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 :

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 :

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Siebel Systems leads in overall market share and sales revenue.
  4. 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 vendor-partners.
  5. 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 market growth.

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