New Survey: Sales Still the Greatest Driver of CRM Value

Forrester analyst Bill Band has just blogged about a new survey he has completed aimed at identifying the key value drivers behind CRM decisions.

I must say – I was not surprised to see that sales automation tops the list, followed by customer data and marketing tools. But what is important to note is the areas of sales that respondents were equating with CRM. Order and contract management are listed in the “sales” side of CRM, as is e-commerce and even service.

Just like I noted last week that social media cannot live apart from your core CRM system – there are many aspects of the sales cycle that may not necessarily be part of a core CRM package, but must also be considered as part of the core CRM processes – and integrated as needed.

As best-of-breed approaches and phased rollouts prevail in this economy, it is very important in the decision-making processes to understand the importance of connecting core SFA systems to order and contract (and e-commerce) processes. More and more, deals that begin on the phone may be completed in a self-service format on the web (and vice versa) and without proper planning, it is easy to lose sight of the deals as they move between these systems.

These are not new concepts, to be sure, but all too often systems get implemented without consideration of how the true people and process will flow between them.

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