Customer relationship management
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a model for managing a company’s interactions with current and future customers. It involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support.
Sales force automation
Sales force automation (SFA) uses software to streamline the sales process. The core of SFA is a contact management system for tracking and recording every stage in the sales process for each prospective client, from initial contact to final disposition. Many SFA applications also include insights into opportunities, territories, sales forecasts and work flow automation.
CRM systems for marketing track and measure campaigns over multiple channels, such as email, search, social media, telephone and direct mail. These systems track clicks, responses, leads and deals.
Customer service and support
CRMs can be used to create, assign and manage requests made by customers, such as call center software which help direct customers to agents. CRM software can also be used to identify and reward loyal customers over a period of time.
Appointment CRMs automatically provide suitable appointment times to customers via e-mail or the web, which are then synchronized with the representative or agent's calendar.
For small businesses a CRM system may simply consist of a contact manager system which integrates emails, documents, jobs, faxes, and scheduling for individual accounts. CRM systems available for specific markets (legal, finance) frequently focus on event management and relationship tracking as opposed to financial return on investment (ROI).
CRM often makes use of social media to build up customer relationship. Some CRM systems integrate social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google Plus to track and communicate with customers sharing opinions and experiences with a company, products and services. Trends identified through social media allow businesses to make more accurate decisions on which products to supply.
Non-profit and membership-based
Systems for non-profit and membership-based organizations help track constituents, fund-raising, demographics, membership levels, membership directories, volunteering and communication with individuals.
In 2003, a Gartner report estimated that more than $1 billion had been spent on software that was not being used. According to KEN Insights, less than 40 percent of 1,275 participating companies had end-user adoption rates above 90 percent. Many corporations only use CRM systems on a partial or fragmented basis. In a 2007 survey from the UK, four-fifths of senior executives reported that their biggest challenge is getting their staff to use the systems they had installed. 43 percent of respondents said they use less than half the functionality of their existing system.
The CRM market grew by 12.5 percent in 2008, from revenue of $8.13 billion in 2007 to $9.15 billion in 2008. The following table lists the top vendors in 2006–2008 (figures in millions of US dollars) published in Gartner studies.
|Vendor||2008 Revenue||2008 Share (%)||2007 Revenue||2007 Share (%)||2006 Revenue||2006 Share (%)|
|SAP AG||2,055||22.5 (−2.8)||2,050.8||25.3||1,681.7||25.6|
Many CRM vendors offer subscription-based web tools (cloud computing) and software as a service (SaaS). Some CRM systems are equipped with mobile capabilities, making information accessible to remote sales staff. Salesforce.com was the first company to provide enterprise applications through a web browser, and has maintained its leadership position. Traditional providers have recently moved into the cloud-based market via acquisitions of smaller providers: Oracle purchased RightNow in October 2011 and SAP acquired SuccessFactors in December 2011.
The era of the "social customer" refers to the use of social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram, Yelp, customer reviews in Amazon, etc.) by customers. CR philosophy and strategy has shifted to encompass social networks and user communities.
Sales forces also play an important role in CRM, as maximizing sales effectiveness and increasing sales productivity is a driving force behind the adoption of CRM. Empowerming sales managers was listed as one of the top 5 CRM trends in 2013.
Another related development is vendor relationship management (VRM), which provide tools and services that allow customers to manage their individual relationship with vendors. VRM development has grown out of efforts by ProjectVRM at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Identity Commons' Internet Identity Workshops, as well as by a growing number of startups and established companies. VRM was the subject of a cover story in the May 2010 issue of CRM Magazine.
In 2001, Doug Laney developed the concept and coined the term 'Extended Relationship Management' (XRM). Laney defines XRM as extending CRM disciplines to secondary allies such as the government, press and industry consortia.
CRM futurist Dennison DeGregor describes a shift from 'push CRM' toward a 'customer transparency' (CT) model, due to the increased proliferation of channels, devices, and social media.
- Shaw, Robert, Computer Aided Marketing & Selling (1991) Butterworth Heinemann ISBN 978-0-7506-1707-9
- SAP Insider (15 November 2007) Still Struggling to Reduce Call Center Costs Without Losing Customers?
- DestinationCRM.com (2009) Who Owns the Social Customer?
- Jim Dickie, CSO Insights (2006) Demystifying CRM Adoption Rates
- Joachim, David. "CRM tools improve access, usability." (cover story). B to B 87, no. 3 (March 11, 2002): 1
- David Sims, TMC.net (2007) CRM Adoption ‘Biggest Problem’ in 83 Percent of Cases
- DestinationCRM.com (2009) CRM Market Grows for Fifth Straight Year
- "Gartner Says Worldwide Customer Relationship Management Market Grew 23 Percent in 2007" (Press release). Gartner, Inc. 2008-09-12. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
- "Gartner Says Worldwide CRM Market Grew 12.5 Percent in 2008" (Press release). Gartner, Inc. 2009-06-15. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
- Cloud CRM to Work PC World: April, 2010
- Buys Cloud-based Customer Service Company RightNow For $1.5 Billion Techcrunch: October 24, 2011
- Challenges Oracle With $3.4 Billion SuccessFactors Purchase Bloomberg Businessweek: December 07, 2011
- Greenberg, Paul (2009). CRM at the Speed of Light (4th ed.). McGraw Hill. p. 7.
- "Top 5 CRM Trends for 2013". Enterprise Apps Today. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
- Destinationcrm.com CRM Magazine: May, 2010
-  The Great Enterprise Balancing Act: Extended Relationship Management (XRM), Doug Laney, META Group publication, December 10, 2001
- DeGregor, Dennison (2011). Customer-Transparent Enterprise: Beyond 20th Century CRM. Motivational Press. ISBN 1-935723-23-5.