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European CRM budgets ‘remain strong’

Economic uncertainty afflicting much of the European market has not prevented companies from investing in CRM software, according to the latest research from Gartner.

The survey found that 50 per cent of the 102 corporate respondents to its survey are planning to increase spending on CRM initiatives over the course of 2014, with an average jump of 2.3 per cent compared to 2013 levels.

Gartner questioned companies in over 30 countries, both in B2B and B2C sectors, highlighting the widespread popularity of CRM within a range of industries and sectors.

Jim Davies, research director with the organisation, said the trend looks set to develop over the coming years as firms attempt to manage their customer relationships as efficiently as possible.

“We are observing an increasing number of large, transformational projects being undertaken as organisations look to embrace social and mobile interactions for sales, marketing and customer support,” he added.

Gartner expects that the CRM software market in Western Europe will grow at over nine per cent throughout the year as the sector begins to mature and gain traction.

One factor in this is cloud adoption, which is also steadily increasing – more than 49 per cent of CRM applications in the market are now delivered on SaaS infrastructure, compared with just one per cent in 1999.

Participants in the report were also asked to highlight the potential benefits of further investing in CRM, with organisational commitment to the customer experience considered the most important element.

“A new objective added to the list of options this year was ‘increase customer engagement’, which jumped into [second place] and further demonstrates the growing desire of European organisations to get closer to their customers,” added Mr Davies.

However, some obstacles still remain for firms keen to adopt the software – lack of a clearly defined CRM strategy was the number one concern cited by respondents, highlighting the need for experienced workers and strong planning procedures as well as the right technology.

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Gordon Johnston

Gordon Johnston

Microsoft Consultant at Redspire
Gordon has been developing Microsoft products for 14 years and has a deep understanding of Dynamics CRM. He applies this experience to developing our client solutions which he pushes forward in consultation with clients.
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