3 Musts in Moving Forward with Social CRM

Esteban Kolsky

Social CRM is just beginning to be implemented, how can we talk about the future? Well, it is by focusing on what's coming that we can do a good job of planning and deploying the better today.

Where is Social CRM headed in the near future? In the next two to three years Social CRM will experience the following three phases:

Get Defined – no, I am no talking about restarting the war of the definitions, to me that is settled – Social CRM is likely to mean different things to different organizations, in the same way that CRM means different things to different organizations. However, we have a standard and accepted CRM definition (it is not just technology, has three core components, takes time to do well, etc.) that we use when we talk about managing the relationships with the customer. We also have them for other enterprise software applications—and we will get one for Social CRM.

Get Understood –We are going to start answering the key questions about Social CRM – not just the "what" of getting defined properly, but also the "how" to implement it properly; the "when" is the best time for any organization to adopt Social CRM; the "why" should be considered by the organization; the "where" in the organization the decisions and implementations reside; and the most important part – the "who" can help or "who" is responsible for the solution being deployed (hint: it is not a single person or group). This period will also allows us to start documenting recommendations, best practices, frameworks, and plans for Social CRM to answer those questions – repeatedly.

Get Adopted – In spite of the hype surrounding Social CRM today, there are fewer than five percent of organization that have adopted it and deployed it in their organization. Even that number may be too high for now. We define critical mass as the moment when an enterprise application moves from being used only by early adopters to being used by mainstream organizations. Critical mass is the moment when fast growth of the market ends (that explosive moment at the beginning akin to the Gold Rush of 1848 in San Francisco), and the market begins to get settled. Critical Mass is defined as around thirty percent of the potential market having deployed the solution. We shall reach Critical Mass for Social CRM towards the end of this two-to-three year period.

Esteban's article was originally comissioned for Jacada, a software solutions company.