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2011 CRM Rising Stars

The quest to find the perfect Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is no joke. There are countless products in the mix and a seemingly endless supply of reputable vendors. So how does one sort through the fluff and find the CRM software equivalent of gold? New CRM vendors are changing the sales game in big ways, but are forced to live in the shadow of established software competitors like and Oracle. However, if you’re looking for innovation, the old dogs are hard pressed to learn new tricks.  Let’s shed some light on 2011’s CRM rising stars that deserve more than fifteen minutes of fame.

Presenting: eGain
eGain isn’t exactly a ‘new kid on the block’, but as a CRM software, eGain has yet to receive the acclaim it deserves. eGain provides a top notch customer relationship management suite with a worldclass contact center solution. eGain’s focus on providing its customers with call center support is what makes it an exceptional CRM vendor.

eGain’s Social Experiment Suite gives contact center operators the unique ability to handle inquiries across traditional as well as social channels. eGain’s blended approach to customer service empowers users to use a single platform to handle their publishing capability. Talk about maximizing efficiency!

eGain Highlights:

  • eGain Social allows enterprises to respond to inquiries across multiple social media channels quickly. Empowered with information, contact center agents can get a 360 view of customer interactions and respond in the appropriate forum, whether it be email, SMS, Twitter, Facebook or blogs.
  • eGain Community empowers users to create forums in their interaction platforms.
  • eGain’s CRM desktop helps business proactively focus on customer engagement which is the first step in delivering excellent customer service.

Presenting: Jive

Jive is a Gartner superstar and has boasted the title ‘Leader in Social CRM’ three times, for its social CRM software. Jive is revolutionizing the CRM game by introducing social collaboration to front as well as back-facing operations. Jive has what many Social CRM software vendors lack; a wholly social business model.

Jive’s success as a CRM software provider can be evidenced by their 2010 $30 million investment à la Keliner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital. It’s an investors friendly way of saying “we think you’re doing a good job”.

Since their generous financial backing, Jive has improved their software and expanded their company. It’s a software company’s way of saying “thank you”. Jive added Jive Apps SDK beta to their repertoire, which is based on open standards. Jive strives to uphold their support of open standards and open source software. As Jive CTO Matt Tucker explains, “We believe that the future of enterprise is open and social and have architected our products and platforms around these two key attributes.”

We’ve got our eye on this Social CRM trailblazer.

Presenting: Lithium Technologies

Lithium Technologies, or should we say the Ruler of Community Platforms, is a CRM force to be reckoned with. Forrester Wave report has dubbed Lithium an “all-around winner for customer engagement, ease of deployment and the matching community results to business goals”. When it comes to the important CRM facet of community management, it’s hard to find a better vendor than Lithium Technologies.

Lithium Marketing officer Katy Keim, explains their strategy “We have to be the best in social. For us, one of the things you’ll hear from clients is Lithium does what they say and we are very trusted by our customers. For us to be out talking about the benefits of social without doing it ourselves, it would be a terrible place for our brand to be”. Lithium is the kind of CRM vendor that puts their money where their mouth is. How refreshing!

What else sets Lithium CRM apart? Most recently, Lithium has shifted their focus from solely customer service to interactive marketing as well. Lithium is a pioneer in excellent customer service, and their shift to heavy interactive marketing serves to only solidify that fact. Lithium’s new partnership with Parature marks the shift in focus for the company, on their quest to be the most loved CRM vendor ever. With Parature’s customer service background and Lithium software expertise, customers have a lot to be excited about.

Check out these 2011 rising CRM superstars if you’re looking for a new CRM solution, or if your current CRM software just won’t do. These innovative CRM solutions are already blowing their competition out of the water!

[Photo courtesy of StrongforLife.]