$23bn spent on CRM for little return that Gartner can see

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As corporations spend billions on CRM, the payback seen so far is disturbing. According to Gartner, worldwide spending on CRM will reach $78.1 billion in 2005 – up from the $23.26 billion achieved in 2000.

"CRM is a popular management discipline that puts the customer at the heart of the business", said Gartner VP and research director Ed Thompson. "And, it’s a discipline that applies to pretty well any kind of business, and to business customers as well as consumers. Yet our research shows less than 10% of companies today have a single, integrated view of their customers and, those that do are only just beginning to leverage their investments to improve customer loyalty and profitability."

In order to understand what companies have really achieved with their CRM investments, Gartner explored enterprises representing industries such as - banking, brokerage, entertainment, software, hardware, healthcare, chemicals and retail. Included are the insights of CRM innovators like Dow, Charles Schwab, Compaq, and Harrah's Entertainment.

All have achieved some level of CRM success and they all exhibit one or more of the following eight key characteristics:
• CRM vision
• Strategy
• Consistent value across channels
• Organisational collaboration
• Quality data, supporting technology, and
• Internal and external customer metrics.

The findings, verified using larger samples, suggest a correlation between CRM maturity and profitability. The only organisations who sit outside this correlation are companies in very competitive markets and monopolies.

The study goes on to show that early adopters of CRM are reaping the benefits. However, Gartner is quick to point out that most companies are in the aware and developing stages of CRM maturity with only the most aggressive companies practicing and optimising. The stage of leading and maximising remains out of reach for most. This suggests great paybacks for CRM investments if done right.

About Gartner, Inc.
Gartner, is a research and advisory firm focused on helping businesses understand technology and drive growth. Headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, the company consists of 4,600 associates, including 1,400 research analysts and consultants, in more than 80 locations worldwide.



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