Business relationships expanding outside sales means CRMs need to change, report says

Only 3% of customer relationships last less than three months, according to a report from Copper.

SAPs new CRM takes aim at the Salesforce cloud

Business relationships are extending beyond the sales department, now touching every team in a company, according to a Thursday report from Copper. The length of these relationships between companies and customers is also increasing, the report found, particularly with the rise of subscription-based services.

The report surveyed more than 2,500 global business pros across industries to examine their perspective on customer relationships, changing sales roles, software, and the future of CRM. Customers today are looking for companies that focus on loyalty, it found: Only 3% of customer relationships last less than six months. Some 27% of enterprise companies said their customer relationships last about seven years.

SEE: Enterprise application software: Future plans, favored vendors and best uses (Tech Pro Research)

Sales teams still drive the majority of company relationships (63%), according to the report, but other teams such as human resources (19%) and legal (14%) are playing increasingly larger roles.

Some 63% of respondents said they use CRM for customer relationships, while 45% said they use it to manage leads, and 33% to manage vendors. However, CRM offerings are typically labor-intensive and require manual data entry, which can silo information, the report said. One third of respondents across companies said they spend two to five hours each week on manual data entry, while 11% of those from enterprises spend more than 20 hours per week on CRM data entry, according to the report.

"There is a clear shift in the market around how teams work and communicate with their customers," Morgan Norman, chief marketing officer at Copper, said in a press release. "We're seeing an appetite for both businesses and customers to have longer and more meaningful relationships. However, this study proves that the current state of CRM remains a major roadblock for this to happen."

To learn more about different CRM options, check out this article on our sister site ZDNet.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Only 3% of customer relationships last less than six months. -- Copper, 2018
  • Sales teams drive 63% of customer relationships, but other teams like HR and legal are catching up. -- Copper, 2018

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Image: iStockphoto/Deagreez