Software Advice has posted a grid that presents a new way of looking at the social CRM market. More importantly, Marketing Director Houston Neal argues that social CRM actually doesn’t exist. The market is too fragmented and no vendor pulls together all the necessary features, which include platforms, monitoring tools, social analytics and CRM. Salesforce.com probably comes the closest, Neal argues, but even Salesforce doesn’t have all the pieces in place. As a result, “If you want a complete social CRM system, you will have to piece together tools from multiple vendors,” he concludes.
I previously expressed my opinions about the whole concept of social CRM. It seems to me that the “social” qualifier isn’t necessary. Any good crm for small business systems today should incorporate social activity into profiles. In any case, the bigger issue for most companies isn’t whether their CRM is social but whether they are even using CRM correctly in the first place. In order to get the most out of CRM, everyone in the organization who touches customers must be part of the record-keeping process. Unfortunately, many companies simply use CRM as a fancy lead management tool.
The people at Software Advice had been a voice of skepticism in this somewhat over-hyped market, and I think that’s needed. Have a look at the grid and see what you think. They’re asking for input.
From what I’ve seen, which is admittedly not everything, I’d have to agree this is so far a “TBD” space. Kudos to Software Advice for attempting to bring some order to the chaos. I do think the “social CRM” name would serve a purpose *if* it represented a clear path for organizations to follow, with known competitor alternatives. As the graph shows, we’re not there. One thing is notably absent from the graph. In the list of “platform” providers, there are major community platform providers missing. Like Awareness, Communispace, Ning, etc. I am wondering how the picture could be considered complete without them? If a company uses one of them to create a customer/prospect community, isn’t it social? Isn’t it customer relations? The community platform vendors may not have baked-in record-keeping modeled after SalesForce, but there are various types of records created simply by using these communities. Am I missing something?
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Nice chart however they only put the larger players in it. I do not believe that anyone will be able to cover all the aspects of putting the S in CRM, because the space is growing so quickly and companies are using bits and pieces right now with consultants and internal stakeholders all fighting for their place at the table.
In companies the tools are coming and rather quickly but not the training and insight on how these system, tools, and people work together. More People and Processes right and designed in whole ecosystem viewpoint that can impact a business goal…
For those of us who have been playing with all the shiny new tools and seeing how they fit it is an interesting time. I am always on the hunt for that collaboration piece that is going link all the data from all the channels in all the departments inside and outside with business rules filtering it and AI giving assistance and risk and reward assessments and all in real-time translated in all languages.
In the meantime- the real work will be from as simple as making Linkedin a must for business development folks, or teaching how to set up alert functions, and how to use them to sell something and the million of things that social touches in a business and explaining why it is important or not as…
When do you think the day will come where we will just be doing business and not adding social to every area it touches?