CRM Growth Continues
Yesterday I was on the other side of the interview table. A public relations representative for an enterprise feedback management (survey) vendor asked me whether I saw growth potential in that and in the broader CRM markets. Although some industry insiders feel that CRM has maxed out, I think there is significant opportunity for growth. And not just among organizations that have never implemented CRM technology. Many companies that already have a packaged or homegrown system in place plan to update that technology in the near future.
A recent forecast from Forrester Research concurs.
The Forrester forecast predicts moderate growth in the CRM industry through 2010. The forecast expects new license sales to reach $2.8 billion by 2010, which translates to about 25 percent of total vendor revenues, down from 37 percent in 2003. Forrester anticipates that overall CRM spending will remain steady, with services taking an increasing share of vendors' revenue.
Forrester also expects the share of CRM revenues generated by software-as-a-service companies to rise to 22 percent by 2010, reaching $2.4 billion. Additionally, it predicts that the EMEA market will become increasingly significant, with new license sales rising from 34 percent in 2003 to 38 percent by 2010.
Another area the forecast covered is customers' expectations. Forrester predicts that organizations will be more loyal to their current vendors, but that they will also expect more support from those providers. The forecast suggests that CRM vendors will get "cozier" with current clients, as well as develop new offerings and increase their focus on innovation.
Interestingly, in recent conversations I had with executives at Sage and ClientLogic, they reported similar expectations from their customers. Sage's Dave Batt said that its customers prefer a vendor that can handle end-to-end processes, and are expecting their vendors or integration partners to help guide them into such areas as mobile CRM. Trends are similar in the contact center market. "We're seeing the need from customers for solutions that handle more complex requirements with more flexibility," Amit Shankardass, senior vice president of solution planning at ClientLogic, told me recently. "We're also seeing customers looking for a single vendor that offers multiple types of services, from customer service to sales to collections, etc."
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