With Gartner forecasting that CRM will be a $36 billion market by 2017, eclipsing even the ERP market, investment in customer relationship management tools continues to accelerate.
This graphic from Forbes demonstrates the meteoric rise of the CRM market.
Clearly, organisations are prepared to invest ever greater sums in a bid to develop stronger, long-term relationships with their customers.
But while investing in 'CRM' seems like a clear step in the right direction for those brands keen to become more customer-centric, the reality is that CRM solutions are swathed in complexity. One CRM system can differ dramatically from another, and all manner of new functionality and integrations, and bells and whistles have been added in recent years.
In part, this is what has made CRM so appealing - its willingness to evolve to accommodate the changing needs of the business as they in turn adapt to accommodate the ever-changing customer.
But it also makes the path to purchase that much more tricky.
Neil Davey is the managing editor of MyCustomer. An experienced business journalist and editor, Neil has worked on a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites over the past 20 years, including Internet Works, CXO magazine and Business Management. He joined MyCustomer in 2007.