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Customer relationship management (CRM) news, solutions, and analysis for IT professionals
  • Social CRM offers big rewards if you're persistent

    Posted November 13, 2012 - 10:21 pm

    Putting the 'social' in your social CRM strategy means aggregating more information about your customers and prospects. A new generation of tools is being developed to make this happen.
  • IDC: In software market, CRM, virtualization and collaboration show strongest growth

    Posted November 7, 2012 - 1:10 pm

    The global software market grew 4.7 percent in the first half of this year to US$167 billion, with CRM (customer relationship management), virtualization and collaboration coming in as the fastest-growing segments, according to figures released Wednesday by analyst firm IDC.
  • Top 10 CRM tricks guaranteed to lose customers

    Posted October 25, 2012 - 11:16 am

    Best-practices articles are as dull to read as they are to write, columnist David Taber says. So here are 10 customer support system worst practices that are certain to derail customer satisfaction.
  • Before installing CRM systems, consult your org chart

    Posted October 18, 2012 - 2:30 pm

    With most enterprise systems, it's immediately clear who should be users and what they should be able to do on the system. Not so with CRM -- and, over time, more and more employees and departments will need to be on the system.
  • CRM projects done right mean business process changes

    Posted September 13, 2012 - 1:29 pm

    Like most enterprise applications, CRM systems mean tighter business processes. Unlike most enterprise apps, however, CRM users typically aren't ready this for this. Here's a look at what needs to be fixed before you should really start a CRM project.
  • Email-to-CRM contact connection easier said than done

    Posted August 30, 2012 - 11:19 am

    People are the starting point for managing relationships. In your CRM, they're stored as leads and contacts. In your email client, it's the address book. It takes a lot more than fate to bring them together.
  • Why your CRM integration consultant doesn't know anything

    Posted August 23, 2012 - 3:02 pm

    The old joke about management consultants as "people you hire to tell you the time that's on your watch" still rings true. When it comes to CRM consultants, though, the overwhelming impression is that they know even less about your business. Here's what you can do about it.
  • Before you invest in CRM software, assess your needs

    Posted August 16, 2012 - 2:38 pm

    Smart car buyers don't get a Ferrari when a Fiat will do. The same philosophy is true of CRM systems, which can be as utilitarian or as luxurious as you want them to be. The key is determining whether the extra features will improve profitability and business outcomes enough to justify their cost.
  • How much should you spend on CRM software?

    Posted August 13, 2012 - 12:15 pm

    To misquote Tom Lehrer, "Life is like a CRM system: What you get out of it depends on what you put into it."
  • Oracle CRM on Demand update focuses on industries

    Posted July 31, 2012 - 9:37 am

    Oracle is hoping to differentiate its cloud CRM (customer relationship management) software from that sold by rivals such as Salesforce.com with a new set of industry-specific capabilities.
  • 5 Reasons to use social CRM for support and services

    Posted July 20, 2012 - 12:24 am

    Toy CRM systems might make you think the software is just cases, escalations and SLA management, but serious CRM is changing the world of service and support by leveraging social networking functionality.
  • 5 reasons social CRM is the high ground for revenue production

    Posted July 16, 2012 - 7:08 am

    CRM is just overblown contact lists and pipeline spreadsheets, right? Toy CRM systems might look that way, but serious CRM is changing the world of sales and marketing by leveraging social networking functionality.
  • How CRM data updates lead to data corruption

    Posted April 24, 2012 - 2:46 pm

    In theory, it's best to clear all your database transactions as soon as you can, keeping the tables up to date so that you don't have to worry about data integrity or time-smear problems. It's not always that simple.
  • Top 10 stupid CRM data corruption tricks

    Posted December 6, 2011 - 12:56 pm

    In the spirit of David Letterman's occasional feature "Stupid People Tricks," it's time once again for a new list of errors that lead to corrupted CRM records. Past quizzes have focused on SysAdmins and consultants, but now it's time to find out how your users and their business policies can contribute to data pollution.
  • Legacy application fixer-uppers

    Posted November 7, 2011 - 12:47 pm

    Legacy applications are one of the most difficult issues to face within IT. A rip-and-replace approach is expensive and thus difficult to justify; plus, it tends to interrupt operations. Here's how 3 companies solved their legacy application problems.
  • Pfizer's future depends on IT transformation

    Posted October 31, 2011 - 12:27 pm

    With its business model ailing, this pharmaceutical giant tries a new IT formula, including a loyalty discount card, mobile applications aimed at consumers, and a cloud-based tablet CRM system for physicians
  • Fujitsu rolls out Salesforce.com to internal staff

    Posted September 29, 2011 - 7:14 am

    Fujitsu has rolled out Salesforce.com technology internally to 1,200 of its staff as part of a customer relationship management (CRM) system refresh.
  • Salesforce alternatives: 5 CRM services for small businesses

    Posted September 12, 2011 - 10:08 am

    Customer relationship management (CRM) programs have a bad reputation for being overly technical, burdensome to implement, and a chore to use. This can certainly be true of some services, especially for owners of small to medium-size businesses who lack the funds or resources to customize the CRM properly to meet their company's needs. Salesforce, for example, is popular but not necessarily lightweight or easy to get off the ground.
  • RightNow CEO on improving the customer experience

    Posted August 10, 2011 - 7:48 pm

    For Greg Gianforte and his colleagues at Bozeman, MT, based RightNow Technologies, Inc., customer relationship management is so, well, yesterday. The key focus for companies today is dramatically improving the 'customer experience' in all the places consumers touch organizations -- from the Web to the call center.
  • CRM and sales: If it's broke, fix it.

    Posted August 10, 2011 - 4:53 pm

    Fixing your CRM system and the sales and marketing organization will take some real time, and should be done in stages. Further, in both CRM and sales there's a serious talent shortage. Sure, there are people on the street -- but just try to find a truly great salesperson or SFDC wizard in New York or San Francisco. So you should grab the employees and consultants whenever you can find them, and expect to fix the software and organizational issues in parallel.
  • Cloud CRM: The politics of data ownership and control

    Posted July 28, 2011 - 4:27 pm

    As I've written previously, CRM systems are inherently the most political of Enterprise systems. Users' bonuses and even their career paths may be riding on the data values in the CRM system. Small errors in the data can mean big problems if leads are getting lost or sales reps can't see relevant information about their customers and prospects.
  • Microsoft talks cloud CRM, ERP at partner conference

    Posted July 12, 2011 - 12:22 pm

    Microsoft is expected on Tuesday to update its strategy for cloud-based ERP (enterprise resource planning) and CRM (customer relationship management) software during the annual Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles.
  • Social CRM for business: Analytics can spur greater success

    Posted July 6, 2011 - 5:21 pm

    Done right, Social CRM can help your company talk to your customers, but even more importantly, it can help you listen to your customers in ways you've never imagined. And that can help your business grow.
  • CRM systems: IT in the cloud or the office?

    Posted June 28, 2011 - 6:04 pm

    Whether organisations opt for an on-premise or cloud solution, analysts from both Gartner and IDC agree the CRM systems market continues to be buoyant.
  • Is offshoring different in the cloud?

    Posted June 28, 2011 - 10:24 am

    Offshoring IT work to India, China, Eastern Europe, and even South America has been a staple of IT cost reduction. And by definition the Cloud means location independence. Generally speaking, they're practically made for each other.
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