The top CRM vendors a 2014 overview

The Top Customer Relationship Management Software Solutions

To help understand the CRM software leaders, we share the top 5 CRM software systems as measured by global market share—along with a summary analysis. If you would like to explore a deeper examination and comparative analysis of the Top 10 CRM software solutions, we recommend the Top 10 Continue reading “The top CRM vendors a 2014 overview”

The CRM technology market trends and CRM challenges

Customer relationship management
You have probably heard the word “CRM”. And you probably know that CRM covers these three business aspects: sales, marketing and support.

You will be surprised knowing that CRM goes far beyond these categories. A CRM system can serve as a vital nerve center to manage the many connections that happen in a growing business.

Customer relationship management (CRM)

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term that refers to practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth. CRM systems are designed to compile information on customers across different channels – or points of contact between the customer and the company — which could include the company’s website, telephone, live chat, direct mail, marketing materials and social media. CRM systems can also give customer-facing staff detailed information on customers’ personal information, purchase history, buying preferences and concerns.
CRM software
CRM software consolidates customer information and documents into a single CRM database so business users can more easily access and manage it. The other main functions of this Continue reading “The CRM technology market trends and CRM challenges”

The CRM technology market : Customer relationship management

The CRM technology market
The four main vendors of CRM systems are, Microsoft, SAP and Oracle. Other providers are popular among small- to mid-market businesses, but these four tend to be the choice of large corporations.

On-premises CRM puts the onus of administration, control, security and maintenance of the database and information on the company itself. With this approach the company purchases licenses up front instead of buying Continue reading “The CRM technology market : Customer relationship management”

The Top CRM Vendors : A 2014 Overview

The Top CRM Vendors : A 2014 Overview
Comparing today’s leading CRM software vendors is a bit like matching David against Goliath. On one hand, you have the powerhouse CRM vendors whose products are consistently robust. Like Goliath, these giants have proven themselves in battle time and time again, and always come out on top. Yet some vendors come to the fight like David. Sure, these CRM software companies are smaller and have fewer resources, but they have a whole lot of heart, and an array of new and trendy features that could upset the balance between vendors.

Here’s a comprehensive look at the Davids and Goliaths from the top CRM vendors:Goliath: An Overview of 4 Powerhouse CRM Vendors

While a number of new CRM solutions have arose in the last decade, many big-name software companies have been providing contact and customer relationship management solution for much longer. Here are some of the biggest names in CRM.
1. Salesforce
You really can’t discuss customer relationship management software without talking about Salesforce. As the only powerhouse CRM that offers a one-hundred-percent cloud-based CRM solution, Salesforce has transformed the SaaS CRM space. According to Gartner’s CRM market share reports, Salesforce is the worldwide leader in CRM software, with 16.1% of the market share.
2. Oracle
From 2012 to 2013, Oracle’s CRM revenue grew by 4%. While Oracle offers its CRM solution as a standalone product, as with other Goliath vendors the solution is intended for use within larger Oracle business systems for a seamless, comprehensive approach. Oracle was founded in 1977, and has been a leader in database software ever since.3. SAP

SAP remains a CRM software favorite due to the product’s deep integration with SAP ERP solutions. Powerhouse SAP connects customer relationship management to other processes and business system, while offering a modular approach that allows companies to build a custom solution.
4. Microsoft
Microsoft was founded in 1975, and has remained an important multinational business software vendor for years. Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides comprehensive (yet innovative) customer relationship management tools that are integrated with social insights for a more productive result. Though not the least expensive solution, Microsoft users can expect reliable, robust CRM software.

David: Getting to Know the Emerging CRM Vendors

Unlike the top CRM vendors above, today’s emerging vendors are new and fresh. These top CRM vendors are often geared toward small and midsize businesses, but that doesn’t make them any less powerful than other customer relationship management solutions. Here are some of the emerging CRM vendors you should know:
1. Workbooks
Though Workbooks has been around for less than a decade, their successful CRM solution is a favorite of many. Workbooks CRM is designed specifically for small and midsized businesses, and is offered as a web-based solution. Workbooks was rated #1 for Customer Satisfaction on the G2Crowd Report on CRM software.
2. Nimble
Nimble offers customers a reimagined contact management system that values relationships over contacts. This emerging solution incorporates information from numerous social media and email sources (think: Gmail, Skype, Facebook and more) and makes sense of it all in one simple Contact Record.
3. Insightly
Insightly provides a CRM solution that is inexpensive, robust and mobile—the perfect tool for small businesses. Founded in 2009, this innovative company merges traditional CRM features like contact management and file sharing with new features like project management and powerful email integration.
4. Zoho
Emerging vendor Zoho offers a number of business applications (like CRM) that businesses can pick from to build a comprehensive solution. Though Zoho CRM doesn’t have all the bells and whistles found in other solutions, its affordability and potential for customization earn it a place on this list of emerging vendors.
5. UserVoice
UserVoice won last year’s CRM Idol (a playful spin on American Idol), due to their easy-to-use, collaborative CRM solution. UserVoice integrates help desk ticketing, enterprise social and traditional contact management for a comprehensive, SMB-friendly CRM software.

Now That You Know the Contenders, Which CRM Software Vendor Should You Pick?

Now that you’re familiar with the David and Goliaths of customer relationship management software, it’s time to choose the best CRM vendor for your company. Should you go with a time-tested powerhouse provider like Salesforce or SAP, or choose a new, emerging CRM vendor that boasts innovation and trendy features? Browse the following questions to make your decision easier:
How large is your business?
Smaller businesses will be more than happy choosing an emerging CRM vendor. These businesses will gain lots of flashy features, all without breaking the bank. Yet for midsize to large businesses (especially those in highly regulated industries), it might be best to turn to a powerhouse vendor like SAP or Oracle.
What business systems does your company currently use?
One of the major draws of the powerhouse CRM vendors is the ability to integrate with the company’s other solutions. If your business is already using business software from Oracle or Salesforce-based applications, then it makes sense to add that company’s respective CRM to your current arsenal of products.
How big is your budget?
There’s no denying it—today’s emerging CRM vendors give you the most bang for your buck. While they often provide fewer advanced features, for a company on a budget, choosing an emerging vendor from the list above will ensure that your needs are met (they each include all must-have CRM functions) for a fraction of the price of the Goliath vendors. Some solutions, such as Zoho, are even free.
Does deployment model matter?
With so many resources, the big-name CRM vendors like SAP and Microsoft can offer their software as both on-premise and SaaS solutions (with the exception of Salesforce, who only offers cloud-based software). If your business requires an on-premise solution—perhaps you want greater customization capabilities or have the IT staff to keep in-house data secure—you’ll likely want to choose one of the bigger, more established vendors.

Continue reading “The Top CRM Vendors : A 2014 Overview”

CRM & investigation of new Strategies for Successful business

Customer Relationship Management  (CRM) & investigation of new Strategies for Successful business

1. Introduction

In any market, companies want to increase their rate of sales and quality of their services or products regularly to higher and higher points. Therefore, In Today’s business environment, it is almost impossible to unlink Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and success of the Business.

Many researches have done in order to see how CRM effective and important on the success of the business and which way. In fact, Drucker (1954), suggest, “The true business of every company is to make and keep customers” (Jain and Sharma, 2013, p 47.) which is one of the purposes of CRM. Some call it customer relationship management (CRM); others call it customer experience management (CRM), others call it customer-managed relationship (CRM) !
CRM is set of process usually linked to a database, which help an organization keep in contact with customers and deal with their requests, complaints, suggestion and purchase. (Smith and Zook, 2011).

2. Structure of Review

The review covers the definitions of customer relationship management (CRM) and how CRM has influences on a business environment. Further in this review, CRM Models are discussed critically. Finally
Thanks to the common feature of CRM Models, which is an importance of technology, discussion is carried further with the development of IT, and how development of IT helps to involve of e-CRM and enlighten the Social CRM.

3. Definitions of CRM

CRM is ‘a process that addresses all the aspects of identifying customers, creating customer knowledge, building customer relationship, and shaping their perceptions of the organization and it’s product (Pleen, 2005). CRM is the core business strategy that integrates internal process, and functions and external networks to create and deliver value to targeted customers at a profit. It is grounded on high quality customer-related data and enabled by information technologies (Buttle, 2009).
However it’s defined, understanding customers, and their expectation and offering them pre-searched valuable service or products can be the key points of CRM for successful business among competitors. “Nurturing excellent customer relationship builds this defensive wall around a business that most competitors struggle to break down” (Smith and Zook, 2011).


It is inevitable that, companies or entrepreneurs need to develop their own CRM strategies. Literately, there are five models developed that can be helpful for companies to collaborate with them to build operational excellence, product leadership and customer intimacy (Treacy and Wiersema, 1996).
4.1. The IDIC Model
Figure1: The IDIC Methodology. (Pepper and Rogers. 2004).
Peppers and Rogers (2004) established one of the most significant strategic Models for CRM, which was called as IDIC, in 2004. It consists of four operational steps. To Identify; customers and develop intensive understanding, differentiate customers who are more futuristic interact with customers in order to understand customer expectations and their approaches to competitors, customize services and product range to answer their prospects: to build closer one to one relationship with customers (Buttle, 2009)
4.2. The QCi Customer Management Model
The QCi Customer Management Model is another CRM strategy model focus more on costumers rather than CRM process, which show ways to companies in order not to lose customers. QCi points out Customer management by dividing into three significant factors: Acquisition, Retention, Penetration in each of categories has sub stages that gives organizations implementation strategy and shows ways in order not to lose customers.
4.3. Payne’s Five-Process Model
The purpose of CRM is to efficiently and effectively increase the acquisition and retention of profitable customers by selectively initiating, building and maintaining appropriate relationships with them (Payne and Frow, 2006).  According to the Figure 3, in Payne’s Model CRM process divided into five main and sub process that includes strategy development process, value creation process, multichannel integration process which is also known as operational CRM, performance assessment process, as last, information management process or analytical CRM.

1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Learning Objectives Define CRM;

Understand the importance of CRM; Explain the determinants of CRM and the key stages in its development; Discuss the main functions and various models of CRM; Explain the role of salespeople as relationship developers Discuss the management of customer relationships.

2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

CRM is “the development and maintenance of mutually beneficial long-term relationships with strategically significant customers ” (Buttle, 2000) CRM is “an IT enhanced value process , which identifies, develops, integrates and focuses the various competencies of the firm to the ‘ voice’ of the customer in order to deliver long-term superior customer value , at a profit to well identified existing and potential customers ”. (Plakoyiannaki and Tzokas, 2001)

3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Understanding Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

CRM is a business philosophy based on upon individual customers and customised products and services supported by open lines of communication and feedback from the participating firms that mutually benefit both buying and selling organisations . The buying and selling firms enter into a “learning relationship ”, with the customer being willing to collaborate with the seller and grow as a loyal customer . In return,, the seller works to maximize the value of the relationship for the customer’s benefit . In short, CRM provides selling organisations with the platform to obtain a competitive advantage by embracing customer needs and building value-driven long-term relationships .

4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Determinants of CRM

Trust The willingness to rely on the ability, integrity, and motivation of one company to serve the needs of the other company as agreed upon implicitly and explicitly. Value The ability of a selling organisation to satisfy the needs of the customer at a comparatively lower cost or higher benefit than that offered by competitors and measured in monetary, temporal, functional and psychological terms.

5. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Determinants of CRM In addition to trust and value , salespeople must :

Understand customer needs and problems; Meet their commitments; Provide superior after sales support; Make sure that the customer is always told the truth (must be honest); and Have a passionate interest in establishing and retaining a long- term relationship (e.g., have long-term perspective).

6. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Stages in the development of a Customer Relationship The Pre-relationship Stage

The event that triggers a buyer to seek a new business partner. The Early Stage Experience is accumulated between the buyer and seller although a great degree of uncertainty and distance exists. The Development Stage Increased levels of transactions lead to a higher degree of commitment and the distance is reduced to a social exchange. The Long-term Stage Characterised by the companies’ mutual importance to each other. The Final Stage The interaction between the companies becomes institutionalized.

7. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Stages in the Development of a Key-Account Relationship Degree of involvement High Low Nature of customer relationship Transactional Collaborative Pre-KAM Early-KAM Mid-KAM Partnership Synergistic KAM (Millman and Wilson, 1995)

8. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) A Relationship Life Cycle Model High cooperation Low competition Low cooperation High competition Time Pre- relationship stage Development stage Maturity stage Decline stage (Wilkinson and Young, 1997)

9. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Class Exercise What should the focus and main activities of a global salesperson be in each stage of the relationship development process? Why? (Please justify your answer)

10. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Functions of Customer Relationship Management

Direct functions (are the basic requirements of a company that are necessary to survive in the competitive marketplace) Profit; Volume; and Safeguard Indirect functions (are the actions necessary to convince the customer to participate in various marketing activities). Innovation: Market; Scout: and Access

11. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Functions of Customer Relationship Management

Customer sensitivity
Value Creation Process
Technology delivery process
Technology integration
Efficiency, effectiveness
Product delivery process
Concept to launch
Manufacturing process
Customer delivery process
Supply chain
Infomediation (distribution
of information)
(Sharma et. al., 2001)

12. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) The role of salespeople as relationship builders and promoters Salespeople by: identifying potential customers and their needs; approaching key decision makers in the buying firm; negotiating and advancing dialogue and mutual trust; coordinating the cooperation between the customers and their company; encouraging the inter-organisational learning process; contributing to constructive resolution of existing conflicts; and leading the customer relationship development team are the individuals in any organisation who act both as relationship builders and as relationship promoters.

13. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Models of Customer Relationship Management The Evans and Luskin (1994) model for effective Relationship Marketing
Relationship marketing inputs
Understanding customer expectations
Building service partnerships
Empowering employees
Total quality management
Relationship marketing outcomes
Customer Satisfaction
Customer loyalty
Quality products
Increased profitability
Assessment state
Customer feedback
(Evans and Luskin, 1994)

14. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Models of Customer Relationship Management The Brock and Barcklay (1999) model of selling partner relationship effectiveness Independence Relative influence Mutual trust Cooperation Selling partner relationship effectiveness

15. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Managing Customer Relationships The global salesperson must be involved in the following activities in order to initiate , develop and enhance the process that is aimed at building trust and commitment with the customer. Initiating the relationship Engage in strategic prospecting and qualifying; Gather and study pre-call information; Identify buying influences; Plan the initial sales call; Demonstrate an understanding of the customer’s needs; Identify opportunities to build a relationship; and Illustrate the value of a relationship with the customer

16. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Managing Customer Relationships The global salesperson must be involved in the following activities in order to initiate, develop and enhance the process that is aimed at building trust and commitment with the customer. Developing the relationship Select an appropriate offering; Customise the relationship; Link the solutions with the customer’s needs; Discuss customer concerns; Summarize the solution to confirm benefits; and Secure commitment.

17. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Managing Customer Relationships The global salesperson must be involved in the following activities in order to initiate, develop and enhance the process that is aimed at building trust and commitment with the customer. Enhancing the relationship Assess customer satisfaction; Take action to ensure satisfaction; Maintain open, two-way communication; and Work to add value and enhance mutual opportunities.

18. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Managing Customer Relationships Qualifying prospects for relationship building Opportunities for adding value Potential profitability of customer High Low Low High Use a non customized approach Seek better opportunities elsewhere Build a strong and lasting relationship Focus on loyalty-building program

19. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Relationship networks The ultimate outcome of a successful CRM strategy is the creation of a unique company asset known as a relationship network. A relationship network consists of the company and its major customers with whom the company has established long and enduring business relationships. The additional aspects of a global salesperson’s job are to: Manage customer value; Act as customer advocate; and Enhance customer loyalty and build a “health” and profitable network of relationships.

20. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Summary CRM is a new business philosophy based on trust and value; The core function of CRM is the value creation process; Customer relationships develop over time; The role of global salespeople in the process is that of both relationship builders and relationship promoters; and The basic premise of CRM is to offer superior value to customers in an effort to turn prospects into customers, customers into loyal customers, and loyal customers into partners.


Continue reading “CRM & investigation of new Strategies for Successful business”

Microfinance Industry – Research Problem, Question and Objectives

Microfinance Industry
This Chapter provides a breakdown of the research content. The reader is to be provided a sense of the task the author is about to highlight in terms of past research work done and gaps, the research problem/question down to the methodology employed and the delimitation faced during the task.
1.1 Project Background
Microfinance institutions in Cameroon are committed to improve the life of the poor or low-income people through the provision of credits, savings and other financial services. Therefore, they become the core source of funding towards SMEs and the poor. The Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) Regulation does not deal with the legal status of the MFI, but only with its activity.

The above regulation defines Microfinance as an activity made by entities that obtained licences to operate in providing loans, collecting savings, and providing specific financial services to the poor that are not able to access the formal banking service. Thus, Cameroon’s MFIs are grouped into three categories such as:
– The First Category of MFIs dealing only with their members (cooperatives, associations, and so on);
– The Second Category of MFIs that provide financial services to people. They must act as Limited Companies;
– The Third category of MFIs is those that only provide loans but must not collect savings.

According to a 2006 CEMAC study, there are 714 MFIs in Cameroon, with over 475 thousand clients, making up 2.9 percent of Continue reading “Microfinance Industry – Research Problem, Question and Objectives”