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SugarCRM 2018 Predictions: Looking Ahead at CRM in 2018

VMblog Predictions 2018

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2018.  Read them in this 10th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed by Martin Schneider, the vice president of corporate communications at SugarCRM

Looking Ahead at CRM in 2018

Thanks to some hyper-development in CRM (and tech in general) driven by AI, mobile and the cloud (as well as some less likely drivers like GDPR), we're finally seeing some interesting changes take shape and fuel new possibilities. Given this backdrop, I offer a couple CRM predictions that could actually be worth considering.

The Definition of Cloud Becomes More Diverse, Yet More Clear

Journalists and other industry observers like to crown kings, usually well before the battlefield has even been defined. A lot of early SaaS providers became anointed kings of the cloud market even before we had an accurate picture of what cloud CRM - or even "cloud" in general - really meant.

As concepts like GDPR, a more sensitive global client base around data security, and other drivers push the limits of first-generation SaaS CRM, we are seeing a renaissance of truly cloud-powered CRM models. Private and hybrid cloud, dedicated SaaS - all these subtle permutations of cloud fit the more accurate use cases and requirements of global businesses of all sizes. The war over cloud CRM dominance is not over; in fact, it really hasn't even started.

There is a lot of opportunity for everyone in the cloud CRM world when one considers just how sophisticated the concepts around cloud CRM truly are. Both providers and CRM buyers will see some shakeup as business drivers create a need for more diverse cloud CRM alternatives.

Buyers Will Begin to Reject "Bloatware"

Just as the Relationship Intelligence category might shake up the competitive landscape in CRM, the desire for fast, agile CRM deployments will result in a lot of CRM buyers rejecting the "old guard" as over-featured, over-priced offerings. Instead, they will opt for solutions that provide strong core CRM functionality, which can be configured quickly to react to changes in the business or in customer expectations.

A recent survey of hundreds of CRM users revealed that nearly one-half of respondents felt "oversold" on their CRM purchase. The bells and whistles in the big enterprise CRM providers' solutions aren't needed by a very large portion of businesses. The providers that offer the core features across the marketing-sales-support spectrum at a solid price point and with simplified add-on/configuration models will start eating into the big guys' business - if they aren't already.

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About the Author

Martin Schneider

Martin Schneider, the vice president of corporate communications at SugarCRM, has spent the past two decades as a journalist, analyst and marketer in the CRM industry. His prior experience includes that of enterprise software analyst for the 451 Group and news editor for CRM Magazine. Martin is a passionate, vibrant voice speaking to the value of putting customers first, and leveraging modern technology to do so. You can follow him on twitter at @mschneider718

Published Tuesday, December 05, 2017 7:41 AM by David Marshall
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