Which Functional Area should own CRM?

This discussion about which functional area should own CRM has been debated by hundreds people in Internet based discussion forums over the past year, but I am not sure why. CRM is a philosophy adopted by the management of well-run companies.  It is not about ownership by a specific department.  Yet based on the results of the survey below completed in 2011, it is clear that people disagree with my position and believe that CRM should be owned by a functional department, or be co-owned.

crm-ownership

In smaller businesses, the use of CRM software is typically driven by the sales organization for managing the sales cycle and used by other departments for contact management.  In larger organizations it is typically used throughout the organization.

Regardless of the company’s size, the objective of CRM software is the same and that is to ensure a better buying experience for the customer.

There is no ownership issue here.  Creating a better buying experience for the customer occurs before, during and after the sale.  As such, CRM software often plays a vital role not only in the management of the sales process, but also in the efficient management of projects, and providing high quality customer service.   It’s a corporate initiative driven by senior management with the goal of maximizing the lifetime value of every customer relationship and it should be shared by all.

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