If your company understands that CRM is critical but the funds are not available to implement a quality capability, one possible way to move ahead could be the “release the critical funds” strategy. It requires you to think of CRM as a holistic business strategy and one way to fund a holistic CRM strategy is to create operational efficiencies in another part of the business, for e.g., in the back office.
Most companies have invested huge quantities of capital in their back-office environments. These companies need to free investments in one area of the business to fund more important business strategies such as CRM, to move forward in today’s recession hit environment.
Companies need to view assets in two categories, strategic and non-strategic.
Strategic assets are those viewed as vital to the future growth and success of the business.
- It simply implies that they represent an opportunity to gain access to locked-up capital.
- Provide growth in good times and insulate against downturns.
- Investments that strengthen relationships with customers such as CRM, sales force automation (SFA), marketing automation (MA) and customer interaction centres could be considered strategic assets.
Non-strategic investments may include back office systems, desktop maintenance legacy systems or any other non-critical activity that is done in-house.
After this segregation, alternative arrangements like outsourcing should be considered to reduce costs in these non-strategic areas in order to free capital for strategic IT investments.