Eight Building Blocks Of CRM

By Geoffrey James

Gartner, the world’s largest high-tech business research firm, has identified the critical components of a successful CRM initiative. Gartner defines CRM as “a business strategy that maximizes profitability, revenue and customer satisfaction by organizing around customer segments, fostering behavior that satisfies customers and implementing customer-centric processes,” according to Gartner analyst Joe Galvin. To achieve this, CRM initiatives need the following framework.

1. Vision – You must envision how your organization will appear when it has moved to a customer-centric model and how it will define its value in the marketplace and compete with other firms.

2. Strategy – You must devise a strategy that creates an asset from the customer base by determining how you will apply resources to customers and defining customer relationship goals.

3. Valued Customer Experience – You must ensure that each of your firm’s products and every customer interaction consistently deliver ongoing value.

4. Organizational Collaboration – You must be willing and able to execute changes to your corporate culture, organizational structures and sales behaviors.

5. Processes – You must manage not only customer life-cycle processes but also provide for analytical and planning processes that help you better understand your customers.

6. Information – You must be committed to collecting the right data about sales processes and customer interactions and be certain the information is routed appropriately to decision-makers and employees.

7. Technology – You must be committed to managing your data and information, your applications and your IT infrastructure and architecture so they serve the customer-centric goal.

8. Metrics – You must continually measure both internal and external indications of CRM success and failure and make corrections as necessary.

These eight building blocks are described in detail in the Gartner report, “Building Business Benefits From CRM: How to Design the Strategy, Processes and Architecture to Succeed.” For information about buying this report, go to www.gartnerpress.com/executivereports