Today’s CRM software evolved in a short period to be one of the most important software solutions a company can have. Why? Because any software that will help increase revenue for the company will be considered vastly important. Let’s look at the brief history of CRM software and how technology and enterprise solutions have developed over time.
Stage 1: Development of a database and contact management
Database marketing was strong in the late 1980’s. Companies saw it as a better means to directly market to consumers. The mass sending of seemingly personalized messages was a common occurrence; however, this was made a lot easier by having a centralized list of the company and contact names. This led to better statistical analysis of the marketing efforts as well as better results.
This period also saw the emergence of databases and the idea of managing and utilizing a list of contacts for sales and marketing. An example of this period would be the influx of cold-calling by sales and marketing reps to upsell a product or service.
Stage 2: Introduction of automation and ERP
The growth of technology in the 1990’s led to a massive change in database. PCs and server/client architecture allowed for SFA (Sales Force Automation). Meaning, the database and process of marketing to it could be done automatically instead of manually. This saved companies time, effort, and money. Features for customer service and sales were added as well to help begin shaping what is now known as modern customer relationship management software.
During this time, customer relationship management was utilized along with another major software solution: enterprise resource planning (ERP). ERP software began automating business operations such as shipping and product management for businesses in the manufacturing, distribution, and related industries.
Stage 3: Explosive technological growth and Social CRM
The 2000’s explosive growth added many features that CRM did not even think about before. This includes storing data in the cloud, having mobile capabilities, and storage capacities far greater than previously considered. In fact, this resulted in the greatest increase in CRM related sales over a ten-year period; annual CRM sales in 2007 was 18 times that of 1997. This was also fueled by new companies becoming CRM providers.
This period also saw a major shift in how CRM is utilized and even considered. Customer relationship management software had been approached as a transactional model of handling sales—the emergence of new technological solutions pushed it into a true relationship/interaction-driven solution. Social media and the development of the internet paved the way for more chances to interact and grow relationships through CRM.
As more and more companies grow, the need and demand for CRM software that will help make their business more efficient will increase. Technology is constantly changing, and along with it, so will CRM. OnContact’s customer relationship management solution is always kept up-to-date with the latest technological advances and software features on the market. To learn more about our powerful software solution, contact us today!