CRM 4.0: Digitization of sales, marketing and customer service

Good customer relationship management involves collecting as much information as possible relating to sales, marketing and customer service activities for each customer and prospect – and then using that information to better serve existing customers and acquire new ones.

The complexity of knowledge, data and workflows generated by this process has been increasing exponentially in recent years. At the same time, customers have come to expect communication tailored to their individual needs. You can meet these daunting challenges head-on by using an intelligent CRM system that semi-automatically guides and develops interactions with customers. In other words, the CRM system becomes an agent intermediating between your company and your customers.

Intelligent Customer Relationship Management creates a network between your customer, your company, and your company’s systems. Successfully leveraging this unlocked potential requires making both your strategy and your technology customer-centric.

What CRM 4.0 can do for you


CRM 4.0 breaks down communication and data silos and integrates them into one uniform, organized structure. This is the new omnichannel reality. This reality connects everything not just to the internet, but also to your CRM system, leading to the accumulation of more and more data. The explosive growth in data allows reliable predictions of future developments. The system becomes able to make decisions for the customers based on knowledge that the customers themselves don’t have. This knowledge about the customer is used to offer the relevant service via the chosen touchpoint in real time, maximizing the customer’s benefit.

The challenges companies face

The customer’s interactions with your company and your CRM system open up a plethora of new opportunities for your business to grow and set itself apart from the competition. However, implementing intelligent CRM also necessitates making fundamental changes within the business.

A customer may switch back and forth between communication channels, expecting all his or her information to be available at any time and on any channel. Here’s an example: The customer buys a product at a brick-and-mortar store. Then they purchase an extended warranty on the manufacturer’s website. Finally, they also buy an accessory at a web store. With CRM 4.0, information on all these interactions flows back to the company and is available for further use.

Customers expect us to predict their behavior; to know what products they’ve bought and when they need which accessory or service. A familiar example is automated machine maintenance. Using information on the machines purchased, the associated production processes and the customer’s expected order volume, intelligent software can coordinate timely machine maintenance, order spare parts and consumable supplies, and thus minimize machine downtime.

Customers expect quick and easy access to products and services. If a customer buys a pair of shoes online, intelligent CRM shows them the shoes available in their size the next time that customer comes to visit – whether they’re browsing online or in a brick-and-mortar store . Another example comes from the growing trend toward self-service, which has already become the standard in the banking industry. In many other sectors, it’s still the case that not all services are available to the customer on all channels at all times.

Solicit feedback to involve customers in the design of products and services. Start with gathering ratings on social media platforms. Collect customers’ ideas for new features and designs. Compile their suggestions for new products and services. Use the resulting dynamic productively and steer it well.

Customers expect to be addressed personally and individually, in a way that offers them added value. Thus customer data must be processed in a way that ensures tailored communication with appropriate offers that meet their needs. For example, if a car dealership knows a customer is very athletic and a regular mountain biker, it pays to offer that customer a new SUV with a bike rack rather than a new sports car.

Customers are willing to disclose personal information if they’re confident that they’ll get added value for it and that the company will handle their data responsibly. For example, if data are used to send the customer timely reminders to reorder consumables or schedule a service, customers are profiting. On the other hand, if their data is simply sold and they receive more advertising emails as a result, or if unauthorized parties gain access to customer accounts, then customers will be wary of providing data to the company in the future.