One challenge in making a CRM selection is the overlap and duplication among different application categories. Here's Forrester's breakdown of the CRM ecosystem:
Customer targeting: Helps marketers define and develop new products, prioritize target markets and communicate offers. Three apps in this area are: product life-cycle management (PLM), enterprise marketing management (EMM) and e-commerce platforms.
Customer acquisition: Helps salespeople sell by configuring solutions, setting prices, quoting, contracting and taking customer orders. Four apps in this area are: sales force automation (SFA); partner relationship management (PRM); configure, price and quoting (CPQ); revenue and pricing management (RPM); order management; and contract life-cycle management (CLM).
Customer retention: Supports customers after the sale, including scheduling installation and repairs, billing, diagnosing customer problems and routing customer inquiries. Five apps in this area are: customer service and support (CSS); field service management (FSM); contact center infrastructure; IVR/speech portals; and electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP).
Customer understanding: Collects and analyzes feedback and customer interactions with companies. Three apps in this area are: enterprise feedback management (EFM); customer business intelligence (CBI); and customer data management (CDM).
Customer collaboration: Works collaboratively with customers, enabling them to interact with and support each other. Two apps in this area are: customer community platforms (CCP) and customer forums (CF). —R.K.