Over the next few years, social networking technologies will be an important adjunct for many corporate or enterprise CRM strategies. They certainly won’t replace standard CRM technologies, but will play an increasingly important role in extending corporate visibility into customer relationships and potential opportunities.
The CRM market is relatively mature, so there’s a strong need for CRM vendors to differentiate themselves to capture new customers. Extending CRM products through integration with social networks will be one way that CRM vendors will try to differentiate themselves.
I expect social networking technologies to eventually play a significant role in industries or markets where social relationships can be particularly important—such as in the legal profession, retail financial markets, venture capital, and other relationship-driven areas.
Social networking technologies can be used to help an organization understand and increase the number of contacts and potential relationships it has in specific companies or industries.
But social networking technologies are just another avenue for identifying, reaching and managing customer and prospect relationships. Traditional CRM functionality will remain core to most organization’s customer strategies.