CRM

ignoredmoodusSoftware and s/w Development

Feb 21, 2014 (3 years and 7 months ago)

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Sex, Drugs, Rock N’ Roll…and Customer Relationship Management

(CRM),
which one doesn’t belong? Trick question, they all belong.
The relationship of t
he
preceding buzzwords
to each other is that they
are
all
assured

to
spawn

some sort of
dialog between e
ven

the most
reclusive and withdrawn of humans
.
These are
common
household words, right?
For instance, sex was perfected when the Karma

Sutra

was
written, and has been around millions of years before then
. Drugs
became popular, when
the hippies took the
m to new highs
, and

r
ock n’ roll was invented by Elvis

in the 1950’s,
b
ut

what of CRM?

Who invented it, who popularized it, who perfected it?


Unfortunately, a
nswers to these questions will not be addressed in this paper.
However, this paper will try to

r
each the
se reclusive and withdrawn individuals

and teach
them
a little about CRM as a whole.
Simple English wil
l be the vehicle with which this
new and exciting information will be given.
Topics such as implementation

of CRM
,
technological trends, bene
fits and problems as well as leading software packages will be
discussed.

CRM Packages

Tier 1


SAP



While SAP leads the ERP industry, SAP trails Siebel in the CRM industry.
SAP has spent many years developing an advanced CRM package. Recently SAP
intr
oduced its latest myCRM that provides full functionality. Here are a few features that
stand out myCRM from its competition: advanced marketing analytical research tools,
and decent call center support. The biggest advantage of myCRM is its marketing too
ls
that can access R/3 master data providing a large amount of analytical data for the user.


http://www.aberdeen.com/2001/research/07010001%2Dfull.asp




Siebel



Siebel’s CRM has
continually evolved into now what is a web based
complete CRM package that prides itself on being able to capture business processes.
Siebel’s CRM software is well known for its easy integration of not only business needs
but also third party software. S
iebel provides extensive training to customers that include
how to operate the CRM package but also what methodologies it uses.


http://www.aberdeen.com/2001/research/09020006.asp

Tier 2

SalesLogix


Avnet’s CRM package is called SalesLogix. SalesLogix is a fairly straight
forward package aimed at midsized companies. SalesLogix is made up of three separate
applications that cover Sales Force Automation (SFA), Customer Support, and Reselle
r.
SalesLogix uses Microsoft SQL for database technology. SalesLogix uses a browser
based interface. Here is a short list of some of the features of SalesLogix: Quote status,
Contract status, Customer profile, Publication subscription service, Instant m
essaging,
Enterprise resource access, Credit account status, RMA, Sales history, Integration order
status, and Customer security.


Ten Significant CRM Implementations 2003, Aberdeen, Pages 27
-
29

Tier 3

FrontRange


FrontRange’s CRM package is called GoldMin
e, a leading small and
midsize CRM package. FrontRange has recently differentiated its GoldMine package by
introducing its Goldmine CustomerIQ software. CustomerIQ is one of the first CRM
programs fully built in the .NET environment and provides a highly

specialized package
for specific industries such as finance and manufacturing. Also the GoldMine
Opportunities Management software has an excellent reputation for being easy to use.


ht
tp://www.aberdeen.com/2001/research/030318061.asp

Microsoft CRM


Microsoft CRM is a recent addition to the CRM playing field that targets
small and medium businesses. Microsoft’s CRM package provides sales, marketing, and
support functions for business.

It is highly integrated with Microsoft Office and uses .Net
technology along with SQL database technology.

http://www.aberdeen.com/2001/research/03020001.asp

Salesforce.com


Salesforce.co
m is a complete CRM solution for small businesses and more
recently medium sized businesses. SalesForce.com is made up of four sections: SFA,
Marketing Automation, Customer service, and Reporting & Analysis.

http://www.aberdeen.com/ab%5Fcompany/researchareas/crmsnaps/Salesforce.pdf


In the past few years, CRM vendors have made significant changes to the overall
architecture of the software. These changes have incl
uded simple additions like the
integration of wireless components into the CRM platforms, to more complex changes
like including more portals and moving from client/server architecture towards N
-
tiered
designed applications. In this section I will examine
just a few of the major technological
trends that have dominated the forefront of CRM discussion.


As I have already alluded to, the overall architecture of the CRM platform has
been changing. The most recognizable change has been the conversion in many pa
ckages
from a Client/Server environment, to environments which are N
-
Tiered, Web Centric,
and XML enabled, to name a few. The reason for this major conversion has been the
internet. Vendors have found themselves struggling to keep up with the increased tra
ffic
and other demands associated with a growing internet environment. In order to keep
pace, it has been necessary to develop and explore new technologies which better
transcend the barriers of an otherwise cluttered cyberspace. While it is important to
e
mbrace this new technology with open arms, vendors are starting to find out that 100%
of one technology is not good either. For example, some vendors have converted to total
Web
-
Centric technology. The problem with such a strategy is that the few connected

users have been left out in the cold. The ability to accommodate the needs of many users
is clearly the best plan of attack.


Portal architecture has also been a hot topic in the world of CRM. Portals are the
medium which allow corporations to customize t
heir CRM system. Most of the talk
surrounding portals lately has to do with EIP or Enterprise Information Portal. EIP allows
Web
-
enabled employees to access mission critical enterprise data, application, and
processes combined with elements of the consumer

portal. In simple terms, EIP allows
the access of internal and external information. EIP’s have become very important to the
CRM e
-
commerce structure.


It seems like everything today has gone wireless. Wireless devices and services
have become crucial in
the day to day functioning of many people, and so it is important
that CRM become wireless enabled. Unfortunately, wireless devices do not automatically
communicate with the CRM infrastructure. One of the reasons for this is that there are
many different w
ireless products and technologies. For example: CDMA, GSM, TDMA,
G3, SMS, and CDPD. So as you can imagine, it is very difficult to find a way to allow all
these different technologies to interface with the many vendors of CRM. The answer to
this problem is

middleware. A current trend in CRM is for the leading vendors to dump
massive funds into R&D to create the middleware to make sophisticated and secure
wireless applications a reality.


The last hot trend in CRM that I want to discuss is the role of XML. I
t seems that
all the leading CRM vendors have integrated XML into their software. The reason is that
XML is a very reliable and flexible data standard. Because CRM is becoming integrated
with the internet, XML provides an excellent medium to share data. XM
L can be used in
ordinary documents (like word processing), but also in objects, data records, meta
-
content, and graphical presentations. It will undoubtedly take CRM vendors some time to
maximize the power of XML within the architecture, but it has alread
y proven to be the
future of CRM.

In today's difficult and highly competitive markets, customer loyalty is a key
asset. To achieve this, you must focus and base all your attention and efforts towards
what customers want. Even in today's tight markets, this

desire to get closer to the
customer is backed by increased spending. In fact, the dollar amount spent on customer
relationship management and sales and marketing automation is growing 30 to 50 percent
per annum.

However there is little evidence that all
this investment is actually paying off,
as customer retention remains inflexibly low and brand loyalty continues to decline. In
addition, more than half of CRM projects fail to deliver a measurable ROI, and many are
written off as complete failures. Even t
hose organizations that have successful CRM
implementations credit better quality customer interactions to better sales and call center
support.

A whole generation of CRM implementations has fundamentally missed the
mark. CRM is not an application, a techn
ology, or an integration project. Rather, it is a
business strategy that is fundamental to the success of organizations across a wide range
of industries. Many of these organizations have acquired CRM capability in the form of a
software package, only to d
iscover that this one
-
size
-
fits
-
all approach leaves them with a
generic capability that doesn't, in fact, work as well as their previous systems. Trying to
integrate the new with the old only reveals the flaws in the old processes, which then
have to be re
designed in light of an existing automated capability. This is not only painful
but unnecessary.

Traditional approaches to CRM implementation have begun with a small pilot
project, demonstrating the value of the project on a limited scale. However, pilot p
rojects
are not only costly and time
-
consuming, they bring with them all the problems that are
inherent in the full
-
scale implementation of the project. Pilot projects only provide a
partial view of the potential value of a CRM project, and they may be jud
ged failures for
reasons that are unconnected to the value of the CRM project as a whole.

Different companies maintain different views and guidelines on implementing
CRM. Many use a checklist to ensure that their implementation is a success. Almost all
CRM

vendors have developed implementation methodology, which helps the consultants
to deploy CRM rapidly. They generally use customer relationship management to satisfy
and retain customers. It can be implemented in almost any industry where sales, customer
s
ervice, and marketing play a significant role. Furthermore, it can be achieved by
studying each division’s business nature by isolating it from other divisions across an
organization, thus giving more insight to the missing requirements for that division.
After
careful study of all divisions activities and other requirements, a complete understanding
of how to go about CRM implementation can be reached.

Benefits and Problems with CRM


Customer Relationship Management is an expanding market with the growing

global market. CRM enables a business to directly interact with customers worldwide.
There are many reasons why firms shift to automated sales, marketing and customer
service. These reasons include high sales call costs, increases global competition an
d the
growing need for information. With the recent technological push globally, many firms
have no option but to implement such systems. With such expansion, problems as well
as benefits arise. By comparison, benefits of CRM clearly outweigh the proble
ms that
enterprises have incurred during the implication of this type of system.


CRM enables a firm, in most cases to decrease the rising cost of sales. On
average a sales call is close to $211.
1

Aside from the decrease in sales costs, it makes
custom
er information readily available if they have been stored in the system. Such
information can include: name, location, taste preference, and all other marketing areas.



Goldenberg, Barton J.
CRM Automation
.
C 2002

Barton Goldenberg, Prentice Hall,
Upper Saddle River NJ


In terms of the global market, this system assists firms to better monitor and track
m
arketplace developments.


Benefits resulting from CRM are directly related to reasons stated above. By
improving sales and marketing information about customers, a firm can shorten order
time and increase customer satisfaction. Through this process a bus
iness can also
increase productivity through effective target marketing, which in turn can reduce cost of
production. This process would provide accurate quotations, and check inventory on the
spot which would also increase customer relations and shorten
ordering time, another
cost factor. Both these benefits enhance customer care because with a reduction in
administrative workload, a sales administrator can spend more time with a customer and
can react quicker to customer needs. A major problem in the U
S is customer retention.
With the implementation of the above system, a firm can expect an increase in loyalty.
Many other benefits arise as a result of increase customer satisfaction, some of which
tangible areas such as increased revenue and “close” ra
tes, the percentage of business
orders closed. Other benefits include intangible ones, such as a smoother run company
based on less time needed to obtain customer information versus time utilizing the
information readily at hand to perform the job. Incre
ase revenues also affect employee
motivation and satisfaction. More sales can mean bonuses at less aggravation because of
the information being at hand.


Despite all the positive affects and benefits this system can have, a firm must be
willing to avoid p
roblems that have occurred in the past. An industry must have a
planned strategy along with corporate commitment, stemming down from the highest
executives. This is important because many attempts have failed because of “in
-
company” politics. It is impo
rtant to keep in mind, managers and company executives
must be familiar with computers and have proper training and know
-
how. Most
importantly a company applying CRM must make valuable information available
between corporate and field personnel and vice v
ersa. If a firm is able to follow these
guidelines then CRM will be a huge success and will in turn produce many of the benefits
spoke about earlier.


Customer Relationship Management, although a relatively new topic, has already
gained multiple facets
to is existence. Its variety of software packages proves its demand
in our business economy, as many different companies fight to be considered the top
CRM software manufacturer. The CRM trends stated
earlier

prove CRM’s ability to
grow and
mold to

moder
n technological advancements.
As well, many different
companies choose to implement CRM in numerous different ways, which ultimately
proves

its compatibility with different business markets. The benefits are clear
-
cut and to
the point. There is so much
room for improvement that implementation of CRM can
sometimes seem flawless. Besides words such as popular, flexible, compatible, and
beneficial
, another word comes to the foreground when discussing CRM…SEXY!!!