Sales – Then, Now, Tomorrow

Rauli RikamaZero Keyboard

Thirty years ago, David Mamet wrote the seminal story of salesmen working at fever pitch in getting their leads together for the one big sale. Set in a dinghy office, the scene revolved around a ragged group of ill-suited men slumping over dented furniture, corded phones glued to the ear, as an endless torrent of rain beat the windows outside. Today the world of Glengarry Glen Ross looks hopelessly outdated, at least technologically.

The essence of the story holds still true though. Whatever sales has been, is, and will be in the future, it will always be based on the necessity of contact and dialog between people. In Glengarry, that contact was held captive by a sea of calling cards, leads, and numbers written on napkins, where a phone line was the only contact to a potential new customer. The tools may have changed, but the necessity and desire for human connection has not. If anything, thanks to our globally connected world, communication has become even more of an asset that cannot be overestimated. Fast, succinct, and efficient are more desirable traits than ever.

According to a 2015 estimate, CRM is a global market at an estimated value of $20.4 billion dollars annually. Maturing as fast as mobile development has allowed it, software integration with social media has become one of the key building blocks for the future. Another strong contender is cloud based CRM, already a staple since the early 2000’s, but one that has gained strength and stature as the technology has developed, now reaching more customers through integration with their email and media services. If you’re seeing a connection here, you’re not alone: social communication directly with the customer base has never been stronger.

Writing for CIO, Katie Hollar, CRM expert at Capterra, agrees: “It’s increasingly important that your CRM be able to seamlessly integrate with your ecommerce platform, your marketing automation software… the list goes on and on… rather than spending hours downloading and uploading CSVs of data from one system to another, CRM users will demand that their provider build these native integrations with other platforms to make them more efficient.”

Another large development to look out for is the CRM of Things. Just as the Internet of Things made way to streamline connectivity between us and the world at large, CRM is moving fast towards a worldwide integration of the 2.5 quintillion bytes of data that is moved around the globe daily.

With CRM moving towards a future of interconnectivity, where the back and forth between business and customer loses any last semblance of friction, and flows into a natural daily conversation, who has time to stop and type notes?

Rauli Rikama CTO