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CRM Capabilities Model: A matrix of customer relationship capabilities

U.S. $699U.S. $1,999

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CRM Capabilities Model: CRM (Customer Relationship Management) capabilities framework is a comprehensive, industry-agnostic, multi-purpose Customer Relationship Management functional area business capability model. The CRM business capabilities model spans all critical areas of CRM and is a hierarchical decomposition of “What” the CRM function does. It comprises 295 capabilities across three levels.

CRM is a foundation for customer-centricity, and in today’s digital world, a strong CRM capability is a strategic imperative.  The CRM Capabilities Model offers a structurally sound foundation for transforming CRM for the digital era.

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CRM Capabilities Model Deliverables

The CRM Capabilities model comprises 295 capabilities and includes the following artifacts.

  • An Excel spreadsheet with a grouping of capabilities.
  • A PowerPoint presentation with the top two levels presented in a nested visualization.
  • A Word document with capabilities in a multilevel list format.
  • CRM Capability Definitions (at level 3)
  • CRM Capabilities Key Performance Indicators (at level 2)

Why do we need a CRM Capabilities Model?

Digital technologies (social, mobile, analytics, cloud, IoT) and social trends (rising customer expectations, demographic shifts, and pervasiveness of technology as a driving force of work, life, and culture) have had a significant impact on enterprises and in particular the customer relationship management function.

To compete against the digital natives, legacy enterprises increasingly focus on customer-centric and enhancing the customer experience.  Today’s customers expect services and experiences on par with the new generation digital services – Uber, Spotify, iPhone, Netflix, et al. – and consequently, the transformation of CRM is an area of abiding focus and importance for enterprises.

It is easy to say CRM transformation, but without understanding the underlying capabilities, digital transformation endeavors often end up as nothing more than a paint job and a patchwork.

The value of business capabilities is invaluable as they help bridge the gap between business and IT, help understand the essence of what a business does, and align development efforts to strategic priorities.

Ideally, your firm should have a structured and well-defined enterprise business capability model, with CRM capability as an integral part. And furthermore, for the capability model to the actionable, it should be decomposed to a slightly granular level of capabilities (Level 3 or 4) for it to be actionable and leverage in IT enablement projects.
One of an enterprise’s core functions is managing its sales and customers – Customer Relationship Management. In today’s highly competitive market, the Sales function and CRM capabilities have become ever more critical. CIOPages CRM Business Capability Model intends to capture the detailed and nuanced perspective of what CRM does. It includes the nuts and bolts function and emerging and value-add functions/capabilities.

The CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Business Capability Model will help provide a jumpstart to envision a future state, conduct gap analysis, identify capabilities that are needed/improved, and help focus efforts on capabilities that matter!

What is a CRM Business Capabilities Model?

First, let’s understand what a capability is.  A capability denotes what a business function does and can do without regard to how it gets done. For a detailed definition of business capability, please go here.

Consequently, a CRM capability is a mutually exclusive and individually whole elemental entity that describes what customer relationship management does and can do.

A CRM capabilities matrix is an agglomeration of such capabilities in clusters of logical grouping. The CRM capabilities map is a comprehensive and granular decomposition.

The CRM Business capability model is decomposed to a minimum of two levels across the spectrum of CRM Capabilities and many a time to levels three and four as well, depending on the granularity and modularity necessary.

The CRM capability list is structurally sound and internally coherent and maintains principles of MECE (mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive) for the most part.


  • As the CRM Capabilities Model is a digital product, there are absolutely NO Returns.
  • Depending on your industry, the type of CRM functions and practices you follow, and the scope of your transformation, some or all of the CRM capabilities may not be relevant to you.
  • There are different pricing, license, and terms if you are a consultant or a consulting company.
  • Sold on an as-is basis and with no warranties.
  • The sale of the CRM capability matrix does not include implementation help or support. If you need professional services assistance, please contact us.
  • Please review our standard terms of service.

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What are Business Capabilities?

Business capabilities have been the foundational building blocks, or the Rosetta Stone for business and technology alignment. Business Capabilities describe “What” a business does. Check here for a primer.

How should I use CRM Capabilities Model?

  • Understanding the essence of the CRM function and what it does.
  • Achieve alignment between business and technology with a common language.
  • Mapping to Applications/Services to understand the footprint and coverage.
  • Creating a gap analysis between current and future states based on Capability Maturity.
  • Understanding business needs for IT enablement based on stable entities.
  • Conducting vendor analysis using capabilities as the reference point.
  • Leveraging in M&A to compare capabilities and their maturity between two firms.

But our Company is unique – will the CRM model fit us?

Of course, every business is slightly different regarding which CRM capabilities it needs and how such capabilities operate. However, while there may be divergence at the edges, there is a lot of convergence at the core between most firms. The differences may be in the relative emphasis on the critical value streams and the absence or presence of specific capabilities and competencies based on your unique needs.

Last but not least, we don’t expect our CRM Capabilities Model (or any other model) to fit you 100%. We hope you take this as a straw model or a base and a springboard to achieve the desired customization and specificity level.

Not to toot our own horn, but if you need professional services to help tailor the CRM model to your needs and capture your firm’s unique essence, we can help.

Contact Us for Advisory Service details.

When should we buy a CRM Capability Matrix?

Anytime is a good time! However, there are always triggers that may necessitate a CRM Capability Model.

  • Strategic review and revamp of CRM Strategy and Operations.
  • CRM Systems replacement or re-architecture
  • CRM process re-engineering.
  • CRM model development as a part of an enterprise capability map

But what if we have a Business Capability Model already?

In that case, you can go with it, or if you require validation and cross-reference, you will still find our map valuable. After all, the price is less than the one hour of time spent on the combined brainpower assembled in the room.

What is my ROI?

The Value of Time Spent:

Typically, it takes a team of 5-7 to draft a CRM Capability Model:

  • Product Manager
  • Business Architect
  • Enterprise Architect
  • CRM Functional Experts – 2 or 3 to represent the broad spectrum of CRM functional areas.

Now you can multiply the average hourly cost of the team and the hours spent, and you’ll get the story.

Opportunity Cost:

In addition to the time spent and the associated costs of drafting routine CRM Capabilities, you also have an opportunity cost.
By quickly adding/deleting/modifying the base set of CRM Business Capabilities, your team will have the luxury of spending the balance of your quality time in conceptualizing and crafting the unique and specific Capabilities which capture the essence of your company and its CRM practices, principles and perspectives.
Of course, let’s not forget the “Day Job” each of the SMEs (subject matter experts) could be doing.


Instead of spending countless hours stretched across weeks or months, you can have a baseline framework of customer relationship management capabilities in a couple of sittings. That helps you expedite and accelerate CRM transformation planning.

CRM Capabilities Model: A matrix of customer relationship capabilities

U.S. $699U.S. $1,999

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