8 January 2013
CRM has evolved from sales, customer service, and marketing automation. It is not only basic customer information, but also financial data, client reporting, social media, and more. The growth of social media communities such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook has added yet another dimension to CRM. Social media websites have added another source for relationship managers to review and update client information, and another channel to connect with clients, or even prospect. For example, several CRM solutions have a simple link or symbol to a social network (let's say, LinkedIn); from there, advisors can access investor LinkedIn profiles. This will allow the advisor to review client data and ensure that all CRM profile information is up to date (has the client changed jobs, updated his work number, etc?). It will also enable the advisor to view his client's co-workers, friends, etc. As such, it provides a new channel for prospecting. Depending on the tightness of integration between the CRM solution and social community websites (and enterprise policy regarding social media access), advisors may also post comments to Twitter, Facebook, etc. directly from the CRM solution. Most CRM solutions are not tightly integrated to social media sites yet. That is to say, few vendors can automatically update info from these social media sites directly into the CRM system. Instead, the advisor can click on a link that opens the social media site with the CRM UI; however, all updates are done manually by the advisor. Eventually, I expect deeper integration between the social media channel and CRM. Automated updates from social communities directly into the CRM is the beginning is the first step.