Be clear on B2B, CRM: analysts

Despite current market conditions, the future for business to business and customer relationship management software is bright – as long as company CEOs keep their heads out of the sand, say industry observers.

Several IT market analysts spoke recently at the eCustomer World 2001 Conference in Toronto about what is necessary for a successful future for Canadian businesses.

“It is not an option to put your head in the sand and hope problems won’t happen,” said Jordan Kendall, analyst at Forrester Research Canada. “It’s also not an option to hope that your competitors will help pick you up when you have fallen down. They won’t.”

A Forrester research study backs up that scenario. It found that while only 36 per cent of executives from 50 of the largest Canadian companies think that online trade is critical in 2001, 80 per cent think that is true for 2002.

Alistar Sutherland, director of service and software at IDC Canada, delivered a similar message and added that continuing to use conventional methods to get and keep customers won’t work any more.

“Customers, being people, are fickle,” he said, adding that IDC research shows that 60 to 80 per cent of customers who defect from a company were actually satisfied or very satisfied with the product or service they were with.