57% of respondents to a recent survey say the CRM is more important for achieving sales and marketing goals compared to just five years ago.
That’s according to SugarCRM, whose 2024 State of CRM Report surveyed more than 800 professionals in sales, marketing, service, and IT. And while “survey responses vary by the specific needs of each user, as well as industry, business size, and other factors,” according to CEO Craig Charlton, “they can all agree that CRM can and should be a key driver of collaboration, connection, and growth that makes business successful and meets customer needs.”
60% of respondents said that using CRM as a “centralized communication hub for nurturing leads and customers” is their top priority, while three out of every ten said it’s a major area of struggle.
“The key to increased CRM effectiveness is the breaking down of barriers across departments,” says Clint Oram, SugarCRM’s co-founder and chief strategy officer. “Marketing needs to know how sellers are following up on the leads they create. Sellers need high-quality leads to come from marketing. Service teams need sellers to set customers up for success with appropriate expectations. Marketing needs service teams to drive up-sell and cross-sell opportunities back into the marketing funnel.”
In terms of marketing and sales technologies that users are incorporating into their integrated CRM, 46% have integrated marketing automation or email marketing, 35% have integrated analytics or measurement dashboard platforms, and 12% have integrated account-based marketing tools.
SugarCRM also asked what, over the next five years, would be the top priority for maximizing the value of their CRM. 45% said getting a complete view of all customer interactions, and 20% said leveraging AI.
“‘Easy’ trumps all other CRM software evaluation considerations,” says Oram. “AI is delivering on this promise by taking away the need to sift through reams of data or ‘stare and compare’ at charts to find insights. No longer do sellers have to wait on compelling and engaging content to come from marketing. In the year ahead, the growing application and acceptance of predictive and generative AI will embolden customer-facing professionals to expect — and demand — even more from their CRM tools.”