2022 tech stack resolutions: Put your CRM first

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2022 tech stack resolutions: Put your CRM first
Simply put, when you can’t extract insights, your customer experience suffers.
Photo by Webstacks on Unsplash

With the end of the year looming, business executives aren’t just writing their December to-do lists, but are planning their checklists for the New Year, too.

Topping every leaders’ New Year’s resolution list is to improve efficiency, streamline internal processes and boost productivity. However, few leaders realise that the solution lies in their CRM.

New technology comes and goes, fast. In today’s digital world, it seems there’s a new platform or SaaS product every week promising to make businesses and their teams more productive, efficient and effective. Yet, with so many new and emerging technologies on the market, it’s important that businesses don’t lose sight of the power of a single, unified customer view. 

Research from Gartner shows that an integrated tech stack can reduce data management efforts by up to 70%. The benefit of a seamless technology is clear, and as a result we can expect to see business leaders turning their attention to data fabric, which is the most flexible, resilient integration of data across platforms and users. By shifting attention, businesses can create a more streamlined technology infrastructure to deliver a harmonised customer experience.

Although some technology has been proven to be more useful than others, one piece of technology that’s here to stay is CRM software.

Put your tech stack on a diet

In response to the pandemic, many companies rapidly implemented new technologies to support the new and remote world. Comparing year-on-year, the average amount of SaaS applications being used by businesses globally has increased by a whopping 37% since 2020. For many businesses, this has meant their tech stack has become a bloated patchwork of platforms and software. 

Yet, while the focus for businesses has been on updating their tech systems to stay afloat, a complex data ecosystem risks holding businesses back from thriving in 2022 and beyond. With a disjointed data ecosystem, businesses miss out on accessing a consolidated customer view and one which champions a frictionless customer journey.

Businesses with tech infrastructure that’s cobbled, not crafted, will spend more time fixing the systems that manage the customer experience than they will delivering a delightful customer experience.

Make sure your CRM keeps up

As we enter a new stage of pandemic normal, we’re also entering a new era of customer experiences. During this time, the businesses that will shine will be those that find the right balance between championing digital and human experiences.

When it comes to delivering these hybrid experiences, poor integration is the most prominent issue for businesses. A few years ago, little was integrated and people really felt the pain with their stacks when they didn’t get tight integrations between the tools they love. This poor integration is validated, with research revealing that the average small business uses 102 different apps, while enterprises have an average of 288 different apps in their tech stack. 

In 2022, businesses should find tools that integrate with each other, and your CRM, to create a more seamless experience. A CRM platform should be deeply connected, extending beyond sales to bring together the marketing, sales, customer service and operations departments to create seamless handovers. This platform should be customer-centric, fuelled by seamless customer interactions instead of manual data entry. 

Your 2022 tech checklist

A CRM platform should be customisable without compromise, agnostic about other apps and platforms in your stack and should bend to meet your needs and those of your customers, without breaking. 

To scale without adding complexity, businesses need a powerful and easy-to-use platform that enables them to create a single point of customer truth, helping to remove friction while offering a competitive edge. We know that the CRM plays an important role in improving customer relationships, but how does this translate into quantifiable business growth?

New research from HubSpot reveals that when a CRM is used effectively, is deeply rooted in your business and is used by all of your customer facing teams, customer satisfaction is 2.8x stronger and customer retention rates are boosted by 330%. These businesses are not just growing, but they’re also growing faster, experiencing 1.9x faster growth than businesses that aren’t putting their CRM at the heart of the company.  

Simply put, when you can’t extract insights, your customer experience suffers, you may lose customers and your CRM becomes a waste of time and money instead of an asset to your business. Whereas, when your CRM is at the heart of your business, your customers benefit and so does your business. 

Although online experiences are expected to play a significant role in the future for businesses, the elevated need for delightful customer experiences still requires a human touch to match the needs and wants of today’s increasingly demanding consumers. 

Scott Brinker is VP Platform Ecosystem, HubSpot.

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