Is Vertical CRM Right For Your Organization?

by Jim Berkowitz on January 26, 2011

Whenever I’m coaching a business through the process of selecting a CRM solution, one of the things that I always have my clients consider is whether or not they should evaluate vertical CRM solutions; solutions that have been designed specifically for their industry or organization type.

Generally the decision is made based on an evaluation of how much configuration and customization will be needed by the organization (to meet their key requirements), if they go with a horizontal/non-industry specific solution, (like “standard” salesforce.com), versus the additional cost of buying and configuring a vertical/industry specific solution.

Sometimes the vertical solution has a lot of functions and features that are not important or needed by the organization and they feel that they would be paying for a lot that they don’t need.  In those cases the cost to configure and customize a horizontal/non-industry-specific solution is often much less then going with the vertical CRM alternative.

Likewise, when a vertical solution offers just what they need, the decision to go with a solution that offers this extended functionality can be a no-brainer.

Here’s some food for thought about this subject that I found while perusing CRM news this morning; One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Vertical CRM Is The Answer.

Let me know what you think about all of this by commenting on this post!

Every company, every product, every service and, above all, every customer is different. With all of this difference, your CRM strategy should also be different.

Yet, companies continue to rely on legacy, broad-based CRM solutions that have not been developed for their specific business needs.

Business-specific CRM solutions enable companies to achieve competitive differentiation in several ways:

  1. Speeds time to market: Generate new opportunities efficiently without wasting resources through shorter sales cycles
  2. Increased bundle penetration: Optimize the potential of existing customer relationships by selling bundled offerings that minimize churn and maximize revenue
  3. Reduces churn and increases customer profitability: Utilize churn-detection models to identify at-risk customers and proactively build offers to retain them
  4. Maximizes your technology investment: Augment your existing front- and back-end systems and leverage your existing technology investment without additional IT outlay
  5. Fosters flexibility: Increase your strength and resistance to market threats through the use of an open, adaptable technology for a flexible business infrastructure.

To achieve the above, companies need to implement a CRM solution with applications that enable them to communicate with customers more frequently and effectively by providing greater insight into a customer’s needs and buying patterns, offering an increased ability to act on that insight.

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