The Siebel Factor

If customers are satisfied with their investment in Siebel Systems, then companies must be satisfied on the whole with their CRM solutions. That's what a recent study by the Aberdeen Group tries to prove, polling more than 325 customers of Siebel to gauge how effective they deem their CRM implementations. Since 95 percent of the participants said they were satisfied with Siebel and would continue to use Siebel for their CRM, then CRM must be providing measurable benefits on the whole, according to the study. "We selected Siebel due to the fact that it has the longest installed base that we knew of, with 37 percent of users running Siebel for more than two years," says Denis Pombriant, vice president and managing director, CRM, at Aberdeen. "It was important that we surveyed customers who not only had the software installed, but had gone through the process of working out the kinks and could provide real feedback regarding ROI, which is something you need to track over a good amount of time." Pombriant says that it stands to reason that if most customers are satisfied with Siebel, the first and largest CRM vendor, than most companies using CRM solutions can reap similar benefits. "A $15 billion business does not grow out of a bad idea," Pombriant says. "If Siebel is a bellwether to the kinds of results people get from CRM, then the results are applicable across the industry." Among the benefits that Siebel users said they found by using CRM, productivity improvements in specific areas were the most common. Customers reported that, on average, sales productivity increased 17 percent, service and contact center productivity increased 16 percent, and marketing productivity increased 12 percent. Other benefits cited include a decline in operating costs by 10.4 percent for more than 87 percent of the customers surveyed. Pombriant says that customer satisfaction can lead to more investments in CRM. In the study, 73 percent of respondents said they would add to or upgrade their CRM system in the next 12 months. In addition to the 95 percent satisfaction level, more than 90 percent said they would recommend Siebel to a company contemplating CRM. The negative responses were few and far between, with only 1.5 percent of respondents saying they would change CRM vendors in the future, and .6 percent saying they planned to discontinue their CRM efforts altogether.
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