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August 23, 2010

Social CRM, Technology and Sugar 6

By Brendan B. Read, Senior Contributing Editor


(This originally appeared in the July 2010 edition of Customer Inter@ction Solutions.)

A key facet with social CRM is that it is not so much technology that drives and enables as it is customer education and process. CRM solutions firms are responding with a combination of education and enhancements to their existing offerings.

Sugar 6, which has just been released, embodies this by integrating with several new social tools, including feeds such as Twitter and collaboration such as LinkedIn. These features pull in what customers and prospects are saying about companies. They enable enterprises to know who the customers are and rank them in priority and to build up personal rapport with these possible buyers when sales reps call or they call them e.g. “I saw on LinkedIn that you’re a semi-pro in golf; so am I.”

The Sugar 6 tools populate the customers’ files behind the scenes, which permit sales team members to execute traditional CRM tasks such as e-mail campaigns without leaving their screens. These new features are built into the Sugar 6 at no extra charge.

SugarCRM (News - Alert) is also educating its customers, which are largely B2B, about the social channel in the context of the others they use on how to use it for lead generation and qualification, updating their records and to resolve urgent support issues. Leveraging the Sugar Cloud Connectors for LinkedIn, Twitter, Hoovers, ZoomInfo and other social networking utilities, companies can now import vital social profile data about their customers directly into Sugar 6. Using Sugar Studio, end users of Sugar 6 cannot view and import that data, but also interact with their customers through these social channels.

“You don’t build social CRM products,” explains Martin Schneider, senior director of communications at SugarCRM. “You bring social channel management into existing CRM.”

 


Brendan B. Read is TMCnet’s Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi



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