Significance of lead management for successful implementation of CRM
1. INTRODUCTION In the last decade, the factors like globalization, deregulation, spread of Internet use in growing number of forms (from theme portals, through blogs, to social networks), and additionally crisis which started in the world economy in 2008, all form a constant pressure which is put on companies even in the sectors which until recently were a classic example of producer market. Reacting to market requirements companies make reviews of all aspects of their activities, including marketing strategies. Where it is possible, we can observe retreat from traditional (classic) marketing with its mass character or segmentation based on general criteria, to new outlook on the whole of relations: company – customer2. Growing role of customers treated by a company as partners with whom one needs to build long-term relations is a basic assumption of relationship marketing. Connected with sophisticated methods of data processing by ITC systems, it is a basis for strategic direction of companies visible in complex approach to customer relationship management.3 CRM strategy is sometimes blamed not to contribute anything new to management theory and economic practice, as it uses well-known mechanisms and notions, it relates to solutions which were constructed earlier. The only significant accent (according to its critics) is the use of information systems processing customer data on unprecedented scale (thanks to progress in ITC). Due to that, CRM is believed to be an expensive toy which instead of leading to improvement of company efficiency, wastes its precious financial resources and employee energy. The thesis seemed to be confirmed by the first attempts of CRM implementation at the end of 20th century, which in most cases resulted in huge investment in equipment and computer software and ended usually with failures, without bringing expected business benefits.4 The article takes up the problem of efficiency of CRM implementation in a Researcher at the Chair of International Marketing at the Faculty of International Economy of Poznan University of Economics. 2 I. H. Gordon, Relacje z klientem, Marketing partnerski, Polskie Wydawnictwo Ekonomiczne, Warszawa 2001, p. 123-124 and http://www.swiatmarketingu.pl/index.php?rodzaj=01&id_numer=775741 (accessed 02.10.2011). 3 B. Deszczyński, Zarządzanie Relacjami z Klientami (CRM) w przedsiębiorstwie – Istota strategii i uwarunkowania jej wdra ania, in: Funkcjonowanie gospodarki rynkowej w Polsce, Aspekty makroi mikroekonomiczne, Wydawnictwo Akademii Ekonomicznej w Poznaniu, Poznań 2005, p. 389. 4 See: M.Gentle, CRM Project Management Handbook – Building realistic expectations and managing risk, Kogan Page, London 2004, p. 10-14; Ch. H. Lovelock Ch.H., J. Wirtz, Services Marketing, People, Technology, Strategy, 6th edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, International Edition 2007, p.383 and J. Panker, 'F' word still 1
company, paying particular attention to the importance of planning so called short-term wins – benefits realized during or shortly after the end of implementation. In case of CRM, one of the ways of its achievement is lead management (managing sales opportunities – leads). The article presents organization of the process and case studies confirming the role it plays in implementation process.
2. ENDOGENIC BARRIERS TO CRM IMPLEMENTATION
As a result of alarming signals saying about the failure of even 70% of CRM initiatives, researchers, independent analysts, advisors and finally consultants representing suppliers of software of CRM class started to propagate nowadays widely known thesis that CRM should not be identified only with information technologies. The latter should only be treated as a tool enabling realization of business goals. Soon, the catalogue of main reasons of low efficiency of CRM implementation was completed with other reasons, taken from...