Gartner published the report What’s Hot in CRM Applications in 2013, by Ed Thompson on June 20, 2013. The report covers areas of interest by clients in the four areas of marketing, sales, customer service and e-commerce.
The report states that “the 2013 What’s Hot list was compiled after examining Gartner inquiry volumes by topic. It was then supplemented by asking all Gartner CRM analysts to offer their opinions on what has been generating the most interest during all the client inquiries they have taken since the end of 2012 and in the beginning of 2013.”
Big data, cloud, social, mobile and the Internet of Things are the five catalysts that are driving inquiries in the hottest areas of interest. Gartner’s Ed Thompson, author of the report, states that “this is where our clients’ interests lie, although not their current CRM spending.” Technologies highlighted in red are the hottest in terms of interest, shown in the following table Highest CRM Application Priorities for 2013.
What This Says About the Future of CRM
Mobility is just one part of delivering an excellent customer experience.
- It is surprising that Gartner clients aren’t looking to create a more unified strategy to customer experience across all channels at all times. As the report states, “The refreshing of an aging agent desktop with a new, more intelligent and unifying user interface has shot to the top of the heat charts once more.” The findings of this Gartner analysis make the highly promoted claims of usability by many CRM vendors look overly hyped. I think usability is the fastest path to greater system adoption of any CRM system, and that has to include mobile. It is surprising that a related technology in this area didn’t rise farther in the rankings.
- Second, mobile sales on smartphones and tablets dominate, followed immediately by Social – Internal Collaboration and Social – Integration with Social Data. What is fascinating about this group of four top items in Sales is the indication that the behavior of how sales teams work individually and together is changing fast. Collaboration is a strong catalyst for Return on Investment (ROI) from social technologies and the sequence of these priorities in Sales underscores that.
- Third, the vision of the mobile-enabled support representative able to be autonomous yet fully supported to solve customer problems is rapidly approaching. Of all patterns emerging from this data, this is one shows the greatest profit potential. Service Lifecycle Management (SLM) and the many forms of service management all have very significant profitability associated with them for manufacturers. The quicker this area of mobility moves, the faster SLM and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) strategies will grow – giving manufacturers and service providers the ability to mine their installed bases for more profits.
- Fourth, predictive analytics and big data are reordering how marketing strategies are designed, implemented and managed. Given the increasing complexity of marketing automation systems and the strategies they support, predictive analytics and big data are starting to dominate the conversations I’ve personally had with Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and many demand generation professionals. I expect the predictive analytics aspects of marketing, combined with big data, to accelerate quickly over the next year.
- Fifth, the rapid adoption of mobile-based platforms including the Apple iPad in the Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) continues throughout the professional services, discrete and process manufacturing companies I often visit. One manufacturer I often work with on their CPQ strategies has the ability today to present a completed 3D model of the proposed product, embed it in a quote and e-mail it to the prospect all from an iPad. The future of CPQ is going to be dominated by mobility and enterprise support for key order management, pricing and product configuration options.