Increasingly, we are seeing trends that point out to Social CRM becoming the next hot thing in the application world. Unlike the traditional CRM apps, social CRM mines the data in your social network to offer more relevant information regarding your contact or potential customer. Even though the traditional CRM vendors are slowly waking up to this reality and trying to add some social features, they are nowhere closer to what some of the newer and hot companies like Gist, Rapportive, Etacts, etc. are doing.
I have personally found Social CRMs more beneficial than the traditional CRM systems. Even though I can list out many reasons for this, I will just limit myself to a few that are more relevant.
- Even on a personal level, Social CRM allows me to get a very good idea of the person I am going to meet and it helps my interaction with the person much more
- There is no way I can friend all the people I have met or going to meet in all the social networking systems where I am a member. Instead, I could tap into Social CRM tools and get the information about my contact in many social networking sites. Not only their data mining exhaustive, they also make it more relevant than what I could do manually
- The biggest advantage for me is the way many of the social CRM tools wrap around the productivity tools I use. I am a heavy user of Google Apps along with applications from Zoho (disclaimer: Zoho is the sole sponsor of this blog but this is my personal opinion as an user). These social CRM applications wraps around Gmail very well offering me all the relevant information without any need for me to click any link or open any other app. This is the biggest reason for my new found love for Social CRM applications
Signaling the trend towards Social CRM, Rapportive, the company behind the small social CRM plugin around Gmail, today announced that they have raised more than $1 Million from angels ranging from Google Creator Paul Buchheit to Dharmesh Shah to Dave McClure and others. This is big for a small company focussed in the Social CRM space. This not only establishes Paul Graham’s investment philosophy but also proves that people care about making the communication more personal and there is a huge potential for this market in the coming years. For the next two years, this will be an interesting space to watch.