Back in January, I blogged about healthy outlooks for CRM growth in 2008 from two research firms, Datamonitor and KensingtonHouse.
Now there's a third such forecast, from CSO Insights. Writing on destinationCRM.com, CSO Insights partner Jim Dickie reports that 70 percent of the companies it surveyed for its annual Sales Performance Optimization study have installed a core CRM system. Of the 30 percent of companies that do not have such a system, 43 percent intend to implement one this year.
Like Datamonitor and KensingtonHouse, Dickie acknowledges that software-as-a-service is driving much of the interest in CRM, by making it "financially and technically attractive for a growing number of firms, especially small and midsize businesses."
Many of the companies with a core CRM system plan to add additional functionality in 2008, says Dickie. Sales force collaboration, mentioned by 57 percent of respondents, leads the list, followed by lead generation management (36 percent), sales analytics/forecasting (30 percent), sales knowledge management (26 percent), CRM/sales process integration (24 percent) and incentive management (18 percent).
Thirteen percent of the companies with existing CRM systems plan to swap them out for new solutions this year. Nearly one in five of the companies with systems that are at least three years old have plans to replace them. Dickie offers another statistic to help explain this trend. "Increasing revenues" is the number-one objective for CRM systems in 2008. Yet when CSO Insights asked companies to name the top three benefits they had gained through their CRM systems, increased revenues came in seventh. Writes Dickie:
... some organizations are opting for the newer generation of CRM solutions in hopes of achieving the real objectives they turned to CRM for in the first place.