// what do you think?


Social CRM is the First Step Towards Social Business and World Domination

What is Social CRM? Is it a sales tool? Is it a support tool? The answer depends on your company and your business objectives. I can tell you this, Social CRM is not a Twitter key word search juxtaposed next to CRM data. (Sorry, personal rant.) And if you’re wondering about the title, everything with me is about World Domination (more at the end of the post).

This morning Jeremiah Owyang and R “Ray” Wang of the Altimeter Group, released a report (which I’ve embedded at the bottom of this post) on the state and future of Social CRM. It’s a great report you should all take the time to read. I also want to give Altimeter props for the use of Creative Commons and a bold new approach to analyst reports and their business model.

I particularly liked these 3 points from Jeremiah’s blog:

  • For companies, real time is not fast enough. Companies need to be able to anticipate what customers are doing to say and do, in order to keep up. Although Motrin responded to angry mom’s within 24 hours –it was too slow.
  • Companies are unable to scale to meet the needs of social. No matter how many community managers Dell and ComcastCares hires to support, they’ll never be able to match the number of customers happening.  They need tools, and they need them now.
  • Customers don’t care what department you’re in they just want their problem fixed. Dooce’s support problem with Maytag quickly became a PR nightmare –had the support group known she was an influencer (and what it means), they could have serviced her better.

Altimeter sees 18 use cases for Social CRM. I think we’ll eventually see more than this but for now this is more than any company can handle.

This is a topic that has been close to my heart for several years now. When I was at HP I started doing some very early Social CRM initiatives with our enterprise sales teams. The below image is the slide that Rob Brooks proclaimed was the most confusing (yet interesting) slide ever shown at Social Media Breakfast Seattle. This is the slide that shows a use case for Social CRM geared towards sales.

Social CRM and Sales

By pulling in CRM data, matching that with direct marketing and Web analytics data I could identify the enterprises that were most responsive to our marketing and potentially interested. I would then use LinkedIn to identify the key IT decision makers and the people in the org and from there try and find them on Twitter and blogs to see what they were saying about HP, our competitors or the industry.All of this was very manual and labor intensive but the size of the contracts were worth the expense. The tools didn’t exist then and still don’t, to do what I was trying to do.

This report gave me a very robust report I could give to our sales teams. Before they ever walked in the door they knew what we had sold them in the past, what offers or products they had showed the most interest in and what their sentiment was towards and or our competitors. Early tests showed a decrease in sales time an increase in renewal rates (for existing customers) and increased upsell of additional products and services. And this is only one use case of Social CRM, #6 of 18 identified by the Altimeter Group.

Social CRM has been widely discussed for years now, Social Business is starting to gain more attention. To me Social CRM is the first example of a Social Business application. One of the things I found most interesting about the Altimeter report came in the executive summary. The definition of Social CRM is surprisingly close to the definition I gave for Social Business last month.

As the “Godfather of CRM,” Paul Greenberg notes, “We’ve moved from the transaction to the interaction with customers, though we haven’t eliminated the transaction – or the data associated with it… Social CRM focuses on engaging the customer in a collaborative conversation in order to provide mutually beneficial value in a trusted and transparent business environment.

Now look at my definitions for Social Business:

The Social Business will be fully realized when social technologies are leveraged to build collaborative relationships across all company stakeholders. By leveraging social technologies in an open and transparent way businesses will also regain and build more trust among stakeholders. This increased trust will will result in greater knowledge creation, which the same social technologies have the ability to capture, organize and distribute at a yet to be seen level of efficiency. By building collaborative relationships with all company stakeholders using social technologies, businesses will be able to quickly create and capitalize more innovation.

I went even further and qualified Collaborative Relationships further:

Collaborative Relationships: Open transparent and mutually beneficial relationships between companies and its stakeholders.

Social CRM is being driven because it has real measurable impact on ROI. It also provides the first real opportunity to demonstrate the power of a fully functional Social Business. Social CRM is just the tip of the iceberg.

Finally I wanted to offer a word of warning and talk a little about the use of World Domination in the title and the use of the LEGO picture (which I’ve been using a lot lately). If you know me, I talk about World Domination a lot and if you know me I think LEGO’s and Star Wars are together better than peanut butter and jelly, but Social CRM and Social Business do have a potential dark side. Just because you can track more than you ever thought possible about your customers doesn’t mean you should. With this rush of data will come a customer backlash. Proceed, but proceed with caution.

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Photo credit via Balakov

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About Tac

Social media anthropologist. Communications strategist. Business model junkie. Chief blogger here at New Comm Biz.

  • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2010/03/05/altimeter-report-the-18-use-cases-of-social-crm-the-new-rules-of-relationship-management/ Altimeter Report: The 18 Use Cases of Social CRM, The New Rules of Relationship Management « Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Social Media, Web Marketing

    [...] Tac Anderson, a practitioner and thinker on social business compares to his existing frameworks when… [...]

  • http://web-strategist.com/blog Jeremiah Owyang

    Tac thanks for the review. It's no surprise that you already had a framework and module already put in place for the areas you've worked in the past.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/sharelomer SharelOmer

    a great great post, i love it.

    Relationship Management is THE most important think for online media biz today.

    Thanks Tac.

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com tacanderson

    I wish I had this Social CRM report 2 years ago. It would have made what I was trying to do easier and easier to explain to management :)

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com tacanderson

    Thanks Sharel. As long as you extend Relationship Management to all stakeholder in a company, I'd agree with that.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/sharelomer SharelOmer

    Hi Tac,
    Actually i talk about small Business, a blog, or online media biz, that also need Social Business Relationship Management.

    When people talk bout social CRM or biz CRM they usually talk about corporations, i will love to hear what you think about the small online biz, ones that contain 1-3 people who do it all …

    nice new avatar :)

  • http://twitter.com/SalesDuJour Gary S. Hart

    Mining user posts for product, service, and company names, then segregating and correlating conversations by word patterns could filter out noise and provide hands on market researchers or Customer Relationship Managers with something manageable.

    Building the tools is not the issue; the problem lies in organization, or shall we say, disorganization. Until the enterprise breaks the mold and builds a honeycomb of small companies that laser focus on targeted markets, they will continue to be a herd of clumsy elephants herd trying to herd their customers.

    Based upon history – I’m not cynical but have been around the business world for 40 years – IMHO there will be great tools built, tons of money spent, more of the same results, and the SM winners will be the best organizations.

    From the technology side, this is an excellent, thought provoking post. Thanks!

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com tacanderson

    Companies can use this point in time of unrest and mild organizational chaos to re-make their companies with these tool or like you said, create more of the same. My hope is that companies will take the chance to re-address those practices and processes that have been around since the org charts and inboxes (the real ones not the digital ones).

    I'm glad you enjoyed the post and took the time to share your thoughts.

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com tacanderson

    Small business and the new class of micropreneur are in the best situation to adopt these newer tools. Many of the tools are geared towards small business not built (yet) to enterprise scale. Additionally they don''t have the legacy baggage that large Oracle and SAP powered shops do.

    These new tools allow the small business to stay small. With the right CRM tools in place you can keep your operation smaller. As someone who's been on the small shop side of things more than once there's a huge opportunity there.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/sharelomer SharelOmer

    Thanks man, i digg your reply a lot.

    If there is a need, then a solution will be found :)

  • http://fredzimny.wordpress.com/2010/03/13/reading-the-social-organization-defining-social-crm-altimeters-take/ Reading @The Social Organization: Defining Social CRM - Altimeter’s Take « Fredzimny's Blog

    [...] Social CRM is the First Step Towards Social Business and World Domination (newcommbiz.com) [...]

  • http://rlsposts.thebizinsidernews.com/?p=30 Altimeter Report: The 18 Use Cases of Social CRM, The New Rules of Relationship Management « The Biz Insider News Posts

    [...] Tac Anderson, a practitioner and thinker on social business compares to his existing frameworks when… [...]

  • http://smashsummit.com/jeremiah-owyangs-altimeter-report-the-18-use-cases-of-social-crm-the-new-rules-of-relationship-management/ Jeremiah Owyang’s “Altimeter Report: The 18 Use Cases of Social CRM, The New Rules of Relationship Management”

    [...] read his review. * More thinking about gurus and vendor control in this post and comments. * Tac Anderson, a practitioner and thinker on social business compares to his existing frameworks when… * Stefano takes the use cases and aligns them with the Groundswell objectives, interesting. * Get [...]

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com/social-crm-what-is-it-and-where-is-it-going-10-links/ Social CRM: What Is It And Where Is It Going? [10 Links]

    [...] 4) Social CRM is the First Step Towards Social Business and World Domination [...]

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KEO2FM5QKYL77O7CVQULXWPTDU Bernard Palanca

    Finally I just found what I’ve been looking for . Good thing you have this information. It’s fantastic info about Microsoft Contact Management Software.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BV652BCV4OQAXFNLPUBL4A32B4 Honey Jane

    This is very nice one and brings detailed resources, thank you for telling your smart ideas about this and time in to the matters you shared. Contact Relationship Managament

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