CRM has yet to win its own budget in two thirds of UK businesses

31/05/2018

Just 35% of companies have integrated CRM systems, while two thirds of companies are covering marketing and CRM with the same budget, leaving a third of marketers without plans and processes around the technology, according to new research.

A survey of 750 leading CRM managers across the UK and Europe by marketing technology company Wiraya, reveals just 34% of UK businesses have separate budgets for CRM. For most CRM managers, the money comes from the marketing budget, which 53% of businesses are increasing over the next year.

Whether the finance is there or not, there is a surprising lack of maturity when it comes to CRM process. Just 35% of UK businesses have fully integrated CRM systems. In the most common case (45%) of businesses are still in the process of integrating systems and distilling processes.

Concurrently, 35% of businesses lack clear plans and processes when working with CRM/CX and a fifth (19%) of businesses that do have processes to work with existing customers don’t actively follow them.

CRM and senior leadership

The good news is 21% of UK businesses are prioritising existing customers more than prospects this year. The customer's voice is represented in the top management team in nearly nine in ten companies (89%) and 69% of customer experience leads within a business have the authority to make the changes necessary to enhance the customer experience.

Sam Madden, UK Director at Wiraya said, “For CRM Leaders to win trust from top management, you need to be able to show an aggregated view of what you want to do (a strategy), why (the business case) and how you’re performing and progressing (with KPIs).”

However, customer expectations are entering a new phase of sophistication. Engaging in a two-way conversation ranks second highest in terms of what business think of outstanding customer service. 18% of businesses attribute a lack of new or modern technology as a reason for missing goals related to customer experience.

To work around this challenge, Madden highlights, “Another good way of getting your management to better understand your customers is by letting them become the customer. Let the executives sign up for your service and go through the whole customer journey themselves to really get a feel for the importance of a CRM focus.”

Key performance indicators

With organisations becoming more data driven, it’s more important than ever for businesses to get smart about measurement to prove the value of their work, or quickly adapt if something isn’t working. Overall, customer satisfaction scores (49%) and customer renewals (35%) are the most common KPIs used to track the results of work with existing customers.

However, when looking into the companies ranked best-in-class, these business focus on customer experience KPIs connected to revenue such as ROI (39%), churn rate (22%) and Customer Lifetime Value (39%). To get your top management’s attention you need to talk their language. Build your business case by showcasing numbers connecting to revenue and supporting your business model.

Maturity levels

The profiles of CRM usage can be broken down into the following three primary categories:

Traditional: The most common group (34%), typically working continuously work with CRM, but without having exact plans and processes. Their company has an appointed CRM manager.

Ambitious: This is closely followed by the CRM ambitious (27%) where they have plans and processes in place, as well as a team or individual with dedicated CRM responsibility. These organisations plan to invest in the technology in the future, regardless of whether this is a dedicated budget for CRM only, or forms part of a wider marketing allocation.

Adhoc: 17% of respondents considered themselves to be more ‘ad-hoc’ user, whose CRM work is spontaneous and occurs mainly on an ad-hoc basis, with no direct organisational structure and no appointed role responsible for CRM.

Please click here for full access to the research report.

Methodology

This CRM survey was conducted in Q1 2018. A total of 766 people responsible for CRM systems within the UK (514 respondents) and Sweden (252 respondents) were interviewed as part of the research.

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