Magazine article CRM Magazine

CRM: Alive and Kicking

Magazine article CRM Magazine

CRM: Alive and Kicking

Article excerpt

SOME PUNDITS have recently predicted the demise of CRM. I say we've only just begun.

The days of the multimillion-dollar CRM deals may be gone, but the business mainstream is just beginning its adoption of CRM strategies. Vendors large and small are redoubling their R & D and sales efforts. Start-ups abound. If CRM is obsolete, why have I been deluged with meeting requests from new CRM providers and industry stalwarts who all want to discuss the ways in which they can help organizations better serve their customers?

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Admittedly, companies that got burned by overenthusiastic nosedives into CRM during its overhyped heyday are down on the term CRM, but even they are still focused on customers. They may use customer experience management or customer-centricity or whatever le mot du jour is; it's just semantics. Ultimately the point is to better serve customers, to better serve your bottom line. And that's CRM.

The challenge with the term CRM is that it is both a technology and a business strategy. Mangling the English language, especially business terminology, is common. Take high-level sales for example. Companies call it strategic account management or national account management or key account management. And even organizations that use the same terminology may have different responsibilities for the executives in those roles. Instead of complaining about the confusion with CRM, we should educate people interested in implementing CRM--the strategy--within their companies.

Why do speakers like consultant Barton Goldenberg pack the house with sessions on CRM basics conference after conference? The reason is, whether they're just starting out or are on their third rev of CRM, executives need to be reminded that it's people and process first, then technology. It's human nature to want to take the easy road: "If we flip the CRM technology switch, our customers will instantly love us. …

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