CRM's time will come, eventually

You just wait and see, analysts say...
Written by Dawn Kawamoto, Contributor

You just wait and see, analysts say...

Companies that help businesses manage customer relationships will likely see their coffers grow but first the industry will have to get through two years of stormy weather. According to an IDC report released on Monday, the customer relationship management (CRM) services industry is expected to grow 11.3 per cent, on an annual compounded rate, to $101bn by 2007 but analysts caution that much of the growth for this year and next will be moderate. CRM services include in-house services, such as consulting, training and support, and outsourced services, such as customer call centres. In the short term, sales of CRM services will be affected by the war with Iraq, a weak economy and longer sales cycles, said an analyst with IDC. As a result, sales growth will be moderate up to 2005. "I don't think we'll see a spike in demand. It will be a more gradual increase two years out," said Brian Bingham, an IDC programme manager for CRM and customer care services. Customer care services are expected to reap the lion's share of the revenue growth for customer relationship management services. Companies will be looking to maximize the CRM software that they already have, Bingham said. Other industry analysts share that view. Forrester Research in March issued a report that companies are spending less on CRM consultants and directing more of that money toward hiring contractors to handle call centres overseas. Dawn Kawamoto writes for CNET News.com.
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