That priority alone can help galvanize companies who are adrift in multiple, conflicting agendas, strategies and projects. Uniting around that goal – serving sales and getting them what they need to excel – can turn around even the most downtrodden companies. And size doesn’t matter, the intensity of focus and commitment to excel do.
That’s why the latest report from Gartner’s Ed Thompson, What’s “Hot” in CRM Application 2012, published last Thursday resonates with me. He’s talking about how sales strategies need to be propelled by rapid advances in mobile technology, social CRM, sales content and collaboration, and clienteling to serve the sales force more thoroughly than ever before. His assessment of what’s hot in CRM is a great foundation for getting behind the mantra of serving the sales force and engraining it into a corporate culture while getting full value from the latest technologies.
Here are the key take-aways from the report:
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery of CRM applications represented 34% of worldwide CRM application spending in 2011. More than 50% of all Sales Force Automation (SFA) spending is on the SaaS platform. Gartner clients who are successfully running SaaS are now looking at how to get value from Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) in the context of selling strategies.
- CRM spending grew 13% in 2011, fueled analytical, operational and social CRM growth. Operational CRM represents 80% of all CRM spending and grew 10% in 2011.
- Analytical CRM, in which Gartner includes predictive analytics and market segmentation analysis, grew a solid 10% in 2011 and is having a very strong year with inquiry traffic.
- Social CRM grew 30% in 2011 in revenue terms and is 7% of total CRM spending globally as of 2011. 90% of Social CRM spending is originating in Business-to-Consumer (B2C) organizations with the remaining occurring in B2B.
- Gartner is projecting that CRM will be one of the top three search terms on Gartner.com throughout calendar 2012 based on the trends and volume of calls they are seeing today.
- CEOs see CRM as their #1 technology-enabled investment in 2012 according the query calls through April, 2012.
- CRM is ascending rapidly in the priorities of CIOs in 2012, moving from 18th place to eight place in the latest Gartner analysis.
- The following table of Highest CRM Application Priorities, 2012 show what’s trending within Sales, Customer Service, E-Commerce and Marketing inquiries Gartner is receiving from its clients. Consider these as leading indicators of interest. Over time these areas will need to solidify for forecasts to be completed.
- Apple iPads are the great maverick buy of 2012 with thousands being purchased by Sales and Marketing management with the immediate requirement of IT integration to these devices. IT departments are scrambling on the security issues and lack of polices on BYOD. In enterprise software, iPads are proving to be highly effective as demo platforms for new SaaS-based applications. They have become the new sales bag of the 21rst century.
- High Tech, Life Sciences and Insurance are the three industries with the greatest levels of iPad adoption as of April 2012. Gartner is predicting that by the end of 2012, 80% of all sales representatives in the pharmaceutical industry will be using iPads for their daily sales tasks.
- Social or community customer service is the hottest area of growth for post-sales service with high-tech, media, travel, telecommunications, retail and education-based clients dominating client inquiries.