The Rise of Social CRM


Share on LinkedIn

Brief history of the CRM

Customer Relationship Managers or CRM applications are a staple in most companies. It’s the central repository of data related to your customers, prospects and contacts. CRMs shifted the business model for companies that only focused on collecting information about their contacts and turning that data into information that they could build from outside of typical database marketing. In the 1990’s the concept of managing customer loyalty and rewarding them based on their purchases was a game changer for companies grabbing for market share. This was how frequent flier miles were invented and still managed today.

Customers are using social media

Social media is changing everything for companies. You can’t ignore platforms like Twitter, Blogs, TripIt or Facebook anymore when it comes to your customers. To do so will cost your company in more ways than just lost revenue. Social media is driving brand awareness and sales in more ways than typical media channels like TV and radio. I was recently at an event where the keynote speaker made the statement that “Facebook is the new cigarette break” and it is one of the most visited sites at the workplace. That and the recent announcement that if Facebook where a country it would be the 3rd largest in the world makes the importance of being engaged in social media even more important.

What’s defining customer 2.0?

Customers are busy and don’t want to spend hours a day talking to sales people. In many cases the customer can find out more about your company in 10 minutes than some of the sales people working at the company. Between review sites, blogs and even asking for recommendations on sites like LinkedIn, customers are making buying decisions before ever crossing the virtual doorstep of the vendor. These customers need and demand to be treated differently than customers from even as short as 2 years ago. They don’t want a lot of marketing fluff of buzz words thrown at them. Customer 2.0 has a need and they just want the vendor to cut to the point and tell them if they can do X, Y or Z to get the job done.

Welcome to Social CRM

Since companies are realizing that maintaining their CRM isn’t enough since customers are now getting so much more of their information online, sales people, marketers and even support specialists need to have applications available to them that l them see the social streams of their customers and accounts. Oracle Open World had full sessions over the course of the event on Social CRM. The key is that you have to enable your sales people to know more about the accounts and customers they are talking to in order to gain their trust and be seen as a leader in your space. If you don’t, your competitor will and I see it happening on a daily basis.

Social CRM is more than a buzz word, it’s shaping business models to adapt to a new type of customer. A quick analysis of the search term “Social CRM” shows that over the course of 2 years the requests for information regarding Social CRM has increased exponentially and doesn’t show any indication of slipping. From the data going back to 2008, it looks like Social CRM is just becoming more of a hot topic.

Koka Sexton
Koka Sexton, Social Selling Evangelist and Sr. Social Marketing Manager at LinkedIn, is one of the most recognized social selling experts in the technology industry. A career in helping companies use social media for lead generation, creating new opportunities, and engaging customers. READ MORE at the LinkedIn Sales Solutions blog.


  1. CRM entails all aspects of interaction a company has with its customer, whether it is sales or service related. Computerization has changed the way companies are approaching their CRM strategies because it has also changed consumer buying behaviour.

  2. It was very en-lighting to read your views on customer 2.0, indeed customers today are much more aware and alert about the product or services beforehand even before they reach the vendors virtual doorstep,
    but this kind of awareness usually acquired from various online sources like blogs, forums and product information websites might in some cases mislead the customers decision due to the evil practices of company’s brand reputation managers spreading the good word online using marketing practices to mislead the customers inducing them to take decisions that supports their end cause.

    indeed as you mentioned in your blog that social media is changing every thing but the change is more in terms of the data which the company can gather form such mediums to do correct customer profiling based on their prospective needs for analysis and then marketing products and services, this can also be said as one of the basic reasons for CRM implementation.

    Antriksh Shah
    [email protected] – the Next Generation CRM

  3. Social CRM is indeed more than just buzz. Today, it’s paramount that businesses include the customer in a direct dialogue about its product, company, level of service, and everything in between; and social CRM is the ideal vehicle to drive that strategy. Social CRM allows companies to leverage social networking sites; to build a strong online presence; to engage customers directly and often; and much more.

    What often gets lost in the social CRM buzz talk is its internal functionality. Businesses can seek to fine tune their internal as well as external lines of communication. The internal tools allow businesses to better communicate as a cohesive and strategic team: offering internal social feeds and other more advanced ways to share information and leverage ideas, resources, and experience. It goes beyond just sales, marketing, and customer service — the beauty of which allows a company collectively mind share instantly, in real-time and from anywhere.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here