Study Emphasizes Importance Of Defining CRM And Internal Education

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A new study released by Cutting Edge Information found that many pharmaceutical CRM initiatives suffer from the lack of a firm definition.

The report focuses on the inner-workings and best practices of CRM initiatives at top pharmaceutical companies.

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"CRM tends to mean different things to various companies. CRM initiatives would greatly benefit if companies better defined CRM and educated internal parties on its applications and objectives," said Amanda Zuniga, senior research analyst and lead author of the report. "Internal buy-in and cross- functional support is absolutely crucial to CRM success. Education is the first step companies should take to secure this critical internal backing."

The study found that for some companies, CRM primarily means a database which tracks campaign efforts, whereas at others CRM has flourished into a culture of sorts, which encompasses all the marketing efforts for a brand. Wherever a CRM initiative falls on the industry spectrum, it is essential that a company clarifies what CRM means from its perspective.

Once a company has developed a solid understanding of what CRM means to its organization, the next step is to share this knowledge. To win internal buy-in, the company's CRM champion must make a concerted effort to educate all parties on the CRM initiative's parameters, objectives, tactics and goals. This internal education must transcend the boundaries of marketing because several other internal functions play an integral role in the development, support and maintenance of CRM. The fate of a CRM program relies on the success of cross-functional input and cooperation.

"Pharmaceutical Customer Relationship Management" explores how top companies build solid business cases to attain sufficient resource backing for CRM programs as well as to win senior management buy-in. The report contains budget and staffing metrics for 13 different customer relationship management programs. Case studies, best practices and tactics for addressing key CRM program challenges are utilized to give executives a guide to managing their own programs with success.

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