Study Claims That CRM is Proving Fruitful

It seems the key word for CRM installations these days is modular; many consultants are warning against large-scale implementations and limiting deployment times to 90 days or less in the event of a CRM project failure. But many companies are seeing value from their installed CRM suites, according to a new study by Peerstone Research Inc., an IT consulting firm. The study, which gathered information from more than 100 companies using CRM suites, claims that 60 percent of participants experienced high user-adoption rates and two out of three respondents saw an increase in sales productivity. Also, 55 percent said CRM improved top-line revenue, while 46 percent said it improved profits. "There are a lot more success stories out there across all vendors than is widely believed," says Jeff Gould, CEO and research director of Peerstone Research. "Though a lot of people will say otherwise, the large CRM package performs as advertised, and finally is a good piece of technology." But while the companies on the whole praised the functionality of their CRM suites, only 40 percent said they are confident that CRM provides positive ROI. Gould explains: "A lot of these companies either never measured ROI or were not seeking business changes that would result in increased revenues or savings." "ROI doesn't mean whether a software system works, it measures business process change," Gould adds, noting that it is important for companies to focus on adapting to the change in business processes that come with a CRM process, and not sitting back and expecting the technology to work like magic. Despite difficulty in measuring ROI, companies are dedicated to using their CRM systems. According to the report, more than 50 percent of the companies polled are using CRM software on a daily basis. Gould says that making CRM software easier to use and persuading lower-level employees to adopt the software are ways to increase the frequency of CRM software use.
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