Customer relationship management (CRM) costs are skyrocketing due to overlapping product offers and poorly coordinated spending, according to a new report from Forrester Research. Companies can either save money by managing their investments and leveraging CRM systems to meet their most pressing problems or plan on spending an unsettling $60 million to $130 million over a three-year period.

"As consumers continue to expect a high level of customer service and company leaders feel intense pressure to build CRM solutions, CEOs will need to closely evaluate what drives their CRM spending," says Bob Chatham, principal analyst at Forrester Research. "Many companies have made no formal evaluation of their CRM program, and as much as 20 percent of typical CRM implementation is wasted due to overlapping software and lack of coordination across functions like marketing, sales, and call centers. CRM is of the same scale as the ERP initiatives that firms spent tens of millions of dollars on and needs (and deserves) the same level of attention. After all, this is how a firm expresses its personality to its customers."

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