07/03/24B2B-trends: the top 7 digitalization topics for a future-proof business

In the highly competitive business world, customer centricity and customer experience are increasingly becoming the cornerstone of successful business strategies. Forward-looking companies are always on the lookout for innovative approaches to stay in touch with their customers and prospects, optimize their sales and make their processes more efficient. In view of the accelerated pace of technological change and changing customer needs, it is therefore crucial to keep an eye on the top business trends in customer relationship management, sales and the digital office.

Marcus BaerMarcus Bär, Member of the Executive Board of CAS Software AG and Member of the Board of the working group Business Software & Digital Office at Bitkom e.V., is intensively involved in the changes and trends in business and the digital office. In conversation with him, we take a look at the top 7 digitalization topics in the B2B segment and give you tips on how to use them as an opportunity for your growth.


What you should keep in mind:

Trend #1: New work & human capital
Trend #2: Innovative technologies & AI
Trend #3: Intelligent automation
Trend #4: Customer experiences & personalization
Trend #5: Cyber security & data protection
Trend #6: Transformation opportunities & new business models
Trend #7: Sustainability & social responsibility

Trend #1: New work & human capital

Employees are the heart of a company and are therefore crucial to its success. However, the current shortage of skilled workers poses challenges when it comes to recruiting and retaining employees. In order to find and retain qualified specialist staff, strategic measures and approaches are required to inspire employees. This includes flexible, location-independent and hybrid working as well as modern tools that ensure decentralized collaboration and an efficient working day. But that's not all: the digital tools must be designed in such a way that they are quick and easy to learn, fun to use on a daily basis and do not overburden existing employees or even trigger fears of losing their jobs.

The goal of modern employee and company management is an appreciative corporate culture that creates space for individual potential development and at the same time offers the chance to independently design their ideal workspace using digital tools. Trust, respect and a common goals combined with flexible working time models and the individual workspace are the cornerstones of a healthy and successful corporate culture  which is supported by the motivation and commitment of every employee.

Modern and intuitive CRM solutions with a good look and feel not only support mobile working, smooth teamwork from anywhere and transparent knowledge sharing, but are also user-friendly and ensure maximum design freedom in the organization of the individual workplace.


Trend #2: Innovative technologies & AI

The use of innovative technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) is playing an increasingly important role: ChatGPT provides useful text inspiration in seconds, translation tools can handle a variety of languages, chatbots answer service requests, AI generates personalized images and videos and is also used to support product development. As a result, companies are also increasingly relying on innovative technologies, AI-supported chatbots and virtual assistants in customer relationship management to provide targeted support and make personalized recommendations. In CRM, this means: Intelligent automation helps to respond more efficiently to customers needs and reduce costs at the same time.

But with all this artificial intelligence and new possibilities, one thing should not be overlooked: people. That is why CAS Software relies on intelligent AI assistants (AIA® for short) that think for themselves and provide data-based decision templates – and are thus available around the clock as digital helpers in everyday business life.

Mobile office applications, cloud computing and virtual collaboration tools are also becoming increasingly important in companies as innovative technologies alongside AI to support the modern work of decentralized teams, ensure flexible working and increase productivity.


Trend #3: Intelligent automation

Innovative technologies and economic developments have driven automation forward. Companies already have a wide range of options at their disposal: Intelligent automation makes processes and workflows in marketing, sales and service faster, more stable and more efficient. Tiresome routine tasks are taken by systems, leaving employees more time for customer relationship management.

Smart connections to third-party systems such as ERP or DMS are helpful to ensure that cross-system processes succeed without system discontinuity. In order to be able to utilise new technologies at the cutting edge, you need a software solution that can be easily adapted to changing requirements. This makes companies more agile and responsive when it comes to meeting new requirements and market developments. Consequently, the flexible adaptability of software (e.g. via low-code/no-code platforms), the integration of interfaces and the connection of other business solutions are decisive aspects for successful process optimization and automation in the company and for avoiding duplicate and incorrect data maintenance.

Tip: Connect your business tools under one interface with an interface-friendly and flexible CRM solution such as CAS genesisWorld as a central data pool for linked and shared knowledge and for maximum design freedom as your company grows.


Trend #4: Customer experiences & personalization

The fifth trend, "Customer experiences and personalization", is fully in line with customer centricity as we all know, there is no business without the customer. This is why an emotional customer experience (CX) is increasingly becoming a differentiating feature in the competitive environment and is becoming more and more important for sustainable success. This is precisely why companies are increasingly investing in CX management strategies to ensure a seamless and consistent customer experience at all points of contact – whether online, offline or mobile. After all, the key factors for inspiring service are personalization, individualization and emotionalization in customer dialogue.

With a CRM solution and a 360° view of the customer, marketing and sales teams can develop a deep understanding of the needs and preferences of their (potential) customers and create customized offers. With the help of personalized communication and individual products, companies can also achieve higher customer satisfaction and loyalty and emotionally charge the business relationship. But thinking outside the box, taking the customer perspective or conducting a customer survey on the customer's product and process experience also helps to improve the customer experience.

This is why you need to invest in data analysis and improving customer service to create an inspiring customer experience and secure a competitive advantage – it's worth it.

Tip: Take advantage of technological innovations and choose the right form of communication in the right places with care – there is no substitute for a face-to-face conversation as equals. After all, business is still done between people.


Trend #5: Cyber security & data protection

The topics of data protection and cyber security remain a perennial issue. In customer relationship management in particular, data protection and security are a top priority. Companies rely on robust security measures and data protection guidelines: on the one hand to gain and retain the trust of customers and prospects, and on the other to protect the business from hacker attacks and their threats. New work freedoms present companies with additional data protection challenges.

Tip: Central storage and provision of data with modern security standards such as a CRM solution equipped with 2FA can protect against unauthorized data misuse and loss. With the help of specific access rights and clearly defined roles, access to data can be defined and restricted.

If companies go with the trend of cloud solutions, it should be noted that the hosting partner is responsible for ensuring the operation and software functions. Software hosted in Germany is subject to the particularly strict data protection regulations and the high security standards of the EU GDPR. Therefore, choosing to host software in Germany can be a strategically important measure to ensure data protection for companies and organizations operating in the EU or interacting with EU citizens.

In addition, digitally sovereign software solutions can strengthen data security by ensuring that companies and their customers retain control over their own data and digital infrastructure, rather than being dependent on other countries or foreign technology providers.

Tip: When introducing new business solutions, make sure that the provider has verifiable certificates and seals of approval for data protection or data security.


Trend #6: New business models & transformation opportunities

One thing that advancing digitalization has taught us is that it has changed traditional business models, created new opportunities and driven companies to take their business to a new level. From increasing efficiency, improving customer experience, tapping into new markets and developing innovations to reducing costs – the potential for digitalization is manifold. In order to remain competitive or create new opportunities for growth, companies need to adapt and develop innovative approaches. This is why more and more business processes and skills are gradually being transferred to the digital space and models are being developed that offer companies new ways of achieving economic success – new products, new services, new accounting models.

Tip: Don't see digitalization as a threat, but rather as an opportunity to develop further and be even more successful.


Trend #7: Sustainability & social responsibility

Sustainability and social responsibility are becoming increasingly important for customers and companies. Sustainability is also becoming an integral part of customer relationship management and an important differentiating factor for competitiveness. This is why companies are gradually focusing on environmentally friendly practices and social responsibility in order to build long-term relationships with customers, partners and suppliers and strengthen positive brand awareness. They are integrating sustainability practices such as environmentally friendly production processes, the reduction of negatvie environmental impacts, social projects and much more into their business model, thereby strengthening their future viability. Customers and prospects are also increasingly paying attention to sustainability criteria for digital products – because sustainability can also be implemented successfully in the context of business software (for example, through the low energy consumption of IT services). But the most important sustainability factor in business is building sustainable, long-term customer relationships. Ultimately, loyal and enthusiastic customers can become a mouthpiece, inspiring others with their conviction and encouraging them to buy. Companies that see sustainability as part of their corporate culture not only create a positive brand perception, but also strengthen their future viability and promote a fair and socially friendly society at the same time.



It remains exciting: digital change and innovative technologies offer a wide range of opportunities that we simply need to recognize and take advantage of. Be it to optimize processes, take customer relationship management to a new level or develop new business models. Ultimately, companies need to strike a balance between modern business and the beautiful tradition of maintaining personal contact in order to be fit for the future. Take action, take stock, have the courage to change and use digital tools in the right places. At the same time, ensure emotional communication, sustainability and new work in order to inspire customers, interested parties, partners and employees and strengthen your competitiveness. Because fortunately, at the end of the day, business is still a people business.


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