Written by Silvana Buljan for Buljan & Partners Consulting
Last week the 12 semi-finalists of this year´s CRM Idol contest have been announced, all of them passed a selective process of references, presentations and product demo´s. For details on the list and contestant reviews check out www.crmidol.com. You´ll be surprised!
So what´s cooking this year? To put it into a nutshell, we are back to “keep it simple”. Social media, big data and most companies´ focus on efficient processes have led the industry to look for more intuitive, pragmatic and consolidating solutions.
For big organizations this means to have supportive tools for identifying relevant data for the specific CRM processes, and making it available across the organization. For SMB this means a complete set of CRM and ERP functionality to optimize all business processes.
Some contestants identified the business need of integrating knowledge management into sales processes, to support sales teams in focusing on what they really should do: closing deals with prospects instead of looking internally for the right information for creating proposals, for instance.
Others considered simplicity around the online user experience, using email service providers as single log-in for managing all customer interactions, by integrating to the leading CRM solutions. Example: users can manage all customer related issues directly from gmail, with a backend integration to salesforce.com.
Another group of contestants goes deeply into social media integration and the need of unifying customer profiles, and having a complete view on customers´ social and/or digital identity. This means a shift in data model design and relationships between customers.
What all contestants have in common is the focus on simplicity: it´s not about having a “one-size-fits-all” approach to CRM technology needs, it´s about engaging users to exploit the offered functionality and obtain tangible results that demonstrate that CRM technology drives business, if used properly.
If you want to influence who should be “the CRM Idol of the Year 2013”, keep attention to www.crmidol.com and vote for the winner once the 5 finalists are announced!