Information About The Book!

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. In nibh sapien, aliquet tincidunt fringilla at, feugiat quis enim. Cras consequat, ipsum et posuere venenatis, nulla massa mattis eros, sed varius turpis quam sit amet purus. Vestibulum vehicula consectetur congue. Sed facilisis nisi in lectus convallis, porttitor hendrerit est consequat. Vivamus hendrerit, ante sed ornare molestie, tortor lorem suscipit tortor, id sodales mauris metus quis purus. Nulla egestas tellus eu enim consectetur, sit amet sagittis nisl eleifend. Mauris laoreet venenatis sem, lacinia mollis augue mollis ac. Nulla a neque a justo dignissim feugiat. Mauris rhoncus eros sit amet augue dictum fringilla. Nunc dictum lobortis convallis.

Sub-Heading

Aenean vulputate urna est, ac sollicitudin enim vulputate et. Vestibulum tempus lacinia consequat. Donec posuere enim mi, vel lobortis erat pulvinar nec. Duis felis purus, adipiscing sed dolor at, volutpat sagittis magna. Sed imperdiet scelerisque mauris, vulputate dictum augue egestas sit amet. Nullam sit amet eros non purus fermentum dapibus ac a mi. Curabitur id viverra nibh. Donec scelerisque vulputate nunc, non interdum orci. Morbi ut quam eleifend, placerat ipsum eget, iaculis arcu. Curabitur blandit consequat nulla. Praesent non pellentesque neque. Duis tortor purus, dignissim sit amet sagittis egestas, feugiat nec elit. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nullam pellentesque lectus nec arcu ullamcorper, a vulputate augue semper. Duis auctor velit in nisl scelerisque consectetur. Sed ornare quam diam, at placerat risus tristique at.

Sub-Sub-Heading

Vivamus vel facilisis ante, vel porttitor metus. Sed eu congue nibh. Fusce non diam ut enim pretium pellentesque. Vivamus quis euismod quam, non aliquet risus. Etiam ornare lorem sit amet gravida eleifend. Cras quis nibh pretium, pretium turpis consectetur, lobortis leo. Phasellus sed vestibulum metus, id vestibulum odio. Donec quis nisl ante. Fusce tristique sagittis erat ut bibendum.

Will CRM Sytems and Listening Tools Become One and the Same?


Posted by on September 1, 2010

Call me crazy (as many of you have), but I don’t see the separation of “listening tools” and “CRM systems” lasting too much longer.  We have actually seen a few acquisitions over the past few months such as Jive acquiring Filtrbox, Lithium acquiring Scout Labs, Meltwater acquiring Buzzgain, Attensity acquiring Biz 360, and several others.  We haven’t really seen CRM companies acquire listening tools (have we?).  We have seen many vendors build integrations with one another but with the recent focus and announcement at the CRM Evolution conference that analytics is the largest missed opportunity, it seems as though integrations aren’t really going to be enough and that CRM systems need to actually acquire and fully integrate listening and monitoring into their offering.

Some of you might remember the Social CRM process diagram that I put together (with some great feedback from Mitch Lieberman). 

In the diagram above (which of course is far from perfect but perhaps a good starting point) we see that a listening tool feeds the information into a CRM system which already has a rich database of customer history.  With Social CRM, doesn’t it make more sense for CRM systems to actually provide the listening and monitoring functionality themselves or do you think the integrations we are seeing today are sufficient?  For example, I think it would be very interesting to correlate and overlay customer social activity with transaction history or perhaps customer preference information that is found in a CRM system.  This could make for some interesting customer segmentation.  For example a company could tell if people that interact with the company via Facebook spend more money than those that interact with the company via Twitter (and how much more and when, I haven’t seen this yet, have you?).  Cloud 9 analytics should be working on doing something around this which should be very interesting (they are built on top of Salesforce).

Advantages to CRM systems acquiring listening tools
  • CRM systems will be able to offer a much deeper level of integration with listening tools as opposed to what most people refer to as “bolt on” integration
  • Listening tools will now be able to close the loop on customer history and response recording
  • Flexibility increases as CRM systems should be able to do a lot of “cool” things with the data they pull and integrate from listening tools
  • The admin experience would perhaps be more seamless and easier to manage on the back-end instead of having to access multiple tabbed windows for management

Just thinking out loud here but it just seems to make sense that CRM systems acquire listening/monitoring tools.  What do you think?  Does this make sense?  Why or why not?  Just my opinion, what say you?  Perhaps someone with a stronger vendor background can explain why this may or may not be a good idea?

  • http://www.radian6.com/ Lauren Vargas

    Jacob,

    You bring up a very important question. A listening platform operates as the social communications fabric of the company and smartly integrates with existing systems where appropriate. There is no doubt the social web is changing the dynamic of CRM, but also, impacting the business functions across the entire enterprise. Listening platform capabilities are becoming required within the business infrastructure. While listening platforms should be integrated closely with CRM, it should be deployed across the enterprise and tie into all the right systems where it makes sense because multiple professionals (not limited to CRM functionality) will be need to listen, collaborate and engage.

    Lauren Vargas

    Sr. Community Manager at Radian6

    @VargasL
    .-= Lauren Vargas´s last blog ..The Balancing Act of Personal and Professional Engagement =-.

  • AKDingerson

    Great conversation starter. It must be done if you want to stay at the forefront of consumer interactions, either through acquisitions or development. However measuring ROI is difficult, which is why I think others have not jumped on the band wagon. RightNow Technologies is the only CX (CRM) vendor out there that actually built their own monitoring/listening tool. Cloud monitor – seamlessly integrates with all horizontal business processes as well as consumer facing support avenues to provide actionable and real time access to what is being said in the social cloud. So you can overlay the social and transactional history of an individual customer. You will be able to, over time, identity what trends occur in relation to purchasing habits and social interactions. Throw in robust analytics and bam…..It's true social CRM.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      Thanks, it's always great to have these conversations/discussions. ROI is always a bit of a tricky piece. Interesting, I didn't know that RT built their own monitoring tool, have you tried it out, is it as robust as some of the other ones we see out there? Robust analytics is definitely something that we are going to see grow in the future, this was confirmed by pretty much everyone in attendance at the CRM evolution conference.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://twitter.com/IGLOOSoftware Lucas Lu

    Simply amazing…Jacob. Very thoughtful post about the synergy between listening tools and CRM. I see a bright future for the marriage to work personally, because the two are extremely complementing one another: listening tools to aggregate, or “listen” to, customer information and CRM to monitor and analyze those information, in order to make optimal decisions. I am very excited to see more listening tools integrated into CRM, or vice versa, sometime very soon!

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      Howdy Lucas,

      Always great to hear from you. I agree, it will be very interesting to see what the near future brings when it comes to integration, not just among crm/listening vendors but just in generals amongst social and more traditional business vendors.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • tonal

    Amazing and interesting post…
    Thank you for the post…MRM

  • Vargaslmv

    Jacob,

    You bring up a very important question. A listening platform operates as the social communications fabric of the company and smartly integrates with existing systems where appropriate. There is no doubt the social web is changing the dynamic of CRM, but also, impacting the business functions across the entire enterprise. Listening platform capabilities are becoming required within the business infrastructure. While listening platforms should be integrated closely with CRM, it should be deployed across the enterprise and tie into all the right systems where it makes sense because multiple professionals (not limited to CRM functionality) will be need to listen, collaborate and engage.

    Lauren Vargas

    Sr. Community Manager at Radian6

    @VargasL

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      Hi Lauren,

      Of course, listening needs to be implemented in various departments within the organization, perhaps developing different dashboards or communication hubs for various departments. CRM is an absolute must for any listening/monitoring tool, however I feel like there is a much deeper level of integration that the various vendors can put together.

      As usual, thanks for stopping by!

  • Joel Gray

    The diagram has been very helpful, thanks. I am doing a little writing myself on a related post and I wish you could drop by sometime http://www.InfoProductMarketingRevealed.com.

  • http://elevenfourteen.com 1114organic

    Hey Jacob, I actually would prefer the idea that the listening tool stay separate from the CRM integration. I see the value in the integration piece but I also see value in the companies remaining separate and pushing each other. Once Microsoft CRM or Salesforce have their own listening piece then I think development would slowdown as would competition. Having open API's and partnerships I think is the best way to go. I am very impressed with the breadth of apps out there that will allow me to hook into twitter, facebook, etc. The speed at which these add-on apps make it to market is much faster than what a Microsoft or a salesforce could do.

    I am a big fan of the open market and competition… I understand the goal of most companies is to get big or get bought out but I would just rather see competition keep the progress moving forward.

    Thanks again for a great topic.
    Robert

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      Hi Robert,

      I hear what you're saying and currently is looks as though that's what going on. The CRM guys aren't really acquiring the listening guys, however, we are definitely seeing the integration happen. Guess we will see what unravels in the next year or so.

      Thanks for stopping by as usual!