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Enterprises today face an inexorable shift in power to customers, allied to constantly rising expectations of what constitutes an acceptable customer experience.


  • CRM was originally intended to address the whole customer cycle of acquisition, retention, and development. However, despite investment in CRM systems composed of sales force automation, marketing, and service, results often proved disappointing.

Features and Benefits

  • Provides clear guidance on how to develop an effective and coherent customer strategy.
  • Outlines the common pitfalls of selecting a CRM system and suggests how to avoid them.

Key questions answered

  • What should enterprises consider when selecting a CRM system or platform?
  • What part does CRM play in the omnichannel customer engagement arena?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages


  • Recommendations for enterprises
  • Recommendations for vendors

An enterprise-wide customer strategy must precede CRM technology selection to ensure success

  • Be clear about the role of CRM
  • Recognize the ascendancy of the customer
  • Recognize the customer and understand their context
  • Minimize customer effort

Enterprises must understand their current maturity state

  • A starting point for omnichannel
  • Strategy development based on maturity level

Enterprises should get organized and develop their customer engagement strategies

  • Steps before selecting a vendor
  • Determining the capabilities required to support the customer strategy

Enterprises should assess which customers or customer segments are the most valuable

  • Ranking customers by value
  • Customer portfolio analysis and segmentation
  • Synchronizing metrics to foster desired customer outcomes
  • Benefits should be quantified to gain C-level support, but must also be personal
  • The CRM landscape continues to evolve


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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