The Evolution of CRM: How Customers Were Managed Before CRM

Tags – Evolution of CRM

 

Before the invention of CRM software, customers were managed in a variety of ways. 

Some businesses used manual systems, while others used software that was specific to their industry. 

As you may already be aware, customers and client satisfaction are well-known drivers of company growth. 

And business owners and entrepreneurs have been developing techniques to gather and profit from valuable information about their consumers since the pre-PC era. 

In this blog post, we’ll look at how the CRM journey has evolved from being a must-have for data entry to becoming a benefit for all businesses

 

1950s

Back in the day, businesses recorded their day-to-day tasks on pen and paper. 

And, filing cabinets were bought in bulk to support the documentation process, while tracking information, but recording updates became increasingly frustrating. 

Later in the year 1956, the first rolling index, or Rolodex, was invented by Danish engineer Hildaur Neilsen to store contact information of business prospects. 

 

1960s

It was common for businesses to reach out to their customers by scheduling face-to-face meetings. 

In other words, sales executives would sell their products or services by engaging with people in on-ground meetings or by cold-calling.

 

1970s

With the advent of early mainframe computers, it became feasible to store client information such as name, address, and transaction history on a stand-alone digital database.

Businesses using database marketing were able to personalise their communications to their customers and trace business interactions as they evolved on a screen. 

Businesses use customer databases to enable business-to-customer (B2C) marketing, whereas business databases were created with the objective of allowing business-to-business (B2B) marketing.

 

1980s

In 1987, Conductor Software developed a digital version of the Rolodex called ACT

The software paved the path for Content Management Systems or CMS prototypes to be created. 

Fun fact: ACT! was formerly known as Activity Control Technology, but later was renamed as Automated Contact Tracking before settling on the acronym.

 

1990s

Thanks to the Internet, customer data became more accessible and detailed. 

The field of digital marketing was developed through the integration of online resources with traditional marketing into comprehensive customer outcomes. 

Marketers began using web analytics tools to monitor and analyse client data, giving them easier capabilities for such tasks as monitoring and tracking consumers via email or SMS messages, transforming itself into Sales Force Automation (SFA). 

In 1993, Tom Siebel departed Oracle and established Siebel Systems; his firm was the most well-known SFA provider at the time. 

By 1995, SFAs were capable of converting leads and automating marketing efforts with the push of a button, and so the term Customer Relationship Management (CRM) was coined.

In 1999, Tom’s firm launched the first mobile CRM, Siebel Sales Handheld, into the market. It was also the year that Salesforce debuted as a cloud-based CRM at a low price point to compete with on-premise solutions.

 

2000s

Is there anyone who remembers the Y2K bug

It was largely to blame for the .com bubble burst. It created a huge dent in several sectors, including internet service providers and CRM software vendors, all in one fell swoop. 

Fortunately, Paul Greenberg’s book “CRM at the Speed of Light” changed the discussion to a more focused CRM system as a solution. 

In 2004, SugarCRM released the first open-source CRM, which was quickly followed by Vtiger’s release of an open-source CRM in the same year.

 

2010s: Modern CRM Systems

With the rise of mobile computing and Big Data in recent years, CRM systems have evolved to handle sales pipelines as well as provide exceptional client experiences for small companies, mid-size businesses, and large multinational corporations. 

Sales forecasts for the following quarter may be projected by conventional CRM systems, which can also link with a variety of apps, including Zapier and Gmail.

 

The Future of CRM

CRM is one of the fastest-growing areas in the Software as a Service (SaaS) industry. 

With each new development, CRM systems are moving more and more towards client happiness and satisfaction. 

New technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will assist your sales team in shifting their attention from prospect identification and pushing products to client care. 

It’s only a matter of time before the barriers between your sales, marketing, and support teams fully collapse, providing a comprehensive map for your company’s growth. 

If the CRM revolution continues at its current rate, data-driven deep insights about your clients will change the way you do business. 

Titbits of information, such as your consumer’s favourite sports team or vehicle, might provide a level of connection that was previously thought to be unimaginable!

 

Please contact us today to find out more.

 

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