2015 sees the continuation of many CRM trends, but now there’s the tools for you to capitalise on them

Roll up your sleeves for the new year! Why, we hear you ask? Well, there are some major CRM trends to look forward to in 2015. Microsoft recently announced their Dynamics CRM 2015 updates, and with these new features you’ll be able to lead your company to a CRM victory over your competitors.

2015 sees a year where your customer service teams will become ever more responsive and aware of customer issues. Your sales departments will be creating ever more pipeline revenue and your marketing departments will be creating campaigns that are more powerful and resonant than ever before.

Taking advantage of these CRM trends will help you help your company cut costs and increase revenue by being truly customer-centric.

The move towards Cloud CRM rather than on-premise

One of the interesting trends continuing into 2015 is the rise of CRM deployed in the cloud. Gartner predicts that the percentage of companies with cloud CRM deployments will rise above 50% in 2015.

Why is this?

As with all technology, the pace of change is quickening. Just 5 years ago, for instance, most companies wouldn’t have considered social media very important. But now social listening tools have become critical to any progressive company’s strategy.

(NB: Social tools have become so essential that Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 now includes Social Listening for free, to companies who have more than 10 Professional-level users. See pricing here)

The thing with on-premise CRM is this: every new development needs a costly new upgrade. With the number of updates and upgrades increasing, many companies have found it cheaper to switch to the cloud. This means less IT staff on-premise, lower IT infrastructure costs and a more adaptable platform for the future.

What this means to you: if you’re still using an on-premise CRM system, consider switching to the cloud. In many cases it will help you slash costs and avoid being caught out for expensive new upgrades.

Mobile capabilities becoming more powerful

One of the great benefits of CRM is that it allows sales teams to organise themselves more effectively. That means more time selling.

However, as salespeople spend more time out of the office in sales meetings and travelling it’s a well-known secret that CRM records often get left behind when moving around.

In the past many CRM apps have had limited functionality. But as time moves on, CRM vendors are investing in their mobile platforms to make them more powerful.

Microsoft have added voice commands to their Dynamics CRM app for Windows phones now. With voice commands, salespeople can bring up CRM records, add notes and get facts that can help them close more deals. No more excuses. It’s easy.

What this means for you: picking a CRM vendor with powerful mobile and tablet apps can help your salespeople close more deals, be better prepared for meetings, and report more accurately. That means you’ll be more likely to get impressive results in the coming year.

More powerful social listening tools

Social media is becoming ever more essential to all areas of business. As such, CRM is adapting so that your people can always have their ears to the ground.

The Social Listening tool has been enhanced with the Dynamics 2015 update. Marketers can get social insights displayed about your company’s brands and campaigns on the platform. (And it’s now free if you have over 10 professional users)

Likewise, salespeople can now access Social Listening information within the Dynamics CRM platform. This’ll give them the upper hand. They’ll be able to spot customer problems, find opportunities to upsell and add more value than salespeople at competing firms.

What this means to you: by investing in Social Listening tools you can empower your marketing and sales teams to be relevant and customer-centric with every single touchpoint. Ultimately this will lead to more connection, more sales and improved customer satisfaction… and that’s not to be sniffed at.

Bringing together Marketing, Sales and Customer Service silos

For too long marketing, sales and customer service teams have worked in silos and are often stifled by barriers between departments. But the truth is if you can connect the dots and the data between those departments, you can get phenomenally better results.

CRM vendors have updated their platforms to encourage departments to collaborate and work together for the greater good.

One of the major areas for improvement in many companies is in aligning marketing and sales. Microsoft’s update to Dynamics CRM for 2015 includes a special Sales Collaboration Panel.

As salespeople chat to customers every day, they know the words customers use, the pain points and what customers really need. Now, this new tool lets salespeople give their input for marketing campaigns and targeting. The great thing about this is that it reduces wasted marketing spend, and helps messaging be more resonant with your customers.

What this means for you: if you use an advanced CRM platform that aligns all your customer-facing departments, 2015 will be a year to remember for you. And perhaps more importantly, this will help you get ahead of companies that are still constantly catfight between departments.

Make sure you’re getting the most out of your CRM in 2015. Sign up today and start your free 30-day Dynamics CRM 2015 trial immediately. It’s free and we’ll provide you with training too!