18 novembro 2004

CRM overview

What is CRM?
Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, is an information technology industry term for methodologies, strategies, software, and other web-based capabilities that help an enterprise organize and manage customer relationships.
For example, "if a marketing department runs an outbound campaign, all of the information about the customers and the program should be retained for the sales staff to follow up on, the customer service representatives to answer any queries, and technical support to provide any field support. The idea is to have the same information available to all in the company so that every product or service need of the customer is met. CRM implies that everyone in the enterprise is focused on the customer."

Brief History of CRM With the advent of e-commerce comes the e-customer. According to Vantive, a customer relationship management solutions provider that was acquired in 2000 by enterprise resource planning (ERP) software company PeopleSoft, the e-customer expects constant access to a company through e-mail, call centers, faxes and Web sites. Customers demand immediate response with a personalized touch. Meeting their needs puts new demands on the enterprise. Since traditional ERP applications did not include a customer management aspect, CRM was the logical next step. Vantive, for example, started as early as 1992 in the development and implementation of these customer management applications.

Two trends have brought CRM to the forefront, explains Boston University professor Thomas H. Davenport, who directs Accenture's Institute for Strategic Change. First, as global competition has increased and products have become harder to differentiate, "companies have begun moving from a product-centric view of the world to a customer-centric one," says Davenport.
Second, technology has ripened to the point where it's possible to put customer information from all over the enterprise into a single system. "Until recently, we didn't have the ability to manage the complex information about customers, because information was stored in 20 different systems," says Davenport. But as network and Internet technology has matured, CRM software has found its place in the world.

Why is CRM Necessary? Several companies are turning to customer-relationship management systems and strategies to gain a better understanding of their customer's wants and needs. Used in association with data warehousing, data mining, call centers and other intelligence-based applications, CRM "allows companies to gather and access information about customers' buying histories, preferences, complaints, and other data so they can better anticipate what customers will want. The goal is to instill greater customer loyalty."

Other benefits include:
Faster response to customer inquiries Increased efficiency through automation Deeper understanding of customers Increased marketing and selling opportunities Identifying the most profitable customers Receiving customer feedback that leads to new and improved products or services Obtaining information that can be shared with business partners.

Market Leaders AMR Research reports that the top vendors of CRM software include Siebel Systems, Clarify, which was acquired in 2000 by Nortel Networks, PeopleSoft, Oracle, as well as smaller, but just as competitive CRM players, such as SalesLogix, Onyx Software, Pivotal, E.piphany, Kana, and Silknet Software.

In the growing segment of CRM professional services, market leaders include Accenture, Art Technology Group, Cambridge Technology Partners, CSC, Deloitte Consulting, EDS, eLoyalty, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, IBM Global Services, KPMG Consulting, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The Future of CRM AMR Research expects the CRM market to grow to more than $20 billion by 2004 – making it as large as the ERP market. IDC reports the CRM segment is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 29% through 2004.[7] In addition, the demand for CRM solutions among mid-market companies will result in a market uplift for implementation services in the second half of 2001, continuing through the year 2004. Key growth drivers will include a stronger focus on CRM business processes and front-to-back office integration.

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CRM Marketing

CRM Implementations: What Have We Learned?

Document Info Company: Harvest Solutions, LLC Author: Sidney C. Lejfer, President Doc Type: Articles Introduction
The Customer Relationship Management Industry continues to mature. CRM software products have evolved and provide features and flexibility that were only a dream not that long ago. CRM implementation methodologies have been refined overtime, designed to provide cost effective consulting services. Despite all the improvements in both product and implementation strategies, companies have been besieged with failed CRM programs.

What Went Wrong with CRM Implementations?
This is a very good question and there are many slices to the blame pie. Let's talk about what went wrong and what to do in the future.
Insufficient Needs Assessment - Many companies just don't know what they need, nor do they understand what a CRM system can do for them. Whether you are a small business or a large corporation, it all starts with a comprehensive needs assessment. If you have the capability to facilitate this process in-house, great! If not, you need to engage a project manager or facilitator to help with this process. Each department from your organization should participate with representation from staff, middle management, and executives.
If you don't know what you want, how do you know what to automate? For political purposes, it is important to engage each discipline in the process to ensure a buy-in for the project at all levels. Too many companies do not engage a broad enough group of people in this process.

Incorrect Product Selection
If you don't identify what you need, how do you know what to buy? Companies end up with products that either don't have the features and flexibility required to meet their needs or they end up with a product that is just too complicated and expensive to implement. In either case, you end up with frustrated users and a CRM program that will never be accepted by the end-users. It is essential that a proper needs assessment is completed and requirements prioritized in order to match the appropriate software product.

Insufficient Budget
In many cases, you are better off not doing the project at all if it is not budgeted correctly. Otherwise, you end up cutting corners on areas like training and support, which seem to be the easiest to cut but results in the greatest damage to a CRM system.

Vendor Selection
Implementing a CRM system is not easy. There are so many factors involved today including technology, setting and meeting the appropriate expectations, expanding scope, and corporate politics - all play a part in the process. Selecting the appropriate vendor who can handle the technology, project management, and the other issues noted above is crucial.

CRM Implementation & Development
If one area can blow a budget and cause the downfall of a project it is runaway implementation & development costs. How do you control and manage this area? It goes back to the needs assessment phase. It is vital that you conduct a thorough needs assessment and prioritize the requirements. You should identify a couple of key requirements to implement and develop as part of an initial phase. This has to be a commitment by both corporate management and the implementation vendor. Other requirements would be implemented in future phases.

Pilot Program and Rollout
Another critical point of failure in CRM implementations is an inadequate pilot program and rollout. If a software product is not tested on a select group of people, you could have a potentially flawed product rolled-out to your entire organization. You need to select a pilot group, test and review, and continue with a systematic roll-out to the remainder of your organization.

Many experienced CRM experts feel that inadequate training causes most failures in CRM systems. Your training requirements need to be considered as a critical part of the success of your system. You need to select and train your instructors, develop training materials, and schedule the courses to meet the needs of your organization.Training does not end with one training course. It is an on-going process, offering advanced training and refresher courses throughout the year.

You need to assign responsibility for the support and maintenance of your CRM program. It is too easy to assign your database administrator the additional responsibility when they may not have the time or expertise to support the system. Once the system goes down and there is a delay in addressing the issue, you will lose credibility with the end-users and they will stop using the system.

As in many areas of business today, it is time to return to basics. In order to have a successful CRM system, you need to adhere to a step-by-step process including needs assessment, product selection, vendor selection, implementation, development, pilot program, roll-out, training and support. If you follow all these steps and address the critical factors as described above, you will increase the probability of implementing a successful CRM system.

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