CRM End User Survey - by Frost & Sullivan (excerpts).
Time for a reality check on whats happening in the world of CRM. Frost & Sullivan
has just (April 00) released the first survey trying to chart the reactions of the End
Users in the US to installed CRM solutions. Such surveys are notoriusly difficult to
conduct, because Customers find it hard to fit into survey boxes. However some trends do
emerge such as vendors over promising and underdelivering , commonly know as marketing
hype outperforming reality. Vendors are cashing in on early adaptions which are often
disappointing as expectations are high and reality is different.
The study does highlight the distinct lack of product maturity & cost
effectiveness. The End-user customers are disgruntled about the performance and
capabilities vis-a-vis price of the CRM solutions being offered.
Quotes from Frost & Sullivan analyst Andy Tanner Smith :
- "As users grow increasingly reliant on the functionality and the data integration
offered by CRM products, vendors are gearing their efforts towards fulfilling the criteria
applied by the end-user. The market is expected to experience a shift to electronic CRM
(eCRM) which aims to embrace the web as an access channel."
- "As vendors begin to discuss their solutions in terms of the next wave of eCRM, the
market is open for any vendor of sophisticated, yet sensibly priced offerings. The study
emphasizes that the current crop of vendors falls some way short of this."
- "Expectations have been raised through the high price tags attached to leading CRM
products. Such high prices are not uncommon in emerging markets because the competitive
advantage offered by the product lies in its ownership. When mere ownership of a CRM
solution fails to provide that competitive advantage sought by users, they will look for
complete out-of-the-box systems; improved and wider scopes of functionality; price
reductions in order to achieve more rapid returns on investments and better services from
vendors. Indeed, users will be looking for all the elements of a competitive market that
are lacking in the vendors of CRM at present."
Frost & Sullivan makes the key point that CRM vendors need to practice what theye
preach. CRM applications quite often do not live up to customer expectations and after
sales services leave much to be desired.
Key findings of the report are :
- While users expressed relative satisfaction with the technology, the pre-sales
consultancy and post-sales service they receive from their vendor could be improved. One
of the most crucial factors in this context is price.
- End User consensus that CRM products are overpriced. However the dynamic CRM market
changes quickly and competition is expected to drive down prices in the mid term.
- Siebel Systems leads in overall market share and sales revenue.
- Products promoted heavely by the vendors as complete solutions fail to provide the
features that customers require. Many vendors offer products originating from sales force
automation, marketing automation or Help Desk technology and add functionality through
- End Users are concerned with integration problems between the different application in
the CRM packages offered.
Frost & Sullivan concludes that lack of mature CRM Solutions currently prevents
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