Marketing Decisions

The blog of LHL Partners, LLC. The blogger is (often) Rick Lightburn, Chief Knowledge Officer of LHL Partners, with his observations about marketing. Our main page is at

Monday, October 08, 2007

CRM Growth

An interesting article in destinationCRM of September 26 that while the survey firm AMR Research forecasts a substantial 16% growth in spending on CRM systems in 2008, 29%0 of companies surveyed report at least a glitch in CRM implementation, and fully 25% of all the licenses for CRM software go unused.
So there's a lot of wasted effort in CRM, even if there's growth in spending. (Smells like an opportunity to me!)

How come there's such waste?

The article only hints at that. Apparently that wasn't in the objectives of the study. But the director of the study at AMR Research make a few observations. The Information Technology departments of many organizations are primarily developing CRM deployments, but the priorities for CRM adoption are unlike many previous successful projects. The priorities in CRM successes are usability, easy reporting, analytics, and integration with desktop productivity tools. Sales and marketing departments will go off and use something else if it's easier. So while CRM deployments might develop CRM programs, they don't really control CRM programs.

This is aggravated by the availability of "software-as-a-service" among CRM programs. Some CRM systems can be completely 'housed' outside the organization, and developed and controlled outside of the organization's IT department.

Perhaps some sales and marketing departments can only poorly articulate what they need out a CRM system, leaving IT departments holding the bag with licenses for software that once seemed might work, but didn't in the longer term. Sales and marketing departments might have evolving, different or even conflicting requirements, which a fixed CRM deployment might not meet.

There remains big challenges in CRM adoption.



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