Customer relationship management


The better a business can manage the relationships it has with its customers the more successful it will become. Therefore IT systems that help support dealing with customers on a day-to-day basis are growing in popularity. Customer relationship management (CRM) is not just the application of technology, but is a strategy to learn more about customers' needs and behaviours in order to develop stronger relationships with them. As such, it is more of a business philosophy than a technical solution to assist in dealing with customers effectively and efficiently. Nevertheless, successful CRM relies on the use of technology. This guide will outline the business benefits and the potential drawbacks of implementing CRM. It will also offer help on the types of solution you could choose and how to implement them.

Why CRM?
In the commercial world the importance of retaining existing customers and expanding business is paramount. The costs associated with finding new customers mean that every existing customer could be important. The more opportunities that a customer has to conduct business with your company the better, and one way of achieving this is by opening up channels such as direct sales, online sales, franchises, use of agents, etc. However, the more channels you have, the greater the need to manage your interaction with your customer base. Customer relationship management (CRM) helps businesses to gain an insight into the behaviour of their customers and modify their business operations to ensure that customers are served in the best possible way. In essence, CRM helps a business to recognise the value of its customers and to capitalise on improved customer relations. The better you understand your customers, the more responsive you can be to their needs. CRM can be achieved by:

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finding out about your customers' purchasing habits, opinions and preferences profiling individuals and groups to market more effectively and increase sales changing the way you operate to improve customer service and marketing

Benefiting from CRM is not just a question of buying the right software. You must also adapt your business to the needs of your customers.

Business benefits of CRM

Implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) solution might involve considerable time and expense. However, there are many potential benefits. A major benefit can be the development of better relations with your existing customers, which can lead to:

• • • •

increased sales through better timing by anticipating needs based on historic trends identifying needs more effectively by understanding specific customer requirements cross-selling of other products by highlighting and suggesting alternatives or enhancements identifying which of your customers are profitable and which are not

This can lead to better marketing of your products or services by focusing on:

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effective targeted marketing communications aimed specifically at customer needs a more personal approach and the development of new or improved products and services in

order to win more business in the future Ultimately this could lead to:

• • •

enhanced customer satisfaction and retention, ensuring that your good reputation in the increased value from your existing customers and reduced costs associated with supporting and improved profitability by focusing on the most profitable customers and dealing with the

marketplace continues to grow servicing them, increasing your overall efficiency and reducing total cost of sales unprofitable in more cost effective ways Once your business starts to look after its existing customers effectively, efforts can be concentrated on finding new customers and expanding your market. The more you know about your customers, the easier it is to identify new prospects and increase your customer base. Even with years of accumulated knowledge, there's always room for improvement. Customer needs change over time, and technology can make it easier to find out more about customers and ensure that everyone in an organisation can exploit this information.

Types of CRM solution
Customer relationship management (CRM) is important in running a successful business. The better the relationship, the easier it is to conduct business and generate revenue. Therefore using technology to improve CRM makes good business sense. CRM solutions fall into the following four broad categories. Outsourced solutions Application service providers can provide web-based CRM solutions for your business. This approach is ideal if you need to implement a solution quickly and your company does not have the in-house skills necessary to tackle the job from scratch. It is also a good solution if you are already geared towards online e-commerce. For more information see our guide on cloud computing.

Off-the-shelf solutions Several software companies offer CRM applications that integrate with existing packages. Cut-down versions of such software may be suitable for smaller businesses. This approach is generally the cheapest option as you are investing in standard software components. The downside is that the software may not always do precisely what you want and you may have to trade off functionality for convenience and price. The key to success is to be flexible without compromising too much. Bespoke software For the ultimate in tailored CRM solutions, consultants and software engineers will customise or create a CRM system and integrate it with your existing software. However, this can be expensive and time consuming. If you choose this option, make sure you carefully specify exactly what you want. This will usually be the most expensive option and costs will vary depending on what your software designer quotes. Managed solutions A half-way house between bespoke and outsourced solutions, this involves renting a customised suite of CRM applications as a bespoke package. This can be cost effective but it may mean that you have to compromise in terms of functionality.

How to implement CRM
The implementation of a customer relationship management (CRM) strategy is best treated as a sixstage process, moving from collecting information about your customers and processing it to using that information to improve your marketing and the customer experience. Stage 1 - Collecting information The priority should be to capture the information you need to identify your customers and categorise their behaviour. Those businesses with a website and online customer service have an advantage as customers can enter and maintain their own details when they buy. Stage 2 - Storing information The most effective way to store and manage your customer information is in a relational database - a centralised customer database that will allow you to run all your systems from the same source, ensuring that everyone uses up-to-date information. Stage 3 - Accessing information With information collected and stored centrally, the next stage is to make this information available to staff in the most useful format. Stage 4 - Analysing customer behaviour Using data mining tools in spreadsheet programs, which analyse data to identify patterns or relationships, you can begin to profile customers and develop sales strategies. Stage 5 - Marketing more effectively Many businesses find that a small percentage of their customers generate a high percentage of their profits. Using CRM to gain a better understanding of your customers' needs, desires and self-perception, you can reward and target your most valuable customers.

Stage 6 - Enhancing the customer experience Just as a small group of customers are the most profitable, a small number of complaining customers often take up a disproportionate amount of staff time. If their problems can be identified and resolved quickly, your staff will have more time for other customers. If you are collecting, using and processing personal information covered by the Data Protection Act you must comply with the data protection principles. See our guide on privacy and data protection in direct marketing.

Potential drawbacks of CRM
There are several reasons why implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) solution might not have the desired results. There could be a lack of commitment from people within the company to the implementation of a CRM solution. Adapting to a customer-focused approach may require a cultural change. There is a danger that relationships with customers will break down somewhere along the line, unless everyone in the business is committed to viewing their operations from the customers' perspective. The result is customer dissatisfaction and eventual loss of revenue. Poor communication can prevent buy-in. In order to make CRM work, all the relevant people in your business must know what information you need and how to use it. Weak leadership could cause problems for any CRM implementation plan. The onus is on management to lead by example and push for a customer focus on every project. If a proposed plan isn't right for your customers, don't do it. Send your teams back to the drawing board to come up with a solution that will work. Trying to implement CRM as a complete solution in one go is a tempting but risky strategy. It is better to break your CRM project down into manageable pieces by setting up pilot programs and short-term milestones. Consider starting with a pilot project that incorporates all the necessary departments and groups but is small and flexible enough to allow adjustments along the way. Don't underestimate how much data you will require, and make sure that you can expand your systems if necessary. You need to carefully consider what data is collected and stored to ensure that only useful data is kept. You must also ensure you comply with the eight principles of the Data Protection Act that govern the processing of information on living, identifiable individuals. For more information, see our guide on how to comply with data protection legislation. Avoid adopting rigid rules which cannot be changed. Rules should be flexible to allow the needs of individual customers to be met.

Questions for CRM suppliers
For many businesses customer relationship management (CRM) can be a large investment. Therefore it is vital to choose your supplier carefully. Making the wrong choice could be expensive and even

cut costs and grow sales. at what rates? Is the system scalable? If your customer base grows will the system expand to cope? Can the supplier recommend any third-party developers that make use of their core CRM Is there an active independent user group where experience and ideas can be freely exchanged? Can the supplier provide references for businesses in your industry sector that use their Does it offer training in the CRM solution and. • What I did Define objectives • "Four years ago we began looking at new ways to manage our existing databases. and by conducting customer surveys. • "Our key objectives in selecting a solution were to enhance customer relationships." Implement and monitor the solution • "The software was relatively easy to install. Cheshire. Chance & Hunt specialises in supply chain management for the international chemical industry. Complaints are down and customers report improved responsiveness. If employees aren't motivated to keep records up to date. since our team now has all the customer information they need at the touch of a button." . • "We monitored success using key performance indicators. With the help of a student working with us in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership we researched CRM systems and selected the right software package for us. Here managing director Joan Traynor describes the benefits that Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software has brought to the business. if so. at what typical cost? renewable license. which were largely running in isolation from each other. such as the number of customer complaints. if so. The process involved training for all staff. with 60 employees. so we wouldn't have to start completely from scratch. We also monitor employee usage of the system during staff appraisals. Before implementing a solution based on CRM technology. a charge per user etc? products? software? Here's how CRM software improved my business Based in Runcorn. an annual Does the supplier offer any form of evaluation software so that you can try before you buy? How much is charged for technical support? Does the supplier provide consultancy and. although we were lucky that we had the expertise in-house. It's definitely had an impact on sales as well. In that respect. you won't get anywhere. ie a one-off purchase price.jeopardise your business. • "Our decision was partly based on the fact that the new software would work with our existing platform. it's important that everyone knows the project has management commitment too. you might want to ask any potential suppliers the following questions: • • • • • • • • • • • • How long has the supplier been established? What are the specific costs associated with the product. since user buy-in is crucial.

capital is a limited resource. location and so on. Historically. therefore projects and initiatives that require capital must compete for allocation and approval." Return On Investment Return on investment (ROI) is a financial calculation that indicates the degree to which benefits exceed the investment for a given project or initiative. Structuring data by defined 'headings' from the start would have helped us when we came to refine the system later. Because they can see the advantages of the system and that it's easy to use. We developed our system in bite-sized chunks. • "The great thing is that most of the improvements have been suggested by users. • "When we started. ROI is applied to initiatives that utilize capital resources because unlike expenses. manufacturing and facilities were the prime users of capital but increasingly. ROI is just a number. Within most organizations. Larger corporations typically have a capital budget that identifies the potential recognized projects and then when a project is ready to start. learning as we went along. which requires the details and justification. a detailed plan and ROI analysis are submitted to actually release resources to the project. we were mostly searching for individual customer records. they're keen to take ownership. By itself. ROI is just a number. the next step is to gain release of the actual funds. capital is used to acquire assets that have a longer term impact that will either help or hinder the organization as it operates in the future. By Glen Peterson For the rest of the June 2002 issue of CRM magazine please click here Return on investment (ROI) is a financial calculation that indicates the degree to which benefits exceed the investment for a given project or initiative." • What I'd do differently Structure the data • "Early on. ROI is applied to initiatives that utilize capital resources because unlike expenses. we captured fairly basic information like customer details. for example by product name. The calculation of ROI is in the form of a ratio where benefits are in the numerator (top) and investment/costs are in the denominator (bottom). For example. so it didn't seem to matter how records were grouped. By itself. The calculation of ROI is in the form of a ratio where benefits are in the numerator (top) and investment/costs are in the denominator (bottom). IT is moving to a very prominent level (30 percent is not unusual) and therefore must compete for limited resources. The decision to proceed with a project is commonly handled by the most senior level of management Print Version Comments (0) Page 1 . The system has since been adapted to include a range of additional functions. buying history and sales visits. So the first hurdle for a project is to be included in the capital budget. capital is used to acquire assets that have a longer term impact that will either help or hinder the organization as it operates in the future. we are now able to access the system from a handheld PDA or call up a list of customers located en-route to a sales call.Keep evolving • "One thing we've learnt about CRM software is that it's about evolution rather than revolution. As things developed we wanted to be able to search a variety of indexes.

and questionable benefits. These calculators represent a positive sign in that they reflect the vendor's recognition that these applications must add economic value to the user organization. In the past. The project alluded to an ROI but it was vague and certainly not tied to specific strategies or metrics. These cause and effect relationships are tied to a set of metrics that measure performance and the degree to which the cause and effect relationships are working as predicted. ROI as a Road Map ROI is just a number but a properly developed and articulated ROI is based on a set of assumptions relative to cause and effect relationships.and at certain thresholds in investment. Though this may have intuitive appeal it smacks as a very big leap of faith. This example reinforces that it is possible to use pure emotion to get a CRM initiative through the approval process but what has been gained? In today's economic climate. Why is this so? In Lewis Carroll's book. Customer performance metrics link customer behavior to the top line financial drivers (revenue and margins). it may gain access to the funds but all bets are off in terms of success. Alice asks for direction from the Cheshire cat. R&D. Obviously the political influence of the individual backing the initiative is also important. Part of the difficulty is that most organizations go from tactic or strategy directly to top line results such as revenue and margins. it is still a political decision that is subject to all of the foibles of human judgment. This mental benchmarking is very important because if the ROI appears weak or marginal as compared to the mental standard. etc. However. it was never the less the impetus of the VP driving the timing and commitment.. The result was all to predictable. but is that what it is all about? Clearly ROI is a key component of the right of passage of initiatives to get initiated. it is not uncommon for members of senior management to mentally benchmark the level of funds requested to equivalent investments that have a relatively known return. all organizations are emphasizing the ROI component of the submission and to that end. Consider this real life example. a senior executive signs on as the sponsor to ensure that it all happens. The cat then observes that any road will take her there. little organizational support. Although the tools of ROI can provide rank order analysis. What makes CRM initiatives seem peculiar or somewhat less solid is the inclusion of top line results that are hard to isolate or prove one way or another. a production line. It may require board approval. most organizations have dealt with capital appropriations on a cost reduction and/or avoidance basis. etc. many CRM vendors are offering ROI calculators. Alice In Wonderland. the organization resisted the imposition of the system and the VP left the company leaving a legacy and project team with a high cost system. When the cat inquires about Alice's destination. for example. The ROI road map describes how the organization is going to leverage these relationships and how the effect is going to be measured (metrics). merely generating a number that meets the ROI level required as a right of passage is likely to set the stage for failure. warehouse space. a major manufacturer rolled out an extensive CRM system based on essentially the political emotion of a senior vice president. If ROI is viewed as simply a number that is placed in an approval box. Alice confides that she does not know. Examples of . The calculators also help user organizations think about the potential for their organizations to improve performance. To achieve success means that success must be defined and a road map used to get there. risk assessment. Though the project team attempted to do a conscientious job of implementing the system. Not too many years ago. What is missing in many cases is the use of customer performance metrics. Certainly it is possible to get approval for an initiative with little more than an emotional appeal from the right person. For example. it could be in trouble. Lastly. Yet more road kill on the highway to competitive advantage.

customer profitability. This approach provides a clear road map and defines success. The size of the chasm becomes visible and the leap of faith more reasonable a business proposition. contact center search. In the era of social CRM. Next-generation platforms. While many next-generation platforms are being offered as stand-alone applications. They are unified multimedia suites that need to support both inbound and outbound contacts as well as multiple media types. We present this year’s class of winners and leaders. lacking this definition. how will you know you arrived? More importantly. how committed will senior management be if problems arise (and they usually do at some level)? CRM is littered with failed and abandoned projects. please visit http://www. and company direction—in seven categories of support and [Glen Peterson is senior vice president of One Inc. video. and social media. interactive voice response. High-Impact Sales Force Automation: A Strategic Perspective. All the other categories remain the same: contact center infrastructure. To subscribe. CRM magazine made one significant change from last year. an award is no substitute for a customer’s direct experience with a vendor. go far beyond that. share of customer. it is unlikely to experience competitive improvement.'s consulting practice. After all. workforce optimization suite. text. Email us at editor@destinationCRM. and outsourcing. However. One can only believe that the organizations did not adequately assess the cost and/or define (or believe) what was truly at stake. The customer performance metrics become pivotal to the linkage of cause/effect relationships to the ROI. if you have a story to tell and if a company has not met your needs.customer performance metrics include new customer acquisition depth of functionality. we would like to hear about it. Each winner is joined by three other leaders to complete our choices. We combined Web self-service with Web interaction management in a new category called Web support. senior management will gain confidence that it will be able to track what is working and what is not. this special issue does not presume to be the final Every month. . etc.destinationCRM. The leaders were chosen based on a rigorous analysis. So. it is becoming more common for systems to be deployed as fully integrated suites of contact center applications that feed information into and draw information out of other systems. including voice. A user would install a basic call router and he would be done. CRM magazine covers the customer relationship management industry and beyond. ROI is certainly no silver bullet but investing the effort to make it a road map radically improves one's probability of being on the winning side to the success statistics. He is also the author of ESuccess: A Leadership/Alignment Model. however. It must be realized that unless the organization improves these key metrics. Lacking such a definition. Each leader is graded on three criteria— customer satisfaction.] To contact the editors. this conversation is just beginning. CONTACT CENTER INFRASTRUCTURE The Market The contact center infrastructure market used to be simple. please email editor@destinationCRM. and Customer Relationship Management Systems: ROI & Results Measurements. Through the creation of appropriate metrics. enterprise feedback management.

“Cisco is focusing its efforts on the Web 2.” he points out. “There are plenty of pieces for which [Avaya] is unrivaled. was dragged down this year by its company direction score. Now.” “Interactive Intelligence has the wind at its back. as demonstrated by the company’s high marks in company direction. a vice president at Gartner. which climbed from its spot on the leaderboard last year. “Consistent R&D development has given them an enviable suite that they are now leveraging successfully with a communications-as-a-service offering.According to Drew Kraus. a market leader in 2010. The Leaders Within the contact center infrastructure space. which some analysts contend is still the king of the contact center. telecommunications giant Avaya. last year’s winner.” says Sheila McGee–Smith. The company. Alcatel- . while giving Avaya tremendous market share.0 in company direction. but the Nortel deal is still hanging over them as they’re trying to keep customers from both companies happy. they have been the standout during the past 12 months. he expects vendors to search for innovative revenue streams. Analysts believe that the moves by Genesys’ parent company.2) in customer satisfaction and a 4.” The Winner Cisco Systems finished the year atop the field in company direction with a score of 4. However. The focus of LiveOps has been on middle-market customers. as the economy rebounds.” comments Ian Jacobs.” One to Watch Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories.0 score but took a huge hit in company direction. an analyst at Saddletree Research. “They’re doing everything they need to for [the customers] they are targeting. a senior analyst of customer interaction technologies at Ovum.” LiveOps was viewed by many industry analysts as having gained traction. In a recent Gartner Magic Quadrant report. now lays claim to half of the market’s revenue. “And they’ve been growing faster than any other company in the space. The company. “They are constantly working with their customers to improve what they are doing. Interactive Intelligence. Other analysts observe that the company is so mired in product rationalization issues that other vendors now have overtaken Avaya in terms of innovation. the president and principal analyst at McGee–Smith Analytics.0 infrastructure. adding that the company has “a strong product portfolio and a sharp vision for the future.” Stockford says. following its late 2009 acquisition of Nortel Networks.” comments Jacobs. Kraus notes that during the downturn. many companies focused their contact center infrastructure decisions on reducing technology and operational costs. the acquisition. came with a price beyond the more than $900 million that Avaya paid in the deal. topped all of its competitors in depth of functionality with a 4. Interactive Intelligence was propelled by an industry-leading score (4. “If you’re talking about execution. finished just a tenth of a point behind this year’s winner. which is a segment that Jacobs believes the company has served very well.2. was considered by Paul Stockford. the market has seen a decline during the past two years after five years of growth. the industry’s “thought leader” in many respects. which I think is brilliant.

” comments Sheila McGee–Smith. According to analysts. according to a recent GIA forecast that shows the overall IVR market reaching $1. leveraging the powerful and versatile VoiceObjects platform into just about everything it does.” says McGee–Smith.9 billion by 2015. where many companies are being forced to deal with restructuring. The company’s acquisition of some Nortel Networks assets. . is that the sluggish economy has not changed the fact that IVRs continue to offer cost efficiencies and superior customer experiences. analysts say. But Genesys is not out yet. decelerating growth during the past two years. Voxeo continues to reap the rewards from its VoiceObjects acquisition in 2008. And with the momentum shift from proprietary hardware and software toward open-source platforms. posting high marks in depth of functionality (4. some customers might be left out in the cold when Avaya discontinues some products and services. the company continually scores high in customer satisfaction. The company also took a hit in customer satisfaction. But. While many larger companies might be looking to replace first-generation systems with newer technologies. and acquisitions as a follow-up to the recession. mergers. with users viewing the solutions as low-cost. email. Also steering that change will be a focus on benchmarking customer experiences. to tighten control over the Genesys sales and marketing functions might hamper its innovation efforts. making those changes will be easier. On the positive side.” INTERACTIVE VOICE RESPONSE The Market The struggling global economy put a squeeze on sales of interactive voice response (IVR) systems. and multimodal interfaces. Global Industry Analysts (GIA) predicts that growth will be especially strong in financial services. touchtone. Avaya’s users. the president and principal analyst at McGee–Smith Analytics. the real new business generator will be small and midsize companies.5) with its direction. as frozen funds begin to thaw. and video.Lucent. IVR has not been a strong suit for Interactive Intelligence. “2011 will be the year when the market will be able to judge whether Genesys’ Compact Edition will help broaden their addressable market beyond complex.” McGee–Smith says. Web. But the market is expected to regain some of its strength in the medium to long term. It also continues to advance the notion of unified self-service and incorporating VoiceXML to build a single application that works via voice. but it made great strides this year. the use of moresophisticated voice portals. text messaging. GIA expects growth will not be driven by large enterprises. advanced speech. which it says have reached the saturation point with IVR technologies. especially large contact center customers. while helping the company.7) and customer satisfaction (4. could also work against it. impressing analysts (4. The bottom line.3). on the negative side. Genesys continues to shine. with many analysts pointing out that Genesys’ solutions often come with a high price tag. “In their niche. “the combination of the Avaya and Nortel product and professional services teams and the customer base gives Avaya a solid leadership position. multisite implementations. According to analysts. and a push toward IVR optimization that will lead to system replacements and upgrades. consolidation. are pleased with the company’s IVR products despite the high prices. The Leaders Avaya finished strongly this year. “They do have great integrated functionality and interesting speech analytics capabilities coming in the next release.

” . and well-suited to their needs. is that the company has limited visibility outside the United States. though. fax. and social media.” Ragsdale says. this year brought some companies head to head in new spaces. Its lack of new customer signings. the editors think it’s now appropriate to merge the two categories into one simply called Web Support. When considering the overall industry.” McGee–Smith says.scalable.7 in company direction. and a 4. the company does seem to be moving toward expanding internationally. More than anything. is a move by parent Alcatel-Lucent to roll Genesys’ sales and marketing functions into the larger corporate Enterprise Services division. chat. Genesys 8 with Conversation Manager helps to create a unified view of customer interactions across multiple channels. garnered scores of 4. However. 4. and enterprise search. “Existing customers continue to be happy. One to Watch Microsoft/Tellme. a key component of Genesys’ Intelligent Customer Front Door (iCFD) and Genesys 8 platform. says. came on strong with a 4. incident tracking. comments.2 for depth of functionality. Kate Leggett. including contact centers.7 in depth of functionality. the Web. “eGain’s product strategy has been to evolve their solution based on customer demand. What could hurt the company over time. All of these vendors are getting significantly more aggressive in what they want to accomplish. another newcomer to this year’s rankings. With Web Self-Service nearly functioning as a “fold in” with Web Interaction Management. The Leaders eGain.5 in customer satisfaction. Ian Jacobs. “The reputation for customer satisfaction is particularly high overall. mobile phones.3 in company direction. and customer satisfaction. The Winner Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories continues to impress and dominate the IVR space. multichannel management. But with several new office openings in Europe and Asia. “You will see a lot more of eGain in 2011—they have the right product at the right time. vice president of technology research for TSIA. company direction. WEB SUPPORT The Market Although CRM magazine has distinguished between Web Self-Service and Web Interaction Management in the past. which takes the top spot for a seventh straight year. the company middled with a 3. kept the company off the leaderboard. including a 4. The one knock. garnered the highest scores in all categories.3 in depth of functionality. John Ragsdale. Of particular interest this year was the launch of the Conversation Manager. though.” He adds that many customers have been buying solutions to solve specific problems. The vendor. customer interactions analyst at Ovum. a first in the Web Interaction Management category. this marriage reflects how we expect the industry to evolve. considered one of the most tightly integrated multichannel platforms in the industry. they said. senior analyst of customer service at Forrester. observes that eGain’s recent announcement of an intelligent search platform has made the company a contender and has given it best of breed status within knowledge management. but Microsoft/Tellme doesn’t seem to be making great progress expanding their customer base.

Their messaging needs to be aligned to their business model.1 drop in company direction from 2010. Depth of functionality saw the hardest hit. receiving a 3.3 in company direction.3 after last year’s 4. “They are trying to move into the community market. describing customers as “highly reference-able. like gaming.” The Winner RightNow Technologies grabbed the highest score in customer satisfaction. This vendor will need to focus on crisply differentiating themselves from the unified communication vendors entering this space. from 3. and Microsoft. to 3.3 from 3.” Ragsdale says. but dropped in company direction. complex implementations. “InQuira has a very strong knowledge offering. However. an increase that seems to sit well with Ragsdale. which could account for the company’s dip in company direction from a 4.” observes Leggett.” Ragsdale spoke highly of the company’s customer satisfaction. online communities.” and “represent[ing] very large.7 to 3. and from 3. and other trends has kept them on the bleeding edge of functionality—a rare commodity for such a large.7 to 3. they lack the electronic channels. “RightNow has a strong. such as Symantec and Yahoo. One to Watch Moxie Software (formerly nGenera) was one of our leaders last year but tailed behind this year’s leaders by a mere 0. to escalate from Web self-service to assisted service.” Jacobs comments that RightNow’s initiative to bring Web service to the contact center may be getting too complicated for some customers.4 to 3. “[RightNow is] the recognized leader for customer service in the cloud.6. Leggett explains.8.” He also found that Moxie’s new focus on enterprise collaboration is harnessing the strongest aspects of social media for real ROI. Parature overall is “a good combination of community and multichannel customer service.4. though. as end users realize the personnel savings that . Nevertheless.4.” he says. their core business is still multichannel customer service. “They have addressed critics asking for more incident management and multichannel capabilities by forming strategic relationships with the biggest names in CRM [such as] Oracle/Siebel and SAP. well-rounded product offering. sustaining a mere 0. “InQuira’s expertise for intelligent search has been echoed by big customers. The company’s depth of functionality rose from last year’s 4. as well as from Salesforce. as the only company to receive a solid 4.” The company remained relatively steady in its other scores. The company’s scores have slipped ever so slightly in customer satisfaction.7 to 3. such as email and chat. Still.8.5.0. Oracle. “Their strategy is exciting. InQuira’s customer satisfaction score remained the same. “RightNow’s attention to social media integration. To account for the decline in this new space. established vendor. many companies saw double-digit growth.1 to 4. WORKFORCE OPTIMIZATION SUITE The Market Workforce optimization (WFO) took a financial hit during 2010 because of the sluggish economy.6 the previous year to a 3. from 3. Leggett adds.2.” Parature was named a Rising Star in 2009 and then a leader in last year’s awards.InQuira fell quite a bit from last year’s score in depth of functionality. with expertise in some key industry segments. As Ragsdale notes.0. falling from 3. However. Parature held its spot on the leaderboard. The company saw a slight increase in depth of functionality.

” says Paul Stockford. Calabrio did outpace the Israeli firm in one area: customer satisfaction. available as suites that include analytics.4).” says Dick Bucci. The company collected strong scores in its reputation for depth of functionality (4.” Jacobs explains. Verint has not been resting on its laurels. that Nice’s strong position and reputation in the security space should propel it in the WFO market for many years to come. with Microsoft. The vendor received a combined score of 4.” However. and a reputation for exceptional customer care. coaching. and staffing management. keeps its spot on the leaderboard for the fourth straight year. The company’s Impact 360 solution is seen by analysts as the gold standard by which all other WFO solutions are evaluated. which analysts credit with having a clear and well-articulated company direction. “Its customers are sometimes overwhelmed because of all of its depth of functionality.” adds Ian Jacobs.” Stockford says.0) but was bumped down a notch for having what some called weak speech analytics and recording applications. of Saddletree Research. It also scored high in company direction. VoicePrint International. He points out. But its WFO technology “is mature. They are “an established leader with a clear vision for the future and the proven ability to execute on that vision. In addition. “They have established themselves as thought leaders and are releasing products that back up that thought leadership. The company’s high marks in depth of functionality served as a double-edged sword. a senior analyst of customer interaction technologies at Ovum. the shift has brought new competitors to the space. continue to see traction outside the contact center. particularly in the areas of analytics and ease . several strong partnerships.0) and its reputation for customer satisfaction (4.these solutions could bring. “These guys are doing a fantastic job with Web 2.0 infrastructure. performance management. The Leaders Aspect Software. quality assurance.0. scheduling. despite taking the title in each of the past four years. nobody can touch Verint. To speed up those savings. however. ultimately hurting the vendor’s customer satisfaction score (it garnered just a 3. WFO products. Though it finished even with Nice Systems in just about all categories. the industry has seen growing demand for more sophisticated and real-time analysis. “On the WFO side. senior consultant at Pelorus Associates. Aspect is seen as a “solid performer with a clear vision of where it wants to take WFO. for which Calabrio received a 4. They are the most well-situated of all vendors.” he says.” Stockford agrees. “Verint (then Witness) produced the first fully integrated WFO solution in 2005 with the launch of Impact 360. however. SugarCRM. yet evolving at the same time.6. Analysts agree that Calabrio is rising quickly. e-learning. the company has continued to make improvements. particularly for the company’s efforts to simplify and personalize the user interface connected to its Calabrio One suite. CallCopy. “Over the years. also a perennial member of the leaderboard. more than seven-tenths ahead of its nearest competitor. The Winner There was no doubt among analysts that Verint Witness Actionable Solutions is the clear leader in WFO. and several other relative newcomers all claiming to offer WFO solutions. They do everything you could possibly want.” Jacobs says. a broad WFO product line. performed strongly in all categories. Verint again took the leadership position in all categories. “Verint is the pinnacle of the WFO market.” Nice Systems. however. “They do everything there is to do. CSG Systems.

rule-based routing.” One to Watch Autonomy as been known more for its speech analytics than for its WFO products. going from 4.” The Leaders Autonomy Etalk saw a decline in depth of functionality. applications that are actionable and deliver rapid results. ideally. she saw 2010 “represent[ing] a new beginning for the mission and culture of contact centers. Nevertheless. and customer experience analytics. Last year. In 2009. Information continues to become even more complex. not many changes were noted from the previous year. and sales organizations.5 in each). regardless of the channel used (including social networks). . Autonomy offers more of a process automation engine with visual tools. Autonomy was praised for “playing in new areas of support and new verticals” by John Ragsdale. founder of DMG Consulting. but the company still earned better-than-average scores in depth of functionality and company direction around its Workflow Manager solution. marketing departments. electronic forms. specifically predictive analytics. “Some of the vendors are actually listening and delivering. to interact proficiently with customers and identify selling opportunities.3. “Very importantly. and capabilities for modeling business processes. as many vendors turn away from their own search engines to embrace the “Google-ization” of the world. Fluss notes that a contact center is only as powerful as its senior management. serving as a foundation for all internal and external departments that deal with data. Although most contact centers are constructed. Fluss envisions contact centers evolving into the hub of customer analytics. In 2010.” Fluss writes. >“The contact center will be instrumental in creating and managing a repository of transactions that provides a holistic view of each customer. speech and real-time analytics. the company was recognized as one of the “Top Performing Tech Companies” by Bloomberg’s BusinessWeek. While limited in its capabilities compared with other vendors in the space.” In the coming years. Verint serves all market segments and has a solid reputation for innovation and customer care.of use. the company retained more or less the same scores in customer satisfaction and company direction (3. predicted that many system enhancements would pop up in contact centers the following year. CONTACT CENTER SEARCH The Market Among the judges tapped for this year’s contact center search (CCS) sector. However.2 in 2010 to 3.” Fluss foresaw that 2010 would be a tough year for many contact center search vendors because many contact centers are being asked to do more. “Contact center managers all over the world are demanding solutions that are easy to implement and use. the contact center will not demand that all inquiries be routed to its organization—this approach has always failed. real-time business activity monitoring. vice president of technology research for the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA).” writes Fluss. Donna Fluss.

InQuira remained steady with a slightly higher score of 4. many of the top vendors this past year are best known for strength across the channels. Coveo was ranked one of the fastest-growing companies in the Deloitte Fast 50. in customer satisfaction.3 points. even more proficient options. In addition. to 4. “There is certainly a shift to becoming much more operational with data in terms of putting it to use and people actually acting on the data. up from last year’s 3. and company direction. mirroring the company’s scores for 2010. depth of functionality. “RightNow continues to deliver consistent value to its customers and continues to focus not just on developing software but also on thought leadership to help its customers get more value from their software investments. overall.0 this year.0s in customer satisfaction.0 in customer satisfaction as well as company direction.” The Winner RightNow Technologies assumes the crown for the second year in a row. says.” McGee–Smith says. “The recent addition of Q-Go will expand their reach in this category beyond just support to home page searching. “InQuira’s partnership with Alcatel-Lucent/ Genesys gives them access to a broad base of customers looking to coordinate assisted service and eServices.” McGee–Smith noted that RightNow has widened its search capabilities to include newer. the space has “taken off.” Temkin also notes the increasing use of unstructured data within text analytics—a trend that is expected to gain even more traction over time. falling from 3. Sheila McGee–Smith. Coveo took a hit in depth of functionality.8. InQuira was deemed “small” in last year’s roundup of CCS but also “one of the best-performing search platforms available to contact centers. “RightNow has the broadest set of media that work with their search tools. Rebecca Wetteman.5 score in customer satisfaction. However. received a whopping 4.8. The company also achieved Oracle Validated Integration. Conducting surveys specifically through the telephone is a time-tested methodology. the company was named on EContent’s list of 100 “Companies That Matter Most” for the fifth year in a row. Depth of functionality also saw an increase. and the company jumped 1. says.5 to 4. In 2010. setting a record with solid 5. However. Temkin describes the CRM Market Awards newcomer as “[a] really good company at .” Temkin points out. Bruce Temkin.8 in 2010 to a flat 2.” ENTERPRISE FEEDBACK MANAGEMENT The Market The enterprise feedback management (EFM) category was characterized as “young” in 2010 after interactive voice response (IVR) was determined to be a critical component.” In 2010. which is an addition to this category. of McGee-Smith Analytics. especially when it comes to leveraging social media. from 3. Coveo functionality was not enough to wow every judge. vice president of Nucleus Research. in company direction. Although the company was praised in 2010 for having a social media search component in its contact center-focused product. managing partner of the Temkin Group.0 from 3.” “I think most vendors had really good years.Coveo Solutions scored a 4. believes that. InQuira was recognized with a spot on KMWorld magazine’s 2010 trend-setting product list for the sixth consecutive year.8. The Leaders Mindshare.

Temkin notes that the company is “building up its platform and becoming much more of a contender.3 in customer satisfaction as well as depth of functionality. Having this type of platform positions RightNow to collect customer feedback from a variety of channels. Esteban Kolsky. Nevertheless. who comments. The Winner Allegiance takes the top spot for the third year in a row with a solid 4.” One to Watch This year we have a three-way tie: MarketTools. customer experience analyst at Forrester Research.1 in company direction.” McInnes explains that this feature highlights the trend in voice of the customer (VOC) programs or enterprise feedback management platforms of not simply collecting customer feedback. “They are really moving toward tying those several pieces of customer insight together.8. Temkin observes that RightNow is “probably the most thoughtful company when it comes to understanding SaaS [software as a service] and their dedication to an entire operating model when it comes to customer service. and a 3.3 and company direction at 2. but. comments.5 in each category. it might link to standard operating procedures.supporting its customers [that] has a strong focus on multilevel franchise as well as retail environments.0s. McInnes says that Allegiance stands out the most in the company direction category because of a new focus on voice of the customer. principal and founder of ThinkJar. Despite Confirmit’s slip.0 in the depth of functionality category was supported by Andrew McInnes.” Mindshare’s strong score of a 4. with a 3. without compromising the ability to look at transactional data or the individual customer. “Vovici represents EFM.” The company scored a middling score in all categories. Vovici was named a One to Watch in 2010.” OUTSOURCING . Medallia is a new addition to the CRM Market Awards. and contact center. and Confirmit all fell just short of the leaderboard. Confirmit having slipped from its leader position in 2009.7 in customer satisfaction in 2009). The company’s customer satisfaction dipped only slightly. “One thing in the depth of functionality category that stands out is that they offer a feature where companies actually input standard operating procedures into the system and when a certain type of feedback comes in. Medallia. RightNow Technologies saw a considerable decline in its scores this year compared with last year’s highly esteemed triple 4.6. to 3. having seen a 0. This marked the second year in a row in which RightNow’s scores have seen a decline in this sector (the company scored a 4. while MarketTools was named a One to Watch last year. “What’s interesting and right about that is that their focus is not only on customer feedback as primary data but also on more traditional business data and transactional data.” McInnes observes that RightNow’s EFM strength is that the company’s platform is fully integrated into its entire product suite. but depth of functionality came in at 2. instead. such as the Web.” McInnes points out. actually driving action at the ground level.1 increase in depth of functionality from 2009. social media.

which considers growth strategy and implementation. a principal analyst at Ovum. a British outsourcer. Convergys. she adds that outsourcers are “not innovative in supporting new end users and thinking about how customers are contacting companies. The company received the 2010 Frost & Sullivan North American Contact Center Outsourcing Company of the Year Award. The Winner . but it has a good core and does it quite well. It requires “total customer engagement. Sitel took an innovative approach to improving customer interactions by partnering with artificial intelligence engine provider SATMAP to match callers to agents based on personality traits. last year’s category winner. Convergys is “not a standout in terms of what it offers. which appeared on last year’s Ones to Watch list. and leadership in customer value and market penetration. Similar to Sitel. He adds that the company’s decision to scale back its business process outsourcing services and “retrench to its CRM background is a good plan. Last year. However. As a result. Often. In October 2010. “It’s a social media world. operational excellence. Convergys sold its human resources outsourcing business to NorthgateArinso. moves like those hurt company direction scores—and Convergys is no different. edges its way back onto the leaderboard this year. sliding from 4.5. Therefore.” says Peter Ryan. products and/or technologies. principal at Communication Initiatives. it would behoove outsourcers to bring their expertise in customer service to the Web.0.” she says. so that Convergys could focus on its more profitable customer management and information management businesses. that’s not what’s happening. analysts were more critical of outsourcers this year. In February 2010. Frost & Sullivan recognized Sitel with the 2010 EMEA Customer Value Enhancement Award in Contact Centre Outsourcing. West made up for its merely adequate analyst score of 3. The following month. degree of innovation in business processes.” Sitel. which is why their scores are lower. “There’s a lot of respect among analysts for Sitel in terms of how they do business and what they do. on average. according to Herrell.0 in depth of services. Convergys named Jeff Fox president and chief executive officer. citing responsiveness to customer needs. made organizational changes to improve the company’s focus and revenue.0 in depth of services and company direction by tying for the highest customer satisfaction score of 4.1 last year to 3. West also moved from last year’s Ones to Watch to this year’s leaderboard.” says Elizabeth Herrell. Fox has been a Convergys board member since February 2009 and was previously chief operating officer of Alltel.The Market There’s no arguing that more customers are using social media both to seek support and to support others. thanks to its high score of 4. which ties the category winner. and added-value technology and services as the company’s strong points.” Ryan says.” Effective customer service is not only about putting an agent in a seat with a headset and a script. The Leaders After the recent recession. than they have been in previous years. Unfortunately.

so the job of completing this critical management function falls to the CRM vendors themselves.” One to Watch Sykes fell off the leaderboard to become this year’s One to Watch.” To contact the editors. In May 2010. the Philippines. Teleperformance has a “fairly obvious and strategic vision. However. The company is the only one to score 4. Most companies that purchase CRM software and embark on these enterprise initiatives lack internal resources that understand enough about the industry. please email editor@destinationCRM. Another analyst adds. It did well in the recession and didn’t slow down innovation.5 for company direction. There seems to be widespread confusion about the financial impact of these projects on revenue and operating costs. the outsourcer has expanded its reach by acquiring or building contact centers in Brazil. Teleperformance has had a steady eye on innovation and growth. which is very important.0 or better in the three main criteria—one of which is an impressive 4. Most ROI analyses done by software vendors or consultants are grossly inaccurate and hopelessly optimistic. or their consultant partners. During the past 12 months. Turkey. Teleperformance announced a partnership with RightNow Technologies to provide a Contact Center on Demand hosted contact center offering. Ryan maintains that Sykes has a “fairly good portfolio and is responding well to the marketplace. “Teleperformance has a good reputation for quality. as with many A great deal of discussion is taking place regarding customer relationship management (CRM) system initiatives and their financial viability or ROI. the revenue boost from the company’s acquisition of ICT Group last year couldn’t improve the bottom line for Sykes Enterprises.Teleperformance repeats its 2009 feat as the winner of the outsourcing category. analysts tend to lower their company direction scores until the organizations are fully integrated. The company closed on the purchase of outsourcer and competitor ICT in February 2010 for $263 million—the largest acquisition in Sykes’ history. Despite that. They do things right in the traditional sense.” Ryan says. Most Popular Whitepapers Customer Relationship Management: Coping With Budget Cuts Six Ways to Use CRM Systems to Prepare for Economic Recovery Nine Cycles of (Business) Life and Customer Relationship Management . And. good in terms of reacting to new market realities. and Costa Rica. In addition. software and the companies' businesses to do the ROI analysis.

Of course. but the inaccuracy of their ROI models is due to their remoteness and unfamiliarity with the client's business. What many companies do at this point is skip a critical step. The real financial impact from CRM initiatives and the basis of every ROI model are increases in sales revenue and reduced costs based on increased operational efficiency. It leaves results unmeasured and business benefit resting on amorphous perceptions and anecdotal . and what factors shape the business dynamics of the ROI analysis and how close the real world will resemble the ROI model. which is determining when and how post-implementation financial impact will be calculated. what type is it?: What type of features do you require: Sales Automation Marketing Automation Customer Service/Support Channel/Partner Management Customizable Integration to other systems How many people will use this system?: þÿ How would you like users to access the CRM?: Through web browsers Through company network only With mobile devices Please explain why you are seeking a CRM system and any other requirements you have: The results are more wishful thinking and hopeful romanticism than business justification. operations and finances. technology tools and automation. It's no small surprise that this step is often overlooked and swept under corporate carpets. and staff productivity based on new business processes. software vendors and the consultants who implement these projects want to make a compelling case for action. This is the step that holds the planners feet to the fire and makes the CRM owners and stakeholders responsible and accountable for actual results and delivery of business benefits.Tips for Selecting Software Vendors more >> Questions to Ask When Choosing a Customer Relationship Management Solution Answer a few questions to download a FREE whitepaper now. Do you currently have a CRM system?: þÿ þÿ If yes. The fly in this ointment is predicting how much revenue will increase and by how much costs will be reduced.

the value of a system that delivers detailed knowledge regarding them to front-office staff also increases. These applications typically have unique quality and performance issues. Historically. . and • Servicing.information. the value of a system that delivers detailed knowledge regarding them to front-office staff increases. CRM systems at a high-level are only very finely focused knowledge management systems that deliver very specific customer information to sales or service staff. Three primary functions related to customers that every organization must perform are: • Acquiring. very specific and standalone systems were used by diverse functional groups within an organization to find. As the number of products and service offerings increase across organizations." The front office is characterized by three broad functions that are focused on customers. while combining deep knowledge regarding a company's product and service offerings. Figure 1 illustrates this relationship of the complexity of product/service environment to the value derived from a CRM system across a simple 10-point scale. CRM initiatives break down these silo systems and replace them with a system that incorporates customer knowledge and product or service knowledge at the point of customer/company interaction. CRM Across The Enterprise CRM has the potential to revitalize and transform all customer-facing activities that have become know as the "front-office. • Selling. Figure 2 illustrates this relationship of the complexity of customer/ account environment to the value derived from a CRM system across a simple 10-point scale. Figure 1 As the number and complexity of customers increase across organizations. sell and serve customers.

The Factors That Drive ROI Unfortunately. Marketing. A CRM effort can be implemented in some or all of the front-office organizations: marketing. The impact CRM has on an enterprise is directly related to the scope or reach of the initiative. • Customer contact centers (sales/service). it means that less staff is required to achieve a constant level of revenue. certain things must be done to achieve a specific outcome. field sales. It is no different in contact centers or field service organizations . Historical data can be accumulated over time for in-depth trending and analysis. CRM marketing analytical tools automate common marketing functions and allow increased tracking and other management functions. Just as in the laws of economics. This knowledge is critical for reducing cost and maximizing revenue of . It traces the source of leads and allows complex evaluation of leads by source. and while certain mechanisms always work in the same way.Figure 2 The functional groups within an organization that comprise the front office and focus on customers are: • Marketing.increased productivity means increased revenue and/or reduced cost per employee. In a sales organization. Increased productivity creates capacity in any workforce. In a marketing environment. the extent that they impact revenue differ greatly. Customer self-service is becoming a more integral component of many CRM initiatives. The Internet has proved an effective means of delivering self-service applications to customers that automate many sales and service functions. increased lead quality will improve the close rate. It is not that simple. there is no cookie-cutter approach to calculating CRM return-on-investment (ROI) in an organization. which leads to sales revenue increases per campaign. even between companies in the same industry. • Field sales. customer contact centers and field service. and • Field service.

increased sales order or service request accuracy. The customer information in the CRM system itself eventually becomes the richest source of customer information for marketing analysis.and service-oriented contact centers. Marketing cost reduction is driven by productivity improvements such as decreased training time for new staff. The productivity improvements apply to both sales. higher close rates. as the marketing department can also specify what customer profile data should be collected. It is also an area that is contained with all the staff in large concentrations. or their revenue is derived from maintenance contracts sold. increased revenue from new staff. Contact center cost reductions are driven by productivity improvements such as reduced contact handling times. improved sales reporting. a reduction in staff required. as a result. sales staff have access to complete customer information and contact history across an organization. This approach to filling-in-the-blank fact-finding allows the creation of complete and accurate customer profiles. What field sales should see in terms of increased revenue can be attributed to increased volume of opportunities. Customer contact center. Field sales. reduced campaign planning timeframes and increased campaign consistency and quality. increased sales order accuracy. increased closed percentage per campaign and higher revenue per sale. increased revenue per sale. Throughout the sales process. increased sales management reporting. Marketing revenue increases are attained by improvements such as increased lead quality. increased automation. increased automation of manual tasks. What drives field sales cost reductions are productivity improvements such as decreased training time for new staff.campaigns. The area in which CRM ROI is most easily measured is the contact center environment. . sales staff input customer information so detailed knowledge of new customers is captured. decreased training time for new staff. and it also simplifies ROI projections and measurement. increased advertising effectiveness. increased contact volumes handled. Simply deploying a standard sales methodology will have a positive effect on results. reduced sales cycle time and better customer data quality. Reporting and analytic tools improve campaign lead quality and execution to increase revenue. lower staff requirements. reduced telecommunications costs and improved data quality. The one thing that all contact center technology has in common is that it is report intensive. improved customer information and improved product/service information. increased automation. increased advertising effectiveness. In the case of existing customers. The automation inherent in the tools deployed in marketing increases staff productivity as well as the tracking of advertising effectiveness. This makes CRM management and implementation a bit easier. they are usually not seen as a revenue-generating function. improved sales management and forecasting. improved historical and real-time campaign data. increased management reporting. Most CRM systems incorporate a sales methodology that follows the typical sales cycle and follows the process to move a customer from lead to prospect to opportunity to customer. Serviceoriented call centers are usually cost-intensive.

improved customer information. but must be deployed or rolled out over time. increased close rates. CRM ROI analysis is a critical management function that cannot be delegated to vendors or consultants. increased automation. All the system functionality cannot be delivered day one of implementation. but can be the result of product quality issues. increased revenue from new staff. this is when most failures occur.Contact center revenue increases drive improvements such as an increased volume of opportunities. Many companies do not have the sophistication or resources internally to maintain. increase management control and meet business and financial objectives. increased service request accuracy. In truth. less false or erroneous visits and increased customer data quality. Field service organizations are typically a cost to a business. After all. Field service. Most clients who embark on CRM initiatives do not have the required skills in-house to adequately assess the ROI. Implementing . If an organization doesn't have the required skills to complete it. improved reporting. Ensuring Success What is required is a methodical approach to ensure success and meet ROI objectives by techniques to minimize risk. it foreshadows what will happen after implementation when the vendor or consultant leaves and you must maintain and manage the CRM application on your own. and the most likely outcome is that ROI is never measured. This approach leads to highly visible and costly failures. CRM systems focus on entitlements or service level agreements. small increases in productivity have a dramatic effect on costs. When the final project ROI is measured after the fact. Factors that drive field service cost reductions are productivity improvements such as decreased training time for new staff. more accurate customer records. shorter issue resolution time. manage and enhance the application going forward. What field sales should see in terms of increase revenue improvements can be attributed to improved entitlement information. if you don't have the sophistication in-house to do the ROI. better service level agreement (SLA) performance and increased customer retention. increased technical/product information. improved product/service information and improved sales scripting. improved management and forecasting. The groups that are most often charged with completing CRM ROI analyses are anything but objective. a reduction of staff required. This is a bit like turning the fox loose in the hen house. CRM ROI should be tied to a technology plan for the system. reduced repeat visits. No wonder most CRM implementations are marked by flying feathers and frantic clucking. increased revenue per sale. This leaves the business stakeholders within a client organization holding the ROI bag. They must simply learn by doing. The logic is that you can't fail if you are never graded. as this is a highly specialized area that requires unique management and operational skills. they are long gone. so in call centers. it must develop its current staff or hire new staff with the requisite skills. The unfortunate result is that this critical first step is often assigned to CRM vendors themselves or to their consulting partners.

• System updates and enhancements. • Ongoing maintenance and updates of system knowledge base. Another often underestimated item is the simple cost of ownership of CRM systems. This is the time to ensure accountability. Tying CRM ROI to specific functionality in system releases in a technology plan leads to a more accurate ROI model. • Initial and ongoing end user and IT staff training. Counting The Dollars CRM implementations in an enterprise-class client cost many millions of dollars and the decisions related to these initiatives are often made at the CEO level. • Ongoing updates of product. and • Help desk and user support. CRM ROI estimates and analyses must be solidly grounded in business operational realities. This makes upfront CRM ROI analysis extremely important. • System change management.system functionality in phases minimizes risk and increases management control. so what ROI benefit has been realized? This is a question guaranteed to put fear into the hearts of CIOs and CEOs alike. • Hardware and related support costs. but it also makes post-implementation ROI measurement just as critical. Staff that has in-depth knowledge of the company's business and operations must perform a unique analysis. As in all business planning. which includes factors such as: • System development and implementation. Due to this lack of operational sophistication. The company spent millions of dollars across some or all the front-office organizations. the details down to the lowest level will determine the difference between success and failure. There is no cook book or cookie-cutter approach to the hard work of estimating financial impact and then measuring it after the fact. • Ongoing system administration. It is too critical and strategic a management function to be delegated to CRM system vendors or their consultant partners. pricing and end user scripts. E n t e r p r . A post-implementation ROI measurement should be made in all cases. The problem with most CRM ROI analyses is the organization lacks experience implementing and maintaining these systems. It takes a great deal of management courage to honestly answer this question. the complexity is often underestimated. especially ROI. not in vendor marketing collateral or in the presentations of hopelessly optimistic consultants.

Microsoft. Topics: Customer Analytics | eCRM | Sales Force Automation | Industry: Finance | Telco | Retail | Utilities | Government | Healthcare CRM Function: CRM ROI | Customer Loyalty | Customer Profitability | Customer Retention CRM Methology: CRM Strategy | CRM Implementation | CRM Overviews | . Salesforce. RightNow. Pegasystems and Sword Ciboodle are the products profiled in this introduction to the enterprise customer relationship management (CRM) market. s e C R M B u y e r ' s G u i d e a n d C o m p a r i s o n Doc Type: Research Report Format: HTML Abstract: Oracle.

T e n C R M R e p o r t s Y o u N e e d t o b e R u n n i n g Doc Type: Research Report Format: HTML Abstract: CRM expert David Taber reveals which CRM reports provide the most value to businesses and why. Topics: Customer Analytics | eCRM | Sales Force Automation | Business Intelligence | Industry: Finance | Telco | Retail | Utilities | Government | Healthcare CRM Function: CRM ROI | Customer Loyalty | Customer Profitability | Customer Retention CRM Methology: CRM Strategy | CRM Implementation | CRM Overviews | CRM .

Company: VendorGuru Doc Type: Research Report Format: HTML .Definition S i x W a y s C R M S o f t w a r e E a r n s L o y a l C u s t o m e r s Author: By Joe Taylor Jr.

telephone call centers. and retail storefronts converge in the mind of the typical consumer. companies must find ways to make every customer contact count. Download this free VendorGuru white paper and discover how savvy businesses leverage the knowledge from their CRM solutions to create unforgettable customer experiences.Abstract: As online sales. Topics: eCRM | Industry: Finance | Telco | Retail | Utilities | Government | Healthcare CRM Function: CRM ROI | Customer Loyalty | Customer Profitability | Customer Retention CRM Methology: CRM Strategy | CRM Overviews | CRM Definition S t u d i e s R e v e a l C o n s u m e r R e a c t i o n s t o B a d C .

The study clearly indicates that an organization's customer service level is a defining factor that will make or break a company. The study reported that 80% of 2. Topics: Customer Service | CRM Methology: CRM Strategy | B e s t P r a c t i c e s F o r S a l e s .049 US adults surveyed decided never to go back to a business/organization after a bad customer service experience.u s t o m e r S e r v i c e Company: NomKa Doc Type: Research Report Pages: 2 Format: PDF Size: 45 kb Abstract: A recently released Harris Interactive study confirms that a bad customer service experience with your company is enough to make a majority of consumers run for the hills.

and industry fit. and Callidus Software and SAP entered into a strategic partnership. Centive sold its on-premise division to focus on its software-as-a-service (SaaS) product line. Bad Economy = Bad CRM? Before the markets hit the skids.P e r f o r m a n c e M a n a g e m e n t R F P s Author: By Liz Herbert. and Forrester clients inquiring about SPM solutions. In the past year. more recently. vendor-provided customer references. By Ian Jacobs Print Version Comments (0) . Forrester spoke with leading sales performance management (SPM) vendors. product architecture. customers should take the time to determine which core questions to go deep on like vendor stability. On-demand sales continued to be hot in the space. To help firms select the most appropriate sales performance management solution. Varicent Software. driven by SaaS specialists Centive and Xactly as well as on-demand plays from Callidus and. To get the most value. Christine Ferrusi Ross and Francesca Bartolomey Company: Forrester Research Doc Type: Research Report Pages: 10 Format: PDF Size: 323 kb Abstract: The sales performance management/incentive compensation market continues to evolve. companies had just begun to target customer experience.

In many organizations. including the ever-popular cost-cutting and “focusing on core competencies. or to even determine what the . companies in any industry would like for this somewhat paradoxical statement to be true. a somewhat depressing thought if one looks at the underlying reasons. enterprises may not have enough time to create a coherent and deliberate plan for shifting the optimal segments of their customer service to self-service channels. customer intimacy. those messages were popping out of the mouths of C-level executives. companies tend to turn inwardly focused like a turtle retracting its head into its safe and cozy shell. While it could be argued that this was just a superficial change—a token and patronizing “Year of the Customer. companies began to increasingly talk up the concepts of customer experience. CRM vendors definitely make the argument that their wares are boom. where the voice of the customer (another favorite buzzword of late 2007 and early 2008) would be not only heard. and sales channels. but will probably manifest itself most directly in the realm of customer service and support. Firms will likely look to reduce the use of expensive live agents in contact centers. This may impact the sales and marketing units. Have you tried to rent a storage space in cities with plummeting home prices lately? Do you know anyone in the collections business? Both of those businesses boomed in 2008. Those changes seemed to portend a new era. So what’s the reality? Before the economy really seemed to hit the skids. New director or C-level positions were popping up with a mandate to incorporate concern for “The Customer” into processes and decisions.For the rest of the December 2008 issue of CRM magazine please click here Page 1 As an industry analyst who talks to technology vendors for a living. When economic conditions get dire. CRM helps attract new customers. CRM can dramatically assist in the all-important customer-retention efforts that help companies survive dry periods. Although I have long made the argument that self-service can actually be a boon to customer satisfaction. This means looking for ways to survive. I’ll wait—but I’m nowhere near convinced that these messages had sufficient time to worm their way deep enough into many companies’ DNA that they’ll survive serious economic turmoil.” which all too often do not include relationships with customers. the notion that should undergird basic business processes. and personalization of service. marketing approaches. and there are some clear examples where specific niches do actually thrive while the rest of the economy falls apart. Now. the sales of technology do not accurately reflect enterprises’ level of customer centricity. such as product and service design.” as it were—the changes did seem to go deeper. for example. Even if it proves true. a somewhat startling change from the past. it takes careful consideration to create such a positive outcome. But do bad economic times make for boom conditions in CRM? I am not referring to sales of CRM applications by technology vendors—I mean the core concept of CRM. But that message has clear self-serving intentions. preferring some hastily deployed self-service options instead.” Obviously. In some cases. in poor economic conditions. I have lately been hearing abundant and frequent variations on the message “A down economy is good news for us.and bust-proof: In good times. call me a pessimist—go ahead. but integrated into key processes.

According to a new CRM magazine/ A. Bob Haas. customer Print Version Comments (0) Page 1 . but those who are improving the effectiveness of customer retention and loyalty programs. Ian Jacobs (ijacobs@datamonitor. and maximizing customer profitability. Gethuman—the organization born out of the ashes of too many poorly deployed phone self-service systems—has fallen off the radar screens of the mainstream media in the past two years. By Mike Gorsage. In other cases. Winners will be those that capitalized on the downturn and prepared for increasing the value of customer is a senior analyst at Datamonitor. 2) avoid the CRM whipsaw effect.) In the coming months. Four CRM Strategies for Adapting to the Changing Economy IT leaders' top priorities are to grow customer loyalty and to increase profitability. (See “Gethuman? Get Real. How do companies achieve these goals in an uncertain market? The pending economic recovery will have different effects on companies that have tailored their CRM programs to the new economic realities. Here's how to achieve those goals in uncertain times. the winners are likely to be those who have not only stabilized their customer service and sales costs. Kearney survey. These cost-structure changes should be modified to invest in these fields of CRM so that growth strategies gain some early wins. I certainly do. 3) don't buy into the technology silver bullet.T. As the economy turns into recovery.T. and 4) measure satisfaction with CRM. no matter what state the economy is in. the opportunity to improve the customer experience will succumb to the expediency of falling back to familiar ways of doing things. Many companies have not determined strategic intent or have not focused on developing clear metrics to measure performance. Build a Customer Growth Strategy Businesses must build top-line growth strategies upon the foundation of their CRM programs by ensuring that strategic intent and cost management measures are institutionalized. These tactics will ensure that CRM programs can successfully adapt to the pending changes in the economy. March 2007. and Eddie Barker For the rest of the November 2002 issue of CRM magazine please click here The business imperative for 2003 is top-line growth initiatives that increase customer profitability. you should expect a return to prominence for Gethuman. the two leading factors driving companies' CRM strategies are increasing customer loyalty and retention. Companies that want to lock in customer loyalty and maximize profitability need to employ four CRM tactics: 1) build a customer growth strategy upon a CRM foundation of strategic intent and cost management.most appropriate self-service channels are. Improved customer segmentation. Kearney survey. Yet many have done some cost-cutting within customer-facing functions and lowered their cost-to-serve just to reduce the overall cost of sales.” Customer Centricity. or some new organization created to help focus consumer wrath born of poor service. says a CRM magazine/A.

companies may be assigning lower levels of expected success without engaging . ROI generally measures the internal return of a technology/ process or organization improvement project. then investments in these initiatives have a much lower probability of success. Although capturing ROI and preventing CRM budget expansion is important. Strong vendors. and 22 percent respectively. In fact according to the CRM magazine/A.satisfaction. IT decision-makers ranked executive sponsorship as the most important factor for maximizing the return on their CRM investments. it requires continuous leadership support over multiple years. So for the moment. Kearney survey results. there appears to be more satisfaction with CRM projects than not. Companies stung by the challenges and high costs of customizing standard applications are demanding that the major vendors of the CRM world ensure that vertical customizations are prebuilt into the application they install. Avoid the Whipsaw Effect Senior management commitment is critical to the success of any major corporate initiative. external measures like customer satisfaction. Kearney research indicates that 60 percent of companies claim their CRM initiatives met or exceeded expectations. companies get caught in a CRM whipsaw: overinvesting in one year and then cutting to the bone in the next. This type of long-term senior management support can only be achieved and maintained if a long-term strategic plan is developed. rather than just a one-time e-business initiative. The whipsaw may affect users as well. 25 percent did not set expectations. The result is unrealized investments. but need to remain long-term goals of any successful CRM program. the CRM magazine/A. However. If CRM initiatives are not in the CEO's agenda. In the survey. Financial viability and ROI remain the most important factors in selecting a vendor. research indicates software functionality is not the prime factor in selecting a CRM vendor. Even so. squandered opportunities. Customers are focusing on implementing the best vertical application available.T. CRM is certainly no exception. Placing all bets on a single vendor or technology can prove disastrous. because CRM is a fundamental shift in the way a company does business with its customers. 33 percent. This shift has also been pressuring vendors that have not caught up with the verticalization wave or have poorly packaged and standardized their industry experience within applications. Employees whose new customer-centric behaviors enable CRM success can get caught in the whipsaw if communications about customer strategy and CRM processes are not clear or consistent throughout changes in the business cycle. Measure Satisfaction With CRM Measuring CRM success has often been elusive. and a loss of employment for the CRM champion. but it is possible to measure satisfaction with CRM. after acquiring or merging with smaller niche vendors. still have to refine the resulting integrated offerings. This leads to two possible conclusions: 1) given the challenges of deploying CRM initiatives and effecting customer change. The focus on vertical expertise has also been increasing. Additionally. and profitability--often the best indicators of how well customers view their overall relationship with companies--were selected by only 37 percent. Without this type of flexible strategy. Of the rest. Companies have often measured success either by ROI or by changes in customer satisfaction to justify CRM benefits. The unstable economy has caused a vendor shakeout. and reflect the fact that the best-of-breed approach in recent years has left a number of companies holding the bag of unsupported applications. and service strategies should be tailored in downturns and expanded in upswings. The time frame also requires the strategic plan to have built-in contingencies for the ups and downs of the business cycle. but also has enabled the strongest companies to survive with the best integrated offerings. It has reduced the number of CRM vendors. Don't Buy in to the Technology Magic Bullet The CRM vendor landscape is changing rapidly.T. retention.

companies are shortchanging themselves by reducing the future value of their customer relationships and placing the long-term success of those relationships at risk. Now is the time to re-evaluate pricing strategies. Plan for Growth Up to 44 percent of companies do not have a strategic plan in place. successful companies know that you don't let a weak economy go to waste. and resulting profitability. ROI was the dominant metric used to measure returns. Those with plans should prepare their customer-facing units for the economic recovery ahead and ensure that the organization is aligned with incentives for growth. and technology 12month time frame and more than one year. there will be a lag between the companies that have a plan that can execute and those that will need to start a strategic plan. By Mark S. From an internal perspective. most of those surveyed were split between the six. and their channel partners to say. depending on how and where the economy improves. While cost reductions will provide a sound CRM foundation. "Wake me up when it's over. though notably 21 percent of respondents didn't know how their companies measured return. retention. target the companies that are buying technology now. avoiding the CRM whipsaw effect. and reflects the fact that CRM often involves multiple channels and functions undergoing organizational. Developing a CRM strategic plan takes one to two quarters. their focus will be on executing against the best scenario. 2010 The official recession may be over. distributors. Those companies that don't have a sound CRM strategy should use the current economic downturn to begin developing their strategy to include both short. Don’t Let a Weak Economy Go to Waste Boost sales while recovering from the recession. A. In either scenario. Given the complexity and level of investment in CRM. although many respondents are planning or implementing CRM initiatives. Those companies with initiatives on hold should have implementation plans drafted so they may ramp up quickly when CRM budgets are restored. but predictions of a slow economic recovery are tempting some technology vendors. or 2) companies are embarking on expensive CRM initiatives without understanding the drivers of their customer satisfaction. Then. This is on average longer than most e-business initiatives. which is about the duration of catch-up that companies without a current plan will face. companies need to ensure they understand the drivers of value in their customer relationships before they embark on major initiatives. and invest in relationships with future buyers." However. As benefits from CRM take longer on average than benefits from e-business. Smith Posted Feb 8.their customers. avoiding the technology silver bullet. . as well as build robust business cases for internal measures of CRM success. and measuring satisfaction with CRM--that will increase customer loyalty and retention and maximize customer profitability. As for timeto-return after project completion. the real benefits come from top-line growth--and these gains should be pursued within a CRM program no matter which way the economic pendulum is swinging.and long-term scenarios with ranges of ROI for different CRM initiatives. process. It is this advanced planning--along with building a customer growth strategy. Those that do not have one in place are likely to be out of position to reap benefits from CRM.

Opportunities also exist with departments facing government-. telecommunications (particularly wireless providers). Within companies. Imagine for a moment that a vendor's channel partner is making a 20 percent margin. such as state and . That is why vendors and channel partners may be way better off raising prices instead of slashing them. For these groups. If either the vendor or the channel partner cuts the price by 10 percent — all other things being equal-that price reduction comes directly out of profits. After all. or customer-mandated regulations. For companies that need cash right now. or products are at end-of-support life. However. Look into data storage and archiving and disaster recovery requirements. It may be a challenge to raise them again when companies really need to. they will establish value leadership in the market. Instead. However. Unless companies position their price cuts just right. The partner will have to double sales to bring in the same amount of profit. Other markets are getting ready to spend funds as the economic turnaround begins to build steam. and it continues to be a growth industry with deep pockets. how likely is it that anyone in the technology industry will be able to double sales with just a 10 percent decrease? Not very. and may not have in-house expertise because of staff reductions. waiting until tomorrow is rarely an option. One third of their sales can disappear before they lose the same amount of profit dollars compared to the lower price. First are those taking advantage of government economic incentives. Mission-critical systems for manufacturing. Now consider this: If channel partners increase their price by 10 percent — all other things being equal — that additional profit goes directly to the bottom line. service organizations often see an increase in demand because customers have time to follow up on open issues. customers will expect these lower prices next time they want to buy. Healthcare is one of the strongest markets. industry-. cutting prices will create a longterm problem. Aging infrastructure is another area. and transportation companies. Other areas include the pharmaceutical industry. And then vendors can make up the margin on the back end. Certain industries also tend to continue buying throughout a weak economy. there are always departments that have budgets they must use. with disaster recovery. Second is knowing who is either buying technology today or will be soon. that may be their only hope. which takes a longrange view. People will always need health services. Many technology vendors and their channel partners cope with a downturn by slashing prices. critical for a profitable recovery. sales and customers service are required to maintain the business. and market sectors that provide the basic infrastructure services others need to run their businesses-such as legal firms. In fact. choose to repair versus replace. vendors and their channel partners will find motivated buyers. Will channel partners lose 33 percent of their customers with a 10 percent price increase? Probably not. When system reliability is causing downtime. there's a highly motivated management staff and an insurance check to spend.Let's look at pricing first.

"When do you expect this to turn around?" If customers respond with an answer of less than six months. and software marketer. The magic of this response is that vendors and their channel partners can frequently find immediate sales opportunities during the plan review that the customer wasn't even aware of. they have strong hope and are probably working out their next plans. and not necessarily those of the magazine or its editors. However.. the premier partner in channel enablement. About the Author Mark is the cofounder of Outsource Channel Executives." then ask. through pricing strategies that strengthen value leadership. hardware salesman. entertainment. services contract consolidation.smith@oceinc. The third important component is cultivating long-term customers — after all. and off-season deals. Please note that the Viewpoints listed in CRM magazine and appearing on destinationCRM. manufacture refurbished items at lower cost. how can you be viewed as a trusted advisor if the customer hasn't seen you for months? If a customer says. a strategic focus on markets current and emerging sales opportunities. By asking "How can I help?. and other infrastructure. An electrical engineer. and a commitment to cultivating long-term customers today.A. He is the author of more than 350 articles on sales and marketing. unconventional strategies to help technology providers get more business out of their distribution channels. You may leave a public comment regarding this article by clicking on "Comments" at the represent the perspective of the authors. and cutting-edge communication are likely to invest in new technology soon as are start-up companies and entrepreneurs. Companies providing customer "must-haves" in green technology and services." companies open up opportunities to discuss options such as advantageous financing. trade-in towards purchase. computer programmer. Mark delivers innovative. vendors and their channel partners can position themselves as leaders of tomorrow. The follow-up question is one of the most powerful in sales. . "I don't have any money to spend. Inc. bridges. Smith (mark.local education initiatives and civil engineering projects for road repairs. The return to rapid market growth may be slow.

they have needed to interact with customers and obtain their feedback.cost reduction The Advantages of Integrating CRM Software to Reduce Ongoing Costs Friday. Continue Reading: ‘The Advantages of Integrating CRM Software to Reduce Ongoing Costs’ New Crm Presentation . 2010 by Sidney Angelos Customer relationship management (CRM) is a concept that predates computers.Presentation Transcript 1. and far less expensive to retain a customer than to win back a dissatisfied one. Presentation on Customer Relationship Management System By.Atul Chaudhary UG Software Technologies CRM introduction Functioning targets and roles Aspects of CRM Architecture Strategies Pitfalls o o o o o o What I am going to discuss? 3. 2. . Traditional business logic says that it is more costly to win a new customer than to retain an existing one. June 25. For as long as businesses have been around. 4. WHAT IS CRM? o The process of managing the detailed information about individual customers and carefully managing all the customers ‘touch point’ with the aim of maximizing customer loyalty .

g. Customer-focused organization Identifying high value customers o o o o o o o Role of CRM system 15. 10. o Still. o Acquisition o Retention o Loyalty o Evangelism o Cost Reduction . Building blocks of CRM Lead Management Campaign Management Customer profiling Call center Field service Web service Activity management Opportunity management Contact management 24. BPO 20. 14. 11. 19. o Analysis of customer data o Design and target marketing campaigns o Product and service decision making o Management decisions 22. Acquisition or Retention Acquisition of Customer Retention of Customer 3% increase in profits 17% increase in profits Cost is very high Cost is very low Life cycle is short Life cycle is long Short term profit Long term profit Unpredictable value chain building Value chain building 17..g. 9. why to spend on Customer-retention rather than customer acquisition ??? 16. 13. People Process Technology Customer acquisition Value Relationship Retention Loyalty CRM Why CRM is required ? ◊ Delight ◊Primary Concern of any business Revenue generation Satisfaction Experience Customer focus High acquisition cost Low retention cost Long term gains Relationship building Satisfaction Measure and manage Customer profitability◊Product delivery Customer-centric Management Other element . CRM STRATEGIES 26. ASPECTS OF CRM 18.5. 12. ARCHITECTURE 23. o Front office business support o Contact history is recorded o No communication gap o E.Communication component Communication channel Customer Company Mobile Web Call center Fax Email Face to face CUSTOMER INTERACTION FUNCTIONING TARGET AND ROLES C R M Functioning targets Relationship building Customer service and support Built loyalty in customers Personalization Management and quality related service.. o Direct communication o Cost reduction o Service improvement o E. internet 21.mail. Project management Support view PIM ROI Sales Forecasting Opportunity Management Automation CRM SYSTEM Manager view Service view Support view Marketing view Sales view Web Windows Wireless C R M software Web/intranet/extranet ERP/back office Legacy applications Other applications Customer database Customer touch points 25. 6. 8. centers.

o o o o CRM helps in Customer life cycle Customer life-time value By implementing a right CRM system. o Change Management o Poor communication o Weak Leadership o No strategic focus on business value. o Gain Competitive advantage by acquiring our customized CRM SYSTEM and become a LEADER in your Industry . Concluding in the end…. o to your needs. ACQUISITION Profiling Buying pattern Communication Search 28. implemented and tested More visible and ease of control Fast and flexible service Reasonable prices and quick payback High customer satisfaction Why to choose us? 37. Experienced staff and management. o Information handling Pitfalls of CRM system 33. o o o o o Lower cost High ROI Stability Security Higher customization Adding advantage with open source software solutions 36. Lower cost and more flexibility than other consultancy offering proprietary solutions. 34. LOYALTY Increase Search Capture 30. o o o UG Software Technologies can help you…. EVANGELISM brand promoter sales promoter 31. We can analyze your requirements and can develop and implement a CRM system catering Better fit customized CRM system. o Sloppiness to ‘Process and People issue’. you can improve your customer interaction and retain the customer for long. RETENTION Improving customer satisfaction Need analysis 1to 1 communication Updating 29. . o o o o o Reliable. thus increasing your market share both in terms of capital and customer..CRM strategies 27. Cost REDUCTION Lower inventory Speedier delivery Marketing cost reduction 32. 35.

www.E Patparganj New Delhi-110092 India Website. 1 fav.ppt 785 views • Crm Final 1779 views • TURNING CUSTOMER LOYALTY INTO PROFIT 404 views • 2005Seb CRM. F.COMPETITIVE EDGE…… 38. 1 embed more Related • CRM 2285 views • Customer Relationship Management: Concepts and Tools 528 views • Customer Relationship Management 196 views • chapter14F.I.(+91) 011-22162768 Any Questions? Thank you o o Atul Chaudhary + Follow 1611 views.142. o o o o o o o o 39.ugsoftware.(+91) 011-22160569 Fax .ppt 400 views . Contact us UG Software Technologies Pvt Ltd Address .com Contact.

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1 share WordPress Blogger More Is CRM Recession-Proof? As budgets tighten. line-of-business users trying to build a business case for CRM initiatives -. The main challenge for most companies is how to integrate CRM systems with other business applications and with customer-interaction channels. A new Gartner survey has found that 44 percent of respondents expect their budget for CRM initiatives to increase this year. Those projects will be fine in an economic downturn because they play to a company's strategic needs of reducing costs. "CRM is a large market. the Middle East.on the back burner. The key business issue driving CRM is the need to move toward or improve a customer-centric strategy. he adds. With that in mind. An economic slowdown will mean that companies will be more likely to put any large. "In terms of a downturn. the kind that will provide quick.reveals that though some technology spending may be postponed during a slowdown. That figure is expected to grow to $2.and CRM vendors looking to cater to those needs -." he says.should focus on projects that are strategic rather than transformational in nature. indicates that strategic CRM projects are more likely to be spared. however. and Africa -. Therefore. By Phillip Britt Posted Feb 22. most businesses may be tempted to put off any long-term technology projects. far-reaching initiatives -. the industry won't see a sharp technology-spending downturn like the one that followed the burst of the dotcom/tech bubble at the beginning of the decade. A new survey. with another 30 percent expecting their budgets to remain the same. CRM initiatives tend to have a high priority among technology projects. but will still continue to increase spending on projects expected to produce positive return on investment within a year. all technology spending comes under scrutiny.5 billion in 2007. survey respondents said. But some projects are strategic. measurable returns.involving more than 250 business and technology leaders who influence CRM strategy in their enterprises across Europe.defined by two straight negative quarters -.8 billion in 2008. License and maintenance revenue in the European CRM software market was an estimated $2. like customer service or projects that enable better self-service. 2008 Print Version Comments (0) Page 1 Whether or not the worldwide economy is in a recession -. The survey -.CRM and otherwise -. according to Pang. but most analysts agree that the economy is certainly weaker than it was last year or the year before. anything considered a discretionary project will likely be a subject of debate that typically won't be settled until Gross Domestic Product figures are available in future months. Pang . according to Gartner. according to Gartner principal analyst Chris Pang." Quick-to-implement analytic and business intelligence projects as well as technologies that will aid customer retention will be among those that companies will continue to pursue.

" . he adds. Vendors. They should mine their customer base to look for [CRM spending] patterns or trends rather than [pursuing] a massive. broad marketing campaign. "should target customers that are likely to spend [on CRM projects] within a year's time.recommends.

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