Social Media + CRM = A Killer App?

7 03 2011

CRM is defined by WikiPedia as:

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a widely-implemented strategy for managing a company’s interactions with customers, clients and sales prospects. It involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize business processes—principally sales activities, but also those for marketing, customer service, and technical support.”

There’s been an entire universe of content written about social media. What it is, how to use it, what to do, what not to do, but there hasn’t been much said about how social media and CRM can work together. In some ways social media on its own can function as a CRM tool. A Facebook business page serves as an excellent example of how we can touch our clients and they can respond in a way that builds community.  Social media has now brought us the ability to do things in real time that CRM never quite has. Yet, the strength of CRM lies in the data. Whether your CRM tool is software that sits on your servers or in the cloud, social media at this time can’t match the width, breadth and detail of business intelligence that can be contained within CRM software.

But imagine for a moment if the two could be brought together to work as one powerful tool. Could this be defined as a killer app? I think yes. At Sorrento Mesa Printing we use Goldmine for our CRM software and we use it to keep track of clients and prospects in the sales and marketing efforts that we undertake. The power of Goldmine (or any CRM) is that all sales specific conversations, emails, phone calls, letters and other related activity is compiled and accessible in one place. And since it sits on our network, accessible by others in our organization as well.

I picked up a tip last year from Chad Smith’s Goldmine blog: which has allowed me to integrate both CRM and social media into what may be defined as a sales and marketing killer app. One of the features of Goldmine is that it has a tab (GoldMine has a tabbed window interface allowing various functions to be seen with a few clicks) called GM+View which opens a window that is script driven and can give various views. I picked up a number of scripts from Chad’s blog one of them being a script that gives a view of the prospect’s LinkedIn profile, another a view of the prospect’s company on Google Maps – all of this driven by the data in the contact profile. Imagine the ability to search for a prospect listed in your CRM and in an instant have at your fingertips their LinkedIn profile and a map and directions to their company and various other useful tools. That capability exists and can be an incredible tool in your quest to compress time and find new clients and companies to do business with.

There is nothing fancy or proprietary about any of this. But it is an illustration of how these tools are all around us, we just have to be creative and assemble them in a way that helps us reach our goals. Social media is a powerful tool that can also be fun and very helpful in the propagation of your company’s brand and conversation with your clients, but with the addition of CRM as a force multiplier we may just have a killer app at hand.




One response

7 03 2011
Social Media + CRM = A Killer App? « sorrentomesablog – _Hosted UniverseThe reference for the cloud

[…] Social Media + CRM = A Killer App? « sorrentomesablog […]

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