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Customer relationship management (CRM) provides strategies for managing an enterprises interactions with its clients and potential prospects. The industry provides vast array of technological platforms and applications which can be integrated into the enterprise infrastructure and then used to organize, automate, and synchronize business processes. While most CRM platforms are designed for revenue generation from sales, the industry is seeing growth in applications for marketing, customer service, and technical support. Generally speaking, the objectives of CRM software applications are to efficiently find, attract, and convert prospects into clients. Additionally, CRM adds value by monitoring and improving the client experience, retaining clients, and decreasing expenses across the enterprise.

The environment for customer relationship management is expected to remain robust as an increasing number of businesses seek the benefits provided by these applications. According to a survey by Gartner, Inc., the CRM industry will grow the most of all the application software markets worldwide in 2011. In their survey, 31% of respondents said they expect an increase in application software spending in 2011. When compared to their fiscal budgets for 2010, 42% of survey respondents said they expected to increase spending on CRM in 2011. That was compared to 39% on office suites and 36% on enterprise resource planning (ERP), which ranked second and third in the survey, respectively.

The Gartner Study also found that buyers of CRM software are prioritizing investments that enhance customer retention and improve the customer experience. The adoption of Software as a Solution (SaaS) continues to benefit the CRM industry and is expected to comprise almost one-third of software revenue in 2014. The automation of marketing efforts continues to be the leading market segment within the CRM industry with the greatest demand coming from marketing campaign and lead management as well as analytics.

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Business News and Advice Center by business expert Steve Daines. Read news in Business Category. Business News by Steve Daines include educational guides to small and medium business development.