CRM, E2.0 & social convergence

As I predicted at the start of the year, we’re beginning to see the start of a movement to tie together social, CRM, and E2.0 - and it’s @loic from Seesmic that’s in the driving seat (with just a little help from salesforce.com).

I just spotted a post on G+ from Robert Scoble with an interview of @loic about Seesmic CRM - their new product focused on the Enterprise providing a mobile interface into SalesForce using a native app on iOS, Android and WP7.

The sales team can use the app to dial direct from contacts or leads, send emails, or participate in chatter (salesforce.com’s enterprise-microblogging service), and all of these actions are captured in Salesforce automatically - saving the sales guy from having to manually populate CRM after the fact.

Whilst Salesforce are already planning to move to a html5 app, @loic talks about how Seesmic is going to be able to combine their skills and knowledge in social with native apps on mobile to come up with something special that builds added-value over and above the basic Salesforce platform.

One of the features discussed is geo-location & ability to look at your customers or opportunities on a map - which is something that I suspect is going to be much easier to do with a local app which could potentially hook into the device’s mapping service vs a html5 based app.

Chatter conversations around a customer or deal are automatically aggregated on the device, so you can instantly see the discussions that the account team is having across your enterprise about that customer of deal. This really dissolves one of the issues in gaining traction on standalone E2.0 systems - because the chatter discussion is right there in your CRM system, and on your mobile.

One additional comment that @loic made during the video was that salesforce are planning on somehow extending chatter to allow the org’s sales team to interact with customers directly through the chatter interface. He didn’t explain how this was going to work, but I got the impression that it was something salesforce are working on, which Seesmic will build into their app when released. You also have to remember that salesforce acquired Radian6 earlier this year - so they’ve already got the ability to be scanning the social media space for leads and issues that can be tied back into the CRM system.

Even if salesforce don’t build it in - I think it is likley that seesmic are going to work out a clever way of bridging that connection at some point, given their experience in social and mobile.

As I said in January, I think salesforce are in the best position out there to capitalize on the this convergence, due in a large part to their forethought in making salesforce a platform, not just a closed application.

Watch the full interview here:-