Tools to marketing have seen a great deal of evolution as technology is slowly automating manual willpower- and CRM has an important hand to play in it. Marketers have greatly benefitted from CRM as it has changed the fabric of conducting business, alongside witnessing a sea of change within itself. The concept of CRM has evolved to a large extent, from its predominant presence in large enterprises to its current incorporation in operation of SME. So gear up for a discourse into the growth of CRM, in Indian context:
Basic Customer Database
The CRM we see today has come up after years of re-evaluation and additions. It initially functioned as a customer database, an extension to larger ERP implementation. The primary purpose lay in doling out MIS reports, weaving the roles of reporting tools. These were used by various marketing division to recognize customer segments and target marketing efforts.
Internet – The Game Changer
With wide spread incorporation of internet across the country and declining price of broadband, CRM is accessible to almost everyone and everywhere in India. This has shifted the focus from business centric market to a space that is all- encompassing; irrespective to anyone who uses.
Advent of Email Automation
Then came another era, when email emerged to be the principal tool of business communications, creating a space for two goliaths to meet. Now, marketers dawned upon the importance of email automation and started implementing it into their CRM strategy. as CRM definitions evolved, the line between marketing and sales began to blur.
A gem of an innovation-inside sales team began to come in shape. Inside Sales came out to make more relevance to B2B, in comparison B2C. The primary role of inside sales team was to generate direct leads for the sales team, while conduct prospecting of the leads generated by marketing teams and its emergence has changed the world of CRM for good.
Telephony & CRM
The marriage of Telephony and CRM was accomplished by On Premise Telephony Servers. These have now being replaced by Cloud Telephony Solutions, making it crucial for marketers to apply telephony solutions for engaging with their customers.
As Consumers are relying on social media intrinsically, the new kid on the block is social CRM. Marketers are exploiting its capabilities to scrutinize and sway buying patterns of buyers. E- Commerce has set the ball rolling, with its integration of “past viewed items” with buying predictions.
SAAS – The Great Leveler
When CRM was at its fledgling influence, it was affordable only to enterprises, owing to its application surmounting on the cost. Costly software and expensive infrastructure required to implement CRM marked the tool as not something that SME’s can afford. SAAS has been a game changer of sort, providing an outlet for SME’s to augment operations. The erstwhile expensive CRM software became available as a service, affordable to almost everyone.
Mobile CRM – Enterprise to Personal
Smart phones have been a revelation of sorts- both in terms of connectivity and incorporation of CRM. Cheap smart phones with more affordable mobile internet plans helped to take Mobile CRM to the next level. Mobile CRM has completely changed the way CRM is thought and used in India, by becoming the biggest productivity tools for sales and service teams.
CRM in India has made considerable progress to its present situation and is far to proceed. From a none- point solution, CRM has transitioned to a enterprise-wide initiative. “One size fits all” being left behind and as the needs have become diverse, the customization is better adding to their top lines.
By: Ajay Chauhan, Founder & CEO, SalezShark