Companies spent US$ 9.15 billion on CRM software and services in 2008, a 12.5 percent increase from 2007, Gartner in July. An even more favorable estimate of the global CRM market came from Forrester, which pegged it at $ 11.7 billion in 2008. While the CRM software and services growth rate may cool off during 2009, experts foresee the market expanding by more than 5 percent annually for the next few years.
In our engagements we have noticed some very interesting trends in the CRM Software and services space. We help in designing and deploying add-ons as well as integrating CRM packages with many other important applications for large organizations. Some of the trends affecting the adoption and evaluation of CRM software and services.
1. Customers today need to be educated about the benefits of using CRM and how it will optimize operations that lead to a competitive market differentiation. CRM packages hold the discipline that leads to and opens the doors for repeatable business success.
2. Customization on baseline features covering the billing, lead generation, customer service and order processing which provide the buyers of this technology a holistic view of their customers is increasing as organizations start to realize the potential in using CRM software to increase business profitability.
3. Matured users of the CRM Software and services are now integrating CRM software with other large applications thus increasing business responsiveness and injecting business intelligence that empowers employee teams to deliver high quality services.
4. A drive by the CRM buyers to include and integrate technological changes like social networking and use of mobile devices when it comes to serving and measuring organizational brand sentiment in the market.
5. Quality and customization rather than price have started driving organizations in the evaluation and implementation stages of CRM Software and Services.
6. With the plethora of hosted CRM Software and service providers flooding the market, the decision making involves a lot of consulting in helping identify and implement appropriate CRM software as well as services model.
"Despite the financial market volatility the worldwide CRM market enjoyed its fifth consecutive year of double-digit grwoth in 2008 as businesses continued to invest in solutions across all subsegments" says Sharon Mertz, a Research Director at Gartner. We feel that the growth in the CRM Software and Services shall be driven by feature enhancements and the ability of the top management in client organizations to drive adoption of CRM software.