The Technology That Everyone’s Talking About
Everyone is talking about CRM 2.0 – journalists, analysts, vendors, and clients. But, over the next several years, who will be the ones at the forefront of this exciting new revolution, guiding CRM 2.0 to mainstream adoption?
As CRM 2.0 rises to prominence, it is becoming clear who will lead the charge. The key visionaries in the CRM 2.0 arena include:
As the first vendor to truly embrace CRM 2.0, Salesforce.com has effectively blended traditional CRM functionality with Web 2.0 capabilities. Over the last six months, the company has launched a variety of solutions that utilize Web 2.0 to allow for the dynamic generation, exchange, and adoption of new ideas with clients, information sharing inside and outside the enterprise, and the creation of a more personal experience for employees and customers alike.
In early June, Oracle announced the availability of “Social CRM” services. These tools, designed to help the company more effectively compete with the unique service offerings of Salesforce.com, offer CRM 2.0 functionality that is available on-demand, and fully integrated with the rest of the company’s CRM suite.
The first of these services, a sales prospecting solution, leverages CRM 2.0 techniques to allow sales reps to identify leads using external Web resources. Future applications will offer broad input exchange on sales and marketing campaigns, and enable the creation of readily-accessible libraries of sales-related content.
A renowned CRM expert and author of the best-selling book “CRM At The Speed of Light”, Paul Greenberg has been one of the biggest and most vocal advocates of CRM 2.0. He has also created what many industry insiders say is one of the clearest definitions of CRM 2.0 to date, claiming it to be “a philosophy and strategy for collaboration with customers through the provision of tools, technology, processes, culture, products and services, with an eye to providing experiences that will create appropriate value for all parties involved.”
Last October, long before any viable solutions had actually been introduced into the marketplace, this leading technology analyst firm put “social software” on its list of top trends likely to impact the CRM marketplace in 2008. They will be watching this space very closely, and expect to see rapid product innovation among well-known vendors, as well as several new entrants in the market.
The goal of this small-enterprise CRM consulting and advisory firm is to help smaller businesses leverage the latest techniques and technologies immediately, instead of lagging behind their larger counterparts. Cofounder and partner Brent Leary, who also co-hosts a radio show for small and mid-sized organizations, believes that the live and unscripted interaction and content facilitated by CRM 2.0 will be the key to strong and long-lasting customer relationships in the future. He also states that “social networking will continue to be big. It is absolutely critical for CRM vendors to reach out and roll their own social network and trackbacks, or to work with Facebook, LinkedIn, and the rest.”