Ala Martin’s blog below, I found this article, “The Future State of the CRM Market,” courtesy of pcworld.com. It outlines how CRM vendors could confront rough times in the face of harsh economic conditions.
It’s loaded with an abundance of interesting points (based mostly on a recent AMR Research report and resulting interview), and among other topics, points to the fact that CRM is continuing to experience double-digit growth for the first time since the dotcom burst; a time when many CRM projects were IT flameouts for enterprises. Since then, vendors and customers alike have heeded these lessons, and as a result, have created what I like to call the 2nd generation of more flexible, user-friendly CRM solutions focused on usability and elasticity.
But as the article notes, just because vendors have a renewed focus on the aforementioned issues, it’s important not to forget them, as funding for CRM systems could be tight in the coming year(s). In particular, I found the following comments spot on:
Although vendors are improving user interfaces and technologies to combat this problem, it only puts a bandage on the situation. To fix the problem, CRM vendors need to find ways to create sustainably high adoption rates. If success rates don’t continue to improve and total cost of ownership doesn’t come down, buyers will find CRM investments harder to justify, especially if budgets begin to shrink.
I couldn’t agree more, because the fact is, in the mind of the business user, CRM solutions are a necessary evil. Everybody wants to make their customers happier but nobody wants to deal with the headache of using a CRM solution, or the costly expenses of customizing one. That said, the Google-like, point-and-click functionality is exactly the sort of user interface the next generation, and current generation, has come to expect. To that end, being able to deploy easy-to-customize and integrate software will be equally important, as CIOs look to keep cost of ownership down while maximizing ROI.
In the end, poor end user adoption has been, and will probably always remain, the #1 road block to successful CRM deployments…or at least until humans are eliminated from the equation all together, but lets all pray that never happens.
Excuse me sir, would you like to supersize that meal?