“Social CRM” Should be a Redundant Phrase

These days forward-looking companies build social networks into their core marketing strategies., but sometimes there is a disconnect between existing CRM systems and the rising tide of social networking engagements. Companies with closed-off CRM systems aren’t really doing CRM at all.

Marketers put customer relationship management (CRM) systems as a primary resource to feed leads for sales and view it as an important customer service tool.  But at the same time, these sales automation tools have also been the bane of marketers as their overly complex projects are slowed down due to limited enterprise rollouts.

Even companies likes Salesforce.com, the online cloud provider of CRM applications, is a prime example of the older, more traditional way of locked-in thinking behind CRM. But they have been starting to integrate data from Facebook, Twitter and other online social networks.  On the other hand, Dell and Comcast have successfully blended social media into their CRM efforts.

The main issue with CRM efforts is speed.  Online market conversations and resulting information move fast and companies are struggling to keep up.  Marketers have difficulty tracking, organizing, prioritizing and responding to these online discussion.

Jeremiah Owyang offers two bits of advice: monitor where your customers are on social networks to help define which social networks you’ll need to connect with; and make certain your CRM system provider is building the proper connectors to enable these systems to connect to help with the next step of mapping social data with existing CRM records.

Make all your CRM efforts “Social” CRM efforts.

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