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Outlook for CRM market

What do you see happening in the CRM market in the next 6 months?
Over the next 6 months, I see more companies initiating -- and re-initiating -- 'small bite' CRM strategy experiments designed to prove CRM's potential impact at their firms. What's behind this prediction? An increasing flow of data and studies that show how well-conceived and well-executed CRM strategies are, even by conservative estimations, delivering extremely high Return on Investment (ROI). In fact, much of this data is contradicting some early hype that a high percentage of CRM initiatives were 'failures'.

Many companies have hesitated to embark on the long journey and hard work that successful CRM initiatives require. Other companies were burned by early, misconceived atttempts at CRM that did indeed fail. But spurred on by the increasing number of reports and data showing the financial wisdom of CRM, these companies can now proceed with more confidence that the effort pays off. In fact, companies can benefit from copying the consistencies behind these successful approaches:

1. a unified CRM strategy that is developed BEFORE purchasing technology
2. there is strong executive buy-in and oversight for the initiative
3. instead of a "big bang", initiatives start small and expand with each success
4. training is provided to front-line personnel that promotes their buy-in to the strategies
5. a pre-defined set of metrics provides short-term and ongoing feedback to management as to whether the initiative is delivering value to the firm

This knowledge, along with the well-justified fear of losing their best customers to competitors who may be implementing CRM faster and/or better, will drive many companies to pursue customer-centric strategies with increased intensity.

Click here to read an article by Tom Spitale on CRM ROI

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