Poor performance slows investment in CRM systems


Few companies regard their CRM systems as an unqualified success, and investment in this area is slowing, according to the latest end-user survey from PMP Research.

Just 4% of those polled feel their CRM implementation has delivered all the benefits they anticipated—the same proportion as in the previous year. In contrast, the majority (56%) are lukewarm in their view of the benefits of CRM, claiming to have had only partial success in this area.

Moreover, one in five (20%) describe their CRM systems as 'not particularly successful' and have identified no major benefits from using them.

This lack of enthusiasm translates into declining levels of investment in CRM. The majority (40%) estimate they have spent less than £250,000 on this technology over the past three years, with a third (34%) unable to forecast what next year’s spending might be.

And although much the same proportion as before (42%) say they will spend up to £250,000 in the coming year, the number of big spenders is decreasing. While 12% reckon to have spent between £1 million and £5 million on CRM applications in the last three years, just 2% anticipate spending this much in future.

Respondents were asked to rate their motivations for implementing CRM systems on a scale of 1 to 5. The aggregated scores show that improving customer satisfaction levels is the key aim (3.89), along with providing better strategic information to functional areas such as sales and marketing (3.83).

But only half (53%) of the sample have agreed criteria for measuring whether or not benefits are achieved in those areas, while 38% have not.

As well as financial gains, companies are also using metrics such as customer satisfaction levels and the amount of new business generated to gauge the success of a CRM project.

However, only a third (34%) have been able to analyse their efforts using such measures, while 17% have failed in this task and 41% maintain it is too early to assess how well they have got on.

Many companies are still finding it hard to create the 'single view of a customer' which many CRM implementations promise. Only 5% feel they have merged all customer channels and interactions with complete success, while the biggest proportion (40%) feel they have been only moderately successful.


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