Customer Relationship Management (CRM) could be in for a very rough ride this year, predict analysts at Cambridge IT research firm Cambashi.
Mike Evans, senior partner at the firm, speaking at Cambashi's annual seminar held last month, 'forecast a lot of CRM disaster stories this year,' with the result that 'CRM will be a dirty acronym.' Although he felt that CRM has worked well in call centres, and has been good for sales managers, he said deployment was 'mostly awful', content was 'uninformative', packages are 'too generic', they 'hinder best sales reps', and, finally, 'do nothing for most sales reps'.
'Typically most CRM implementations slow down sales reps, and do zip all for the best sales reps.' Evans recommended giving sales reps wireless PDAs with always on connections that can receive information about prospects. 'When context sensitive content can be customised, CRM will take off.'
Fellow partner Edwin Ecob , who talked about revenue, hype and hysteria in the ERP, CRM, Supply Chain Management (SCM), automation, and e-business software markets, also had harsh words for CRM. 'It isn't living up to expectations. People who have to use it, especially salespeople, find the packages difficult to use, and suppliers aren't addressing that. For CRM to be effective organisations must change cultures and be customer-centric.'
He predicted that ERP - of the above five categories - will generate the most revenue for suppliers, followed by SCM, e-business, automation and CRM. As for hype and hysteria, Ecob said that SCM will top that league, followed by last year's category winner, e-business.
He said he picked ERP because of the growth of collaborative e-business solutions.