Reaching for the CRM Nirvana

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AMR’s research paper, CRM: Myth or Reality? by Kevin Scott looks at the CRM Nirvana, and conjects that analytical CRM is still much more a vendor’s vision than a user’s reality.

He suggests that an integrated suite of marketing, sales, and service applications deployed across all of your company’s sales channels sounds quite promising. If you then add in analytic tools that collect, cleanse, and interpret all your customer data while making decisions about each interaction, he says we’re talking CRM Nirvana.

Different brush strokes
This is the picture leaders in the CRM space are painting. However, as in most nascent markets, the users are a few brush strokes behind the artist.

He suggests that we should consider:
• what analytical CRM is and isn’t.
• that data mining predicts customer behavior and differentiates vendors.
• that analytical CRM will drive customer interaction and strategic business decisions… eventually.

AMR Research interviewed vendors, users, and system integrators that have incorporated analytics into their CRM strategies. Several key points emerged:

• Analytics are expected to add up to $4.4B in the CRM market by 2005.

• Depending on a vendor’s background and level of functionality, different challenges face it.

• Infrastructure, autonomy, and disparate systems hinder deployment.

• Data mining can optimize your marketing mix.

• Old and new technologies look to create additional profit and efficiency.

• The implementation of analytics can be an expensive and lengthy process.

Make a smooth transition
Even though AMR Research’s findings suggest that this market is still very much in its infancy, the lengthy implementation times and large amounts of integration show that it is necessary to start immediately. Three ways to make sure your analytical platform has a smooth transition from the canvas to the blueprints are as follows:

• Start small

• Make integration a priority

Focus the system on your most profitable customers, products, and channels first, and then begin to integrate all of your other information.

Read the entire paper at:
AMR Research

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