Customer relationship management (CRM) revenues grew at a feverish 71 per cent growth rate and reached $US3.3 billion in 1999, a new study released last week concluded.
Companies are focused on winning and retaining customers, and that emphasis is contributing to the CRM market's growth, the new International Data Corporation (IDC) report found. Revenue growth in the CRM sector is expected to continue at a healthy clip and become $US12.1 billion by 2004.
Framingham, Massachusetts-based IDC divides CRM applications into three segments - sales automation software, marketing automation software and customer support and call center software. Sales software is designed to manage sales functions, from high-end processes like account/contact management and list management, to low-end processes like simple contact management. Marketing software assists with such things as campaign management and execution and list management and telemarketing. Customer support and call centre applications are designed to enhance the management of relationships with existing customers.
The sales automation sector played front runner in 1999 but is expected to trail the customer support and call centre segment this year. Marketing automation applications through 2004 will be the fastest-growing segment of the market, according to the study.
Western Europe's CRM market will see the most rapid growth, at about 36 per cent, in five years, compared to 30 per cent for the sector overall.
According to the study, the CRM market is quite fragmented, and beyond the top five suppliers in the market, no company holds more than 2 per cent of the market share.