Invest in people,

By Allan Alter  |  Posted 2006-11-14 Print this article Print

November 2006 Customer Strategies Survey, Part Three: Analytics, competitive intelligence, call centers and salesforce automation meet the expectations of only about 60% to 75% of users.

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Invest in people, improve at analytics. Sales and marketing technologies are often not deployed—and frequently fall short when they are.
Last month's Business Process Improvement survey found that sales and marketing departments are the most difficult functions for IT to support. So it's no surprise that many companies have yet to adopt sales and marketing technologies such as analytics or marketing automation, or that these technologies often fail to deliver. It's especially unfortunate for salesforce automation, one of the few technologies likely to meet or exceed expectations—and, as we noted in Finding 2, people are the most profitable sales channel.

Research Guide:

  • Finding 1: The hunt is on for new customers; most companies continue to favor growth over cost-cutting.
  • Finding 2: Nine out of 10 companies sell on the Web, but only half say the Internet is among their most profitable channels.
  • Finding 3: More IT spending is directed to customers.
  • Finding 4: Companies are still suffering from data indigestion.
  • Finding 5: Sales and marketing technologies are often not deployed and frequently fall short when they are.

    Upcoming results from the Customer Strategies survey:

  • Nov. 22: Customer service products linger despite IT support.

    Read our previous surveys on customer strategies and related topics:

  • July 2005 Customer Strategies Survey: Can You Profit as Customers Get Smarter?
  • October 2005 Business Intelligence Survey: Business Intelligence Is Valuable, but Falls Short of Its Potential
  • August 2004 CRM Survey: Will Old Problems Sink New Users?

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    Executive Editor

    Allan Alter has been a specialist on information technology management, strategy and leadership for many years. Most recently, he was editor-in-chief and the director of new content development for the MIT Sloan Management Review. He has been a columnist and department editor at Computerworld, where he won three awards from the American Society of Business Press Editors. Previously he was a special projects editor, senior editor and senior writer for CIO magazine. Earlier, Alter was an associate editor for Mass High Tech. He has edited two books: The Squandered Computer: Evaluating the Business Alignment of Business Technologies and Redesigning the Firm.


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