Magazine article CRM Magazine

100 Reasons to Read This Issue

Magazine article CRM Magazine

100 Reasons to Read This Issue

Article excerpt

A LOT HAS HAPPENED since the launch of Sales and Field Force Automation magazine in 1997. The CRM industry was born, and that publication changed its name to CRM magazine in March 2000 to reflect its altered scope. Now, after more than eight years of publishing, we bring you our 100th issue.

Our coverage of the CRM industry reveals a lot about its pervasiveness in business today. In the late 1990s, when business was booming, organizations turned to CRM solutions to help them sell, installing technologies like contact management applications, SFA tools, sales-pipeline management tools, and sales forecasting software. When the Internet bubble burst executives recoiled, and shifted their focus from customer acquisition mode to cost cutting mode. Once again they turned to CRM strategies and technologies, but this time to cut costs and improve business processes, especially in the call center, or cost center, as so many executives apathetically referred to it.

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With this new focus on the call center, executives soon realized another opportunity--instead of rushing customers off the phone to keep costs down, companies started directing simple and unprofitable service calls to low-cost channels, such as an IVR, the Web, and email, while encouraging agents to cross- and upsell to customers who have a higher propensity to buy once serviced. For many this changed the perception of call centers as cost centers to a more appealing term--profit centers. And, understandably so.

It meant that marketers could equip customer service reps with the information to cross- and upsell customers the right product or service at the right time. This stage of CRM's maturity brought the technology's capabilities full circle, effectively linking sales, marketing, and customer service--hence the need for a unified view of the customer across the enterprise. …

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