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Top Ten People to Follow in the Social CRM Space and Why (pt. 2)


Posted by on May 10, 2010

A few months ago I highlighted five folks in the Social CRM space that I have been learning from and following and today I want to highlight five more (to round out my top 10 list).  I’ve had the privilege of interacting with all of these people and they are all absolutely amazing.  So without further adieu, here are my remaining five people that I recommend you follow in the Social CRM space.

Natalie Petouhoff

Dr. Natalie (as her Twitter account states) is actually a scientist.  No really.  She received her PhD in Engineering from UCLA.  This means that’s she is wickedly smart and if you’ve ever had a conversation with her or read her content you will understand what I mean.  I recently had the privilege of meeting Natalie at the Sugar CRM conference this year in San Francisco and again briefly at Web 2.0 expo in San Francisco.  Natalie is a former all-star analyst at Forrester and has recently joined Weber Shandwick as their Chief Strategist for Social Media (congrats!).  Natalie has been in the CRM space for quite some time and has invaluable insights on the current state of Social CRM and where the industry as a whole is heading.  Natalie has spent a lot of time researching and working with clients on CRM and on understanding the ROI of social media.  She has also authored several white papers and articles on both topics.  I could write about all of Natalie’s accomplishments here however it would take up the entire post.  Natalie is a lot of fun in person with a great sense of humor and a graceful presence.  Natalie’s blog has been quiet for a little while but I hear she is going to begin posting actively again soon. Good!

Dr. Natalie’s website

Dr. Natalie on Twitter

Graham Hill

I started chatting with Graham this year and can safely say that the man is a bit too smart for his own good (and I have told him this).  Graham has over two decades of experience in the CRM space educating and consulting with companies on how to develop customer-centric business strategies.  You can find Graham’s content on Customer Think where he wrote an amazing post (one of many) on a Manifesto for Social Business.  Graham has a lot of valuable insight and ideas around how companies need to change the way they operate in order make the most of their customer relationships.  I recommend striking up a conversation with Graham when you can. He’s a nice guy with a lot of valuable insight.  Sadly I haven’t had the opportunity to meet Graham Hill in person but I’m hoping that will change in the near future!

Graham Hill on Customer Think

Graham Hill on Twitter

Wim Rampen

Wim is also someone that I have had the pleasure of chatting with this year and have been following his online presence for a few months now (have not Wim in person yet).  Wim currently consults with companies that are interested in improving their customer experience and has been putting out some great content on Social CRM.  Wim talks a lot about the real business values and challenges behind Social CRM such as customer segmentation, community development, measuring customer performance, and many other similar topics.  Wim really makes me think when I read his material or interact with him.  He asks questions that most people in the space don’t really address and I think we all benefit from that.  If you’re interested in Social CRM, Wim is definitely someone that you want to follow.

Wim Rampen’s blog

Wim Rampen on Twitter

Denis Pombriant

I had the pleasure of meeting Denis in person earlier this year at the Sugarcon conference in San Francisco and I’m really glad I did.  I spent some time chatting with Denis not just about Social CRM but about life and his experiences.  Denis, like many of the other people I have mentioned in this post has seen a lot of changes in the world, not just business changes but societal and cultural changes.  Denis is an extremely nice guy and very sharp.  When I saw Denis at Sugarcon or Netsuite (another conference held a day after Sugarcon) he made a point to come over and say hello and ask for my opinion on the day’s events.  I believe Denis was actually the fellow that identified Salesforce as a big disruptor in the CRM space when most other people didn’t even see it coming.  Denis is soft spoken but when he speaks, you better make sure you listen.  Denis writes for both CRM Buyer and Destination CRM and also runs Beagle Research, a CRM analyst firm.  I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for Denis and just wish I could have the opportunity to hear more about his life experiences and ideas.  Do yourself a favor and get to know Denis.  I hear is also working on a new self-published book which I will definitely make sure to review when it comes out.

Beagle Research

Denis Pombriant on Twitter

Denis on Destination CRM

Denis on CRM Buyer

Mitch Lieberman

I also met Mitch (on the left in the picture) at the Sugarcon conference where he not only spoke but also put together the entire Social CRM track.  Since that conference I’ve been chatting with Mitch on a very regular basis and I’m hoping to work on some projects with him in the near future.  Mitch is an extremely intelligent guy with some killer thoughts and ideas around Social CRM.  Mitch is also a very prolific writer (with a blog title that aptly says: “A title would limit my thoughts”) and contributor on discussions forums and blogs.  I spend a lot of time chatting with Mitch on Skype and he has a very solid understanding of not just Social CRM but of enterprise business in general.  He understands what companies are looking for, how to approach new projects, and what questions to ask.  Mitch was actually the first person that de-constructed my Social CRM process diagram and told me that I was wrong (I use this in all my SCRM presentations by the way) he then proceeded to re-design my diagram in Photoshop and send it back to me!  In addition to being a smart guy, Mitch is also kind and good-hearted with a witty sense of humor.  After talking to Mitch you get the sense that he actually cares and that makes knowing and talking with Mitch that much more enjoyable.

Mitch’s Blog

Mitch on Twitter

There are many other great people in the Social CRM space (such as Jesus Hoyos, Michael Maoz, Michael Fauscette, and Mark Tamis, just to name a few)  but these are the people that I have been most actively following and interacting with.  I can safely say that these people are some of the world’s foremost thought leaders and pioneers in the Social CRM space and I’m really lucky to be able to interact with and learn from them.  I really hope you follow these people, read their material, and learn from them.  I certainly do.