Industry observer Niall Byrne
has reported on a newly-released survey from Really Simple Systems finding that "four fifths of senior executives cite employee resistance to using customer relationship management (CRM) software as the biggest hurdle they face when implementing the technology."
Really Simple Systems, which sells hosted CRM software, surveyed 500 users of this technology in the United Kingdom "encompassing SME owners, directors and sales, marketing and IT managers." Fully 83 percent said getting the staff to use the software was their biggest challenge, Byrne reports:
"The survey also found that 72 percent of the respondents said they would be prepared to trade functionality in their CRM systems for ease of use."
"Too often companies make purchasing decisions for applications based on features, not ease of use, and then find that those extra features get in the way of usability," he quotes John Paterson, CEO, Really Simple Systems as saying. "CRM adoption has always been an issue and the solution is to make the software easy to use, not more complex. Companies need to make sure that simplicity is as important a factor as functionality when choosing CRM systems."
That nearly three quarters of the people surveyed are prepared to trade functionality in their CRM systems for ease of use is "indicative of an increasing desire for CRM products to provide core functionality in an easy-to-use package rather than solutions which in their attempts to tick all the boxes become unwieldy," Paterson said.
The survey, Byrne reports, also found that "43 percent of respondents use less than half of their existing CRM system's functionality, 51 percent said synchronizing data was a major issue and 67 percent said finding time to evaluate CRM systems was a major problem."
Earlier this month a Datamonitor report, "Economic Outlook: Customer Relationship Management," featured by the fine fellows over at Marketing Vox
, found that in 2006, the global CRM software market was worth just under $3.6 billion in license revenue alone and is forecast to reach $6.6 billon by 2012.
CRM license revenue and maintenance revenue together are expected to surpass the $10 billion mark globally by 2012, with maintenance revenue reaching approximately $3.6 billion.
Among the study's findings and projections are that by the end of 2007, the global on-demand CRM market will be worth $1 billion, and such applications will drive CRM adoption, particularly within small-to-medium enterprises.
The composition of the CRM market is also changing in terms of the typical size of enterprise deploying CRM, Datamonitor finds, noting that CRM was "once a preserve of very large organizations." In 2006, CRM application spending by enterprises with fewer than 1,000 employees accounted for one-third of all licenses sold, and by 2012, that sector is projected to account for over 42 percent of the market.
David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.