CRM can learn a lot from the Cellphone Wars

I just read an interesting fact that – Palm expects to sell 2 million units of its Centro smart phone device in 2008. That is nothing to sneeze at. And many people thought that the Palm would be dead in the water when a number of things happened:

The Blackberry made Palm Pilots look like a joke…

Microsoft entered the game with its own OS for PDAs and smart phones…

And the iPhone – well, that has been extolled as the death knoll for a lot of devices and players.

But no, Palm has reinvented itself – somewhat – as a value player in a world where there are a lot of choices – and charges – related to mobile use. The $99 Centro isn’t the prettiest, not the most feature rich, and definitely not the coolest device out there. But Palm is surviving.

CRM companies have done the same thing. Many ask the question – “Why would a startup choose CRM as a market to enter?”

My answer – why not?

Even Salesforce.com was scrutinized – starting up when Siebel was still the bee’s knees in CRM.

But just like with mobile – there are still a ton of market strata, geographies, and angles to corner. Just as the Blackberry or the iPhone haven’t “won,” neither has any CRM provider to date.  The battle can and will rage on – so to speak – and that is half the fun. I love that the CRM market refuses to sit still.