CRM opportunities likely to continue

CRM opportunities likely to continue

Gartner says that investment in customer relationship management tools is likely to increase

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) investments may increase even with economic downturn, said Gartner analyst Chris Pang.

A recent Gartner survey of more than 250 business and IT leaders in the global CRM market, found that two thirds of respondents cited the process in their top three priorities.

“With the technology primarily used to pitch the right products, the growth is likely to continue,” said Pang.

However Pang explained economic difficulties are likely to affect the more sizable CRM projects. “If a project is enterprise wide and requires a huge budget there could be problems ahead,” he said.

Gartner’s CRM summit in March will include a question relating to economic uncertainty and how this might cause a business to revise its CRM spending, said Pang.

In the meantime the March conference will be partly built around the results of this survey, Pang explained.

Pang said key trends in the CRM market are towards more transparent processes and spreadsheets, what he calls “Salesforce automation”, and towards marketing and analytics, and being able to pitch the products to customers at the right time.

The areas that CRM vendors find difficult are integration and delivering CRM services end-to-end, Pang said.

“Clients should not look at CRM as a silo process but in a more holistic manner, and should ensure they include all stakeholders,” advised Pang.

Customers should also ensure they integrate CRM systems with the ERP system. “There is more opportunities to make mistakes when doing double entry,” he added.