The Global Recession, Transparent CRM, and the Coming of the New Year

I’ve taken note of a number of articles, including those by Paul Greenberg and Larry Dignan, all predicting companies to keep an eye on for 2009, whether they’re directly related to CRM or not. Here’s my two cents…

If there is a common thread, it’s certainly the recession, and how a vendor’s business model is poised to weather the storm. For CRM vendors, the price of deploying large sales forces globally for face-to-face engagements will be cut back severely. Selling efficiently is the key, and leveraging the Web will become critical.

The world is becoming ubiquitous, and the ability to integrate solutions will become critical, thanks largely towards open source and more open, standard-based APIs. In that way, and as Paul Greenberg pointed out, SugarCRM is well positioned to leverage its global community and the Internet to virtually sell.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, during tough times like these, open source becomes even more valuable, and for reasons that go beyond just the cost savings.

Along those similar lines, there’s a convergence taking place, a new wave of CRM is emerging with the whole concept of social CRM, which is all part of the Web 2.0, social media uproar, and includes customers leveraging social communities, data proliferation, and massive increases in connectivity and interconnectivity. Companies will need to start supplying customers with not just access to products and services, but to employees, suppliers, partners, and each other, all via the virtual capabilities of Web 2.0 and cloud computing.

In that way, I see companies such as IBM and Cisco well positioned to capitalize on these developing trends, and CRM vendors looking to build these capabilities into their own product offerings via partnerships.

All in all, it should be an interesting year to say the least.

2 thoughts on “The Global Recession, Transparent CRM, and the Coming of the New Year

  1. Not to rain on anyone’s parade but has anyone answered the nagging question of “What’s in it for me?” yet.

    Like everyone else I’m excited about the emerging trends in CRM and the possibilities of linking the web with CRM, etc. But shouldn’t CRM vendors answer the basic questions before they move on to more complex matters.

    Questions like:

    – What does CRM do to help a sales rep close a deal quicker and at a higher price than he could do on his own?

    – How does CRM help a sales manager prioritize the pipeline and assign sales resources to the opportunities where those resource will have the greatest impact?

    – When will CRM create a forecast for the EVP of Sales that doesn’t include “cooked” numbers that he can take to the Street?

    Until these basic business questions (and many more like them) are addressed, CRM will continue to under-deliver on expectations.

  2. Decent article and decent site. 2009 could be a rocky road and I hope it separates the wheat from the chaff in the CRM fields. I have a feeling that Entellium is the first in a line of disappointments for most people.

    Mark

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