FEATURED ARTICLE — October 22nd, 2018
Customer relationship management (CRM) is something that nearly every organization practices, even if they don’t use a CRM platform. CRM is all about knowing and understanding your customers. But the vast majority of CRM is now conducted using CRM software, a technology that has seen significant advancement over the last four decades.
Let’s take a look at the evolution of CRM to date and how the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to shape its future.
CRM was born in the eighties, though it hadn’t quite developed into a formal practice yet. Legacy CRM systems were little more than spreadsheets that held massive lists of leads and their contact information, but without much else in the way of segmentation.
CRM grew as an industry through the 90s and early 2000s when major software providers entered the space and automated many of the functions of database marketing and contact management. Enterprise-level systems were augmented with software-as-a-service (SaaS) CRM systems, as organizations learned what potential lay in automation and machine learning.
Today, CRM is the backbone of any sales-led organization. Cloud-based software has replaced the expensive installed versions, making CRM accessible by companies of all sizes and structures.
Modern CRM systems are data-driven, and automation is still the name of the game. Not only can organizations automate their internal sales management processes, but CRM systems can also use trigger events to automate interactions—responding across channels to customer behaviors in real time with messaging tailored to them.
Today, many companies are expanding on that philosophy by experimenting with artificial intelligence, which promises...
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