CRM 2020

The IT sphere is an ungrateful thing and the forecasts here are the same as with the weather last summer, you’ll still freeze. Or get wet. Or the sunstroke will crash. But with the predictions for 2019, as time has shown, we did well, so we decided to talk about the CRM 2020 trends as we see them for small and medium-sized businesses. We didn’t get them at all symbolically 11, and what symbolism and providence in engineering work. Everything that we put in the trends according to our team is based on 14 years of experience in the CRM market, current affairs in the industry and the needs of our customers. In general, we are responsible for the forecast.

This winter, determine the weather only like this 🙁

Important! The forecast concerns the Russian market and automation of companies in the Russian Federation and the CIS, in the Western markets and in the USA completely different trends and, of course, a different situation at the moment.

So far, dips in interest in CRM only on holidays, 2018 – 2019, Russia + CIS, Yandex

CRM finally goes beyond sales

CRM-system developers continue to build promotion based on theses like “CRM implementation is + 50% of sales”, because the pattern of expecting sales growth from the CRM-system is rooted in the minds of users. However, this is an outdated understanding of CRM: most systems have long become universal solutions for end-to-end business automation, from secretary to CEO, including logistics, production, marketing and sales.

Now there are all the prerequisites for the business to realize all the functional power CRM systems. There are several points that I would like to “break through” in 2020 and root in the minds of users of CRM systems.

  • Business processes must be automated in any company, regardless of scope and size. Automation of routine and a clear distribution of stages and those responsible save the company money and free up labor resources (which, by the way, need not be reduced, but effectively used).
  • The CRM system should be the center of individual and collective planning so that management and colleagues can control time within the team. And believe me, planners in some CRM systems are much cooler than everyone’s favorite Google calendar (and safer!).
  • CRM should not be perceived by business as a sales tool, but as a security tool, since it stores records about all clients (client base), transactions and most transactions. An important possibility is the assignment of access rights for each employee (which is rarely used, but in vain). You do not need to arrange a witch hunt and check each employee – just set up security measures for one CRM system and the head of business will sleep a little calmer.

Try a broader look at CRM. By the way, you can download the manual to our RegionSoft CRM and see what a single system is capable of – almost 400 pages describing the capabilities of the system are far from about sales alone (direct download link without viruses and other garbage) By 2020, we tried to create a system with all the most important and, importantly, used business functions without AI and heart rate sensors. We are about business.

Small business plunges into omnichannel

Literally 3-5 years ago, the main channels of business and customer communication were telephone (IP-telephony) and e-mail. Today, things are different: customers and visitors to the site can come from chat on the site, Telegram, chat on Yandex and from social networks (more relevant for B2C). The CRM-system as the main software for the company’s commercial activity is faced with the task: to collect, process and save information about all significant dialogs. This can be done separately for each channel, or you can, for example, collect everything in the mail and chat on the site, and already integrate them into CRM. This solution is optimal from the point of view of security and data organization: fewer external connections, lower risk of non-standard hacking and penetration into the system.

The omnichannel will continue to develop so that the client communicates exactly as it is convenient for him, and not as your software dictates. Why is it profitable for you to think about this?

  • You will not lose a single client and interested visitor to the site.
  • You will have more data in the first step.
  • You will see the possibilities of advertising targeted to the contact channel (however, this is a very controversial type of advertising messages, so evaluate how relevant and ethical it is for you to “run” after the client in his or her personal space).
  • It will be easy for you to find a common language with users who avoid calls and verbal communication with salespeople, engineers, and support. In addition, in the process of correspondence, company managers have more time to think about their part of the dialogue, which significantly improves the quality of information.

Analytics – Small Business Hands

This trend has been around for many years, it has existed since the very first CRM systems were created, but nevertheless, small businesses began to come to analytics only now. Such a late accession to the trend is associated with two factors: 1) the business did not need analytics and set itself the main task – to sell; 2) there was no mass business culture of using data. The situation has changed: 1) in conditions of non-price competition, the deep knowledge of each client really enriches; 2) analytics came into the small business with Yandex.Metrica and Google.Analytics – these digital data made the small business think about the indicators, analyze and change. However, alas, this is not yet a given, but just a trend, and in 2020 it will continue.

Properly implemented CRM is an ideal knowledge base for each client, and it provides tremendous opportunities for impressive service and after-sales service. And this is money. Obviously, 2020 will not be quiet and calm in terms of economic conditions, which means that the battle for each client will escalate. Do you want to survive? Take on the analytics in your CRM-system, the result will be quite fast and pleasing. Even if you do not build super analytics systems, and after the sleeves you work with numbers and draw conclusions.

Comprehensive services will grow – alas

Frankly, we don’t like this trend, but it was born recently and will only grow. Today, there are aggregators of CRM systems that just sell, hosting providers are actively offering not just hosting, but VDS with CRM, 1C, an office on board. From the point of view of an ordinary manager, manager and accountant, this is wonderful: quickly deploy, no ITS contracts for you, payment does not fall into capital costs, some outside admins do it, no tension. And most importantly, it is profitable and you need to work with only one company. This is a sad trend – and here’s why.

  • Risks are not distributed: in case of technical or commercial problems at the hosting, you will lose everything at once and provide an easy-to-use, almost independent of you.
  • Systems preinstalled on remote servers often have restrictions on configuration changes, settings, extensions, etc.
  • The subscription fee for such services (and this is always a subscription fee) in the aggregate amount will very quickly exceed the cost of purchasing software licenses (CRM or the same 1C), the cost of ownership will be very tangible, especially for a small company.
  • You can never be sure of the safety of your data and the availability of relevant backups – neither the fact of an attack nor the human factor should be ruled out.

Be careful when choosing such services.

Micro CRM – not for everyone, but it’s necessary

CRM systems are becoming more complex, becoming universal. We carry out continuous and active development RegionSoft CRM for many years and on her example we see this growth. That is why I had to separate the editorial offices and offer each business its own option (although everyone especially liked it RegionSoft CRM Professional) However, there are companies that are not suitable even for the younger editions of CRM systems that are on the market. All they need is just to record a one-time client’s appeal, call, “conduct” it for sale and close it. This is a micro and small business that is not yet ready to pay for analytics, primary, complex forms of transactions, business processes and everything else.

Such companies need micro CRMs – very simple cloud solutions that can solve basic business issues without complicated implementation, training and preferably inexpensively. Therefore, the business is looking for simple CRM. Previously, we did not notice this need, because we worked closely with the powerful functional CRM. The discovery came when we released our simple ticket system ZEDLine Support: customers showed interest in her precisely as a very simple CRM (a deal as a request, telephony, cost of work, statuses – this part of the clients from small and micro businesses will be enough)

This is a good trend: sooner or later, from such a “small” automation, a business will come to a large one and will be able to get the same thing from it as larger companies, which means growing on the basis of analytics, working with KPI, and managing business processes. One of the best trends that we have noticed.

Low code – a trap for managers

In 2019, the concept of low code returned to the life of the CRM world. In principle, these are the same platforms that were before, but finally they have gained a beautiful marketing name. Process Designer with BPMN Notation Support? – Yes, it’s low code! Visual UI editor? – Low code. In general, the visual editor of business processes in our RegionSoft CRM or setting up a questionnaire in the ZEDLine Support ticket system is all low code. By the way, there is another synonym for this term – NO-code.

I am sure that in 2020 this topic will continue to be developed. By the way, if you suddenly want to see a real low-code, look at the Pega BPM platform, and at the same time its price tag and evaluate whether your employees are able to cope with this low code. It’s easier to learn a programming language in some places 🙂

Low code development implies the ability to change the information system on the client side without stopping the workflow without using program code (through visual “development”). Simply put, this is the same story when a vendor sells CRM / ERP with the motivation: “Managers can modify the system themselves without programming skills.” Have you tried to build something more complex than a linear process at BPMN? Do you like UML diagrams? So, not even every IT specialist is morally ready to tinker with this, not to mention ordinary managers, for many of whom the software is launched “by clicking on pentagram 1C “.

Why is low code not the trend you need?

  • To cope with the low code configuration, the manager needs to know at least the logic (as an object, and not as a line of thinking) and have the skills to work with processes. Simply put, a low code developer should think exactly like a developer. Otherwise, it will take a long time to bend over and master this constructor.
  • It will not be enough for you to “assemble” a business process, report or module – it is important to correctly integrate it into the logic of the system that you are customizing.
  • With a high probability you will get paid technical support for the vendor, because you have questions about working with the low code platform, and he will gladly answer them – for an additional fee.
  • Your employees will spend working time studying the platform and actually “low code development”, and this time will be spent to the detriment of the main tasks. It’s easier to spend money on vendor improvements and not distract employees from their job responsibilities. Even if you decided to upgrade to a low code platform, the best way would be to hire or set aside an individual to work with it.
  • The low code platform is nothing more than a constructor in which there is a limited set of cubes, parts, wheels and little men. If you want to make a fundamentally new function that is necessary for your business requirements, you will need to write real code (and most likely, contact the vendor).
  • Platforms have many restrictions on integrations, APIs, work with mail, etc. You will have to solve these problems beyond the capabilities of low code.

I do not exclude the possibility that low code platforms under a certain marketing sauce will turn out to be a tenacious trend for corporate CRM, but it’s definitely not worth counting on them as a supernova explosion or a cure for all diseases. Most likely, a profitable outcome for small projects without scaling and complex business requirements or, if you look at expensive solutions, for companies that have money show off to the staff of developers (designers) for the low code platform.

Do not cry, Alice, your time has not come

In our forecast for 2019, we suggested that speech technology will get to CRM systems, but in the form: “Alice, call Sergey Mikhailov from Istok LLC. The forecast came true in the worst form: speech assistants actually got to the domestic CRM systems, but so far they can only create tasks – this is a much less intelligent task than making a voice call. Well, we remain of our opinion: while the voice assistant in the CRM system is more of a marketing trick and indulgence, the horizon of business value is not visible.

Features for the sake of features will increase the cost of CRM

In the commercial environment of IT companies, one can come across the concept of a business function (useful functionality that gets into the release) and a product chip (not really needed garbage, which is easily fed to the audience in the form of press releases and news on profile sites). For example, a business process designer or scheduler is an important business function, and a heart rate meter or pedometer in the mobile version of CRM is a product counter. In some circumstances, such a chip may be AI, VR or gamification – if they are not applicable to the business of the target customers. Alas, in 2018-2019 there was literally a shaft of such chips: various CRMs began to offer marketing functions (but understandable!), Call on eminent business trainers as partners, and make strange collaborations. All this costs money for companies and obviously leads to an increase in the cost of the solution for the end user.

This approach will become a trend, because it greatly facilitates commercial tasks, allows you to get into a variety of media and, with all the senselessness, the consumer likes it. Therefore, there will be no advice – just remember that you pay for every chip that “smiled” or “haypanul”. Well, this is not the first time for us – do we not pay with you for such things in gadgets, applications, and even in development tools? 🙂

The clouds will continue to grow. Risks too

The euphoria from the convenience and accessibility of cloud technologies is replaced by security problems: the security of data, configurations, and cloud infrastructure is increasingly affected by external attacks, force majeure, and even corporate disassembly of hosting and data centers. Thus, a third party, invisibly present in a business that has cloud software in its infrastructure, gains weight and becomes a tangible and real threat to the information security of the company.

It is at least strange to refuse cloud technologies in 2020, so go on to a strategy of risk diversification in information security: keep 2-3 copies of backups on different servers, give preference to desktop CRMs (which are located on your server) to store the client base and transaction database, keep track of security permissions. If it is difficult for you to cope with this, ask to set up a security system for an outsourcing company or your incoming system administrator. Do not save on security – in the end, problems with it will cost more.

Ratings will continue to lie

Alas, in 2019 at least two custom studies were released that assigned the number 1 CRM system or a leading role in the market. Also, many such ratings and reviews came out and a whole pompous prize for distributing elephants was established. It seems that this trend has returned and will remain livelier than all the living. By the way, we wrote why most CRM ratings lie. So test CRM, choose for yourself, and do not rely on information that is written from dead VK accounts or is profitably “twisted” by the next NEVER.

There are several more specific trends that will affect the CRM systems market in Russia: the question of artificial intelligence and its relevance remains open, the market is full of “one day” CRM systems that try themselves or in affiliate networks, the collapse of these very affiliate networks, low level of automation of companies (estimated – in Moscow about 8%, in the regions and even lower), low user awareness, etc. But this is not so that the events of 2020 are more likely trends with which we all live.

In general, the CRM market is alive, companies are interested in automation, understand the benefits, look for alternatives, compare, think. This automation is more and more like a need, and not a fashion or “because it is necessary.” We continue to work.

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