Software purchases trimmed but companies still need to take care of business

by Canadian Shipper

Are companies still spending money on Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

It depends on how you define the term, according to technology market analysts AMR Research.

"Admittedly, traditional CRM–the internal automation of sales, marketing, and service–will see slower growth this year. AMR Research is predicting a growth rate of only 28% for these markets in 2001. But AMR Research’s broadened definition of CRM includes sell-side e-commerce markets, such as content management, personalization, channel management, and order management, and this segment is projected to grow at a healthy 43% this year," explains AMR Research’s Joanie Rufo.

AMR Research recently conducted its second quarter E-Business Initiatives Study, a cross-vertical executive survey of large companies. When asked about spending plans for the next year, 48% of those surveyed said they would increase spending in sales and customer management. Specific areas include direct selling, channel management, content management, marketing automation, and Web self-service, among others, Rufo adds.

"Companies are extending business processes to the Web, because of customer demand and as a means to reduce costs. Business-to-Consumer (B2C) companies have been doing so for a few years now; Business-to-Business (B2B) verticals are now getting in the game," she says. " So while organizations may be in various stages of readiness, these numbers prove taking care of customers is still a priority."

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