Sunday, May 30, 2010

Components of a Social CRM platform

Looking into the capabilities provided by various vendors (by themselves or as a result of partnerships) I have been asking myself: “is that Social CRM”? What are the components required to qualify as a full fledge Social CRM Platform?

While I believe there are great efforts in progress by many companies advancing towards providing a full fledge Social CRM platform I don’t think any particular provider is quite there yet; but many are making great strides…

What are the components that constitute a Social CRM platform? At a high level I believe we need:

“Input” or “Data In” Component:
Data is generated through action and interactions of people at various locations; major social networks (i.e. Facebook, Twitter) at niche / brand sponsored communities (i.e. Viewpoints). A key component of a Social CRM platform is the capability to find / track and capture this data; this can take the form of Social Media Monitoring or tracking of direct & specific Engagements among end users or between brands and end users (i.e. track the result of addressing a complain through Twitter).

Master Repository / System of Record
Social contributes and complements traditional CRM; as so the Master Repository should be able to manage data for Social in addition and side by side with data coming from other sources such as support systems, reward program systems, credit score systems, etc.

Using the data captured and aggregated from various sources to drive automated workflows & decisions (i.e. escalation when we realize a decision maker or an influential individual has issued a public complain); or feed into human driven decisions (i.e. presenting data through dashboards and reports)

Business Process Logic / Workflows
Ability to trigger events, route data (to humans or processes), inform, flag, etc. based on flexible rules that can be programmed into the system.

Actions / Data Out
Facilitate the action: enable responses directly to end users at the communication channel of their preference (i.e. responding to complaints through Twitter), feed & inform other systems and processes.

Clearly it is a tall order to expect any particular vendor to deliver on all of the above; most likely this will be achieved through partnerships (though the big CRM providers are definitely in the position to deliver a single vendor solution).

What do you think? What components did I miss?

Filiberto Selvas


Anonymous said...


LikeMinds think alike -- I posted my version of the SCRM stack earlier today as well, ( and must say that we take a similar approach.

I really like your functional approach of system of record, analytics, and process working all together in the middle -- very functional and focused on what must happen.

I must say, you have done a great job!

(btw, i did reference your post on mine, since i noticed it came up right before i pushed mine out)

Filiberto Selvas said...


You truly flatter me by referencing my post in yours; what you wrote is great! To make the coincidence in timing a little more amazing I should say I had also been mulling about this topic for a while; though clearly I didn’t devote as much time to it as you did.

Couple bullets to highlight about your post:

> Indeed Social CRM (just like CRM) is not about technology only; however (again just like it happened to CRM) in many ways it will be defined by what vendors can or can’t support; which is why I thought important to write about it.

> You call out the hard work that will imply deploying Social CRM business strategies; however I want to stress (I am certain you agree) that, while platform customization will be hard, the real hard part will be changing the way the groups that constitutes a company operate with each other and with the customer; in the Social Era organizations that behave as a collection of isolated islands will not thrive.

Filiberto Selvas

ScorpFromHell said...


Great post. Greater depiction. And its a depiction of not just Social CRM, but also many other enterprise systems too. :)

Thinker, Tinker, Connector

Mark Evans said...


Nice work. It will be interesting to see how social CRM evolves as social media becomes a bigger part of the corporate mix and the technology moves forward and improves. It's clearly early days for socia CRM, which definitely make it an interesting market to watch.

Sharad said...

Great article.. The fact that number of places where individuals interact about a particular business is growing by the day so having something which can listen, identify and present content/actionable insight from each of these properties will be boon for marketers/business's. It will make engagement more effective and also enable better analysis for creating right strategies.

Tod Famous said...

I think it's worth pointing out that the business process workflows you describe need to be real-time.

Many of the SCRM use cases I've contemplated involve companies responding and engaging with customers in real time.

This real time aspect of the social web driven by platforms like Twitter demands a type of workflow that's different from the generic business process workflow traditionally offered by CRM vendors. It's not about "open a case" and respond with 24 hours, or even 1 hour. SCRM should support responding to customers at the moment of need: now.

IMO, it is the contact center platform vendors that are best positioned to offer this capability.

Thoughts are my own,
Tod Famous
Product Line Manager
Cisco Contact Center Business

Filiberto Selvas said...

Thank you all for the comments

Prem: absolutely agree; concepts discussed above apply to more than Social CRM.

Mark: Agree; I think we are in the equivalent of the stage CRM was during late 90s

Sharad: thanks and agree; I think initially will be a “boon” but eventually will be about survival.

Tod: I do think some of them need to be real time; not necessarily all. As I was writing this I thought about its application to the Mobile space where I agree real time will be extremely important.
Also: while I agree with you contact center platform vendors are well positioned for some aspects of this I truly wonder about how well they would do on the “Master Repository” aspect of it.

Jim Kaplan said...

This blog post will be of interest to you: "Contesting the Death of Tradition CRM: Social CRM is a Process and not a Technology" -

Brad Mays said...

Great thoughts, Filiberto. Having looked at many of these technologies for my clients, I agree there is a lot of work to be done by the platform providers in this area. In addition to those you've pointed out, I see a real need in the reporting aspects. This could be tied to ROI, but it also involves reporting up through the chain inside companies. Being able to quickly and easily report progress of these new programs is a must for any team looking to further justify the investment the executive team has approved.

I also agree with the need for speed. In social channels, a rule of thumb is to try and identify and respond to an individual issue within 30 minutes of it being identified. Getting as close to real time information about the initial issue as possible helps teams working within that 30-minute window. This is particularly crucial for large brands working with considerably more issues than smaller brands.

Good to connect here again. Hope you're well.


Filiberto Selvas said...

Thanks for the comments Brad; great to connect again.

I do agree with you that the need for speed is there; however I would hope most brands (particularly large brands, as you state) choose to invest upfront establishing the relationships, credibility & trust that amounts to "Social Capital" and "Allies" that are truly helpful in times of crisis.


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