Which Customer Managment Technologies Deliver The Most Value?

William Band By William Band

To make the savvy investment decisions, BP&A professionals need to know which CRM applications have the strongest track record for delivering results. I just surveyed 286 companies to understand their opinion of 19 categories solutions that comprise the Extended CRM Application Ecosystem.

Here’s a sneak peek of my findings:

  • Sales, order management, and service are the keys to your revenue engine. The business and IT executives that we surveyed feel that “core” business processes like selling, order taking, and customer service are the most critical to their success. For, example over half report that order management, customer service & support, and contract center infrastructure applications are critical solutions. Forty-eight percent say that salesforce automation is a critical app, and 42% say this is the case for eCommerce solutions.
  • Customer data management and intelligence are keystones for success. The Holy Grail for CRM professionals has long been to achieve a “360-degree” view of customers. Consequently, 44% of the companies I surveyed report that customer business intelligence and customer data management are critical solutions for their businesses.

  • Marketing solutions are viewed as moderately important. Despite the importance placed on growing sales and orders for the companies we survey, only about one-third felt that enterprise marketing management solutions were critical for success. This was true for both B2C and B2C companies.

  • Social computing solutions are not yet viewed as critical. The rapid adoption by consumers of social and Web 2.0 technologies has upended traditional thinking about how to define and to “manage” relationships with customers. However a present, the solutions associated with Social Computing are not yet viewed as critical to success compared to other “core” solutions. A low percentage of respondents evaluate market feedback management, customer forums, and customer communities as critical for success (18%, 10%, and 6%, respectively). Interest in social computing solutions is strong, however. For example, 16% are piloting customer communities, and 26% have interest in learning more and trying out these types of solutions. Mainstream companies are watching early-adopters for evidence of success.

This is not the full story, of course. We also asked the respondents about their opinion of the market reputation of each solution category, and how difficult they are to implement. Taking into account all three factors: criticality, and reputation, implementation risk -- you can pick the winning technologies and avoid chancy bets.

To find out more about the findings from the research, check out my teleconference this week. And, read my TechRadar report about the Extended CRM Ecosystem for a detailed rundown on all 19 technologies that we have evaluated.


re: Which Customer Managment Technologies Deliver The Most Valu

This is a great teaser of the full research, Bill, and I'm sure the in-depth parts are just as good. I can't say I'm surprised by the last point. A large percentage of companies don't really understand where social CRM fits into their overall strategy, and for many of them it's fair to say that it's not mission-critical yet.The distinction needs to made between near- and far-term effects of SCRM strategies. At the moment, a lot of companies really don't need social in order to succeed—and some may never need it in that regard. What they might not realize is that they do need it in order to exceed their current capabilities and surpass their competition. So in that sense, social CRM will be critical in the not-too-distant future, just as having a Web presence was once an experiment and is now essential.

re: Which Customer Managment Technologies Deliver The Most Valu

Thanks William. Interesting that you cite customer data quality as the holy grail. Was just reading on PB Business Insight that it's not unusual for 10-25% of a company's customer records to contain critical errors... do you think organizations are going to aggressively deal with these issues going forward?http://ebs.pbbiblogs.com/2009/07/15/learning-the-data-four-step/