To make a success of customer relationship management (CRM) systems CIOs need a clear strategy which builds on the corporate strategy and maps onto future growth plans, Gartner has advised in its report Three Steps to Create a CRM Strategy.
"A CRM strategy cannot be developed in isolation. It must be relevant and linked to the overall corporate strategy, and it must build on existing sales or marketing strategies that are already in use," said Ed Thompson, vice-president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "Following these three steps will provide a solid framework for CRM success."
According to Gartner, the CRM strategy represents an integrated blueprint for how the organisation will achieve its sales, marketing and customer service goals. It must give quantitative answers to questions such as: What is the ideal customer base? What products or services is it going to sell, to whom, at what price and through which channels? Gartner said. The strategy also need to answer subjective questions like: What is the best way to build customer loyalty and how will the organisation connect with a customer to create a positive gut feel?
Gartner has identified three steps CIOs need to create a successful CRM strategy:
1. Set the destination
2. Audit the current situation
3. Map the journey to the destination.