Salesforce | The third wave of CRM

An organization’s return on investment

Michael Herman

Michael Herman

Principal, Advisory, C&O Financial Services, KPMG US

+1 212-954-3898

Customer relationship management (CRM) applications have significantly evolved over the past several decades. Custom mainframe solutions that acted as a customer data repository have slowly been replaced with cloud- based solutions that provide a one-time cost benefit and an improved desktop and mobile experience, but generally miss the opportunity for long-term digital transformation. As CRM capabilities continue to evolve and platform capabilities expand, we expect an accelerated migration to a third wave of business and value-driven CRM transformation. We are already beginning to witness companies becoming more deliberate and focused on achieving return on investment (ROI) from their CRM investments. Insight-led decision support will better align the customer-facing organizations of companies with their customers according to how they want to be engaged, driving deeper market knowledge, and more informed decisions on how to serve buyers and existing clients.

The CRM wave pool

The concept of keeping records of customer relationships is not new. Whether these records are kept on a local spreadsheet, in a series of notes on a desktop card file, or in an enterprise-wide CRM software application, professionals have been tracking their relationships with customers for many years.

Achieving CRM ROI

CRM ROI starts with understanding how to convince your user base to use CRM technology to improve their ability to serve the customer, and ultimately improve their own performance.

Before any planning takes place, it is important to identify the expected business objectives within an organization. For example, a company may have a stated goal of improving cross-sell across the sales organization by 5 percent over the fiscal year.


Third wave of CRM video

Achieving better ROI requires companies to be more deliberate and focused on the continuous loop of CRM usage and strategic insights.