2024 is shaping up to be a big year for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. As businesses continue to evolve, the role of CRM is changing from a simple customer data management system to an important tool driving customer engagement and business growth.
In this piece, we speak to the experts to explore what the future of CRM in 2024 looks like.
Let’s see what they have to say…
Our Panel Of Experts
- Laura Lane, Head of Marketing UK&I at HubSpot
- Will Hale, Director at monday.com
- Jim Rudall, Head of EMEA at Intuit Mailchimp
- Sam Martin-Ross, UK Managing Director of International Digital Marketing Agency at Eskimoz
- Russell Haworth, Group UK CEO at Byggfakta
- Vincent Benoit-Marquie, Snr Principle of Product Strategy and Transformation at Conga
- Dan Roche, Chief Marketing Officer at Workbooks
- Adam Herbert, CEO at Go Live Data
- Christian Marchant, Senior Customer Engagement Manager at Starling Bank
- Simon Morris, Area VP of Solutions Consulting
Laura Lane, Head of Marketing UK&I at HubSpot
“Your CRM is your not-so-secret software weapon. An overwhelming 86% of marketers using CRM software attest to its effectiveness in enhancing alignment with their sales teams, and over 60% of professionals report better alignment than ever before – this is where to reap some real business efficiency rewards.
“However, the CRM’s role extends beyond mere data integration. In today’s market, only a quarter of B2B buyers are willing to exchange their information for content. This calls for a radical shift in how sales and marketing teams operate. They must collaborate closely, experimenting with various content types to discover what truly resonates with their audience.
“Moreover, the concept of a ‘single source of truth’ is gaining momentum. More than three-quarters of marketers agree that this unified data approach not only clarifies strategy effectiveness but also bolsters sales support. Yet a mere 59% report having interconnected tools. The message for 2024 is clear: dismantle silos and unify your data for a seamless, efficient, and impactful CRM strategy.”
Will Hale, Director at monday.com
“This year, businesses need to expand their perception of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms to streamline their operations and unlock efficiency gains amidst economic uncertainty. Traditionally viewed as a tool for sales teams, CRM has transcended its original purpose and now offers far-reaching benefits beyond the sales cycle.
“A modern CRM will be key to achieving long-term strategic goals in 2024 and beyond, as it is able to adapt to the unique needs and challenges businesses face, across industries spanning sales, healthcare, marketing, manufacturing, and many more. For example, retailers can streamline inventory management through a CRM, helping optimise stock levels, and generate better cost control. CRMs also equip retail companies with deeper insights into operations, enabling more informed decision-making when looking at inventory, pricing, and marketing campaigns.
“By leveraging the capabilities of CRM for long-term strategic goals, businesses will improve processes, deepen relationships, and quickly adapt to changing market dynamics. As a result, companies will establish sustained success in an evolving business landscape.”
Jim Rudall, Head of EMEA at Intuit Mailchimp
“In order to set themselves up for success in 2024, businesses must prioritise customer engagement through personalisation. Understanding an audience is the crucial first step to this, as businesses risk missing opportunities without a deep grasp of their customer base. The next step is to use AI-powered tools to scale up customer communications and establish themselves in a competitive marketplace. AI will massively augment the existing capabilities of businesses to communicate and engage at scale, thereby driving down the cost of marketing processes and improving ROI.
“From our recent Holiday Report, we know that 73% of customers feel more valued when they receive personalised emails, and 87% are more likely to engage with tailored content. But personalisation must be balanced with privacy, and trust and transparency will become even more important in 2024. Interestingly, our report also revealed that nearly 3 in 4 customers are comfortable with companies using their personal data if they are transparent with how they are using it – and ultimately deliver a rewarding experience through impactful, personalised messaging.
“There will no doubt be challenges over the next 12 months, but opportunities also. In the intricate landscape of 2024, the synergy of message timing, personalised communications, technology integration, and adaptive strategies will directly influence the success of businesses of all sizes”.
For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.
Sam Martin-Ross, UK Managing Director of International Digital Marketing Agency at Eskimoz
“There is a growing need for CRMs to better integrate sales and marketing data, as seen with HubSpot’s recent acquisition of customer intelligence platform, Clearbit. We are starting to see the focus moving away from only inbound leads to including prospects. The benefits here are better integration of outbound and inbound sales, as well as easier integration of ABM [Account Based Marketing] lists for improved outbound ad targeting.
“Increasingly, CRMs will need to better support offline conversions for ad platforms, especially in the wake of the phasing out of third-party cookies. There are several platforms such as Salesforce, HubSpot and Marketo that are already doing this, but I think we’re going to start seeing a greater emphasis on making this more accurate and streamlined.”
Russell Haworth, Group UK CEO at Byggfakta
“There are plenty of choices for SMEs looking to implement CRM tools – such as Zoho, HubSpot, and Zendesk. The concept of centralising contact management, and customer service via reports and dashboards is a must-have as we engage with customers through more digital channels.
“The drawbacks are that these tools can be hard to implement, costly to optimise, and it’s tough to change the culture of the business to fully embrace them. While these are all SaaS-based systems, knowing the key processes that CRMs can automate makes it easier to target the functionality to use (and pay for) versus a wholesale corporate surgery. Adopting CRM is more of a caterpillar-to-butterfly process – where new processes are adopted as the business becomes more confident of its benefits.”
Vincent Benoit-Marquie, Snr Principle of Product Strategy and Transformation at Conga
“In 2024, the need to integrate CRM and configure, price, quote (CPQ) software will become evident. CRM software covers direct contact with customers, such as sales and service-related operations, forecasting and the analysis of consumer patterns and behaviours, from the perspective of the company. However, when it comes to complex quote configurations for customers, CRM is simply not sufficient. CRM systems are often plagued with excessive deal cycle times, manual errors, out-of-date information and a lack of visibility in the sales process.
“CPQ software can be connected to CRM tools to optimise business workflow processes, all within the CRM. CPQ comes into the process once the customer journey has already started, allowing teams to generate personalised quotes based on the information provided by a CRM. With automation, companies will be able to close some of the CRM gaps and meet the needs of both the company and its customers. It can eliminate manual, time-consuming processes and drive better selling behaviours throughout their revenue lifecycle. Next year, as businesses look for bigger deals and higher win rates, all fingers will be pointing at the integration of CRM and CPQ software.”
For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.
Dan Roche, Chief Marketing Officer at Workbooks
“The re-evaluation of bloated CRM implementations
“Against a tighter economic backdrop, 2024 is a year of efficiency seeking. Most businesses are realising that they’ve bought the CRM equivalent of a Rolls-Royce (i.e. Salesforce) when what they really need is a VW with some well-chosen options, plus great aftercare. The savings can be enormous, and the usage of the system rises significantly (meaning better value and productivity) as the system is tailored for the users, not the other way around.
“The realisation that CRM is not about features and functions, it’s about the relationships. Workbooks recently conducted a survey that revealed that 64.9% of businesses currently favour a single-vendor approach to CRM deployment, where they establish direct relationships with one CRM provider, who provides the software and handles the implementation.
“While 35.1% opt for the multi-party route, selecting software from one vendor, and then engaging a third party to roll out the software. Notably, businesses engaging in multi-party deployments reported lower satisfaction levels compared to those with direct relationships. One reason for this is 75% of CRM buyers choosing the multi-party route reported they had incurred unexpected costs during deployment, with 14% of buyers incurring significant additional costs.
“This underlines an important, but not well understood issue, that the way the multi-party CRM approach works is not in favour of the buyer, and continues to create deployment risk and failures.”
Adam Herbert, CEO at Go Live Data
“Reimagining Customer Engagement: Top CRM Predictions for 2024: Heading into 2024, the customer relationship management (CRM) landscape stands ready for a metamorphosis. Fuelled by advancements in artificial intelligence, a heightened focus on privacy, and the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT), CRMs are evolving from mere data repositories to sophisticated platforms orchestrating personalised customer journeys. Here are my key predictions for the year ahead:
“Artificial intelligence (AI) will shed its rudimentary persona, morphing into an empathetic partner within the CRM ecosystem. Expect to see AI bots adept at understanding customer sentiment, anticipating needs, and delivering hyper-personalised support.
“Data privacy concerns will rise, prompting CRMs to prioritise data minimisation and user control. Customers will demand complete transparency and control over their information making ethical data practices essential.
“Conversational/voice interfaces will revolutionise how we interact with CRMs. Imagine effortlessly navigating your CRM by simply requesting ‘Leads from Go Live Data ‘ or ‘Schedule a meeting with Sarah at 2 pm.’?
“Lines between physical and digital interactions will blur as CRMs become the central nervous system of the customer universe. Imagine devices like refrigerators automatically reordering groceries based on past purchases or wearables triggering health recommendations based on real-time data. It’s going to happen…”
Christian Marchant, Senior Customer Engagement Manager at Starling Bank
“2024 will be a year of serious reflection and change. The new deliverability rules are pushing CRM functions in a much needed direction, encouraging brands to better consider the relevance of their comms, how accessible they are, and the purpose they serve for customers – whether that be to inform, surprise or entertain.
“The rules have also landed at a time where the news agenda is full of uncertainty, misinformation is rife, and AI is causing people to question almost everything. Good CRM and email communications can go a long way in earning customer trust and maintaining their data in the process. But these comms must be true to the brand’s values, and put the customer’s needs first.”
Simon Morris, Area VP of Solutions Consulting
“The past year has seen considerable innovation and changes that have impacted customer relationship management (CRM)- from advanced AI and automation to the growing importance of seamless integration, and the rise of voice technology, just to mention a few. Paired with that, ever evolving consumers’ habits and needs are showing a clear preference for hyper personalised experiences more than ever before. In fact, our research found most UK consumers deem it important for companies to understand them as a customer (83%), and almost three-quarters (69%) feel more loyal to businesses that succeed in this.
“Rising customer expectations and ongoing economic volatility are two key drivers for organisations to invest in technology that meets those demands and help them stay successful. Having a unified platform that leverages historical customer data for a holistic view of the customer journey will enable organisations to provide not only a faster and more seamless experience, but also meet a new higher level of personalisation. But it does not end here- companies need to think long term- to create brand loyalty and increase lifetime value, investing in AI-powered solutions such as predictive intelligence and proactive customer service operations, becomes imperative.
“The last year gave organisations a chance to evaluate and learn from a multitude of AI pilots. This year it’s all about turning those learnings into impactful results. Investing in the right CRM platform will help deliver hyper personalised experiences, ensuring data privacy and security, all while offering seamless integrations that will benefit businesses and customers alike.”