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It will also be driven by a need to rely more on customers than ever before as part of an extended salesforce It is also driven by internal pressures with the Millennials becoming significant parts of workforces both in size and influence In fact, the Millennials go to workplaces expecting to use social media tools at the workplace They don t care whether or not IT supports them They intend to use them According to a 2008 Accenture study, over 60 percent of them have no idea what the IT policies are for their company and they don t care It s simple to understand They are demanding at least internal use of the tools that they use as consumers, which helps drive changes in culture in the companies (For a great study from McKinsey, go to www mckinseyquarterlycom/PDFDownloadaspx L2=13&L3=13&ar= 2174) However, the small business world is not looking at CRM this way They are looking for low-cost ways to operate their businesses so they can keep their customers during economically challenged times That means automating processes, not developing communities that have extensive overhead involved in their maintenance Simplicity drives their CRM choices, and companies who understand that (like Zoho, Really Simple Systems, Maximizer, Sage, etc), are working toward developing CRM products that make it easy for the small business to operate, not to engage customers, but to manage transactions with customers in other words, traditional CRM approaches Small businesses will certainly dabble in social media because the barriers and costs of entry are low and failure won t kill them The interest is there, but the actual use of social media isn t widespread in the SMB world yet Small business did not see an integrated Social CRM as a priority in 2009 and there is no reason to think they will in 2010 either Their CRM choice will be driven by cost and ease of use for their operations, not social tools Their use of social tools will be driven by their use of them as consumers
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Social software companies will increasingly integrate with CRM applications through APIs and plug-ins (Probability Rating: 80)
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From March 2009 on, for reasons unknown, the social software companies and social thinkers began to jump on the CRM bandwagon There was a raging debate which is still going on about using things like Twitter as social CRM (incidentally, the answer to that is Twitter is a location and a channel, not Social CRM) The software companies began realizing that CRM was a lucrative area for them to go because
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CRM at the Speed of Light: SoCiaL CRM StRategieS, tooLS, and teChniqueS foR engaging YouR CuStoMeRS
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it is an ideal mature industry Consequently, over the next few years from 2009 on there is going to be an increased number of social software and CRM software integrations initiated by the social software companies Typically they are developing APIs that work with CRM applications Atlassian has been one of the leaders in this, integrating JIRA, their 20 project management tool, with SugarCRM, Siebel, NetSuite and salesforcecom Confluence, Atlassian s wiki application, is tied to salesforcecom and VTiger CRM, the latter an open source CRM poduct IBM s Lotus Connections 20 announced its integration with iEnterprise CRM in September 2008 a curious choice of CRM applications, actually, but nonetheless indicative of the trend that s out there Leverage, a leading community platform, has been integrated with salesforcecom for the last two years Neighborhood America integrates with salesforcecom and has that very significant integration in the public sector with Microsoft that we discussed in 14 There is a reason for the unfreezing of social software companies relationships with CRM vendors They are going where the money is CRM is a mature market with high demand that seems to transcend economic downturns Revenues may lag in the worst times, but they still grow all in all Social software and social media monitoring firms recognize this and try to work with CRM
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Software as a service (SaaS) becomes the preeminent delivery platform for CRM and the cloud gains currency quickly (Probability Rating: 90)
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This one doesn t need Nostradamus to come up with it It s almost too easy For you left-brainers, it s bolstered by information released in early 2009 by Gartner Group that they ve found that 90 percent of the survey respondents said they would maintain or increase their use of SaaS by 2010 The recession clearly affects SaaS purchases, with the number one reason cited for using SaaS being cost effective Interesting, when it came to new deployments of SaaS they mentioned replacement of on-premise as the number one reason for that This isn t a surprise and the indications are everywhere that SaaS and (as we ll see in the broader sense in a minute) cloud computing aren t just trends du jour SaaS is the preferred delivery vehicle for pretty much every practitioner except those with highly complex implementations or classified data that has to reside on a home-based server While it s not recession-proof, enterprise SaaS sales were, even with the downturn, $64 billion in 2008 and are expected to jump to $148 billion in 2012 In other words, with CRM being its most visible application/service
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