CRM—It’s Not About The Software

This sums up a lot of conversation, blog posts, interactions, and opinions. At the end of the day…

CRM Is About Humans, Not Software

Several months ago I read an article in CRM magazine by CRM expert Barton Goldenberg. In it he said that CRM is 40% “human,” 40% process, and 20% technology.

I agree.

CRM is a business philosophy/strategy designed to improve relationships between human beings, it is not designed to collect data for data’s sake. Do not let the complexity of the software blind you to the importance of user adoption and user satisfaction.

You cannot implement a successful CRM strategy with your customers until you get buy-in from your employees. That means you need to focus at least as much attention on your adoption strategy as you do in selecting a vendor. Frankly, probably more.

via CRM—It’s Not About The Software | Customer Service Experience .

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Social computing set to impact CRM – 25 Feb 2009

How are you integrating social networking/selling into your CRM initiatives?

More than half of companies are likely to establish online communities to help them with their CRM initiatives by next year, but poor management may cause many of these projects to backfire.

According to a new report from Gartner Group, The Businss Impact of Social Computing on CRM – by 2010, more than 60% of Fortune 1,000 companies will have some form of online community deployed for CRM purposes. But if too many companies buy into the hype surrounding social networking and don’t take the necessary safeguards, then this could turn into a costly failure.

“Investments should focus primarily on the customer online buying process where it can offer a direct return on investment in terms of sales, awareness and customer loyalty.”

Adam Sarner, research director, Gartner

For example, Gartner recommends that organisations apply ground rules to install self-moderation, solicit feedback to make users feel appreciated, and assign an advocate to liaise with the community and represent it to the company.

“Social applications offer a great opportunity for CRM practitioners to improve customer experience and influence the customer, particularly in an economic downturn when companies are trying to keep customers and increase wallet share,” says Adam Sarner, research director at Gartner. “Investments should focus primarily on the customer online buying process where it can offer a direct return on investment in terms of sales, awareness and customer loyalty.”

via Social computing set to impact CRM.

The Top 10 Open-Source CRM Solutions according to Inside CRM

Open-source software is not for businesses who want out-of-the-box complete applications, but it makes sense for companies that want to tailor every aspect of the CRM experience from the ground up.

CRM buyers might have very few choices were it not for open-source applications. The CRM field is dominated by huge players such as Oracle Corp. and SAP, and the open-source model is perhaps the easiest way into the CRM market for new companies. Open-source CRM projects have been proliferating; SourceForge Inc. lists 369 active open-source CRM projects. The following 10 open-source CRM solutions have risen to the top of the list.

via The Top 10 Open-Source CRM Solutions – Inside CRM .

Recession Strategies: Why it is important to invest in CRM Now

Should be a good one. I am planning on attending

Date: Thursday, April 2, 2009

Time: 2:00 PM EDT

Duration: 60 minutes

Smart companies know you can’t save your way out of a recession. That said, with the economy struggling and not expected to improve for the foreseeable, businesses need to be more frugal with their spending and put their money into areas that improve sales, better services customers and/or helps them gain operational efficiencies.

Customer relationship management (CRM) technology is one of those critical areas that companies need to continually embrace, especially during tough economic times.

Attend this Webcast to learn how CRM can:

* Increase your revenue opportunities

* Help you better understand your customer base

* Provide relevant data to your sales force

* Improve your marketing strategy

When times are tight, customers expect more for their hard-earned dollar—more value, more service and more attention! Those companies that stay current with technology improvements and invest in CRM solutions will be at a competitive advantage when the economy bounces back.

Moderator:

Ellis Booker, Editor, BtoB Magazine

Speaker:

Chris Bucholtz, Senior Editor, InsideCRM

Michael Thomas, Director of CRM and Social Media Strategy, Neighborhood America

Sign Up Here.

Guest Blogger William Band: Six Trends That Will Drive CRM Decision-Making in 2009 – Think customers: The 1to1 Blog

In light of the recent sudden and dramatic deterioration of the economic climate, what are the key developments driving CRM strategies and the adoption of enabling technologies now? I recently recorded a podcast summing-up my take on the situation, based on Forrester’s latest research. Here’s what I know: Locking-in customer loyalty through deeper engagement and differentiated experiences will continue as critical priorities. Six trends will drive CRM decision-making in 2009.

via Guest Blogger William Band: Six Trends That Will Drive CRM Decision-Making in 2009 – Think customers: The 1to1 Blog .

The Twitter Debate Continued – Is it Social CRM or Not?

Social Media Influentials Jeremiah Owyang , Brian Solis, and Paul Greenberg weighed in today on what the future might hold for Twitter.

I agree most with Paul’s viewpoint. Conversations that happen across social media (including Twitter) could all be mapped into the defined intersections within what has become traditional CRM.

At the front end; for lead generation purposes, during post sale service activities; which feed into customer service and support efforts. Some are figuring out how to include the cloud sourcing activities into product and service development. I am sure there are many other examples.

A good example is the new release by Toucan for SalesForce, reportedly enables tracking of twitter posts for contacts contained within your CRM system.

I agree, that for Twitter and other social media platforms, the greatest opportunity as it relates to Social CRM, CRM 2.0, or whatever you want to call it, is to collaborate with the traditional CRM vendors to capture, analyze, and leverage the conversations happening in the cloud to deepen insight and therefore relationships with customers, prospects, vendors, partners, competitors, etc.

Jeremiah Owyang’s Article
Brian Solis’s Article
Paul Greenberg’s Article

Your thoughts?

Looking Forward: Social CRM Explained

A great introduction to Social CRM and how it differs from traditional CRM by Brent Leary

Social CRM: Not your father’s Customer Relationship Management