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CRM done right
December 2004
by Darrell Rigby and Dianne Ledingham
Bain's most recent survey on the use of management tools turned up a surprise: Customer relationship management software, which disappointed many in the 1990s, is suddenly back in favor. Why? The leading companies take a targeted, pragmatic approach to CRM -- and are seeing results.

For a fuller account of how companies can reap strong returns from their CRM investments, read "CRM Done Right," by Darrell K. Rigby and Dianne Ledingham, from the November 2004 issue of Harvard Business Review.


Can deal making solve your growth problem?
October 2004
by David Harding and Sam Rovit
Every executive who's been involved in a large acquisition wrestles with "the growth paradox": 70 percent of major deals fail, but it's nearly impossible to achieve strong growth without doing deals. Bain has looked closely at the practices that lead to M&A success. The findings of that research, led by David Harding and Sam Rovit, are contained in the new book Mastering The Merger: Four Critical Decisions That Make or Break the Deal (Harvard Business School Press).

For more on how to target the right acquisitions, read "Building Deals on Bedrock," which appeared in the September 2004 edition of Harvard Business Review.

Listen to David Harding discuss effective deal making presented in this audio slideshow.

The supersizing of the software industry
September 2004
by Simon Heap, Vince Tobkin and Franz-Josef Seidensticker
With 2004 shaping up to be a busy year for deals in the software industry, I thought you might be interested in Bain's analysis of the forces driving that consolidation trend. One of the major implications of our analysis: for players with less than $1 billion in revenues, it will become increasingly difficult to survive. We lay out some of the strategic choices that companies of all sizes are likely to face.

For more about consolidation in the software industry, please click here to view "Regulators Cannot Stop the Urge to Merge in Software," by Simon Heap, Vince Tobkin and Franz-Josef Seidensticker, published on FT.com by the Financial Times on May 16, 2004


When to walk away from a deal
April 2004
by Geoffrey Cullinan, Jean-Marc Le Roux and Rolf-Magnus Weddigen
As deal-making activity rebounds, you might be interested in seeing Bain's latest findings on the power of effective due diligence. Our analysis, based on a survey of 250 senior managers with M&A responsibilities, highlights some practical insights from successful acquirers about how to get the best results from due diligence. A more detailed explanation appears in the April issue of Harvard Business Review, under the title "When To Walk Away From A Deal."

For a fuller account of how to prevent deal disappointment, please click here to view "When to Walk Away from a Deal," by Geoffrey Cullinan, Jean-Marc Le Roux and Rolf-Magnus Weddigen, published in Harvard Business Review in April 2004.

Listen to Geoffrey Cullinan discuss effective due diligence presented in this audio slideshow.


Preparing for the next tech wave
March 2004
by Vince Tobkin and Michael Garstka
Based on a recent FT.com article by Vince Tobkin, leader of Bain's global technology practice, and Michael Garstka, who directs Bain's Asia technology practice, this issue of the Technology and Telecom Results lays out a measured and systematic approach that big tech firms can use to take full advantage of emerging trends

For more on how companies can get ready to profit from the next tech upswing, please click here to view "Riding the New Tech Wave," by Vince Tobkin and Michael Gartska, published by the Financial Times on March 15, 2004.


One number to grow
February 2004
by Frederick F. Reichheld and James Allen
The summary below of Fred Reichheld's work, which appeared in the Harvard Business Review last December, reveals how the percentage of customers enthusiastic enough to refer a friend or colleague - perhaps the strongest sign of customer loyalty - correlates with differences in growth rates among competitors in many industries. By substituting a single question for the complex black box of the typical customer satisfaction survey, companies can actually put consumer survey results to use and focus employees on the task of stimulating growth.

For a fuller account of the connection between net promoters and growth, please click here to view "The one number you need to grow," by Frederick F. Reichheld, published in Harvard Business Review in December 2003.

Listen to Fred Reichheld discuss net promoters and their impact on growth presented in this audio slideshow.