I have spent the last several months looking at all of the permutations of “social.” It is safe to say that when TV commercials and awards shows display people twittering away – that the social media trend has reached near total saturation.
Those designing and selling business applications have been remarkably quick to adopt these concepts. The CRM world has been amazingly fast – probably because so many companies are looking at these users as their customers – the right way to look at this.
But what I have seen, in my opinion at least, is that the social CRM focus has been on things like “the voice of the customer” and marketing/brand management. I am not seeing a ton of sales-focused social CRM tools for the most part. I see some lead generation stuff – like InsideView etc. – but is this really “social?”
What is interesting is that in the CRM 1.0 evolution chart – sales was the primary focus, with customer service and marketing coming later. It seems the opposite here. Perhaps CRM 1.0 is sufficient when it comes to automating core sales processes? But how can social CRM tools shorten these cycles, make reps more intelligent (about prospects and leads etc.) and simply connect the right rep to the right prospect (something like skills-based routing only not for call centers but for sales agents).
The good news is, we are still in the early stages, and SugarCRM and others are building out social-fueled sales tools.
I would love to hear some comments and feedback by Outsiders reader regarding how you feel the sales department fits into the current state of social CRM.