Study: CRM Use Will Grow Next Year

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A survey of information technology leaders at 509 companies in 14 vertical markets released yesterday found that 43 percent of respondents use CRM applications and that one-third of the rest plan to use them in the next year.


The study, CRM Application Spending Report, 2002-2004, from AMR Research, a Boston-based strategic advisory firm, also revealed that companies on average allocate 19 percent of their current enterprise application budget to customer relationship management.


AMR Research found that CRM users focus on incremental investments to improve efficiencies and cost savings without sacrificing customer satisfaction and predicted that as companies realize measurable success from these tactical investments, they will continue to build and expand their CRM initiatives.


Other findings included:


· Half of CRM spending comes from manufacturers now investing in incremental projects.


· Enterprise resource planning vendors are promoting their CRM products to their customers. Interest in vendors with vertical-specific products and software from smaller specialty players also is becoming more popular. Meanwhile, CRM deployment is expanding into new vertical industries as well as small and mid-size businesses.


· Automation, productivity and efficiency are the primary forces driving CRM investments.


· Though the CRM market continues to mature, opportunity for future growth still exists. Drivers for CRM spending in 2003 include scaled-down, department-specific investments and increased spending by companies that do not sell directly to consumers, but rather to other businesses.


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