Use a CRM to Get More Business

4 Comments

  1. Charles

    \”grouping of contacts for easy sorting.\” Segmenting is the ABC of marketing. Surprisingly, it\’s rarely implemented, and most of the time wrongly.

    It\’s hard to understand why smartlists are not a common feature. In addition, most of the CRM on the market implements too many different objects (lead, project, case, opportunity, campaign) and (event, appointment, task, activity) , each with an exclusive set of fields.

    Search capabilities have no cross-object (meta fields) capability. Objects can not be linked to each other. In the end, you have multiple information silos within a single application.

    One CRM only implement a few objects –an contact object, an activity object (which can start as a lead and morph into campaign, opportunity or project by changing its type field) and a event object with global fields.

    Finally, CRM are not going where everybody else is. Social web teach a simple lesson: you have to go where everybody else is. There is a self-updating network called Linkedin. Integration is a no brainer. Our digital life is email/twitter-centric. Few CRM are. Only Solve360 tries to implement custom filters unique to an object.

    Frustrating….

    1. Charles – I\’ve found LinkedIn to be too social to be of use as a CRM. There\’s too much chatter going on to keep separate from the tasks I have for each contact I need to stay up to date with.

      I\’ve been using Highrise (http://highrisehq.com/) for quite a while now and I\’m able to easily \’tag\’ a contact for the grouping feature I need. Seems to be as close to a smarlist as possible.

  2. Charles

    Agree about Linkedin–social network are just that, social. You may however be interested in monitoring your interactions with such network. I found the chatter a great place to find affinity and demonstrate expertise. It\’s easier to write a short piece for a linkedin discussion than an article for a local paper.

    Linkedin self-updating professional profiles are also a gold mine for any CRM system. What can be better than having someone else do your job? Bibliographic research apps are capable to search multiple online libraries, export and populate bibliographic fields and more:

    \”RefGrab-It does more than simply capture the bibliographic data on a web site, it also searches the web for additional information relating to the web page ( ISBN numbers, DOIs, PubMed IDs and COins (ContextObjects in Spans)), working behind the scenes to get the most complete bibliographic information for the user. Of course, any information captured through RefGrab-It can be seamlessly imported into a RefWorks account.\” http://www.refworks.com/content/products/refgrabit/content.asp

    So, you can seamlessly populate a bibliographic online database such as Refworks with one click. On the other hand, no CRM can automatically populate a contact record based on the contact information pasted at the bottom of an email.

    The CRM paradigm as currently implemented by most CRM pre-date digital communication–manual data entry, flat list of contacts and mass-mailing of form letters and product catalogues. Email marketing apps are per-se the brain child of digital communications and web 2.0–long tail segmenting/marketing, automated data capture (forms), integration with wordpress, websites; online polls, etc.

    Marketers are picking up on the trend. There is some movement in the CRM industry. Relenta is build around some email marketing functions. Bantam is being built around a communication hub. Solve360 has a dedicated email filter for projects.

    However, this is still stone age stuff. My iphone records all my calls with my contacts — how come there is no API that automatically create a call object and push it in the cloud to my CRM?

    As CRMs finally become relationship (interaction)-centric, the line between CRM and email marketing will further blur. The CRM 2.0 will be interaction hub. There will still be a place for specialized digital marketing tools, but as an extension of the CRM contact hub.

    Or maybe an email marketing will lead the charge. They have the technology, expertise and customer base. iContact integrates with Salesforce, On the other hand, Salesforce is at the same time under- and over-whelming for most iContact customers.

    Marketers will lead the change. Check http://marketingwhitepapers.s3.amazonaws.com/SocialMediaMarketingReport2010.pdf

    It will interesting to see which platform will become the first digital marketing hub and how such move impact the CRM landscape.

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