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But let's start with whether you really need CRM.

The CRM wake-up call for most businesses is usually something negative. Your top-performing sales person leaves and takes his entire customer contact data with him. Or, while customer service is trying to help a frustrated customer, your sales team tries to upsell her. She feels ill treated and dumps you. Here are some other signs that it's time to consider CRM:
  • You lack a 360 degree view of the customer that includes sales and support
  • Sales spends hours updating spreadsheets
  • There are channel conflicts between sales people and channel partners calling on the same customer
  • Sales reporting and forecasting are tedious, inaccurate, time consuming
  • Marketing cannot measure the success and ROI of its campaigns
  • Service treats every problem as new because it lacks customers' service history
  • Fulfillment asks for details common to every order, every time
The common denominator is having data in the right place, in the right format, at the right time. Without a CRM system, it's impossible to keep this information in the minds of all of your employees.

SugarCRM, SugarCRM:White Paper, CRM Time-to-Value: Achieving Early Success with Your CRM Deployment, CRM, customer, Sales, customer relationship, customer relationship management, Customer Service, channel partners
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