(This post originally appeared on Xero)
The rebranding of CRM
My company has been selling Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems for more than 15 years. During that time I’ve watched these products go through multiple rebrandings, from “contact managers” to “sales force automation” to “collaboration” to CRM, which now encompasses not only sales but service, marketing and operations.
But, rest assured, these are all just elaborate names for one thing: databases.
The makers and marketers of today’s CRM systems will throw around all sorts of buzz words to describe what they do. “Social CRM.” “Workflows.” “Automation.” “Call Center.” They will dangle cool and exciting features in front of their customers like “Outlook integration,” “Mobile Apps,” “Self Service” and “Dashboards.” And they will romance the VPs and executives who read their inflight magazine ads with promises of increased sales, improved productivity and better analysis. All of this is true (or can be true). Today’s CRM systems, particularly the ones that integrate with Xero, all have some amazing capabilities.
But none of this works very well without one thing: the data.