Gartner CRM Summit Concludes Staff

Updated · Sep 19, 2001

Research and advisory firm Gartner, Inc.’s CRM Summit Fall 2001 concluded last week with a revealing look into key issues surrounding customer relationship management strategies. The Summit, held September 10-12 in Orlando, Fla., focused on the theme, “Customer Loyalty — The Key to Profitable Growth” and was created to demonstrate how organizations can use customer data to form sustainable and repeatable, high value relationships.

The Summit featured keynote addresses by Dr. David P. Norton, President, Balanced Scorecard Collaborative, Inc. and Jeff Golterman, group vice president, Gartner with comprehensive seminars and workshops. Six tracks ran concurrently throughout the event, each emphasizing another aspect of customer interaction:

  1. Track A = CRM Strategy and Management: Marketing
  2. Track B = CRM Strategy and Management: Sales
  3. Track C = CRM Strategy and Management: Service
  4. Track D = Technology & Applications
  5. Track E = Project Management & Implementation
  6. Track F = Peer Exchange Workshops

Key findings by Gartner’s analysts included:

  • Through 2006, more than 50 percent of all CRM implementations will be viewed as failures from a customer’s point of view, due to an inability to link channels, lack of process redesign, failure to provide any real customer benefits or a combination.

    As enterprises struggle to become mostly customer-centric, they will establish collaborative “real-time” relationships with individual customers. Gartner analysts said that while becoming more customer-centric, enterprises need to be aware that future CRM will be about supporting all the pieces in CRM, not just the customer.

    “These enterprises will not only enable themselves to provide greater value to customers, but they will be able to serve these customers faster and more accurately that any competitor,” said Scott Nelson, vice president and research director for Gartner. “The rewards of greater customer centricity are significant, and that is why many enterprises are turning to the business strategy of CRM, which clearly places the customer at the heart of an enterprise’s strategy.”

  • CRM application suites are receiving a muted response from customers, but CRM suites will prevail and, in fact, be the standard for CRM success.

    “Central to presenting a satisfying customer experience will be a suite of CRM applications that define a consistent set of business rules for customer interactions, both direct and self-service, across channels and throughout the customer life cycle,” said Michael Maoz, vice president and research director for Gartner. “For large and midsize enterprises, these CRM software application suites will emerge as the standard for achieving mastery of CRM by 2006. But unless supply chain processes are integrated with CRM, these systems will remain inadequate.”

    Gartner analysts have examined some of the major CRM suites available, and they have released a series of reports on this subject. An overview of this research is available in the CRM Research Spotlight “CRM Application Suites: Less a Dream…Not Yet Reality.”

  • Many businesses are implementing customer relationship management (CRM) strategies, but a majority of them will underestimate the costs of CRM projects by as much as 40 percent to 75 percent. “Many businesses blindly pursue costly CRM initiatives without understanding the challenges and costs involved,” said Beth Eisenfeld, research director for Gartner.

    Large businesses can spend between $30 million and $90 million over a three-year period investing in technology, labor, consulting services and training related to CRM initiatives. With businesses investing substantially in CRM initiatives, Gartner analysts said project management is becoming crucial to contain costs and increase successful CRM projects. “Project management tools are the key to managing the economic factors and keeping projects on track and profitable,” said Eisenfeld.

Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Stamford, Conn., Gartner, Inc. consists of Gartner Research, Gartner Consulting, Gartner Measurement and Gartner Events. The research and advisory firm helps more than 10,000 clients understand technology and drive business growth and consists of 4,600 associates, including 1,400 research analysts and consultants, in more than 80 locations worldwide.

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