The pandemic rapidly accelerated digital transformation, which was already transforming customer engagement and brand loyalty. These dramatic changes left brands with a headache and the inability to have a full overview of customer experience.

According to SugarCRM, 74% of sales professionals agree that an integrated view of customer information is critical in delivering an optimal user experience. Yet, without an updated and AI-powered CRM system, companies can face a serious customer relationship crisis.

In this article, the CXM team summarized the key point from the CRM and Sales Impact Report conducted by SugarCRM, a successful AI-driven cloud CRM platform. This report is an excellent guide on where to look if you want to improve your current CRM system. The full report is available for free download on our resource page.

What can you expect from this report?

The SugarCRM research team interviewed 1,000 sales leaders to get the answers to the three burning questions:

  • How is technology transforming the expectations of both sales leaders and their customers?
  • Which roadblocks and blind spots are causing sales friction and contributing to churn?
  • What customer data and insights business leaders need to compete and win market share?

Let’s take a look at some of the troubling findings companies should react to without further ado.

The pain points of professionals using CRM systems

Since sales leaders are often the most impacted by the quality of the CRM systems, SugarCRM research focused on their point of view and the journey they take to meet customers’ needs.

The analysis displayed that 48% of sales professionals don’t believe the CRM meet their needs, providing an insufficient, out-of-date view of customers. The issue is with both the CRM system itself and the data it contains. As the SugarCRM report shows, 43% of professionals find their CRM is too complex, unintuitive, and not user-friendly, while over one-third of respondents indicated frustration over customer data that is incomplete, irrelevant, and inaccurate.

A diagram showing the consequences for companies that don't improve crm system.

What makes companies struggle even more is the lack of insights and customer data that sales teams could use to maximize acquisition and retention. This is confirmed with 53% of participants saying that the administrative burdens of their CRM cause friction for their sales team. This leads to only 54% of the actual selling time in a workday. Obviously, poor CRM impacts not only the company’s revenue but also contributes to the increase of employee frustration and lack of productivity.

The costs of inability to predict customer churn

As SugarCRM finds out, without access to a single and complete source of truth, companies cannot optimize the customer experience nor manage expectations required to minimize churn. Over half (57%) of respondents reported having trouble predicting when customers would churn, a finding that spikes to 72% in banking and financial services.

According to SugarCRM survey, this churn costs mid-market companies an average of $5.5 million a year each.

Can AI bring CRM clarity?

A diagram showing how to improve crm system.

It is not a surprise that sales teams put high hopes in AI to enhance customer clarity and inform their future decisions. This is the reason why most respondents (88%) said they expect to increase their use of artificial intelligence (AI) to augment more of their existing CRM processes within the next 24 months. However, to successfully integrate AI, companies will need to ensure data enrichment.

Informed by the in-depth research summarized in this article, SugarCRM helps marketing, sales, and service teams get a complete picture of each customer’s journey. Their Data-fueled AI for CRM takes the guesswork out of lead prioritization. This is an ideal opportunity to optimize your sales processes and unlock revenue potential. Click here to get a demo.

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