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CRM for the services industry

Where can I find info on CRM for the service industry. I'd like to know what the service industry needs within the confines of Customer Relationship Management. I know what the software can do, but need to understand the industry needs better.
I'm not aware of a specific information source focused on CRM for Professional Services - part of the reason being that there are so many different aspects of the 'Services' industry. Certain vendors (for instance Interface for Legal, Metavante and S1 in Financial Services, Cosential in AEC) have focused on particular industry sectors while other companies (SalesLogix, Siebel, Microsoft) have worked in conjunction with integrators or in some cases customers to develop specific functionality.

In terms of industry needs, the general scenario faced in Professional Services organizations include:
  • Widely distributed workforce - highly mobile
  • Mostly knowledge workers with need/desire to customize, little time/inclination to be 'trained'
  • Relationship-based selling and servicing - oftentimes with some personal/confidential aspects of the relationship needed to be kept private (for instance in legal)
  • Selling is often done by service delivery organization, as opposed to by dedicated sales force.

    It is difficult to generalize since 'Professional Services' is so broad but hopefully this gives you at least a start.
  • This was last published in September 2003

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