Thursday, June 24, 2010

Salesforce “Chatter” or is microblogging the killer feature of CRM

There’s been a lot of talk over the last 5 or so years about making CRM (customer relationship management systems) more “social network”-oriented. Pundits have discussed what that could mean to an organization – namely everything from knowledge management to drastically improving customer relations.

To be perfectly honest, I never really had a place in my heart for Salesforce – they always came off as arrogant and overpriced. However, they keep doing the right things – they nailed the platform-as-a-service with Force.com and now they are introducing “chatter” – a twitter for CRM that brings the records activity into one’s peripheral vision and allows level of collaboration that wasn’t possible before. Watch this video to get the idea:

I still have a bone or two to pick with Salesforce. I think their pricing is predatory by Web2.0 standards - $125/user/mo and they are charging a separate fee for chatter?!
Having said that I think this feature will be hugely successful as it finally makes the data stored in the CRM useful and actionable. I will be surprised if other CRM’s don’t follow the suite very soon..