In case you haven’t heard of Customer Relationship Management yet, you’re only 20 years late. And although the principles of CRM were used in business all over the world even before modern technology took over, the trend only rose to prominence approximately two decades ago. If you are interested in learning more about the way technology has made CRM a vital part of every modern company, stay tuned.
The Beginnings Of CRM
Long before computers got integrated into the business world, company owners had to take care of their clients’ details. At that time, the best products for doing so were a simple address book or rolling index cards known as Rolodex. These paper tools contained only basic information about customers such as their names, phone numbers, and addresses.
However, apart from these vital details and, perhaps, someone’s birthday, there wasn’t much these tools could help you with. The only way to collect information back then was to write it down, but in all honesty, no one had the time or will to do that.
First CRM Systems
In the 1990s, big companies already started investing in technology and acquired computers that were supposed to help out with customer relationships. Before we stepped into the 2000s, many renowned companies like Salesforce and Oracle had developed CRM solutions and started offering them to small business owners.
This was the old-school form of today’s modern solutions like HoneyBook CRM and other similar software. They collected information about customers vital for any future sales including their product preferences, buying patterns, account status, and feedback.
What’s more, the owners of the companies and their sales teams would get all these details in a form of a single report, which made their job a lot easier. Still, companies had to hire IT staff to take care of their CRM software and at the same time ensure customers’ data protection.
Once we stepped into the 21st century, the server-based CRM solutions got replaced with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). This system supported advanced PCs and laptops and got powered by a faster internet connection. What’s more, the new software became more affordable too, so small businesses were able to use it as well.
A few years after SaaS took over, Salesforce launched the first cloud-based CRM solution that became widely accepted by both elite and small companies.
Furthermore, business owners had no need to hire extra staff to take care of their CRM anymore. That job now belonged to the software company that was in charge of keeping everything in order. In other words, the vendor’s technicians were now handling everything CRM-related, from server maintenance and upgrades to all security and data backups.
In recent years, CRM has evolved in such a way that it offers more than just collecting your customers’ details. The SaaS model is still in use, but it has been updated regularly in order to make the sale a walk in the park. Also, different versions of CRM have been developed over time in order to target specific industries together with B2B and B2C businesses.
Another great innovation regarding CRM was the use of companies’ social media accounts for improving sales. By being present on social media platforms, a brand can easily communicate with customers and its CRM can analyze all social media engagement to better shape future moves and deals.
Finally, CRM software has become available on mobile devices as well, thus allowing business owners and their employees to keep track of every single customer detail on the go. Ultimately, combined with social media, mobile CRM allows companies to monitor their progress and notice even the tiniest change when it comes to sales.
For now, this is the highest level CRM has reached concerning technology. Nevertheless, tech pros promise that VR and AI are going to change technology as we know it, and perhaps that is a new chance for CRM to climb the ladder of success.
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