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The CRM Industry Needs to Stop & Think!

ISM Review of CRM People/Process/Technology issues

The CRM Industry Needs to Stop & Think!

By: Barton Goldenberg, Founder & President, ISM

I participated last week at the excellent CRM Evolution Conference and Exhibition in NYC, sponsored by CRM Magazine/Information Today.  I attended one session by Kate Leggett from Forrester titled: “Forrester’s Top Predictions for CRM.”  While the presentation was excellent, I found the content very disturbing.

Here’s why: Forrester’s research showed that buyers of CRM software are increasing buying cloud-based software and that CRM is increasingly fragmenting.  The increasing purchase of cloud-based software comes as no surprise, although cloud-based software is not the best solution for all companies.  It’s the CRM fragmentation part that I found disturbing.

Forrester’s research shows that CRM software is increasingly being purchased directly from CRM vendors by business executives and less and less by IT departments.  Unfortunately most business executives do not think a lot about whether the CRM modules will easily integrate with each other so that data can be easily shared and compiled.  Rather the business executive has a pain and the CRM vendor is more than happy to resolve that pain by selling a point solution that may or may not integrate with existing or future CRM software modules.   As a result, it has become increasingly difficult to create a comprehensive Customer Profile.

And for the killer, Kate Leggett forecasted that the next decade for CRM will be all about integrating CRM modules together.  YIKES, we’re going backwards as an industry.  These are the same discussions we had in the 1990s!

For anyone that knows ISM and our work over the past 30 years, this forecast is OUTRAGEOUS!  Why?  For every ISM customer, we start with the premise that all CRM modules MUST seamless integrate with one another.  That’s why we create CRM roadmaps as a part of all engagements!  Achieving a comprehensive Customer Profile is not an afterthought – it is at the core of every successful CRM implementation.

I really wish Forrester had interviewed a lot of ISM’s customers, since their research would conclude a very different result from that which was presented at this year’s CRM Evolution.

For those companies that find themselves in agreement with Forrester’s findings, please give me or my colleagues at ISM a call at (301) 656-8448.  We will clean up your CRM efforts and we will get you back on track to utilize CRM to its fullest extent!  I can promise this.


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