Is CRM about managing customers or prospect conversion?
I don't often do CRM selections (I focus on ERP) so I started my current CRM selection project by surveying the market to get a sense of what was out there. I found 70 stand-alone CRM systems and I bet there at least a hundred out there.
But what surprised me was this: out of 70 systems only c.15 actually include any serious customer service capabilities i.e. after-sales service that is not just simple 'case management' or 'support ticketing'. It seems to me, evidentially, that most CRM systems stop when a prospect is converted to a customer.
So, in fact, most CRM system are what used to be called 'sales force automation' or 'pipeline management' systems. They are not CRM systems at all.
This is probably not a revelation to full-time CRM consultants. But I think it shows how much the term 'CRM' is really a misnomer in the case of most CRM systems. Having said that, I came across many new online SFA systems that are really cool and offer some seriously useful functionality for managing marketing automation, sales pipelines and social interaction. But my client is looking for a CRM system.