The Application of Social CRM Vs. “Social CRM Applications”

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).

contacts tab4

9 thoughts on “The Application of Social CRM Vs. “Social CRM Applications”

  1. It’s been hard to find any information on how Sugar plans to implement SCRM, but here I can see that it’s done through a set of IFrame custom fields. Is this as complex as it gets?

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  3. I like the title – it’s a fine yet critical difference. Do you apply social to an old CRM system or do you work with a Social CRM system.

    Compare the above with a tool like Xeesm and you see the difference instantly.
    An interesting approach traditional CRM vendors are taking is to add a Twitter Plugin. It’s almost a synonym now for traditional CRM. We had that in our early development but threw it out as it doesn’t really help – worst so – it is hugely distracting.

    Axel

  4. Jeremy – Twitter – or any other social media – can be brought in as both an iFrame or as a custom module – I chose the iFrame and Twitter because it was somewhat easier to see how the “social stuff” stands out from the “CRM stuff” – but that is certainly not the whole of it.

    You can use Sugar’s Cloud Connectors to bring in any number of social data feeds or social data sets, and also leverage the open field types to bring in images to create a more profile-centric CRM system – one that brings together a lot of different data from different sources together inside the actual record…

    hope that helps…

  5. Social Media and CRMs should go hand in hand to serve the Customer 2.0 better.

    While I say this, it is more important to know that most of the sales and marketing teams are spending their valuable time getting the sense out of social media.

    Are you also spending too much time in social media? If yes, read the tips to efficiently and effectively get the best out of social media.

    http://blog.insideview.com/2010/05/02/investing-too-much-time-on-social-media-how-to-boost-your-roi

  6. Hi Martin,

    First of, I was very happy reading this “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.”

    You’re right. There’s no real Social CRM out there just yet. However, things are set to change with Salesforce acquiring Jigsaw. The social part being Jigsaw’s user contributed data. That said, it’s still a humble beginning.

    I talk about how different organizations are tapping in to the social networks in my blog http://blog.insideview.com/2010/04/27/connecting-the-dots-how-sales-2-0-can-help-you-connect-with-prospects/

    Take a look and let me know what you feel.

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