In year 2013 we witnessed several trends, such as Social CRM, Crowdsourcing, Big Data and Gamification. Naturally, these trends will not disappear, they will rather refine, deepen and permeate with 2014:s trends:
  1. B2B sales will be more like consumer sales. We can already see that business clients are offered to test services for free, just like consumers are. Following this, several major changes in the B2B world will occur, amongst with the ways of consuming services and products.
  2. Gartner predicts that Chief Marketing Officers (CMO) will spend more on IT within the next five years than Chief IT Officers (CIO). Tools will be easier to evaluate mainly through free accounts and IT initiative is not needed to get started.
  3. Companies want to have the best possible software regardless of the supplier, instead of complete solutions. This will lead to even more focus on integrations within software suppliers. To name an example: Mailchimp, who are experts with their simple API.
  4. Barton Goldenberg told at CRM Evolution about a serial entrepreneur who was convinced that he would only offer subscription services in the future, because it provides customers with regular expenditure rather than heavy one-time costs.
  5. Big whales approach smaller fish. Big and complex CRM-solutions are too extensive to be given for free in the market. For example Sugar CRM announced they would release a small enterprise solutions.
  6. To get the new decision-makers (CMO) to quickly understand the value of a service, it must be easily consumed, light and smartly designed.
  7. The user experience must be sharpened. Fast moving services assume no education, and the interface must be both intuitively appealing and responsive. Everyone should be able to access everything, everywhere.
  8. Customer service is hotter than ever and must be available and easy to use. Nobody has time for queuing on the phone, regardless if the service is free or not.
  9. Jamie Grenney at Infer predicts, that CRM in 2015 will have information built in. Similar services are already there, such as Lime Go from Lime.
  10. Sales process must be automated, such as marketing automation, as everything else will be too costly. Services that provide you with well-timed messages are becoming increasingly important, for example, Eloqua, ProspectFinder and Vendemore.
A quick summary:

–          CRM providers have to deal with a rapid movement, more decision makers and new pricing models.

–          CRM solutions must deliver high customer value and easy integration

–          Ease of use and easily available customer care is hotter than ever.

–          Pre-filled information creates new opportunities for the user and saves time.

–          Automated marketing and sales creates efficient volume processing.

With 20 years of experience in CRM, inspiring visit at CRM Evolution and many miles after miles of read articles, blogs and books about CRM, Lars Andersson compiled this trend spotting.