Top Ten Social CRM Solutions

We all know that enterprise is different than small business. Each company must have a differing level of support when it comes to technology. We’ve compiled the following list of enterpriselevel social CRM providers that you can use as a starting point for researching your own enterprise-level solution, if that’s indeed what you need.

We chose the providers listed  based on whitepapers, customer experiences, executive interviews, usage, and a little help from our friend Paul Greenberg. Remember him? The Godfather of CRM? Paul writes CRM Watchlist, an annual list of top-performing vendors at ZDNet. We recommend you check it out.


Research and define your overall strategy before diving head first into a software product. We want this list to be a guide, not the rule.

Oracle CRM 

It’s hard to look at any enterprise CRM or social CRM list and not see Oracle somewhere toward the top. Oracle has dominated the CRM space since the early 2000s and continues to do so despite the extreme changes. With over 380,000 clients (including ZDNet), Oracle is at the top of the list covering sales, marketing, loyalty, and services.

Oracle is powerful in part because it has invested heavily in many different CRM product offerings over the past eight to ten years. The major investments have allowed Oracle to build the projects that enable businesses to track any human contact being made internally with your employees or externally with your customer base. Oracle brings a complete solution to its clients globally, and the majority of those clients are fond of the enterprise suite of products.

Oracle has truly built a CRM solution that coexists with all Oracle products from human capital management to supply chain management. And coexisting is key to advancement in the digital and technology world.

SAP

CRM Watchlist has touted SAP as one of the more “innovative companies” out of the top-performing CRM vendors. That’s a major accomplishment. SAP, has been able to meet the needs of enterprise-level clients with its ability to adapt and ride the growing social CRM wave. 

Top Ten Social CRM Solutions


SAP has an innate desire to stay innovative by cocreating products with its enterprise-level clients.  Like many of the other companies on the list, SAP has spent a considerable amount of time, money, and brainpower to position itself as a “customer experience” company. 

With that experience comes a move (better late than never) to the cloud. And much like Oracle’s suite of products, the SAP CRM application is built directly into the SAP Business Suite, which helps reduce cost and allows management to be more proactive with staff and resources across all channels of communication. SAP’s social CRM solution coexists nicely with other SAP products.

SAP is also good at community management. If you need to manage a huge user community (externally or internally), SAP could be a good choice to explore.

Microsoft Dynamics

What software or technology solutions list is complete without the undeniable power of Microsoft? Microsoft Dynamics CRM tends to focus on two key components: customer service and sales. As of this writing, Microsoft Dynamics has yet to place a considerable investment into the third component: social CRM. However, the speed at which change happens in this industry leaves Microsoft Dynamics wide open for investment and improvement. If we were gamblers, we’d place our bets on an investment.

 Social CRM Solutions


Salesforce.com

“No software” is the leading theme behind the Salesforce.com revolution. And because of the Internet, actual boxed software doesn't matter in the world of social CRM. Salesforce is the leader in the downloadable software generation. The folks at Salesforce.com even coined the term social enterprise after building thought leadership behind the idea that one-to-one communication is king for businesses in the 21st century.

social CRM


Salesforce is moving fast into the world of complete CRM and social CRM. Every acquisition positioned Salesforce closer to the idea of the complete social CRM system. Salesforce.com classifies its social product set as the Social Enterprise, which includes the following products:

  • Sales Cloud: This is a suite of products that includes all the CRM capabilities in a one-stop shop on the web. This tool helps drive proactivity among sales and marketing teams.
  • Service Cloud: This product helps your customer service department implement social media practices. It allows you to assist customers in real time in the social media world.
  • Data.com: Salesforce created a database with the leading B2B and B2C business data in the world. With Data.com, you can access the data directly from the Salesforce.com platform.
  • Chatter: Think of Chatter as an internal and employee-owned Facebook for your company. This product allows for real-time conversation and helps make businesses processes social. Collaborate in real time from anywhere and with anyone from your company.
  • Force.com: This platform allows for development of third-party (individuals outside of Salesforce) applications to help with the development of the Salesforce.com platform. Are you looking for sales force automation and the tools to support your sales teams? Salesforce is the company for you.

SugarCRM


SugarCRM, is a relatively small company that packs a large punch in the social CRM revolution. If your marketing organization needs to automate key processes and tasks ranging from lead generation to marketing campaign analytics, this company is for you. Like Salesforce, the SugarCRM platform is web-based, but unlike Salesforce, it has an open-source model.

What’s the benefit of an open-source model? SugarCRM is offered under the Mozilla Public License and the GNU-GPL license, which means that SugarCRM’s clients have complete access to the underlying code. This level of access enables clients to control the direction of the social CRM software package.

The company also offers several different deployment options,  on-demand, on-premise, and appliance-based solutions to suit customers’ security, integration, and configuration needs.


Jive

According to CrunchBase, Jive is “the largest and fastest growing independent vendor in the Social Business market.” Jive originally built its credibility upon its extremely powerful community software. Since then, Jive has made huge progress into the world of collaboration, social networking software, and social media monitoring.

social networking software




Pivotal

This is almost an honorable mention, but we feel Pivotal is valuable because of the strength it built in 2010. However, 2011 didn’t treat the company well. Pivotal was owned by CDC Software (which is now bankrupt), and will need a couple of financial quarters to transition back to an independent software provider. However, Paul Greenberg wrote a post over at PGreenblog (at http://the56group.typepad.com) in June 2011 describing Pivotal as one of the first and “real social CRM products.” We agree with him.

Pivotal is styled after the Microsoft CRM interface (role- and task-based navigation), which should make it comfortable to use and reduce the learning curve and speed of adoption internally within the company.

Infor

Infor is worthy of mention in this list despite its lack of “premium social CRM tools.” Infor made massive gains when (in 2011) it announced a partnership with Salesforce.com to combine the Salesforce.com CRM applications with Infor’s ERP (enterprise resource planning) and financials applications. 

This combination gives you a complete, 360-degree view of customer information across the enterprise. And when we say complete, we mean completely across the enterprise.

Other than a social CRM tool offering, Infor offers a deep CRM suite, which includes customer service and sales channel tools as well as multichannel marketing capabilities, resource management, and e-mail enhancements.

SAS

SAS is a powerhouse. There’s no doubt about that! Over the past couple of years, SAS has been investing in the social and CRM space by strengthening its tools for monitoring and response.

 Social CRM Solutions



SAS defines its product as customer intelligence instead of using the everpopular CRM acronym for customer relationship management. The company tends to focus on solid customer intelligence and an integrated “marketing management framework” or (in other words) tools for intense customer engagement. SAS is truly about optimizing customer experience. What places SAS on this list are its social media and web analytics solutions, which supply you with the programs necessary to interact with people and conversations that are happening in the online environment. 

IBM CRM

Honestly, where would we be without the “Big Blue Machine” of IBM? This company is a little hard to ignore. If you’re looking for a CRM vendor that can manage every aspect of your business from supplier management to mobile marketing and cross-channel selling, the IBM platform may be for you. 

Social CRM Solutions


IBM can literally handle any aspect of a customer service and/or relationship experience. IBM emphasizes personalizing what businesses can offer customers.

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