The thrill of being your own boss can also bring a daunting dose of fear. If customers don’t respond to your product, your small business is likely to suffer. According to Doug Sandler, some of the most common questions that plague entrepreneurs are:

  • “Will I ever make another sale?”
  • “How can I stay current and up to date with my products and services?”
  • “Are my customers happy?”

You’ll notice a theme here: the role of customers in keeping small businesses afloat. When customers stop buying what you sell, the whole business threatens to come crashing down. So, it’s only natural to worry about managing customer relationships.

Now for the good news: customer relationship management (CRM) doesn’t have to be as scary as it seems. There’s a wide range of customer relationship software that’s designed to help small business owners automate more manual tasks. And when these tools take care of mundane details, you’re left with more time to give your customers an essential human touch.

Based on popular peer advice (or your own instinct), you might have already purchased a CRM system. But time has a way of changing things – including software.

Emerging technology trends like artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are quickly creeping into more software tools. That’s because new technologies become cheaper and easier to implement the more popular they get.

But not every software company is so focused on the future. If the engineering team behind your current CRM doesn’t plan to add these new technologies, you risk falling behind your competitors via an outdated CRM best practice. That’s because tech trends like AI and IoT will change the nature of CRM itself. And that means you must ask a crucial question:

“Is my CRM software future-ready?”

Not sure how CRM software will change? Read our infographic to learn how these tools will change over the next decade.

Want to learn more?

Read these articles to learn more about the future of AI and CRM software:

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Infographic sources:

Gartner Hype Cycle for CRM Sales 2016, Gartner Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing and Advertising (2016), Gartner Hype Cycle for Customer Service and Customer Engagement (2016), Gartner The Future of CRM Sales Technology Promises New Algorithmic and Automation Approaches, Gartner ForecastOverview: CRM Software, Worldwide, 2016 Update, Super Office – 18 CRM Statistics You Need to Know for 2017, Salesforce Research – Connected Small Businesses Report, Strategy Analytics Global Mobile Workforce Forecast Update 2016-2022, Innoppl Technologies – Mobile CRM, Follow Analytics CRM Survey Report, Marketsandmarkets Social Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Market worth $17.92 Billion by 2019, Groovehq – The Complete Guide to Using Social Media for Customer Support, Clutch survey: Small Business and Social Media in 2015: A Survey, Capterra: CRM Industry User Research Report, Marketingdive Study: Predictive analytics improves demand generation in B2B, Spencer Stuart Survey, Aspect SoftwareResearch, Demandbase survey, TEKSystems, Cxotalk: Are You Ready? Smart Devices are about to Change Everything, Software Advice(Internal data)