According to Gartner, the CRM global arena is a 10 billion euro industry, with an annual growth rate of more than 25%. In total, it is estimated that more than 1 million companies use a CRM system, which also means there is vast potential for the years to come.

That’s a big market.

But how will CRM look like in five years from now? Well, that’s a question for analysts to ask (check out here an interesting piece from Software Advice), and for key players or influencers to answer.

The trends highlighted by Lauren Carlson with expert advice in the article from Software Advice relate to the following…

Context services (location, relationships, business processes), which should provide a clearer picture of customers, according to Ray Wang.

Real-time customer intelligence, which should become a reality, according to Paul Greenberg.

TV, as the next big channel in customer engagement – Brent Leary predicts it will be used by companies to enhance client experience.

Virtual meetings, because they will change the way people do business, in Denis Pombriant’s vision.

and

Gamification, which will move from buzz to business strategy and will provide customers with more insight into customer behavior, as Brian Solis explains.

Now, we’ve already touched on the subject of the future CRM discussing Network CRM in the Context of the Semantic Web and it’s obvious to everyone that cloud-based CRM will change along with any and all online, social media and networking trends. The observations above are very pertinent and I feel the need to add two things.

1. All five trends lead to one fairly reasonable conclusion that the CRM of the future will seek as much customer intelligence as possible, in order to use it and deliver an enhanced customer experience.

and

2. CRM will become intelligent and proactive in itself. CRM (at least from a B2B perspective) will most likely be able to deliver companies the same power the software shell will give us. As our fridges will soon tell us what to eat based on a direct link with our nutritionists and as our online surrounding will learn what we want, adapt to what we need and feed us the information we seek by creating our profile based on previous searches, the same way CRM systems will have to move on.

First of all, the CRM systems will learn what the client wants and how best to deliver it, but most importantly, they will learn to become the best sales assistants you’ve never had.

Based on the company’s social capital, the connected networks, the existing clients or previous searches for potential clients, the systems will be able to monitor, alert for and suggest new leads. They will use twin samples (companies with the same demographics as clients) and daughter/sister companies as suggestions for sales people and eventually, they will become a tool for every person in any sales based organization, as the networking environment will soon make employees almost equally important for the sales process.

Here’s an interesting take on what the future web will look like:

Now, if this were to become true, where do you think CRM will be in 5 years?