How AI is Revolutionising CRM Strategies and Operations

If data is the new gold, CRM systems are the machinery needed to process your discoveries, with the ability to eke out the best and most relevant data and convert it into commodities.

The better you know your customers, the more you can offer them. For SMEs in particular, the value of this resource should not be underestimated.


But just because the tools exist to mine this data gold, it doesn’t mean businesses know how to use them. One of the core challenges QGate helps people deal with is rescuing CRMs that are underperforming – either through low user adoption or a lack of understanding around the features and opportunities on offer. One way QGate can help address these challenges is through AI-based tools that help create efficiencies, generate insights, and generally leverage your data for improved sales performance.

The AI revolution in CRM

CRM systems contain some of your most vital and valuable data, ripe for AI-driven efficiencies. 


AI can save you precious time and put you in a great position to increase sales, from aggregating and sorting relevant customer information to help you decide on marketing strategies or even product development to providing insights and sales forecasts that would previously have taken you days to write up. 

Some examples of how AI can help your business succeed include:


Talking the talk

Many businesses use chatbots to help answer customer questions and act as a triage to direct questions to the most appropriate respondent. 


Chatbots have come a long way in recent years, and the availability of AI-powered chatbots with natural language abilities ensures you can provide personalised service 24/7/365. And of course, your CRM can record all these conversations for further analysis and follow-up.


From the customer side, receiving a quick, helpful and ‘human’ response will help ensure customer loyalty.


AI prompts

The kind of data analysis offered by AI goes beyond what most people would be able to manage themselves. 


It’s possible to analyse everything from customer interactions, like clicks on your website, to customer sentiment, such as on social media or chatbot conversations, to empower salespeople to make the right offer at the right time. These nudges might include specific products or offer recommendations that help drive sales.


Sales forecasts

Gone are the days of spending hours – if not weeks – of your life trying to build a detailed sales report, including a forecast for the next quarter. AI-powered algorithms can analyse historical data and relevant market trends, providing comprehensive reports that enable you to plan and ensure you’re well-placed to meet demand.


AI can massively streamline some workflows and replace others altogether. However, to make the most of this opportunity, businesses must have a joined-up strategy that connects the dots across all CRM-based workflows. 


It’s also vital that AI tools are provided with good, accurate data to help them work more accurately and efficiently. Implementing AI-powered CRM tools to improve the performance of a system full of inaccurate or incomplete data won’t bring the desired results.

AI Revolutionising CRM

Addressing common CRM pain points with AI

In our experience, there are five core pain points with CRM systems:

  • disappointing ROI 
  • lack of strategic alignment 
  • operational inefficiencies
  • low user adoption
  • deteriorating relationship with the current CRM partner

AI can help address many of these challenges and support end users to get more from their system.


Disappointing ROI

A disappointing ROI is often the result of low or inefficient use of the system. AI-powered CRM automation helps reduce workloads – making the sales process more efficient – but also opens up new opportunities by delivering customer insights and prompting salespeople to create the right offer at the right time. 


Strategically using these tools will empower salespeople to make data-driven decisions that increase ROI.


Lack of strategic alignment

When a CRM isn’t meeting its potential, it’s often because there’s no alignment between CRM use and business goals. Are you mining the CRM for relevant data to help meet those goals? Did you use CRM data to help inform your strategy? 


If the answer to these questions is no, then you have, if not a problem, a missed opportunity. AI-powered CRM tools analyse your data to provide insights that can shape your strategy. Plus, they can automate many processes that help you reach your targets.


Operational inefficiencies

If people don’t know how to use the CRM fully, or they’re not aware of all the available functions, then they won’t see the value of it. They might even see it as just another job on their list – when, in fact, the AI-powered CRM tools within an advanced system like Dynamics 365 could reduce their workload. 


Automating repetitive tasks and using AI assistants like Microsoft Copilot, which integrates with Dynamics, enables you to automatically input data with a simple click – for example, updating contact information or copying across meeting summaries or task lists. These features streamline workflows, enabling you to gain efficiencies.


Low user adoption

Low user adoption is usually a side-effect of other challenges – when users do not see the benefit of a system, they won’t use it. 


Every CRM implementation should begin with a good roll-out plan and ongoing training. You can also utilise AI to support this process with personalised data-led recommendations, such as those prompts mentioned above, which increase user engagement and adoption rates.


Deteriorating relationships with current partner

If you have lost faith in your CRM supplier due to poor results, talk to our team. We can help rescue your CRM and empower you to achieve the performance you hoped for – or even better – using all the functionality (AI and otherwise) of your CRM system.

QGate’s approach to AI-powered CRM recovery & optimisation

We have a four-phase approach to helping customers rediscover the value and potential of their CRM, including AI-powered CRM recovery and optimisation. It begins with a system audit, where we seek to understand your business, goals and ambitions and how you currently work. We then conduct a thorough review of your CRM setup to identify the performance gap between where your usage currently sits and where you need it to be to meet your business goals. 


At this stage, we’re looking at the quality of your data, how it’s structured, to what extent you’re using the features included in your CRM and your business processes. This leads us to phase two, in which we gather user feedback to understand pain points from the end user’s perspective, as well as areas for improvement. This helps us understand priorities as we move forward with fixes and enhancements.


Phase three is where we customise and optimise your CRM based on the information gathered in the first two phases. Depending on your priorities, this might include adjusting workflows, improving data quality, or integrating with other systems to enhance functionality.


Finally, we reinforce user training and support to ensure everyone is empowered to use the system to the best of its ability. We can offer ongoing training sessions and a helpdesk for CRM-related queries if required.


The future of AI-powered CRMs

Looking to the future, it’s easy to imagine a time when you will have an AI assistant managing many of your tasks. You might come into your office in the morning and ask your assistant – is today a good day to approach X company? – and rely on your assistant to draw on what they know of a contact’s calendar, business and market context, plus history with your own company, to give you an answer. Better yet, they will probably be able to trawl your CRM to tell you (without waiting for you to ask) which customers should be on your target list for the day. With AI tools developing at speed, all of this will be on the radar sooner rather than later.


For SMEs, this means less time wasted and more time selling, shorter sales cycles and more personalised, higher-value deals.


Of course, just as with existing CRM technology, availability does not necessarily equate to a good user experience. It remains important to align CRM use with business strategy, to take the time to communicate both things to end users and to support people to get the most from their CRM. Also, bear in mind that not every system will suit every business, so take your time before investing to ensure you have selected the CRM and integrated tools that work for you. 

If you have questions, we’re always happy to advise. Get in touch with our team today for further advice and information.



AI and CRMs are natural partners: one a data mining and analytics superstar and the other a hub for all your customer-related data. Their co-evolution will bring tremendous benefits to businesses – but only if businesses are both open to and aware of the value on offer.


We’re excited about the transformative potential of AI and highly focused on providing a kind of ‘translation service’, bridging the gap between the two and empowering businesses to make the most of the services and solutions available to them. If you’d like to talk about how AI-powered CRM can transform and supercharge your business performance, get in touch.

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