Nucleus Highlights Increased Automation as CRM's Biggest Change
Over the past year, CRM vendors greatly improved platform flexibility to help their clients accommodate remote, hybrid, and in-person work, Nucleus Research concluded in its 2021 CRM Value Matrix, a yearly assessment of the CRM market.
The research also revealed that leading vendors--most notably Microsoft Dynamics 365, Oracle CX Cloud, Salesforce, SugarCRM and Zoho--offered integrated platforms that are customer-centric rather than role-centric.
"The pandemic challenged vendors to accommodate the mass shift to remote work, prompting heavy investment in automation, tools to reduce overall IT complexity, and continued progress with integrated analytics and AI-based functionality," said Daniel Elman, an analyst at Nucleus Research. "Leading vendors took the challenge as an opportunity to create long-lasting change and shift the focus to the consumer."
According to the report, the COVID-19 pandemic sparked many innovations in the industry, with lasting change in how business is done and how technology plays a role in facilitating it. This includes investing in varied pipeline types, team configurations, automated deal flows, and custom dashboard requirements while developing specific coaching and onboarding tools designed with remote work in mind.
Because of this, Nucleus this year put more weight on each vendor's ability to address the entire customer life cycle via platform modules or capabilities, noting that customer service, marketing, and back-office functionalities are becoming increasingly relevant as value-add components to vendors' CRM strategies.
"The CRM space continues to be a tough competition as vendors look to integrate more advanced technology and practices while working to stay ahead of their competitors," said Ian Campbell, CEO of Nucleus Research. "Vendors that adapt to the changing industry while adopting crucial practices and technology will continue to lead the market successfully."