In my latest Outsiders monthly poll I asked the blog readership and the Twitterverse at large what NON-CRM system they are most using in their organizations. Here was the breakout:
43% – Email/Spreadsheets
22% – Online data Service (Hoover’s, InsideView, Jigsaw etc.)
18% – Social Network (Facebook, LinkedIn)
12% – Twitter
4% – Other
OK, this tells me a few things. First, and not surprisingly, Outlook and Excel still rule the office world. This can mean one of two things. On one hand, many CRM tools are built to work alongside these office staples. But, if email and spreadsheets are where most people spend their time, there is a chance they may not be getting the most out of their CRM system. I see this as an adoption issue, one that can be cured internally as well as through easier to use technology (something I know we at SugarCRM are always striving towards).
This can also mean that there is simply a ton of potential business still out there. Look, the fact that Salesforce.com was able to drum up over a billion dollars in annual business, and it only sells one product in one deployment mode – means there is a green field still out there. Business, especially the smallest ones, need CRM and are looking for simple, low cost and easy to use tools.
Other insights from the poll tell me that more and more, sales organizations are seeing the value of third party data sources like InsideView. As the social media hype bubble only gets bigger, it is great that companies do realize there are companies encapsulating this explosion of data into useful, compact tools for sales reps and other roles to leverage in their daily business activities. Also, these excellent data aggregators can help append the data in a CRM system (and clean it up) to drive more powerful reporting, segmenting and decision-making initiatives.
Finally, Twitter is not a fad. Or, I should say the medium that Twitter has created (short bursts of communication) is being considered valuable by businesses. For many, this is a “no duh” statement. But there are still millions of small businesses yet to invade the Twitterverse. These last two points, social data aggregation and social CRM, will be the most interesting to watch in 2010.