CRM and AI: When is AI in CRM coming?

26 September
Splio 2023 barometer of AI in CRM

In July and August 2023, Splio surveyed 100 CRM Managers from 100 retail brands to understand their mindset on AI.

  1. CRM and AI: the great enthusiasm: nearly 9 out of 10 CRM managers are interested in AI and its applications in the near future
  2. 2024: the year of AI integrated into CRM: 40% want to make widespread use of AI in CRM as early as 2024, and 27% want to get started right away!
  3. Targeting people and automating repetitive tasks are the two use cases most eagerly awaited by CRM managers.

See the infographic

The undeniable rise of AI in customer relations

According to a study by Accenture, AI represents a 4th industrial revolution and the ultimate stage in the digital transformation of businesses. The study claims that AI could even double business growth by 2035. For its part, in 2019, Gartner predicted that by 2023, 50% of CRM implementations would use machine learning (ML) or AI. This development is all the more necessary given that, again according to Accenture, in the face of the exponential increase in data linked to the explosion of e-commerce, 34% of sales staff recognize that it is now more complex to get a response from a customer compared to the pre-pandemic era. Thanks to artificial intelligence, companies are able to improve customer relations and bring greater efficiency to their marketing efforts. AI improves user experiences, automates repetitive tasks, personalizes communication, and more.

CRM and AI: the great enthusiasm

Splio's summer 2023 survey of 100 marketers from 100 retail brands shows that AI is a real topic for CRM managers. Indeed, 88% said they would be interested in AI and its applications in the near future. It's instructive to note that this interest remains strong regardless of a company's turnover. However, when it comes to taking action and capitalizing on AI to transform customer relations, enthusiasm is much lower. Only 7% of managers surveyed are already using AI in their CRM strategy. This may be explained by the fact that only 13% of those surveyed have AI specialists within their company. Is it because this expert resource is in short supply, or because they want to be more autonomous? Whatever the case, it's interesting to note that almost 2 out of 5 marketers want to use AI on their own, without going through specialists or data scientists, by having the right tools at their disposal.

See the infographic

2024: the year of AI in CRM

While almost 7 out of 10 managers are ready to launch AI in CRM between now and the end of 2024, it's 2024 that really signals decisional maturity vis-à-vis AI integration, with 40% of those questioned versus 27% who want to get started without further delay. Nevertheless, over a quarter of the managers questioned (26%) want to wait until 2025 to see if "it really works". This can be explained by the fact that only 1 in 3 marketers is aware of the benefits that AI can bring to a CRM strategy in terms of relevance, performance and productivity. Indeed, 44% of them are unaware that AI helps to anticipate weak signals (unsubscribes, disengagement, churn, etc.). Interestingly, however, 2 out of 3 respondents are aware of the growth opportunities offered by AI in terms of new scoring and targeting.

Two priorities: better targeting of customers and automation of repetitive tasks

The CRM managers surveyed are, on the whole, extremely enthusiastic about the potential of AI to make their missions more effective. 73% of them know that AI can suggest content for their email campaigns, a recurring topic. The 20% who had no idea of this possibility are also enthusiastic about the prospect of finally having effective help at their disposal. When it comes to identifying day-to-day bottlenecks, targeting the right people is at the top of marketers' lists, not least because this task is becoming increasingly difficult for CRM managers to manage due to the sheer volume of data collected every day and the diversification of channels. So it's no surprise that automating repetitive tasks is the priority mission that marketers want to delegate to AI.


This barometer by Splio clearly shows that, while enthusiasm for the benefits of AI in CRM is very high, marketers have been relatively wait-and-see until now. According to their feedback, 2024 should truly be a turning point for AI in CRM, with a strong willingness to take the plunge.