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Businesses are struggling to maximize the value of their CRM systems

CRM
(Image credit: Image Credit: Zaozaa19 / Shutterstock)

As customer expectations change, businesses are increasingly leaning on customer relationship management (CRM) solutions for help. However, maximizing the value of these systems seems to be a challenge, a new report from Salesforce claims.

Polling almost 800 executives and nearly 1,500 CRM users across 15 countries for the report, Salesforce found that CRM systems are used to drive customer growth, business productivity and resiliency, and market differentiation. 

However, these solutions have failed to deliver on expectations, which is why usage over the past couple of years “remained largely flat”.

Almost four in five respondents believe CRM systems should support the entire customer lifecycle, from discovery, to engagement and retention. Right now, less than half can say that’s the case. Furthermore, almost three-quarters (73 percent) claim CRM use is fragmented, with different departments using different systems, which makes sharing information across teams a challenge.

The report also found that most firms struggle to maintain good customer experience with most of their employees working remotely - a situation that could improve if CRM systems better integrated and more accessible.

Of all the different challenges executives are facing, those surrounding productivity, information access, as well as communication and coordination, seem to be the most significant.

“When unified, accessible CRM systems are the central tool in an employee’s toolkit, they are better able to navigate a remote or flexible workplace while continuing to create great CX for customers,” the report concludes. “And executives can more easily adapt go-to-market strategies to pivot during times of change or uncertainty.”