A Social CRM & Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software Blog

Social CRM

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Welcome to my CRM software and sCRM blog.
This online forum and dialogue shares the experiences, lessons, learning and insight about the real world uses of Social CRM (sCRM) and traditional Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) systems.






Social CRM Becomes Just CRM, In Time

Customer Relationship Management Has Always Been Social

I predict that within a short period of time, we will no longer say "social CRM." Customer Relationship Management, social or not, will just revert back to "CRM", and the social communication aspect will be fully integrated; saying "social" will simply be redundant.

Traditional Customer Relationship Management, long before Social CRM, has always had a social component to it. Really, if you haven't been pursuing a strategy of "social" CRM, not "social CRM", and the position of the quotes is important here, you've been missing out on the opportunity that CRM affords.

What I mean is that the way businesses view Customer Relationship Management often devolves into a data or software technology consideration. It's what the sales reps have to use to manage contacts, opportunities and prospect account information. It's what sales managers use to browbeat the sales reps. It's what marketing uses to generate lists. It's what stores all our customer data.

But you need to evolve that data contained in your CRM software system, into human interactions in order to build customer relationships. That's what I mean by the 'social' part of plane old CRM.

There is a barrier, still, between what CRM promises to do and what organizations empower it to do. Far too many business managers see it only as a sales force automation tool, and the idea of using it to actually build relationships with customers – the "C" and the "R" words in the acronym – is kicked down the road. It's a nice idea, but until there's a clear cause-and-effect relationship beyond its direct help to sales people, little effort's put into it. As one article's headline put it, "sales people are concerned about commissions, not about communities." Yes, but communities can lead to greater commissions. Sadly, a lot of thinking seems unable to make it from A to C.

This presents a fantastic but frustrating failure of imagination. Instead of enabling your sales people to call more people faster, you could be using CRM to create scenarios where people are actually looking forward to your sales reps' calls. You could be building the kind of relationships people talk about glowingly to others who could become customers. You could be creating customer partnerships not based on the thinness of your gross margin but on the positive personal perceptions your customers have of your company and its people.

All those things are social – old-style social, as in people building relationships with one another, the way sales actually works in real life. CRM software should allow you to scale these efforts – not suck the humanity out of your processes. CRM has always been social; it's only the advent of the two-way customer relationship that's forced companies to fully understand this.

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 Social CRM (SCRM) & Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software