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3/23/2011
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Alison Diana
Alison Diana
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14 Leading Social CRM Applications

Social CRM is a double-edged sword. It gives businesses a tremendous opportunity to easily communicate with consumers, rapidly answering questions and responding to concerns. But it also gives companies more chances to slip-up or to be perceived as being unresponsive or uncaring. That is why a growing number of organizations are stepping beyond the confines of traditional customer relationship management and incorporating social media into the next wave of CRM implementation.




Social CRM offers great opportunity for reaching out to prospective customers -- not just deflecting dissatisfied ones -- using the power of consumers' personal networks to learn more about clients, their passions, and the way they like to shop, communicate, and share information. Businesses can use social media for brand auditing, to stay aware of a marketing campaign's success or failure, like the Gap's speedy response to the public's mostly negative response to its newly launched -- and quickly canned -- logo last year.

Companies should align their social CRM strategies with existing CRM implementations, said Ray Wang and Jeremiah Owyang of the Altimeter Group in a report last year. "Social CRM does not replace existing efforts -- instead it adds more value," they wrote. "In fact, social CRM augments social networking to serve as a new channel within existing end-to-end CRM processes and investments. Social CRM enhances the relationship aspect of CRM and builds on improving the relationships with more meaningful interactions."

Some developers, coming from a heritage of developing CRM applications for years, are now adding social media capabilities to their products. Other vendors, newer to the market, are starting out from the ground up with social media-enabled CRM products.

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Constant Contact Buys Social CRM Develop

Firms Integrating Social Media With CRM

To Change CRM, Embrace The Social Cloud

Facebook Becoming Ultimate CRM System


When it acquired Siebel in 2005, Oracle purchased the developer's on-premise and hosted CRM applications. The CRM software has succeeded, in part, because it is intuitive, due to its user interface, which increasingly has incorporated and mirrored that of social media. Oracle also developed add-on tools, such as its Gadgets for Sales, which can be used by corporations and their clients. Gadgets for Sales, for example, includes a mashup of account management data from the Siebel CRM or the Oracle CRM On Demand systems, plus Internet-based data; search and interaction with contacts from the Siebel CRM or Oracle CRM On Demand application; and a desktop-based search tool to search the data and content in Siebel CRM application. Oracle CRM On Demand starts at $75 per user, per month, with higher fees for a dedicated version.

See More

Social CRM Rush Projected For Enterprises

Salesforce Announces Social Savvy Service Upgrade

SAP Takes On Salesforce.com With Sales OnDemand

Constant Contact Buys Social CRM Develop

Firms Integrating Social Media With CRM

To Change CRM, Embrace The Social Cloud

Facebook Becoming Ultimate CRM System


Salesforce.com created a splash in the social CRM market with its Sales Cloud and Service Cloud applications for sales and customer service. Salesforce, which debuted its first product in 2001, now has more than 92,300 customers, the company said. The service cloud, available for a 30-day free test drive, includes the developer's Chatter messaging platform, integration with social media such as Twitter and Facebook, and the ability to integrate with live chat. Pricing ranges from $65 per user per month for the professional edition, to $135 per month per user for the enterprise edition, and $260 per user per month for the unlimited edition. There is no limit on the number of users for any edition. Because of Salesforce's worldwide success, rivals are aiming squarely at its customer base. Microsoft last year began offering existing Salesforce clients discounts if they moved to Microsoft's CRM product and SAP in March took the wraps off SAP Sales OnDemand for SMBs, designed for the same customer base that Salesforce serves.

See More

Social CRM Rush Projected For Enterprises

Salesforce Announces Social Savvy Service Upgrade

SAP Takes On Salesforce.com With Sales OnDemand

Constant Contact Buys Social CRM Develop

Firms Integrating Social Media With CRM

To Change CRM, Embrace The Social Cloud

Facebook Becoming Ultimate CRM System


SAP, another veteran of the CRM market, also has adapted to the new landscape by incorporating social media into its family of CRM offerings. In 2010, for example, the developer unveiled social media packages -- Twitter Customer Service, Twitter Marketing Campaign, and Target Marketing via Facebook -- for SAP CRM. As part of the SAP BusinessObjects family, SAP CRM is accessing some of that software suite's functionality, such as its preconfigured dashboards, reporting capabilities, and analysis tools.

See More

Social CRM Rush Projected For Enterprises

Salesforce Announces Social Savvy Service Upgrade

SAP Takes On Salesforce.com With Sales OnDemand

Constant Contact Buys Social CRM Develop

Firms Integrating Social Media With CRM

To Change CRM, Embrace The Social Cloud

Facebook Becoming Ultimate CRM System




In October 2010, Lithium Technologies released its newest social CRM software, the Lithium Social Customer Suite. The software integrates Facebook, Twitter, the entire social Web, and branded communities, allowing customers to engage customers in multiple mediums of their choice; identify, nurture, and reward their most vocal consumers, and measure ROI, according to the developer. Simultaneously, Lithium Technologies took the wraps off Lithium Awareness, Lithium Commerce, and Lithium Service, three add-on applications designed to increase a company's reach and engagement, drive revenue, and provide enhanced service, Lithium said.

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Social CRM Rush Projected For Enterprises

Salesforce Announces Social Savvy Service Upgrade

SAP Takes On Salesforce.com With Sales OnDemand

Constant Contact Buys Social CRM Develop

Firms Integrating Social Media With CRM

To Change CRM, Embrace The Social Cloud

Facebook Becoming Ultimate CRM System


RightNow Technologies felt the time was right in November 2010 to begin offering its RightNow CX for Facebook, which lets companies interact and monitor consumers' interaction with their businesses, via Facebook integration with the developer's CX CRM suite. The software, in use by many government agencies such as NASA, is available in multiple editions such as chat, standard, enterprise, and enterprise contact center suite. One customer, Drugstore.com, found that order-conversion increased 25% -- and the size of the order increased -- after consumers spoke to an agent via RightNow's Live Chat feature, according to RightNow. "Customers were not only placing more orders after chatting with agents. They were purchasing products that agents had discussed and suggested to them," the developer said, citing Drugstore.com.

See More

Social CRM Rush Projected For Enterprises

Salesforce Announces Social Savvy Service Upgrade

SAP Takes On Salesforce.com With Sales OnDemand

Constant Contact Buys Social CRM Develop

Firms Integrating Social Media With CRM

To Change CRM, Embrace The Social Cloud

Facebook Becoming Ultimate CRM System


Microsoft unveiled Dynamics CRM 2011 in February as both an on-demand and on-site offering, offering customers a free 30-day trial of the software. Microsoft is migrating its Social Networking Accelerator into Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the developer announced in March. Previously available as add-on capabilities, these features now will be completely integrated into Microsoft's CRM system. "In addition to the migrated accelerators, Microsoft Dynamics Labs will publish new solutions to demonstrate additional capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 or provide a starting point for some innovative CRM extensions," said Palak Kadakia, program manager, on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM blog. Customers already are benefiting from the software's new features, including its expanded social media capabilities, she said. Since switching from Salesforce.com to Microsoft Dynamics in 2009, Century Payments has saved $300,000, said Scott Harlow, vice president IT and security at the electronic payment services firm. Microsoft aggressively is competing with Salesforce, offering promotional pricing of $34 per user per month; Dynamics CRM Online pricing increases to $44 per user per month once the one-year promotion expires, the company said. "We now have the freedom to change aspects of our solution quickly and on the fly, without the added time and expense of external developers and resources," he said. "With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, we've seen immediate results and now have an enterprise platform that will scale and adapt with us as our company continues to expand and evolve."

See More

Social CRM Rush Projected For Enterprises

Salesforce Announces Social Savvy Service Upgrade

SAP Takes On Salesforce.com With Sales OnDemand

Constant Contact Buys Social CRM Develop

Firms Integrating Social Media With CRM

To Change CRM, Embrace The Social Cloud

Facebook Becoming Ultimate CRM System


NetSuite CRM+ includes Web-based sales force automation, marketing automation, customer support and service, and customization capabilities. The application also is integrated with order management, fulfillment, and financials, as well as mobile devices such as the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile, NetSuite said on its Web site. The software allows sales reps to view social information tied to sales leads, thereby making a sales force more efficient and productive, NetSuite said. Primarily used by SMBs, NetSuite CRM+ also integrates with third-party apps such as HubSpot, which in February unveiled its new integration with NetSuite CRM and NetSuite Ecommerce. These partnerships allow NetSuite to further expand its capabilities in areas such as social media, NetSuite said. "Companies want to leverage search, social media, and all these new ways to generate leads but don't want to use or integrate 10 different tools. We feature HubSpot as our only marketing partner on SuiteApps because it is a comprehensive marketing solution and integrates well with NetSuite," said Raghu Gnanasekaran, senior director of product development for NetSuite's SuiteCloud Developer Network, in a statement.

See More

Social CRM Rush Projected For Enterprises

Salesforce Announces Social Savvy Service Upgrade

SAP Takes On Salesforce.com With Sales OnDemand

Constant Contact Buys Social CRM Develop

Firms Integrating Social Media With CRM

To Change CRM, Embrace The Social Cloud

Facebook Becoming Ultimate CRM System


Another long-time member of the CRM developers' club, Sage has transitioned into the world of social media by embracing the cloud and Amazon's vision, and creating social networking capabilities both in-house and via relationships with third-party developers. In May 2010, Sage released its new Sage SalesLogix Cloud CRM software, built upon the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) infrastructure. The software, which supports Windows Mobile and includes an offline synchronization feature, is enhanced by Sage's network of application developer partners. The most recent version of Sage CRM includes many built-in social media capabilities such as an interactive dashboard that tracks RSS feeds, calendar, and task lists, and integration with LinkedIn and Twitter, Sage said. Sage On-Demand CRM is available for a free 30-day trial.

See More

Social CRM Rush Projected For Enterprises

Salesforce Announces Social Savvy Service Upgrade

SAP Takes On Salesforce.com With Sales OnDemand

Constant Contact Buys Social CRM Develop

Firms Integrating Social Media With CRM

To Change CRM, Embrace The Social Cloud

Facebook Becoming Ultimate CRM System


Zoho offers an on-demand CRM software, designed for smaller businesses, which integrates with the company's other applications, as well as products such as Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Office, and Google Gmail. The Web-based product includes CRM analytics via reports and dashboards; inventory management; customer service and support capabilities; marketing automation; sales force automation; Web forms; workflow tools; security features, and integration with social media sites, Zoho said. The software is free for small firms with up to three users; the professional edition costs $12 per user per month, while the enterprise edition has a price tag of $25 per user per month. Add-ons cost extra, Zoho said. "Although Zoho CRM is free, it offers great value and they also have an invoice component as well. There are some add-ons like Outlook integration, Google Apps integration and email marketing that will cost a few dollars per user, but, it's very reasonably priced for the functionality you get," said John Joyce, founder of the Small BizNest, on Zoho's Web site.

See More

Social CRM Rush Projected For Enterprises

Salesforce Announces Social Savvy Service Upgrade

SAP Takes On Salesforce.com With Sales OnDemand

Constant Contact Buys Social CRM Develop

Firms Integrating Social Media With CRM

To Change CRM, Embrace The Social Cloud

Facebook Becoming Ultimate CRM System


The Jive Engage Platform addresses multiple markets: social collaboration, community software, and social media monitoring. The developer, therefore, is competing with long-established CRM vendors newer to the social media market, as well as CRM developers who are targeting the market solely from a social media perspective. "Most social software vendors think that internal collaboration, external communities, and social media are different things. They are not," said Jive on its Web site. Cloud-based Jive Engage lets employees start and participate in discussions; create and share collaborative documents; post videos; preview and post comments on Office documents; gain access via mobile devices; synchronize edits; share status updates; and post ideas to the community. The software's built-in reward system encourages employees to proactively help customers, according to Jive. Employees connect to customers via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites, Jive said.

See More

Social CRM Rush Projected For Enterprises

Salesforce Announces Social Savvy Service Upgrade

SAP Takes On Salesforce.com With Sales OnDemand

Constant Contact Buys Social CRM Develop

Firms Integrating Social Media With CRM

To Change CRM, Embrace The Social Cloud

Facebook Becoming Ultimate CRM System


BatchBlue offers Batchbook CRM to let users track their business, personal, and social networking contacts and share them with the rest of their team by creating a contact database anew or importing contacts from an existing system such as Twitter, Flickr, and LinkedIn. The software also is accessible via mobile devices, such as Android and iPhone. BatchBlue also teamed-up with third-party developers including FreshBooks, MailChimp, and Shoeboxed for additional capabilities, the company said. The software is available at an assortment of price-points. The Navy Blue offer, for one user, costs $14.95 a month, while the highest-cost Indigo offering lists for $149.95 for up to 50 users per month.

See More

Social CRM Rush Projected For Enterprises

Salesforce Announces Social Savvy Service Upgrade

SAP Takes On Salesforce.com With Sales OnDemand

Constant Contact Buys Social CRM Develop

Firms Integrating Social Media With CRM

To Change CRM, Embrace The Social Cloud

Facebook Becoming Ultimate CRM System


SugarCRM recently unwrapped new social CRM features for Sugar 6, the latest iteration of its software. In addition to a new iPhone app, the latest software includes SugarCRM for LotusLive; support for 14 languages; a Twitter connector; and one-click actions, the developer said. SugarCRM offers a 30-day free trial, and hosts an on-demand Webcast outlining its social media emphasis. For example, customers now can schedule, manage, and start LotusLive meetings directly from within SugarCRM; attach notes and documents to an account, contact, opportunity, or support case inside SugarCRM and share them with the customer or prospect via LotusLive, SugarCRM said. Today, more than 50,000 businesses use SugarCRM, according to the company; the majority -- or 80% -- are SMBs, while the remaining 20% have revenue of more than $500 million.


About 20 million end-users support clients around the world with the help of Parature Customer Service Software, coupled with its array of about 16 add-on modules. The Web-based software integrates a customer portal, knowledgebase, ticket system, and modules into a system designed to let businesses support clients across all mediums. Parature offers a free 30-day trial for its hosted software; contact the company for pricing. One module -- Parature for Facebook -- allows companies to communicate with clients via the popular social networking site, and monitor Facebook wall conversations, posts, and comments in real time. In addition, Facebook page administrators can let fans search your knowledgebase, submit tickets, and chat with customer service agents, Parature said. In February, Parature client TradeKing launched a dedicated support tab on Facebook. TradeKing clients now can visit the Facebook page to initiate a live chat session, send an email query, or open a service ticket, said Dave Dusseault, vice president, brokerage operations and customer service, at the online broker-dealer. "We believe the key to great customer service is delivering fast, friendly, and knowledgeable support through the most relevant channels, including the traditional channels such as phone and email and not-so-traditional such as Facebook," said Dusseault. "We've seen first-hand through our Trader Network what a powerful tool social media can be in enhancing client education, engagement, and satisfaction."

See More

Social CRM Rush Projected For Enterprises

Salesforce Announces Social Savvy Service Upgrade

SAP Takes On Salesforce.com With Sales OnDemand

Constant Contact Buys Social CRM Develop

Firms Integrating Social Media With CRM

To Change CRM, Embrace The Social Cloud

Facebook Becoming Ultimate CRM System


Startup Nimble debuted its social CRM software to public beta in February. The software allows users to connect their calendars, contacts, communications, and social conversations from tools such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google, according to Nimble. Created by Jon Ferrara, the founder of GoldMine, the standalone Nimble Contact software is free; the application is designed to scale as companies grow, and Nimble plans to release more functionality in the months ahead, the company said.

See More

Social CRM Rush Projected For Enterprises

Salesforce Announces Social Savvy Service Upgrade

SAP Takes On Salesforce.com With Sales OnDemand

Constant Contact Buys Social CRM Develop

Firms Integrating Social Media With CRM

To Change CRM, Embrace The Social Cloud

Facebook Becoming Ultimate CRM System

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