It’s hard to imagine a prosperous and developed business in 2020 that doesn’t have any connection with the digital world. Taking into attention gigantic leaps that technological breakthroughs annually make, software for business nowadays is a mandatory and crucial component for successfully doing business in almost any industry. The growth of budgets in which enterprises all over the world invest in various IT fields only confirms this statement.
According to Gartner, the enterprise software market experienced massive growth in 2019, crossing the figure of $450 billion. In comparison to 2018, it increased by 9%, or $38 billion. At the same time, the flows of funds in the Data Center and Device markets significantly decreased.
This situation begs the question, are enterprise software and IT services most in demand now?
Today, cloud computing is one of the most quickly-developed areas of IT. Cloud solutions are a technology which made the most significant influence in the development and reorganization of business infrastructure in recent years. More and more companies strive to transfer their activities and processes to the cloud to be free of expenses to local computing power and data centers.
When people mention the use of cloud solutions for business needs, more often than not, they’re referring to customer relationship management (CRM) systems. The primary purpose of these systems is to improve the company’s flow of interaction with existing and potential customers in different ways. CRM systems allow companies to be closer to customers, better understand their needs, optimize the interaction process with them, and as a result, grow customer loyalty.
CRM systems are classified by the natural functions they perform: strategic, operational, analytical, collaborative, and customer data platform management. However, it’s uncommon for one to face a CRM system that relates to a single type of function. Modern CRM systems are complex SaaS or PaaS solutions that can cover most business activities, starting with the tracking of potential clients and ending with monitoring the service provided to customers. Digital transformation is a stage in which every business should handle to stay at a competitive level.
Comparing CRM systems in the early 2000’s with modern analogs, it’s easy to notice how quickly this software developed and became mainstream. Cloud-based CRM software, such as Salesforce, is already one of the most demanded types of enterprise software, and according to expert’s forecasts, this tendency will remain at least into 2025.
Five years ago, the unconditional leader in implementing CRM was the retail industry. According to a Capterra report, about 18% of all CRM software users belonged to this segment. The second position of 10% was taken by companies providing various business services.
Such a situation was seen in 2015. Let’s look at recent numbers.
Service providers have tripled their share in CRM software usage from just 10% in 2015 to 32% in 2020. Companies from the IT and manufacturing sector share second place with 13%. If the retail industry was leading in 2015, why does it now take a much smaller share of 3%?
Retail’s share was dissolved with an increasing number of new businesses from different industries. The premise behind other industries gaining the lead are connected to two underlying factors:
CRM solutions bring a wide range of benefits to business. For the sake of readability, we’ve structured them into six main groups:
CRM solutions help collect, structure, and analyze information about customers in one place to provide them with the most relevant offerings and positive experience from your products or services.
A CRM system provides each company’s employees constant access to information about customers in a few seconds. It enables businesses to provide high-quality services to clients and mitigates concern if new employees consult with loyal customers for the first time.
Keeping all information about clients in one place enables workers to perform their work more efficiently, consistently, and promptly.
Implementing CRM software allows automating most of the routine workflow processes. It’s often not obvious how much time employees waste on paperwork when they could spend this time communicating with customers.
Access to the same client data allows different departments of the company to interact more efficiently. For example, sales and marketing teams can share valuable customer information and funnel it down the pipeline to better close deals.
CRM software functions provide a wide range of options to analyze business activities and generate complex reports that help plan the next steps of the company. Also, CRM systems almost entirely prevent the chance to lose essential data while calculating and processing.
Furthermore, an interesting survey was conducted by Selecthub, who interviewed representatives of 254 companies. One of the questions was, “What is your company looking for in implementing a CRM system?”
The findings show that CRM software features mainly correspond to the company’s needs. The survey shows that all functional aspects are almost equally crucial for respondents. At the same time, automation business processes and integration with third-party services are in the most demand. However, experts forecast that this situation will continually change. Soon, mobility and ease of use will be essential features of CRM systems.
Despite the benefits of CRM systems, they also have their weak points. According to a Hubspot survey, the primary challenge of CRM systems nowadays is manual data entry and lack of integration with other software. It’s worth mentioning that CRM vendors continuously work toward solving this. Handling these issues became trends in 2020, which will later be discussed further. The primary advice to avoid these challenges is not to implement CRM software as a single tool. This decreases possibilities to enhance your business process dramatically and brings no benefits in comparison to expenditure for its deployment.
If you’ve decided that it’s time to empower your business using CRM software, you may have a question: “Which one will fit my needs?” The CRM market includes many players who offer their solutions, and if you’re not an expert in it, selecting a CRM system provider may be a difficult task. The easiest and logical way is to choose one from top CRM software vendors.
The most indicative success criteria of any business is revenue. Five companies take almost 40% of the entire CRM software market share. There are such world-known names as Salesforce, SAP, Adobe, Oracle, and of course, Microsoft. However, even among top vendors, we can emphasize an unequivocal leader who accounts for 19,5% of CRM software market share itself, almost equal to all other companies from the top five combined: Salesforce, whose income was $9 420.5 million in 2018 (according to Gartner Inc).
As mentioned above, CRM systems are software solutions that bring companies and customers together. Salesforce, in turn, is something more significant. Salesforce’s complementary suite of enterprise applications forms an ecosystem inside a company. It allows all departments — including marketing, sales, commerce, and service providers — to have a single, shared view of every customer. At the same time, every department gets information about customers in ways useful from its unique angle.
The Salesforce ecosystem comprises different software solutions called products. Their number is more than a few dozen; however, every year, Salesforce adds new services to the roster and enhances existing ones by filling them with new features. For example, in 2019, Salesforce users gained the ability to talk with their CRM system due to new features of Voice Assistant, which is based on Salesforce’s Einstein technology.
The beauty of a CRM system, and in particular, Salesforce, is that it can be successfully used and become profitable in any customer-oriented industry. Here are the industries in which Salesforce products are the most popular:
Different sources can rearrange the first three positions of top Salesforce industries as they prefer, but our experts agree that this order corresponds well with reality. In turn, industries that achieve the highest income from Salesforce use are finance and manufacturing. These two industries have almost 40% of the total economic benefit of using Salesforce services.
In addition to the use of highly-developed and innovative technical solutions, another key to success with Salesforce is the ability to provide services for businesses which have entirely different sizes and yearly revenues. Such giants as US Bank, Spotify, Amazon, and American Express use Salesforce’s services.
However, about 50% of all Salesforce users are small companies that have under 25 employees. Only in the United States, the number of small and medium-sized businesses using Salesforce is four times greater than the number of companies whose yearly revenue is more than $1 billion.
The first CRM systems could only store basic data about customers and provide basic communication. The requirements for CRM systems have changed in the last 20 years, and the following list will show features that are being used or will appear in the coming years and 2020 inclusively.
Getting started with Salesforce is extremely easy because it’s a cloud-based platform. You create an account and gain access to your personal space. A Salesforce customer receives a set of out-of-the-box features which are customized based on business needs and integrated with other software. The content of the application suite depends on the edition.
At this stage you may need professional help from developers, or, as they’re known in the Salesforce world, consultants. They customize Salesforce products to bring maximum benefit for your company and can create custom workflows for your business.
Salesforce is an open-source platform, so developers can design and develop unique solutions for your company. Also, there’s a special resource, AppExchange, where you can purchase ready-to-install solutions or find company consultants.
NIX United is a Salesforce ISV partner. The NIX Salesforce team has more than a hundred successful projects under its belt and can provide all types of services related to Salesforce. These include consulting, customization and configuration, integration of Salesforce products with third-party software, and directing the development of custom Salesforce apps.
The NIX team can assist you with any Salesforce-related tasks, starting from Data Schema developing and initial configurations and ending with developing complex integrations and applications.
The NIX team developed a driving conversations app, upMessage, which offers the most needed functions related to SMS messaging. It’s a free application, and any interested person can install it using the link below.
upMessage — Business SMS Messaging/ Business SMS Communication Service
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