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Build a Customer Relationship Management Strategy

Understand CRM best practices and create a strategy for success.


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12 confidential contributors.

Your Challenge

  • Organizations of all sizes need a solution that will give them a unified view of their customers across the three major interaction domains: marketing, sales, and customer service.
  • Despite the importance of creating a “single face” for the customer, efforts in the three domains are rarely harmonized. Integration is critical across process domains. Social media is a particular pain point: marketing often leads social initiatives, but neglects to involve stakeholders in sales and customer service.
  • Most large enterprises understand the need to have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) suite in place, but the adoption scenario has become complicated by a rising number of best-of-breed point solutions in the three domains. Integrating across disparate systems is painful – an integrated suite addresses the customer lifecycle the best. The larger the enterprise and the more complex the needs, the more this value proposition resonates.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • The importance of social media integration and mobile access (either through HTML5 or a dedicated application) cannot be overstated. Mobile support has significantly improved over the course of 2012, but you’ll still need to watch the mobile features to ensure a proper selection. The vast majority of CRM vendors continue to lag in social media features.
  • Augment the CRM suite with the best available point solutions where necessary. Strengthen the CRM ecosystem with integrated point-solutions, such as a Social Media Management Platform (SMMP) or a Field Service Automation suite to turbocharge functionality.
  • Taking a structured approach to implementation is paramount. Assemble a deployment team with the right skills and representation from stakeholders in the business.

Impact and Result

  • Understand the benefits of using a CRM suite, as well as identify best practices for a successful CRM implementation.
  • Plan for and select a CRM suite that supports your business’s domains, customer segments, and channel strategy.
  • Save time and money by using Info-Tech’s Vendor Landscapes to compare and contrast the major CRM vendors, and then create a shortlist of the most appropriate vendors.
  • Gather vendor and product information, objectively score the responses, and conduct vendor demonstrations, in order to select the right product.

Research & Tools

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