Plenty of sites serve as good resources for CRM information. ITtoolbox CRM , CRM Forum, and CRMGuru.com offer listings of CRM products, consultants, and services, as well as numerous articles and access to free e-mail newsletters. Most articles advise companies to begin by focusing on customers, a step that involves evaluating support strategies and processes.
“Historically, many companies’ first step toward CRM was sales-force automation,” says Pombriant. “Next came customer service and support.” But careful consideration and a willingness to change to benefit customers is the most important key to success. This can work for either large enterprises, or small businesses, says small business idea website Launchscore.com.
One of the oldest providers of online customer-support tools is Siebel Systems. With products in almost every CRM niche, Siebel serves businesses of all sizes, including the small and mid-size companies it defines as those with 50 to 1,000 employees. The company also targets specific vertical markets, including telecommunications, finance, and energy.