How Citibank Saves with CRM

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Citibank cut back on custom coding when it installed Siebel's customer relationship management (CRM) software. The move is paying off.

Companies such as Citibank, looking for good software to manage their relationships with customers, are caught in a dilemma: to customize or not to customize?

PDF Download Businesses need to tailor software to meet specific needs and distinguish themselves from their competitors. But customized code can lead to problems when it's time to implement new releases of customer relationship management (CRM) applications—especially with major upgrades, such as Siebel Systems' Siebel 7.

So, what's a company to do?

At Citibank's Global Corporate and Investment Bank's e-business unit, which serves midsize and Fortune 2000 corporations, the answer was: curb the customization urge.

Susan Andros, vice president of Citibank e-business, managed to hold customization to 5% of the Siebel code implemented in her division. The result: The e-business unit completed the fastest and most economical Siebel deployment of all of Citibank's divisions, according to Andros. At the same time, the e-business unit still produced more detailed and accurate sales reports and forecasts, using standard Siebel e-finance modules, Andros says.

Citibank is banking on the benefits. Andros has committed to the following:

  • Customer time: In 2001, Citibank e-business staff spent only 50% of its time interacting with corporate customers. Goal in 2002: increase this to 75%. This means more opportunities to cross-sell other bank products such as trading systems, e-commerce systems and services.
  • Revenue per sales rep: In 2001, the unit was generating an average of $10 million in revenue per sales rep in North America. Goal for 2002: at least a 10% increase in this number.
  • Reporting efficiencies: In 2000, administrative staffers took 21 days apiece to generate historical reports. In 2001, after Siebel 6.2, North American staffers each spent only 20 minutes per month on this. Goal for 2002: more reports with a wider scope in those same 20 minutes.

    And that's before the Web-enabled Siebel 7 arrives, which Andros plans to have in use in her division by June 16.

    This article was originally published on 2002-02-04
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