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Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Thoughts from Gartner CRM Summit

We’ve enjoyed an interesting first day at the Gartner CRM Summit in London.

Gartner’s overall assessment is that social CRM - community in customer service, social sales techniques and social media marketing - will be the most hyped segment of the CRM market (surprise!), and will see the most growth. However this will (surprise again!) still not be a major spending area - traditional salesforce automation and customer service contact center software, together with marketing automation will continue to take up the lion’s share with more than 85% of spending. In other words, the innovation must compete with the significant background “noise” of the demands of ongoing operations.

I think there is a parallel here to another of the dominant themes at the event - the “intent-driven enterprise”. There are significant challenges associated with this innovation that are being overcome
  • Making each customer’s value explicit
  • Getting marketing and business intelligence together to define customer
  • Understanding customer intentions in real time
  • Providing front-line employees with knowledge of customer value
However, I would add that again, all this innovation needs to be deployed against a challenging operational background. In particular, front-line employees who are struggling to use complex desktops to service customers often find it impossible to put value added strategies into practice. As a result, organisations need now more than ever to streamline and simplify these desktops in a way that cuts the noise level for the agents so that customers can be heard and the determined intentions acted on.

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