Monday, June 16, 2008

Social CRM

I just read a great blog blog by Brent Leary of CRM Essentials about Social CRM.

He indicates that traditionally CRM is usually broken into three main components:

• marketing automation,
• sales automation, and
• customer service.

Traditionally, most organizations utilizing "CRM" focus on elements such as contact management, opportunity management and activity management. Many of the CRM applications such as Sugar CRM and Salesforce (or even a simple database), concentrate on meeting the challenges that are inherent with these areas. These tools help businesses be more responsive to customer inquiries, close more deals (more efficiently), and more accurately predict when opportunities might result in cash.

But the modern small business is turning to the web and social networking sites (such as Facebook, Linked-in, or Twitter, to improve their reach to potential and existing customers. Knowing more about the customer increases the knowledge of how to reach out to customers. Before blogging became so popular and before the days of Facebook, I used to scour press releases, websites, and articles relating to potential customers in order to figure out how to reach out to the customers. Social networking sites can be such a valuable tool.
"Social CRM adds a whole new dimension to the traditional view of customer relationship management. The focus is undoubtedly on people and not technology. It’s about joining the ongoing conversations our customers and prospects are already engaged in — not trying to control them. It’s about using any tool available that will allow us to meaningfully engage with more people like them. It’s realizing people like doing business with people they like — and understanding we love doing business with people we trust."
So many sales managers think of CRM as a technology that IT implements and then the business miraculously has better customer relationships and increased profits. Businesses should be customer focused with their CRM strategy that is SUPPORTED by technology. Look at what the customer wants. The more a business knows about their customers, the larger the competitive advantage. Accessing social networks may provide a way to speak to customers in a way that is more relevant.

2 comments:

Scott Annan said...

Right on!

I think this is the future of small business CRM - I'd love to get your feedback on our CRM system that aims to meet exactly that challenge.

Excellent post!

- Scott

Mojo said...

I'll check it out!