Overture, curtain, lights! This is it--we'll hit the heights! And oh, what heights we'll hit. On with the show, this is it! (Drum roll, please...)
In this issue we announce the winners of our 2003 CRM Leaders awards. We shine a spotlight on the people and companies that have pushed the industry forward over the past year. The awards recognize superior performance in three areas: ROI excellence in customer companies (The CRM Elite); individual achievement (Influential Leaders); and vendor leadership (CRM Market Leaders).
As proof of concept and return on investment increasingly become business imperatives, there is a growing trend of companies maximizing their CRM investments. Organizations realize that CRM is a business strategy--supported by technology--that must permeate their firms and be embraced by their users to succeed. Thus, the CRM Elite award (page 28) recognizes excellence in getting results. To compare apples to apples, we judged efforts in six separate categories: enterprise suite CRM, mid-market suite CRM, customer service, SFA, analytics, and channel management/PRM. The winning companies, which represent a range of sizes and industries, show us that through planning, perseverance, and creativity, success--and ROI--will surely follow.
It is strong leadership that helps drive results. In fact, one of the things I love about this industry is its outspoken leaders. Whether CRM project leaders, analysts, consultants, or vendor executives, when they speak they give their advice and opinions with no holds barred. And whether people agree or disagree, they're interested in what these folks have to say. The Influential Leaders award (page 36) reveals those who, by their words and actions, have had a significant impact either within their company or on the industry over the past year.
There are also a number of executives who have dedicated a significant portion of their careers to the industry. Their work has driven it forward, and has helped create the stronghold it now has on business. To recognize their efforts we have created the CRM Hall of Fame. In this, our inaugural Hall of Fame, we induct three industry luminaries.
The vendors themselves have had their share of action this past year, including some stellar growth, significant acquisitions, and major product announcements. CRM Market Leaders (page 42) ranks the top-five vendors in five categories based on a combination of weighted criteria, including revenue, revenue growth, market share, customer wins, and reputation for customer service. We also cite a category to watch that may shake things up next year.