There are three aspects of CRM which can each be implemented in isolation
from each other:
Operational - automation or support of customer processes that include a
company’s sales or service representative
Collaborative - direct communication with customers that does not
include a company’s sales or service representative (self
Analytical - analysis of customer data for a broad range of purposes
META Group (acquired by Gartner in April 2005) developed this conceptual
architecture in the late 1990s, and dubbed it the CRM EcosystemCon.
A pioneer of CRM ,Help Desk Software since 1992 SOFFRONT the mid-market CRM
leader gave a whole new interface and practical solutions to the CRM by offering
end-to-end CRM Software solutions spanning marketing automation and sales force
automation software, customer service and helpdesk software, sales order
processing software, asset and project management software, defect tracking
software and more.
The latest CRM functionalities
The latest CRM should incorporate features that extend the CRM functionality
beyond sales, marketing, and customer support.
Some features are
Superior user interface
Support for Web Services
A framework, which should support integration with popular accounting
Support e-mail client integration and advanced email support
Support perforce integration
Features to make the engine to support automated business rules, email
support and alerts etc
Supports customization of UI,TOOLS,REPORTS,TEMPLATES etc.
Should be WEB and WAP enabled.
Zero footprint web browser : the CRM should be web based and operate
from your browser. You can access the application just as you would access a
web site like amazon.com. There must not be any requirement of writing code
at the client’s end or any requirement to download a plug-in or an applet.
Standard browser access is a must should support open technologies like
http/xml which provides all the functionality.
All modules should be inherently integrated with each other. The
complete breadth of crm functions spanning sales, marketing, customer
support, employee support, partner management, defect tracking and customer
portal applications must be integrated by design.
The product should support database like oracle, ms sql server and
sybase. A single repository should hold all the data generated across
various customer touch points.
If the modules are pre-integrated then you have the flexibility to start
with what you need and activate the rest when you need them.
Should be release independent so that the customizations done at installation
and over the years are preserved when you upgrade. There is no need to rework
Operational CRM provides support to "front
office" business processes, including sales,
and service. Each interaction with a customer is generally added to a customer's
contact history, and staff can retrieve information on customers from the
database when necessary.
One of the main benefits of this contact history is that customers can
interact with different people or different contact channels in a company
over time without having to describe the history of their interaction each time.
centers use some kind of CRM software to support their call center agents.
Operational CRM process customer data for a variety of purposes:
Enterprise Marketing Automation
Sales Force Automation
Collaborative CRM covers the direct interaction with customers, for a variety
of different purposes, including feedback and issue-reporting. Interaction can
be through a variety of channels, such as web pages, email, automated phone
(Automated Voice Response AVR) or SMS.
The objectives of collaborative CRM can be broad, including cost reduction
and service improvements.
Analytical CRM analyzes customer data for a variety of purposes:
Design and execution of targeted marketing campaigns to optimise
Design and execution of specific customer campaigns, including customer
Analysis of customer behavior to aid product and service decision making
(e.g. pricing, new product development etc.)
Management decisions, e.g. financial forecasting and customer
Prediction of the probability of customer defection (churn analysis).
Analytical CRM generally makes heavy use of
Several commercial CRM software packages are available which vary in their
approach to CRM. However, CRM is not just a technology, but rather a
comprehensive approach to an organization's philosophy in dealing with its
customers. This includes policies and processes, front-of-house
service, employee training, marketing, systems and information management.
Hence, it is important that any CRM implementation considerations stretch beyond
technology, towards the broader organizational requirements.
The objectives of a CRM strategy must consider a company’s specific situation
and its customers needs and expectations.
The technology requirements of a CRM strategy can be complex and far
The basic building blocks:
database to store customer information. This can be a CRM specific
database or an enterprise
Operational CRM requires customer agent support software.
Collaborative CRM requires customer interaction systems, e.g. an
interactive website, automated phone systems etc.
Analytical CRM requires statistical analysis software as well as
software that manages any specific marketing campaigns.
Each of these can be implemented in a basic manner or in a high end complex