Once a decade, a technology emerges that fundamentally changes the business landscape. Welcome to the World Wide Web of people, an era of human connectivity on a scale never before seen, and altering every aspect of the customer life cycle. That means participating alongside the 300 million people on Facebook worldwide, and the 45 million on Twitter, and recognizing these sites as important sources of information. Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites have become CRM for individuals. Social media is reminding people -- and vendors -- that CRM should be about customers, not technology. Social CRM applications can enable users to view social media profiles and connections from within their lead and contact records to learn more about prospects and build better relationships with customers, improving the customer centricity of their interactions.
CONNECT BY CLARA SHIH Facebook Is the Future of CRM Only social media can put the customer back into CRM O N C E A D E C A D E , a technology emerges to generate high-quality—and highly qualified—leads that fundamentally changes the business while respecting individuals’ privacy preferences. landscape. In every case, companies that un- derstand the technology win out. The 1970s CUSTOMER-CENTRIC CRM had mainframe computing, and the ’80s brought us the Thanks to social media, people are sharing more about personal computer. In the 1990s, the Internet revolu- themselves online than ever before. Everything individ- tionized communications. Today, social technologies are uals share about themselves on their profiles, including rewriting all the rules. hometowns, alma maters, jobs, and hobbies, can be Welcome to the World Wide Web of people, an era of used by marketers and sales to personalize—and even human connectivity on a scale never before seen, and al- “hypertarget”—communications. With hypertargeting, tering every aspect of the customer life cycle. marketers can specify which audience segments see Marketers and salespeople need to be where custom- which ads—people with, say, “chief information offi- ers are, and need to communicate through the chan- cer” or “marketing” in their job titles. nels customers prefer. Social CRM applications can enable users to view so- That means participat- cial media profiles and connections from within their sales orce.com ing alongside the 300 mil- lion people on Facebook lead and contact records to learn more about prospects and build better relationships with customers, improv- worldwide, and the 45 million on Twitter, and recog- ing the customer centricity of their interactions. nizing these sites as important sources of information. And just in time, too. Prospects will no longer tolerate Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites have become a generic, product-centric sales pitch. They expect you to CRM for individuals. They’re how a growing number of have done your homework about their company, indus- people manage relationships across personal and profes- try, and personal preferences, and to come prepared. sional realms. Social media is reminding us—and ven- dors—that CRM should be about customers, not CUSTOMER-DRIVEN CRM technology. The future of CRM will be transparent, The World Wide Web of information was content over
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