The popularity of CRM systems has been increasing rapidly over the past few years. And not without reason!
50% of business owners say they leveled up productivity, 65% increased their sales quota, 40% reduced their labor costs, and 74% improved their customer relationships — all with the help of CRM. Impressive, isn’t it?
In 2024, we expect that one in two companies will use CRM systems because, based on the experience of other organizations, it would be strange not to do so.
Everyone wants to streamline their business processes, automate their daily tasks, and effectively manage customer relationships. And with CRM, you can do that at a low price or no extra charge at all!
But to see the benefits we’ve mentioned above, you need to keep up with the ever-changing CRM trends, which can be pretty overwhelming. To help you get on track, we did our research and compiled a list of 9 CRM best practices you can follow to take your business to the next level.
So grab a pen and a notebook and write down the recipe for success in 2024!
Why is CRM important for your business?
Over the past few years, CRMs have evolved from simple contact management tools into holistic one-stop solutions for running and growing businesses of all sizes. With their help, you can track the buyer’s journey and make data-driven decisions to skyrocket sales and revenues.
Here are the main advantages of CRM systems for B2B companies, to name a few:
Why is it so crucial? Sales guys take a lot of steps while moving leads down the sales funnel and converting them into customers, so it’s necessary to control the entire sales pipeline. The best way to do this is through visualization.
Making first contact, following up, conducting negotiations, exchanging documents — all these steps can be visually monitored to see the deal progress.
Efficient sales process
Why is it so important? As a rule, a B2B CRM system includes a set of tools that allow you to organize the entire sales process, from collecting data to managing customer databases, tracking customer interactions, and processing transactions.
It’s no surprise having that many tools and features at your disposal (and actively using them!) will significantly boost your company’s sales.
Why is it so crucial? A CRM system collects customer data and helps you uncover valuable insights that will impact your business decisions.
Based on the gathered data, you can decide what customer segments you need, choose effective customer retention strategies, learn which clients contribute to the highest profits, and conduct predictive modeling — the possibilities are endless.
What can we say… B2B CRM systems are integral for companies’ development and efficiency. Many mundane tasks are solved, workflow problems are solved, and client interaction is improved. It’s better not to run a business without CRM, as you won’t bypass your competitors!
What trends do you need to look out for to grow your business?
Trend #1. AI boom
Thanks to the implementation of AI in CRM systems, sales and marketing teams can now not only meet the needs of customers but also predict what pain points they have.
AI collects a wealth of information about how, where, and why your clients make purchases, allowing you to develop better sales and marketing strategies through the finer segmentation of your target audience. Now you can get real-time information about customers’ demographic characteristics, preferences, worldviews, interests, and much more.
The better you understand why your target audience makes one choice or another, what they need, and how they come to purchase, the more likely you’ll make the customer experience more personalized. And mind it, 80% of consumers view the experience a company provides as important as its products or services.
But in 2024, CRM systems will continue to carry out more and more routine operations. AI will be able to further assist with reporting and predictive modeling by pulling out useful data while processing information, developing the analytical capabilities of the system, and using sophisticated algorithms to predict sales with a high degree of accuracy.
Of course, this will give the business an advantage in understanding the industry dynamics and development.
Trend #2. More useful integrations
Everyone likes it when the new tool they use can integrate seamlessly with their other favorite apps and platforms. This is the only way all company employees can be on the same page and actively cooperate without switching from one tab/program to another. A key to well-coordinated, optimized, and efficient work!
For each type of business, it’s important to be able to link your CRM with messengers, mailing services, chatbots, call services, and whiteboards — in short, with all sorts of tools that will allow you to communicate with customers over several different platforms, drive cross-team collaboration during the entire sales cycle, and so on.
Due to the popularity of integrations, of course, CRMs will continue expanding their integration possibilities to meet the changing demands in 2024.
Trend #3. Beginner-friendly CRM
To work with a multifunctional CRM assistant, you no longer need to sit for hours to understand the system. There are already simplified options that are not inferior to complex CRMs in terms of capabilities and can help reduce the time spent onboarding employees and get the desired results much faster.
Let’s take a Snov.io free CRM as an example.
It’s user-friendly — you’ll figure it out and start working in it in just a few minutes. You can immediately organize your lead base and focus on the most promising leads so as not to waste time on those potential customers who are not interested in closing a deal.
Here you can work together with your team, control at what stage each team member is, and analyze the campaigns’ successes and failures to create a more effective sales strategy in the future.
This CRM also has a number of tools to empower you: you can find new leads with Email Finder, verify emails with Email Verifier, and send newsletters to prospects with Email Drip Campaigns — all on the same platform.
Sure, there are other new beginner-friendly CRMs that came out in 2021 on Product Hunt, so you can check them out, too!
Trend #4. Customer self-service
Let’s be honest, some of us prefer finding answers to our questions ourselves instead of getting help from someone else.
Our clients are just like that! While some opt for getting customer support via email, phone, or live chat, others enjoy using self-service portals where they can autonomously register cases, find solutions in the knowledge base, become more independent, and rely less on company representatives.
Not to mention, self-support portals are hassle-free and can be accessed 24/7!
If you’ve not followed this trend yet, then it’s better to start right now because almost 70% of customers prefer self-service over speaking to a customer service agent. If this opportunity isn’t available, this might deter targeted leads from choosing you over your competitors. And you certainly don’t want this!
And if you don’t see yourself setting up a self-service portal, what about future-proofing your customer service with other CRM integrations? For example, it can be a chatbot where users can ask a question, raise a concern, check the status of their order, and, possibly, receive personalized offers.
Trend #5. Mobile CRM
No matter the industry, job position, product offered, and company size, sales reps and marketers now don’t let their smartphones out of their hands, expecting real-time information to be available from anywhere. It’s only logical for CRM systems to go mobile, too!
We mean, the numbers below speak for themselves:
In addition, according to statistics, 50% of teams have already increased their productivity through mobile CRM.
It’s cool when you can access important business information no matter where you are, without having to run around looking for a desktop. This promotes a collaborative work environment and enables sales reps to close deals with fewer interactions.
Haven’t found a mobile CRM tool that suits your needs? Keep your head up! In 2024, we expect to see even more mobile CRMs that can work equally well on a variety of platforms, operating systems, and screen sizes.
The main mobile CRM drawback, though, is their safety. CRM systems used by different organizations contain a lot of important data, the leakage of which is equal to the loss of a business, and mobile solutions, as we know, are easier to hack.
Trend #6. More industry-specific CRM systems
There are plenty of CRMs offering industry-specific solutions that boast specialized features that can be more effective in helping your company remain competitive in your niche. And since pretty much every industry you can think of (real estate, manufacturing, hospitality, you name it) has an industry-specific CRM these days, we expect this trend to go viral in 2024.
Let’s take a customer service CRM as an example. It’s designed to enable users to communicate across numerous channels, build a cohesive team, and keep track of consumer interactions in a single database.
In HubSpot’s case, it’s part of a more extensive integrated CRM system that also handles sales and marketing.
Such CRM solutions are easier to customize than their general use counterparts because vertical systems are designed to accommodate a variety of processes unique to the industry.
Trend #7. Voice technology
Yes, this one might fit the “AI boom” section as well, but we’ve decided to underline the voice technology importance one more time.
Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant have spawned an immense number of ideas for voice technology use, from households to security systems. No wonder smart voice assistants may soon become an addition to CRM platforms since more than 90% of users consider this technology helpful not only to save time but also to improve the quality of life.
It’s assumed that integrating CRM systems with voice assistants will make it easier to track tasks, ensure quick access to information using voice commands, allow to transfer data and notify your colleagues about changes in customer data, and, in general, save employees their effort.
The integration has already begun, with Salesforce’s Einstein Voice Assistant allowing salespeople to monitor customer data easily and share it with their entire team. We expect other SaaS providers not to fall behind!
Trend #8. Onboarding
Tips and guidelines in CRM are critical because it’s much easier for teams to choose a simpler yet no less functional system than to understand a complex one and waste their precious time on it.
When implementing CRM, users need a guide from how to set up the system to how to use new features when they arrive. There are two main ways CRM providers ensure efficient user onboarding:
- Website onboarding through sign-up forms, reviews, case studies, FAQs, tutorials, push notifications, and pop-ups. All these practices help retain existing and convert potential clients and are particularly popular and easy to organize.
- In-app onboarding where customers learn the product on the go, for example, video tutorials anchored right under the header or pop-ups that lead the user through the processes by encouraging them to perform certain actions.
Expect more CRM onboarding programs in 2024! There will be not only tips, guides, or videos; there will even be releases of individual modules with courses (yes, in Snov.io, too). Additional fast learning services will appear, as well, where you can sign up for a webinar or get personal training for a small fee.
Trend #9. The growing popularity of social CRM
On average, users spend about 144 minutes a day on social networks, and some people don’t crawl out of them all day and night long. Therefore, CRM’s emphasis on interacting with these communication channels is understandable.
Marketing and sales teams collectively review data from Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and so on to gain a clearer picture of their target audience and an opportunity to strengthen relationships with both current and potential customers.
How does it work? Social CRM integrates social media channels into the system to interact with the target audience. This is then used, for example, to answer buyers’ questions faster and more thoughtfully. Also, with the help of such a system, you can more clearly understand clients’ attitudes to your brand by analyzing their feedback on your products.
There are some CRM platforms that have social functionality built-in, like Nimble:
Or you can also choose a social management tool that will integrate with your CRM, for example, Hootsuite or Sprout Social.
Stand head and shoulders above your competitors! It’s unnecessary to follow all the points described above, but you can apply the ones that will work best for your business.
Now the global development trend is simplicity, minimalism, and clarity. Products with such characteristics are easily adaptable by users who don’t need a million functions to solve their problems, namely small and medium-sized businesses. That’s why it’s so cool that now there are such CRMs that are accessible and understandable, and at the same time, multifunctional.
Follow CRM best practices with free Snov.io CRM to increase lead generation, sales, and profits. Full speed ahead!