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Relationship Issues

Is it time for your growing business to spring for a sophisticated CRM solution?

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This story appears in the July 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

These days, entrepreneurs face a barrage of marketing messages trumpeting the latest and greatest CRM tools. CRM software promises to streamline customer service, simplify marketing and sales efforts, and help companies find new customers and generate more revenue from existing customers. Using software to record customer interactions with sales and customer service personnel, CRM applications can provide a 360-degree view of your business 24/7. The goal is to boost revenue and keep customers happy.

Recent studies indicate that growing businesses are the driving force behind the growth of this type of software in North America. Inspired by this trend, numerous software vendors have set out to develop CRM tools that aim to meet the needs of this segment. In fact, a study released earlier this year by Jupiter Media Metrix, titled "Enterprise Software Adoption in the SMB Market," found that spending on CRM software by small and midsized businesses (SMBs) would reach $651 million by 2006 and make up 19 percent of the entire CRM software market, up from 10 percent in 2001.

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