The Present and Future
Today’s CRM software is focused on three main areas that could well be the future of this type of software. - CRM software programs are likely to focus on developing deeper customer profiles that includes their digital behavior across social networks. - Social CRM enables companies to improve their content marketing to offer relevant content to specific customers on a case-by-case basis. - Mobile CRM is likely to be the next wave in the continuing evolution of CRM software.
Late 2000s – The Age of Social CRM
This period saw CRM shifting from the transactional model to interaction relationship. Businesses started using social media strategies to interact more closely with their customers. With quicker internet connectivity and more robust cloud infrastructure, more small players from different countries started entering the CRM market.
Mid- to Late 2000s – Cloud-Based CRM Becomes Popular; Open Source CRM is Launched
SugarCRM pioneered open-source enterprise systems in 2004. This enabled companies to use CRM much more cheaply compared to the cost of on-premise applications. In 2006, Amazon introduced EC2/S3 and even rented out computer power to companies that helped them save money by not spending on expensive powerful servers. In 2007, Salesforce.com’s combined its cloud-based application development program with SaaS developer partners.
Early 2000s – Many Dotcoms Go Bust
The dotcom bubble burst in the early 2000s which affected the sales of CRM products as well as their development. By 2003, Microsoft merged CRM with its legacy systems MS Office and Outlook to create its own CRM program. Microsoft Dynamics has become a leading player in the CRM industry.
Late 1990s – Online CRM is Launched
In 1999, Siebel launched the first mobile CRM which was the Siebel Sales Handheld. PeopleSoft, SAP, and Oracle launched their own mobile versions. But, mobile adoption was not popular due to lack of devices. 1999 saw the advent of cloud CRM. Companies found cloud services a cheaper alternative to expensive on-premise systems.
Early 1990s – The Age of Enterprise Resource Planning
In the early 1990s, database marketing transformed into sales force automation. The CRM framework consolidated contact, lead, and opportunity management as well as deal tracking in one CRM system. The term “customer relationship management” was coined in 1995. By 1997, CRM moved away from customer solutions to enterprise resource planning (ERP) that included business operations like product planning, manufacturing, and shipping in addition to sales, marketing, and payment functions.
Mid 1980s – The Age of Database Marketing
In the 1980s, direct marketing was changing into database marketing. Marketing professionals started to communicate personally with customers for higher conversions. It was the early days of integrating customer info with sales strategy.
1970s – The Age of Independent Mainframe Solutions
In the 1970s, stand-alone mainframe systems were used for sales automation systems and customer data files. These systems were mainly used to digitize manual files to facilitate quicker search and save storage space. Relational database software was used to create customer databases and manage the data.