The Length of Business Relationships Is Increasing, While the People Using CRM and Productivity Are Merging
Copper, the #1 Google-recommended CRM formerly known as ProsperWorks, announced the results of a new study, sponsored by Google and commissioned by Qualtrics Research, that determines how businesses are impacted by the relationships they build and the role CRM software plays in enabling them. The new report titled, “The Future of Relationship Management” surveyed more than 2,500 global business professionals in nine industries to measure their perception toward building lasting customer relationships, changing sales roles, software requirements and the future of CRM. To learn more about the findings, please download the full report here.
The report revealed that business relationships are extending beyond individuals in the sales department and are now touching every team in the company. The findings also uncovered that many of these teams don’t have access to the company CRM, therefore leaving valuable customer information uncaptured.
“There is a clear shift in the market around how teams work and communicate with their customers,” said Morgan Norman, chief marketing officer at Copper. “We’re seeing an appetite for both businesses and customers to have longer and more meaningful relationships. However, this study proves that the current state of CRM remains a major roadblock for this to happen.”
Of the major findings, the survey revealed that:
Businesses worldwide are shifting to longer-lasting relationships
With the rise of subscription-based products and services, customers today have limitless options and the freedom to choose any vendor they want—a memorable customer experience is no longer a nice-to-have, but a necessity for companies of all industries.
- Customers today are looking for companies that focus on loyalty. In fact, only about three percent of today’s customer relationships last less than six months.
- Approximately a quarter of small businesses and mid-sized companies say that most of their customer relationships last between two and four years, while 27 percent of enterprise companies say their customer relationships last about seven years.
The new wave of relationship-makers sells as a team
What was once a job for the salesperson is now a company-wide responsibility—even HR and legal play a role in building customer relationships. Companies today also have countless collaboration touchpoints with customers through productivity tools such as Google Drive, chat functions and video services. However, many teams don’t have access to a company CRM, meaning the data from these channels remains siloed and cross-collaboration proves to be a challenge.
- For small businesses and mid-size companies, the majority of customer relationships are managed by teams of three to four people. For enterprise companies, that figure rises to 11 teammates.
Businesses manage all kinds of relationships
Business relationships encompass more than just customers. Relationship-makers are managing leads, vendors, partners, creatives, investors, etc., yet today’s CRM offerings lack the capabilities to support these types of relationships.
- In addition to 56 percent of respondents who report using CRM for company relationships, 34 percent said they use it to manage leads and 29 percent use it for vendors.
Traditional CRM technology has held teams back
As customer relationships evolve, CRM offerings have yet to adapt to employees’ needs. Traditional CRMs continue to be labor-intensive and the manual entry of data has siloed information rather than providing useful, accessible insights around customer moments.
- One-third of people waste two to five hours of skilled time on manual data entry each and every week.
- This problem increases in the enterprise with 11 percent of people spending more than 20 hours per week on CRM data entry.
CRM is not just for sales
There is a disconnect in how CRMs today are marketed and who is actually using the software. This survey found that CRM is no longer just for an account executive and that it’s also being used for more than sales management.
- While sales teams still drive a bulk of company relationships (63 percent), other teams such as engineering (30 percent), human resources (19 percent), and legal (14 percent) are playing a larger role.
There are new expectations for software today
Companies of all sizes expect their enterprise software to be as intuitive as popular consumer apps and deployed at the same speed. However, legacy CRM offerings have traditionally taken months, even years to get up and running.
- More than one-fifth of small businesses expect enterprise software to be up and running in four days or less.
- For this to happen, CRM offerings need to integrate easily with other tools, be easy to deploy, and look and feel like an app rather than a clunky customer database. Yet 31 percent of people surveyed describe their CRM as “complicated.”
The future of CRM is all about productivity
CRM should work the way we do—fitting seamlessly into existing tools and workflows. The future of CRM requires manual data to be automated, information to be centralized and collaboration across teams to be a top priority.
- More than 45 percent of small businesses spend more than 20 hours per week working in G Suite. This means that a large number of customer relationships and interactions live inside Google’s collaboration tools like Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Calendar, and Drive, yet this information remains uncaptured by traditional CRMs.
“Companies can’t keep up with the amount of communication and channels that exist between customers and teams today,” said John Aniano, chief product officer at Copper. “That’s why we’ve made it our mission at Copper to master the art of productivity and transform the face of business relationships by creating a tool that works where you, and your team, already are.”
“The accelerated adoption of Google’s G Suite as a leading digital workplace and productivity tool has customers seeking more native and deeper integration with their CRM systems. Why? Organizations are shifting to lasting relationships and users are collaborating with customers in new ways through the productivity suite. Employees expect Drive, Sheets, Slides, hangouts to automatically capture all these moments and build a new future of CRM centered around relationships, not management. It’s time that we put the R back into CRM,” said R “Ray” Wang, founder and CEO, Constellation Research, Inc.