Global CRM Software Industry Forum

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a business development strategy generally supported by customer affinity objectives, company culture, business processes, implementation methods and CRM application software. CRM is designed to systemically and continually enhance and grow customer share and reduce customer churn.

CRM strategies and CRM systems have become a synergistic combination in the pursuit of business development objectives. For most enterprise companies, CRM suites include marketing automation, sales force automation (SFA), and customer service components. Related automation capabilities such as Partner Relationship Management (PRM), sales order processing, CRM analytics and social media tools (CRM 2.0 or social CRM) often compliment traditional CRM applications. New technology introductions such as open source CRM systems, new delivery methods such as software as a service (SaaS), new pricing models such as subscription pricing and outsourced CRM software management continue to introduce new opportunities for CRM adoption, implementation and operation.

CRM achievement is a journey and success is much more than a go-live software implementation event. Strategic benefits from Customer Relationship Management strategies and software solutions generally involve a a change in company culture and a continuous evolution that evolves over time and adapts to changing customer needs and new organizational capabilities. It is critical to first understand that CRM is a business development strategy and then recognize how CRM software can act as the framework, management and automation to achieve that strategy. Strategic CRM systems increase anticipation, response and understanding of an organization's customer needs in a timely, efficient and mutually rewarding manner.

Many CRM adopters, practitioners, consultants and project managers have discovered successful methods, best practices, effective business processes and lessons learned which collectively reduce risk and increase the payback of customer focused business initiatives. This website is a collection of shared experiences designed to leverage social media participation, user generated content and community interaction for the benefit of all readers.

This primary purpose of this CRM software advice is to share, collaborate and advance the collective content, information, cooperation, knowledge, networking and wisdom that can be derived from a community of like minded business participants. Readers are encouraged to share their experience, views and insight for the community's benefit.

This CRM software industry website is globally focused in order to expand upon the information sharing and networking beyond just the North American market place. We hope you will join us in the CRM journey.

Customer Relationship Management 2.0

Customer Relationship Management strategies and CRM software solutions have succeeded in migrating from the management and streamlining of customer-facing transactional activities to harvesting customer knowledge in order to better serve and collaborate with customers. While there is clearly a evolutional process which will continue to improve customer data aggregation, customer analysis, and customer learning, the next CRM trend is clearly focused on social CRM or CRM 2.0.

CRM 2.0 was born from the seeds of Web 2.0 and the social media phenomenon characterized by user-generated content derived through social networks, blogs, wikis, community portals and RSS syndication. CRM thought leaders are trailing new methods to collaborate in the way the customer desires, to elevate the communication from monologue to dialogue and to engage the customer in a manner that delivers meaningful information and knowledge to both parties. For leading edge CRM practitioners, social media strategy goes well beyond just making the customer feel important and in fact, makes the customer an integral extension of the marketing team, the Research and Development team and every other line of business that may benefit from direct contribution by the ultimate recipient.

CRM 2.0 requires new thinking and recognition that the customer relationship balance with the new social customer has transcended from a relationship where the company believes it controls the dialogue with its product and service directed activities to one where the customer is proactive, part of a much larger online community and is far more intent on being heard and recognized as part of the customer solution.

Many enterprises view social CRM and Web 2.0 as a corporate threat rather than relevant knowledge to be harnessed, leveraged and incorporated into the development of products and services for improved customer acceptance and market share growth. While it is true that the Internet can put companies under a microscope of increased scrutiny, it is also true that buyers can review independent evaluations of products and services never before available and social communities can either impose their wrath on obstinate or uncooperative businesses or their endorsement of transparent companies. Corporate transparency can be used as a key strategic advantage in the era of social media. It is hard to imagine the product or service that cannot benefit from the candid and passionate input of social customers.

Customers are not unreasonable, understand business economics and therefore CRM 2.0 need not be viewed as a necessary evil. Customers will continue to reward relationships that strive for a win-win result. As companies realize that social customers have a new avenue to get what they want, when the want and how they want, these companies will also recognize they have an ideal opportunity to reduce market demand guess work, clearly design higher fit customer solutions, achieve go to market products and services in reduced cycle times, deliver goods which achieve greater market acceptance and ultimately secure more meaningful and more profitable customer relationships.