Project Management

Successful CRM Systems Start With a Customer Focused Philosophy

Richard Bowden

Increasingly, organizations from different business sectors are using customer relationship management (CRM) systems to help boost sales and revenues. Depending on the approach that they adopt in selecting and implementing such a solution, they may have mixed results in terms of their sales and revenues. In this article, I discuss various aspects that will help to ensure a successful implementation of a CRM solution that provides practical business benefits. The contents of this article are drawn from best practices and my own personal experiences in reviewing existing CRM applications and implementing new ones.

Many perceptions of CRM systems exist: it may be seen as a sophisticated contact management system or as a sales planning and management system, or it is sometimes considered to be primarily a tool for sales functions. CRM systems do indeed encompass these important customer- and sales-related functions, but CRM systems can have a greater scope and consequently make a greater contribution to the success of a business and its relationship with its end-customers. An appropriate CRM system can add benefits throughout the organization, covering marketing, sales and customer service functions as well as facilitating better exchange of customer information with the various back office functions such as invoicing and distribution.

To achieve this scope and impact, …

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