From the 1950’s Rolodex to today's cloud-based software, CRM evolved to attain new heights and still changing to adjust the need of the customer. Let’s look back at the journey of CRM
First Crack of CRM
During the first half of the 1900s, enterprises used to track the sales with pen and paper. Because knowing the customer data did, do and will shape the businesses. For managing, customer data businesses had to rely on a piece of paper.
The era of Rolodex and file organisers
Around the late 1950s when the account folders in the filing cabinet and personal organisers like Filofax are used for customer relationship management and with Rolodex arrival in the 1960's it continued to see a consistent growth until the 1970s.
The age of Database Marketing and introduction to CMS
With the onset of the 1980s Sales reps launched into Database Marketing marking a significant shift from direct marketing. Only in the late 1980s did we see the foundations of the CRM we have today being laid. With Act & Goldmine, we saw taking shape what we now refer to as the first Contact Management Software & basic CRM systems that manage one or the other functionalities of Sales and Marketing.
The advent of Mobile CRM
With the late 1990s, we saw CRM going Online with Siebel launching the first Mobile CRM - Siebel Sales Handheld. Adoption of mobile CRM was, however, rather poor mainly due to lack of adequate devices.
The Dot-com bubble and SaaS
In 1999, Salesforce.com introduced the first Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) CRM and Eloqua started its first marketing automation software, which was acquired by Oracle shortly after. In the early 2000s, Paul Greenberg’s book “CRM at the Speed of Light” suggested a more comprehensive CRM system that manages all aspects of business relationships.
The current epoch of Cloud ERP
In the last decade or so Open-Source & Cloud-based CRM gained popularity, largely due to their lower initial cost and easy integration with mobile devices. At the end of the last decade, social CRM exploded onto the market with the introduction of ComcastCares—an application that focused more on interaction than a transaction. Businesses shifted from transactional to interactive client relationship management.
The present and future of CRM look promising, as cloud-based and SaaS CRM solutions continue to integrate more features like customer service and social CRM.
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