The latest innovations in CRM Technology (and how they can help your business)

16 Mar 2020

One of the things I have always loved and hated about working in CRM (and technology specifically) is how quickly things move.  

The tech industry is all about innovation—bringing in new ideas and making them a reality. For someone in my role, this means testing out the new features and sharing their potential with our customers. Watching how these new technologies go on to benefit people in their day-to-day tasks is so incredibly rewarding. 

And exciting to watch our CRM system expand and grow with really cool new whizzes and bangs.  

But, because things move so quickly, this usually means I’m incredibly busy with testing to ensure these new features are as great as they can be. And I’m also writing new FAQs, blogs, and other articles extolling the virtues of brand new technology. 

This abundance of new features, one right after the other, can mean that some of the really great stuff gets lost in the noise. 

You see, the speed of innovation can be both a blessing and a curse. 

But to remedy this, I’d like to share with you some of my favourite new features and technologies—that are not just rocking the OpenCRM world, but that are changing the face of the CRM industry as a whole.  

So without further ado: 

My Top 4 New CRM Technologies 

All 4 of these “new” technologies have existed externally from the CRM industry or even within a CRM system for a number of years. 

I’ve included them on my list because it’s only in the last couple years that they have really zoomed up in importance and innovation. 

Omni-Channel Engagement 

This sounds really fancy, doesn’t it? In reality, omni-channel communication or engagement simply refers to the idea that your customers (and prospects) should be able to get in touch with you from a variety of places. 

In addition to calling or emailing, people might want to start up a chat with you via your website or send you a text or message on social media. 

More and more CRM systems are adding this functionality in (or integrating with systems that already do). 

In my opinion, being able to respond to these messages easily is important. 

But where this technology really shines is seeing the history of this communication within your existing CRM system. Side by side with your email history, tickets, invoices, and all the other interactions you have with your customers. 

It comes back to managing that relationship, no matter where the dialogue happens. 

Automation and Automating 

When it comes to making your life easier, having automation running in the background is the technology of the moment. It’s what everyone wants to use to streamline their processes. 

But how does it work? And is it the same as AI?  

Automation within CRM is used to refer to three things, usually: 

  1. Marketing and Emailing 
  2. Workflow  
  3. GDPR Data Retention 

Marketing automation and auto-emailing is hugely important for something called “drip feed” marketing. This is where emails are sent out automatically at a specific interval based on either an initial change in their record or when manually triggered. 

It is great for things like sending new clients a series of helpful articles and emails during the first days, weeks, and months of their onboarding process. 

Workflow creates and updates records based on changes made to the system. Bit of a vague description? That’s because it’s tough to describe…for example, you might want to create reminders to give a new client a follow up call 2 months after their initial sign up. Just to check how things are going. 

Alternatively, you might want to create a series of Activities when an Invoice is overdue, update the client record to highlight the fact that they are overdue, and set a warning on the Invoice itself so everyone is very clear on what the status is. 

This kind of automation has been built (and become popular) because it saves everyone time and energy. 

You can read more about GDPR Data Retention automation in other areas of our site, but the important take away from it is that it automatically carries out the rules and processes you have in regards to storing personal data.  

That kind of automation is a lifesaver for all of us who process personal data. 


GDPR

GDPR: your data, your rules

We've always put data protection at the heart of OpenCRM. So with the introduction of GDPR, we've added new tools and features so you have the control you need to implement your policies and achieve compliance.

find out more

Integrating with Everything 

The tech industry is in a real boom at the moment. You can’t turn around for new start ups creating amazing widgets, tools, and systems. But many of these new tools serve to address a very specific issue or part of a process. 

So they do one thing, but they do it so well, why would you look elsewhere? 

Well…this really great solution won’t be tied to the other history of your customer relationship. And, if you rely on a lot of these, you end up with information silo’d away in different departments and individual users.  

And that’s where tools like Zapier really come into their own. Zapier works by, essentially, integrating with everything. So now you can bring all that rich information in these smaller apps into a single central place, like your CRM.  

Of course Zapier might not work for everything. Bigger and more complex integrations will still need to be developed individually (like our JotForm, MailChimp, or ClicData integrations). 

But this interconnectedness of all the apps and systems your business uses, with your CRM at the heart, is really the way of the future. 

Mobile Access 

And last but certainly not least, having the ability to access important information on your mobile. This has become the default, expected behaviour from virtually any app or system you use for any aspect of your life. 

When it comes to accessing your CRM solution via your mobile, this can’t just be a static list of the data in your system. You need to be able to interact with the people whose records you are viewing, calling, emailing, finding directions, etc.  

As more and more people work from home or generally are out of their office, we’re all expecting our systems and apps to come along with us. After all, we’ve always got our phones on us now and many of us have grown up with this incredible technology, almost as an extension of ourselves. And the system at the heart of your business, your CRM solution, is right there waiting for you. 


Features

Do we have what it takes?

We don't restrict which features you have access to in OpenCRM based on how many users you have. You get everything right out of the box. Click to find out if we've got the features you need.

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The speed of innovating in CRM and other software shows no sign of slowing—and who would want it to?! We’ve all benefited as technology advances and evolves…even when it makes us busier.  

Ashley Tallyn
Ashley Tallyn
Although I originally hail from northern California, as soon as I arrived in Yorkshire I knew it was the place for me! At OpenCRM, I started out in the Business Development team, and then moved into compliance and Q&A because I love telling people what to do...ok, that's not the real reason, but it makes for a good bio one-liner. When I’m not in the office, you can usually find me tramping through the dales, crafting, gardening, or with my nose in a book.