One of the biggest challenges for the CRM industry is getting the attention of key business decision-makers in organisations where purchasing or developing a CRM might be the logical next step, but might not be the number one priority. Here we discuss whether sector-specific CRM solutions might be a fix of this issue. The Known Benefits The CRM industry is by no means in trouble. In fact, the opposite. The known benefits of implementation of a CRM are well documented: increased sales workflow efficiency, faster collaboration, more data, increased accountability and an improved customer experience. In 2012, worldwide CRM revenue topped $18 billion, up a healthy 12.5% from the 16% billion reported in 2011. However, with the industry growing year-on-year, the marketplace is becoming oversaturated fast, and CRM creators are being forced to innovate more and more to stay ahead and grab market share where they can. A particularly salient quote on this point comes from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella: ‘Our industry does not respect tradition, it only respects innovation.’ In this respect, Dynamics CRM is a leader, with new tools on the way that promise exciting new features like the Interactive Service Hub (ISH) that will help a sales team manage all their customer service applications. Added Value through Sector-Specific Applications However, while adding generic features like ISH are beneficial and will encourage organisations who already know they need a CRM to move towards Dynamics CRM over their competitors, announcements like these might not have the clout to generate other forms of new business. One solution that has been successful for Microsoft in this regard has been to work with their partners and, in particular, VARs, to develop new sector-specific products to attract whole new audiences. Engaging Ways to Approach Insurance One of the latest in these new products comes from a collaboration between Vertafore, an insurance tech provider, and Microsoft, to produce the insurance industry’s first ever insurance-specific CRM. The solution is built for a generation of insurance providers whose workers expect services like Uber and Amazon. It’s cloud-based, modern, flexible and responsive. According to MS Dynamics World, VertaforeAgency SalesTrack will "[Give] agents a competitive advantage to improve win rates, shorten sales cycles, maximize deal profitability, and better align with the customer buying process." Vertafore cites Forrester figures that CRM systems on average increase close rates by 8-10% and boost cross-selling by 10-20%, while extending campaign reach by 30-50%. With real business-changing results like these, introducing sector-specific CRM solutions with experienced partners and VARs helps to push CRM adoption up the agenda of key business decision-makers. We expect that this can only lead to higher adoption rates. A Potential Reservation One point to reflect on might be that while broadening Dynamics CRM through sector-specific offerings is valuable, Microsoft shouldn’t let up on its rate of innovation in its core Dynamics CRM product. Balance will be necessary if they are to maintain their base of existing clients as well as expand into new territory. Microsoft has been successful at this so far, so let’s see how they get on in the future. If you are ready to take the next step in your Dynamics career, visit the job search page at Conspicuous. You can also get in touch with our specialist consultants in the UK and the US on +44(0)1483 233 000 and +1 646 878 6426 respectively, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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