CRM trends to plan for in 2017

Profile picture for user Jacqueline Fassett
By: Jacqueline Fassett | 12.27.16

We’re looking into our crystal ball (or just remembering everything we heard at Dreamforce ‘16) for what the future holds in the land of CRM, nonprofit technology, and Salesforce. We’re predicting it’s going to be a significant year of growth for many companies and nonprofits as they put more into technology implementations and upgrades. We’ve seen some amazing advances this past year, some of which we discussed in last year’s annual CRM trends article, and some exciting new features and ideas.


Let’s look at some of what we’re predicting will be big in 2017.



2017: the year of marketing automation


Marketing automation is becoming more and more common in how nonprofits and businesses scale their marketing efforts. With lots of automation to save time while creating engaging campaigns to keep donors or customers interested, it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular option. It can be a larger expense, especially if an organization is planning to implement a CRM or considering switching CRMs, so we suggest looking into automated forms or social media now while you research and plan for a marketing automation platform implementation later in the year.


Lightning is the new Classic

The time has come to really begin planning, if you haven’t already, your migration to the latest version of Salesforce. The updated interface and bevy of new features, which will continue to grow and improve as the market shifts to a customer and design focused platform. Start planning now for an upgrade in mid summer.


Predictive analytics needs cleaner data

Predictive analytics, or the practice of extracting patterns from data sets to make more informed strategies or decisions, has been growing for awhile as the amount of data and availability of databases has grown. With years of advancements that have made big data work for smaller organizations, this year will be a big one for seeing analytics come into play. However, using predictive analytics means using high-quality data. Start planning now on how to clean up your data processes, like moving from manual entry to a more automated format to help keep your data clean and ready for predictive analytics uses.


CRM of Things

With the Internet of Things, the concept that all our devices and technology can connect to the internet, our lives have changed in how we live and work. Being connected to the internet not only gives companies a personalized way to interact with you but allows you to interact with them on your own terms. And this will be the case for your donors and customers. Spend some time in early 2017 to plan how you can personalize their interactions, automate some simple processes, and clean up your user interfaces or user experience for ease of use. This trend of personalization and internet connectivity will continue to grow, so taking steps in 2017 to rethink your approach will put you one step ahead in your industry.


While we’ve made it to Marty McFly’s future, the future is still advancing. There are some brilliant ideas that have not been perfected yet for CRMs. This list includes things like virtual reality and artificial intelligence. But with the introduction of Einstein, we can see these ideas are not too far off from CRM integrations and advancements.

Want to predict the future yourself? We love keeping an eye on new Trailhead modules. New modules from Salesforce can sometimes include features that still being worked on, which gives you a heads up on the latest ideas and a look inside Salesforce's future.


How is your technological strategy and advancement looking for 2017? Let us help your organization get ready to grow this year.


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