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Key 2018 CRM Trend: Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence

By John Chan

As the old Greek saying goes “The Only Constant is Change”, so this saying is applicable to the CRM industry. The CRM industry continues to constantly evolve as new technologies are changing how the CRM users are functioning. In this blog post, ISM will discuss what we feel is the most significant of the 2018 CRM Trends: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and AI Chatbots.

AI is a system of connected platforms and devices that can be used by organizational management to learn from the CRM users’ interactions and other data as a means to anticipate the future needs of the organization and its clients.  The introduction of AI and AI chatbots will enable CRM users to perform their daily tasks more efficiently. There will be automatic workflow adjustments that will set up predictive algorithms for the automatic CRM population of data and download of data based upon prior usage patterns. These automatic data populations and the downloads of data will save each organization time and money in their staff’s use of their CRM system.  Moreover, an AI powered CRM will be able to collect information on a prospect or customer, analyze this information, predict trends and make diagnostical decisions that will decrease the number of cold calls for the organization’s sales reps.

Many CRM analysts additionally foresee the possibility of an algorithmic assistant automating the monotonous parts of an organization’s sales and marketing cycle in the near future. The key consequence of AI will be reducing each CRM users’ manual work, creating automatic actions and reconfiguring CRM user interfaces to suit each user’s usage patterns, thereby saving hours of work.

By 2021, the Gartner Group predicts that most organizations will spend more on bots and chatbot creation than on mobile app development.  There will be AI chatbots with voice recognition functionality in which the CRM users can voice his/her CRM – related questions and afterward receive a verbal response from their CRM system.  The Gartner Group further predicts that there will be AI chatbots available in the marketplace that can link an organization’s CRM system to internal and external Social Media Websites, leading to a greater degree of customer and staff engagement. From these Social Media interactions, organizations will be able to obtain critical information concerning their customers’ and prospects’ behaviors and sentiments.

By 2021, IDC projects that AI adoption will increase tremendously within organizations to create a $1.1 trillion upsurge in worldwide business revenue. AI will thus impact the CRM marketplace to an organization’s benefit significantly in the forthcoming years.

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John Chan is the ISM Software Lab Director, is responsible for software testing and defining the evaluation criteria for The Guide to Mobile and Social CRM and the CRM software offered on ISM’s Reviews Online service.