I just had an interesting working session with Jan Sysmans, director of product marketing here at Sugar. While we were working on some presentation slides for some sessions we will be co-tackling around the world on social CRM as part of the Spring CRM Acceleration World Tour – something profound leaped into my mind.
Unlike some marketing presentations – we were simply using a live version of Sugar 6, and taking screen shots. Two marketing professionals were making customizations (mostly Jan – I am useless at that stuff) and turning an out of the box demo account into a social CRM platform. One used to track leads and accounts via sites like LinkedIn and twitter – and with tools to assemble a portfolio of social media information around a contact or account, or lead or whatever…
Did we build a new CRM application to do this? No, we just leveraged a powerful tool set (Sugar 6 and the Studio admin panel). Will the features we stumbled on today trying to make cool Power Point slides make it into the feature as a set product? Probably not.
What I mean to say is that, right now, there is NO social CRM product out there. There are platforms, tools, analytic and monitoring engines etc. (And some, Like InsideView, Radian6, and beRelevant – are VERY cool and valuable tools.) But ultimately – it is up to you to apply these tools into your CRM strategy. Just as your traditional sales, marketing and support processes are unique to your business, so will your initial SCRM initiatives.
I am not saying we will not have packaged SCRM tools in the future, near or far. But The good news for us is that no one else has anything near a comprehensive solution either. (And maybe there will never be one.) But for now, I like the idea of a flexible set of tools to adapt your business to the Era of the Social Customer (to loosely quote Paul Greenberg).