CRM technology

Unlocking CRM Buying Behaviour: Insights from efficy's 2024 State of CRM Report

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Today’s business landscape moves fast — now, more than ever, nurturing strong customer relationships is a must for sustainable success.  

To reach customers better, more and more businesses are adopting customer relationship management (CRM) software, with Europe's CRM market set to reach Є12B in 2024.  

Yet, with a vast array of solutions available, it can be all too difficult for businesses to find software that effectively addresses their diverse needs. Too many get stuck with rigid solutions that end up holding back their growth instead of propelling them forward.

CRM selection is indeed a complex activity — often involving multiple stakeholders. To guide the research process, first understanding market buyer behaviour, user priorities, and the top factors that influence CRM selection is fundamental.

To develop an understanding of what our customers are looking for, we conducted a survey of 1950 CRM users around Europe, uncovering their top priorities and deciding factors in CRM selection. This survey culminated in a full overview into the state of CRM buying behaviour.

Here’s a glimpse of what we’ve uncovered. Want to see it all? Download the full report.


State of CRM report highlights

Buying behaviour refers to the decision-making process and actions organisations or individuals take when purchasing products or services.

Understanding the complexities of this behaviour in the process of CRM acquisition can help organisations adopt the right solution that not only meets their needs but also builds long-lasting customer relationships and drives growth.

Key highlights:

The landscape of CRM preferences has undergone a significant shift, unveiling a new priority: a CRM that’s "easy to use". Efficy's “2024 State of CRM” highlights this crucial fact: user experience now takes precedence over complex functionality.  

  • “Easy-to-use" CRM leads as the top priority (22%) for decision-makers across all markets.


Efficiency and productivity are the top desired outputs for buyers, making a CRM that streamlines and automates processes a priority.  

  • The report reveals that 42% of companies attach great importance to CRM systems that simplify workflows and save time for both executives and employees.


However, the expectations of modern CRM have moved beyond the traditional realm of pure contact management. Users now demand a complete 360-degree view of customers.  

  • 39% of CRM buyers actively seek a deeper view of customer interactions to foster lasting relationships and personalise engagements throughout the customer lifecycle.


In addition, the idea that CRM tools are only for sales teams is outdated. Today's businesses are looking for end-to-end solutions that include solid functionality, spanning all departments.  

  • Customisation and seamless integration have become essential attributes for a CRM to meet the diverse needs of an organisation, with 36% and 35% placing these as top deciding factors, respectively.

CRM decision-makers

The CRM buying process is unique to each organisation, and decision-makers play a crucial role in determining the perfect fit.  

Delving deeper into the report, it uncovers the intricate levels of authority that influence CRM purchasing.  

C-level executives, influencers, department heads and end users play key roles in shaping the CRM strategy.  

Collaboration between these levels of authority ensures that the CRM decision-making process is well-informed and comprehensive, integrating strategic vision, departmental needs, and end-user satisfaction to successful CRM adoption and customer-centric outcomes.

  • According to the survey results, IT professionals are the most influential at 29%, closely followed by CEOs at 22%, who contribute their strategic vision.
  • Sales leaders contribute 15% to the final decision, recognising their impact on customer interactions and revenue.
  • Finance and marketing each account for 10% of decision-making responsibility, and customer service plays a 9% role.
The CRM buying process is unique to each organisation, and decision-makers play a crucial role in determining the perfect fit.

With this in mind, let's now look at the main factors that rank as top priorities in the decision-making process.

What decision-makers look for in a CRM

When looking to purchase a CRM, ease of use remains a top priority for decision-makers in most of the countries surveyed.

Decision-makers have come to recognise the imperative of selecting a CRM solution that minimises complexity and empowers users to seamlessly navigate the system, integrate it into existing workflows, and enhance overall productivity.

What do buyers want to achieve with a CRM?

What do buyers want to achieve with a CRM?

3 main deciding factors in selecting a CRM

3 main deciding factors in selecting a CRM

These critical factors collectively shape organisations' CRM selection process, ensuring a comprehensive and tailored solution that meets the diverse business demands in their specific markets.

How to choose the right CRM for your business

On average, a CRM returns up to €8.10 for every euro spent, making it a pivotal tool for business growth.  

Yet, in a world of diverse buyer preferences, industry-specific nuances, and evolving technologies, the decision-making process, is both art and science.

Today’s B2B buying is a group effort, typically composed of decision-makers, influencers, and users from various roles, seniority levels, and departments.    

  • Decision-makers: Gather insights and hold the final decision authority over a purchase.  
  • Influencers: Provide their input and hold influence over the outcome but don’t have decision-making authority.
  • Users: Contribute by sharing what would make their work easier.  

The buying committee weighs multiple factors, such as business and operational needs, goals, existing tech stack, and more, gathering necessary information and input from each stakeholder.  

Of course, a CRM should meet each business’ unique needs, not the other way around.

Based on the report's findings, here are 4 keys for selecting the right CRM:

Based on the report's findings, here are 4 keys for selecting the right CRM:
  • Assess needs and budget: Start by understanding your specific business requirements and set a budget that covers the full spectrum of costs beyond the per user per month model.  
  • Consider scalability and integration: Opt for scalable solutions that integrate seamlessly with existing systems: ensuring a CRM that will grow with you is crucial.  
  • Ease of use and customisation: Prioritise user-friendly CRMs that offer flexibility and easy customisation. A CRM that is adaptable to your unique processes secures higher adoption rates.  
  • Vendor reputation and data security: Research CRM vendors thoroughly, ensuring they offer strong security measures, reliable support and a proven service to customers.

Understanding your customers' behaviour patterns serves as a cornerstone. It lays the foundation on which you will build a system tailored to the needs and wants of you and your customers.

Always keep in mind that the right CRM is an investment in your company's future. It's not just a tool; it's a strategic ally on your journey to exceptional customer relationship management and business growth.

This blog is a summary of the findings of efficy's 2024 State of CRM: Buyer Behaviour Report. The full report provides an informative guide for CRM buyers, marketers, and journalists to understand what top factors influence the CRM purchasing decision.  

Take the next step

Ready to deepen your understanding of CRM buyer behaviour?  

Gain insights into the evolving CRM landscape, key decision drivers and preferences of the buyers shaping the industry.

Unlock the full report to empower your CRM decision-making process. Click here to access the full report “efficy’s 2024 State of CRM”.