social media platforms by viewing CRM and social media together.


Organisations can connect better and seamlessly with customers and people on multiple platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. Conversely, mobile CRM software can be leveraged to boost the relationship and association of organisations with customers that, in turn, has a direct and sizable impact on the sales figures.


What’s Next?

In 2021 and beyond, organisations will be the beneficiaries of well-integrated CRM solutions to get predictive insights, unify their critical data, remove duplicate data, resolve data silos, and much more. When CRM and AI meet, the result is a match made in heaven. Integration of these two state-of-the-art technologies can be used to deliver more personalised and predictive customer information in every sphere of your business.


What to expect:

  • Lead generation efforts can be improved through more accurate marketing campaigns.

  • Emails, customer reports, and data capture can be automated to avoid the risk of human errors.

  • AI-powered CRM systems can learn from historical data and past decisions to score the best sales leads.

  • Automated segmentation will help you deliver your message quickly and effectively to a specific group of potential customers.

  • AI will help your organisation retrieve higher value out of Image recognition and sentiment analysis to understand the satisfaction levels of customers in real-time.

  • AI will play a critical role in choosing the most effective go-to-market strategies based on precise marketing data, customer-centric knowledge, and industry insights.

  • AI will assist in empowering more fruitful lifetime customer cycles.

At C.I.G Consultants, we predict more organisations would leverage cloud solutions and artificial intelligence, whether as a standalone system, a part of their CRM, or simply as a connected tool. Want to know how? Contact us now!

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