Spending by US companies on customer relationship management technology will boom from $9.7 billion last year to $16.5bn in 2006, according to a new report from Jupiter Media Metrix.

CRM is also set to attract more expenditure than any other major infrastructure tool in the coming two years, the survey found, with around 26% of US companies due to pay out over $500,000 on such software during the period.

Top of the CRM league are financial services firms, some 25% of which intend to spend over $1.5 million in the next two years. This sector’s total CRM expenditure will jump from $3.1bn last year to $5.4bn in 2006.

However, Jupiter warned that such spending must be accompanied by the hiring of CRM experts at a senior level if companies want to exploit the technology successfully.

Data sourced from: AdAge.com; additional content by WARC staff