CRM Booming, Business Process Management Critical Too

Considering the sheer spending on Customer Relationship Management software this year alone, it’s clear that enterprises see the benefits of popular CRM platforms like Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

According to a recent Gartner research report, global spending for all enterprise software (including CRM) will be $304 billion in 2013, with growth of 6.4 percent over 2012 spending. The market research firm said demand is being driven by strength in software suites offering customer relationship management, supply chain management, and social networking, as well as Web conferencing and collaboration.

Gartner predicts that CRM specifically will grow to be a $36.5 billion market by 2017. That’s on a compound annual growth rate of 15.1 percent between 2012 and 2017, and is dramatically up from a Gartner forecast earlier this year of a $20.6 billion market by 2017.

While those numbers are key to the CRM software makers, what’s most important to customer service managers and sales directors is how to leverage their CRM platforms to improve the customer experience in ways that boost customer satisfaction, sales, and profitability. If the customer experience isn’t managed well from a human resources front, all that spending on CRM tools can be a complete waste.


Melding Business and Customer Strategies

To learn more about how companies are using CRM software not only manage customer relationships, but also to shape the overall customer experience, we spoke with Colosa CEO Brian Reale. His company develops ProcessMaker and ProcessMapper — open source software for Business Process Management, workflow management, and related analytics. His perspective reflects how CRM software can be used most effectively as part of a broader Business Process Management (BPM) approach.

Reale describes Customer Experience Management as a classic example of a knowledge-worker discipline.

“Today’s knowledge worker needs the ability to quickly find and utilize customer information in order to…

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