What are the CRM trends on the minds of customer relationship management users as they look to 2020? SAP’s Marjolein de Wit – Customer Experience solution expert and guest blogger on this site – is looking at 5 trends that SAP is currently seeing in the market.


#1: From a system of record to a system ‘that gives back’

Across the spectrum of B2B companies, it’s surprisingly similar: Every B2B company using CRM wants greater adoption. The trouble is, sales reps think their CRM system requires a lot of manual input, but gives nothing back in return.

CRM providers like SAP are working to change that. New capabilities will move the traditional CRM platform from a system of record to a system that consistently “gives back”. Exactly what’s needed to drive adoption and deliver real-time insights.

#2: Make your data more useful

CRM users around the world want to centralize data and make it more useful. Actually, that is one of the four key insights from the Gartner Hype Cycle for CRM Sales Technology. Gartner sees digital optimization and predictive-enabled technologies as the two primary drivers of investment and innovation.

Making account and back-end operational data available in CRM in new ways that are actionable for sales reps. That is an emphasis for SAP. An added goal is to make that data valuable and meaningful for the ultimate customer experience.

#3: New technologies lead to guided selling

Using new technologies will lead to a better sales enablement. SAP is offering guided selling with new mobile apps and conversational AI to speed and simplify collaboration and client interactions.

Gartner predicts that in addition to sales enablement, three other notable technologies will be widely adopted in the next 5-10 years:

• Blockchain for lead generation
• Digital adoption solutions
• Conversational engagement analytics

#4: Improving the customer experience

The customer experience has become more crucial than ever, and it starts with the sales rep. Here, guided selling technologies can help by providing customer-facing insights that enhance the sales interaction, such as real-time market data.

Integrating the operational (O Data) and customer experience data (X Data) already being captured by some CRM systems, is a great advantage. X-data being ‘customer data’ like feedback, interviews, contact center recordings etc. And O-data is the ‘company data’: operational data that is stored in your CRM system. This data combined, gives insight into buyer needs. It will enable sales reps to actively and authentically engage with their account. One example of this is the 360 Customer View that can be accomplished by combining X and O data. Read more about X- and O-data here.The future of commerce>>

#5: Intelligent CRM

SAP is working with AI in a multitude of ways to sift through the noise inherent in all the account data. Companies can expect new functionality such as account scoring that will drive sales efforts and revenues.

AI is already being incorporated, for example, in some guided selling apps to track marketing materials to closed sales, allowing best sales practices to be built, and influencing the development of future materials.

Exciting possibilities for 2020

With these new tools and trends your CRM system will be simpler, stronger and smarter. I see exciting possibilities for CRM in 2020. Possibilities that can only have a positive impact on your customer experience!

More information

This blog is a recap from a earlier published blog on SAP’s blog site ‘The Future of Customer Engagement and Experience’. Please check this platform>> for more blogs on SAP Customer Experience.

Marjolein de Wit is CX account manager at SAP, passionate to deliver best in class customer experience by innovating marketing, commerce, sales, and service processes.