With 2002 safely behind us, it is time for some optimism regarding the potential of the CRM market,” stated K. S. Ferguson in a Current Analysis Perspective dated January 20, 2003. True, 2003 is going to be just as challenging a sales environment as the previous year.

Based on the dismal sales in 2002, it may not seem that the recession is an opportunity for CRM, but it is. That is, CRM is more crucial in times of weak spending as companies are challenged to attract and retain customers. This is a struggle across industries; companies that will survive this recession will be those that understand and act upon the fact that relationship management is a competitive differentiation. While CRM vendors have long tried to position their applications as mission critical, the industry needs to make a comprehensive and collective push in 2003 to focus on building the entire market for CRM as a strategic business imperative.

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