You may ask any successful old-school merchant. They will know everything one needs to know about their customers thanks to an exceptional, fully integrated system: their minds and nothing else. They will tell you that their success is due to the use of the knowledge they have of their clientele, and this is the instrument they have used to make customers always come back for more. Yet, nowadays, we can rely on topnotch technology in order to improve customer relations. CRM’s challenge is precisely that: to exceed the customers’ expectations and build a bridge between business and client.
A Customer Relationship Management software provides companies the power to truly engage with their customers. CRM strategies recognize the change in the dialogue management from supplier to customer. When suppliers are able to employ tools that are user-driven, collaborative and interactive, they can engage customers at the time, place and method they prefer.
Right now, Brazil is leading the way in CRM software adoption. An increasing number of companies are seeing CRM as a solution to their businesses operations. The virtualization of infrastructure investment is now a priority in businesses across the country. A profound change in the operation and delivery of IT solutions is leading a rapid proliferation of Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platforms as a Service (PaaS).
The reasons why Brazilian businesses are so drawn to CRM software because of strategy, processes, and tools to collectively engage customers in a dialogue that satisfies their increasing requests for access to information and resources while providing suppliers with:
- unprecedented feedback
- a better understanding of their public
- increased interaction with customers
- improved customer relationships
To give you an example of just how promising the Brazilian market is right now, let’s take a look at Salesforce, one of the market leaders in CRM: Salesforce’s Brazilian operation was the one that grew the most back in 2016, compared to all other countries. That happened in spite of Brazil’s economic drawbacks. The company’s president in the Brazilian subsidiary, Mauricio Prado, believes that the economic crisis worked as an accelerator towards the company’s business in the country. The scenario made local companies prioritize a better interaction with their customers.
This seems to be a global pattern. Between the years of 2008 and 2009, during the period of the financial global crisis, Salesforce changed leagues, increasing its size. That’s because companies feel the need to step up their games, do more and act faster, and they recur to Customer Relationship Management to do so. In Brazil, businesses are trying to find solutions to sell more using fewer resources. They also need to profit from the resources they already have in hand. Besides, every time a company interacts with a customer, they have to do so in a more precise manner, in order to provide a service that’s rich in quality.
It is expected that the CRM software adoption in Brazil will continue to grow in the following year. The economy is right and the digital adoption is on the companies’ agendas.
The backdrop for this optimist projection is the fourth industrial revolution – also known as the digital revolution. It brings together technologies such as cloud computing, social media and networks, the internet of things, and artificial intelligence. Consumers never had more power in their hands, which creates a huge challenge for companies.
In the age when customer experience prevails, changing the customer relationship system with integrated channels is the basis of the evolution of enterprises. CRM providers can lead this movement in some industries.
The Brazilian market is following the models of the American retail market. The implementations of programs that offer benefits to its members, such as free discount cards for the purpose of identifying the consumption profile and the average ticket of its customers have gained a lot of strength in the country over the past few years. CRM has been valued in Brazil as more than a tool to provide data. It’s a business strategy which requires the involvement of the entire company in the search for understanding and better meeting the demands of its public.
The companies that followed the basic recipe for implementation of CRM project obtained a huge financial success. In this case, some basic applications – software for managing emails, database, spreadsheet, and a text editor. That’s all a company needs, in terms of equipment (hardware + software) to start Relationship Marketing.
Brazilian CRM Market Overview
The IT market in Brazil has grown 4.5% over the past year, according to a study carried by ABES (Brazilian Association of Software Companies). Heading the list of IT investments in Latin America, Brazil registered 38 billion USD in hardware, software and IT services during 2017. It was followed by Mexico (20.6 billion USD), Argentina (8.4 billion USD) and Colombia (7 billion USD). In a worldwide ranking, the country scored ninth place, staying behind other giants such as the United States, China, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada, and India. Overall, 2.07 trillion USD were invested in IT in the last year alone, and Brazil is running with the big players.
Investments in ICT (IT and Telecom) totaled 3.55 trillion USD globally in 2017, 105 billion USD in Brazil alone, placing the country sixth in the general ranking – recovering a position in relation to the previous year.
Leading international developers are aware of Brazil’s high-value in the market. Often, CRM conferences are held in the country because of its promising landscape.
Overall, the top five CRM software sellers account for more than 45% of the total market share in Brazil by 2015. They are Salesforce, SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, and Adobe – which overtook IBM as fifth place. That means that there’s still a huge space for new developers who want to invest in the country. Companies are looking for smarter solutions, which include artificial intelligence, conversational documents, mobility, email-free collaboration, and teamwork both online and offline.
Brazilian companies have requirements that not all global CRM software can accommodate. Simple features such as names, addresses, and payment terms can make an international CRM system obsolete in Latin American countries.
Contacts, for example, can have three or four components in their full names and two surnames. Traditionally, Latin names consist of a first name followed by the mother’s surname and the father’s surname. The last surname might not be the main surname. That has obvious implications on the contact records and reports. Some streets have long names and others are simply identified by numbers. Some forms may require extra fields for a contact’s full address. The zip codes (called CEP in Brazil) are also structured differently, formed by 5 numbers, a hyphen, then followed by another 3 numbers.
Identifying payment methods is also very important for merchants to get to know their customers in Brazil. In many CRM applications, payment terms are excluded as they are considered part of the accounting or information for the back office. However, in Brazil, identifying payment terms, methods and conditions at the time of the purchase is critical for a better understanding of the customer’s needs.
Social Media and Social CRM
Brazilians are especially heavy users of social media. It’s likely that Brazilian companies, large and small, will be on the lookout for CRM software that provides integration with social websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. This is mutually beneficial because it allows companies to tap into customer relationships while also making them better prepared to interact with their public.
Having a good, integrated CRM software, makes easier to collect customer data and track online behavior through open social channels. Social CRM software combines social information with a business’s existing CRM software to give a thorough overview of a customer’s online behavior.
Companies want tools that allow importing social contacts, view their updates, capture leads, display targeted ads and use automates salesbots. All interactions are valuable.
Customers today also have high expectations from brands. They want them to be aware of past points of contact, as well as their purchase history. If customers leave a Facebook comment, reach out to a support team on Twitter, or give companies a mention on Instagram, they expect these brands to be aware of their previous activity, especially if it’s been positive. Not to mention that social media is as valuable as it gets when it comes to finding new prospective clients.
Local Payment Options
Any company distributing hardware or software in Brazil should team up with a financial partner in order to offer local payment options in the country. Doing so, vendors will be able to offer better financing and improved payment terms to their clients. In Brazil, this ability is a distinct competitive advantage.
Hopefully, this article has shed a light on the current Brazilian market for IT developers. CRM is more popular in Brazil than anywhere else in the world right now. If you’re looking to expand and sell your CRM software to a different clientele, Brazil is a great place to market towards.