CRM Paradigm Shift


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Having watched the CRM (R)evolution for over a decade, I am very excited about the developments that have taken place over the last few years. Four important technological trends have the potential to fundamentally change the way organizations “manage” relationship with their customers and revolutionize CRM. These tech trends are:

All these four independent trends are now converging to bring about a Paradigm Shift in CRM.

“Managing” customer relationships till now involved recording “transactions” between company and the customer over phone, email and web-site besides “snail” mail and face-to-face exchanges and using the “historical” or “past” information to better serve the customers. Company was in total control of this conversation with customer at every stage. Information was recorded using pre-determined fields in the database, by company employees (or by contractors trained by the company) using script in CRM application controlled by the company. Thanks to the convergence of cloud computing, social media, predictive analytics and smart phones, this comfortable existence of marketers (and CIOs, CTOs as well) is about to come to an end.

Social Media has empowered customers like never before and they can discuss about brands/products on Social Media channels and this discussion is visible to all including other customers, potential customers and competitors.

Smart Phones/Portable devices with high speed internet access, geo-location tools and camera have ensured that customers can use information gained from Social Networks and Internet to maximum advantage. For example, scanning product bar codes to ascertain the lowest price of a product in geographical vicinity.

Software as a Service (SaaS) has made “on-demand” full functionality CRM application possible, with no large scale investments requirement upfront. CRM system’s integration with multiple other systems was one of the biggest challenges, requiring substantial investment in terms of time and cost. No more, thanks to Cloud computing/SaaS model. It is possible to integrate SaaS and cloud applications with enterprise apps in days, what used to take weeks or even months earlier. This has further lowered entry barriers and made available complex, full featured CRM applications to small and medium sized firms – what so far was available to only companies with large IT/Marketing budgets, empowering smaller firms to compete with their larger rivals on equal footing.

And last but not least, predictive analytics has made it possible not only to analyse past customer behavior, but predict future behavior too based on statistical models. When combined with real-time Social Network data feed, it is THE killer app for next gen CRM system. Predictive analytics can help in identifying minor issues and help in taking corrective action before they become a crisis. For example, if a customer (or a group of customers) tweet about their dissatisfaction with a product or service, predictive analytics can help in identifying who among them are most likely to defect so that company can take corrective action before it is too late. Better still, if they happen to be customer(s) of a competitor, company can make an attractive offer and win them over. And thanks to SaaS model, this level of analytics functionality is available to small and medium sized companies with no large scale investments requirement upfront.

Given this CRM Paradigm Shift, how well your organization is prepared? Will it effectively engage “empowered” Social Customer? Will it compete against competitors who use low-cost “SaaS” model? Is your CRM system smart enough to predict customer behavior and help in taking corrective action before minor issues become crisis? Would love to hear from you on this Paradigm Shift.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.
Dr. Harish Kotadia has more than twelve years' work experience as a hands-on CRM Program and Project Manager implementing CRM and Analytics solutions for Fortune 500 clients in the US. He also has about five years' work experience as a Research Executive in Marketing Research and Consulting industry working for leading MR organizations. Dr. Harish currently lives in Dallas, Texas, USA and works as a Practice Leader, Data Analytics and Big Data at a US based Global Consulting Company. Views and opinion expressed in this blog are his own.


  1. I enjoyed your look into how the CRM landscape is moving, and I’ll also mention your post on my own blog. Do you think this is just the ground slightly shifting or are we bracing for a CRM earthquake?
    Thanks…Scott Wallask

  2. Thanks Scott for your comment and for the mention on your blog. This is not ground slightly shifting, but is a major shift and real deal.

    This paradigm shift offers an excellent opportunity for smaller companies to leap-frog on their larger rivals who are slow in responding to this change.

    Thanks again for your comment, much appreciated!

    Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.

  3. I agree with your post…I also follow the Crm market,the pharma crm because i am a SFE manager. For me the best solution are mobile devices like the iPad or iPhone

    There is a great solution for the iPhone from this company

    i think that the best SaaS solution is but its generic. Generic solutions from Microsoft,SalesForce and others are not serious for my pharma cimpany. But my friends in other niches are stasfied with such generic solution

    Nice oost



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