The focus is definitely sharpening on the social CRM. Oracle has been moving the term forward in describing some of their new products, as well as starting their own social CRM blog. I plan on doing a post on what Oracle is up to in the near future. Stay tuned...
Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with Marc Perramond of InsideView, makers of on-demand business search and intelligence apps. Back in March InsideView coined the phrase "socialprise" with the following definition:
I like the phrase, and the definition. I particularly like the first couple of words - "The natural convergence". Ok, I REALLY like the second word because of how naturally all the dimensions of our lives have converged, for better or worse...sometimes. And so it's time for the tools we use in our professional lives to naturally converge to make our total lives easier.
InsideView has a cool product called SalesView. What makes it cool is that it's making information more actionable/usable. It combines structured data sources (Hoovers, D&B, etc.) with data from popular social sites (Linked, Jigsaw, etc). But the kicker is that InsideView has created mashups that allow you to access this information from within crm apps like Salesforce.com and SugarCRM. That's what really makes this important. Sales peoples lives are naturally converging like the rest of us, so they need tools that make their lives easier too. You could use SalesView as a standalone app, but marrying its functionality with popular crm services opens it up to fit with the needs of sales people.
While InsideView created mashups for some of the established players, up-and-comer Landslide Technologies created their own SalesView mashup to work within their application. And after talking with their CEO/founder Razi Imam, the mashup started as a pet project but has rapidly become popular with his sales team. This says something to me, as Landslide's philosophy is all about making the sales person's job (and life) easier. I can say this because Landslide offers their customers access to something they call the VIP assistant, where you can call and have your assistant perform updates to your account. So instead of having to come home from a day's worth of appointments to input data, you can call from the road and have the assistant do the typing!
Ok I got a little off track - that VIP assistant thing really got to me... The free version of SalesView works well from within Salesforce.com, but limits your access to more detailed data. I haven't seen the pro version as of yet, but expect to do so soon. I also should be getting a look at Landslide shortly and will have more to say about that later. But companies like InsideView, Landslide and others seem to be taking things in the right direction. By making information available to sales people instantly - whether a contact's title is updated in Jigsaw or that same contact Diggs an article - it creates more opportunities to engage them in meaningful conversations... at the right time.
Optimizing opportunities for meaningful conversations and experiences, that's what the socialprise, and social CRM should be about.