Microsoft Dynamics CRM 5.0 will be released next year with such enhanced functionality as improved user interface and data visualization features, better sales and marketing capabilities, and closer integration with SharePoint. Several next-generation accelerators are already available, including a partnership relationship plug-in that lets businesses adapt CRM for sales leads and opportunity management for channel partners. Microsoft Dynamics will also expand its reach into social networking through the use of accelerators—specifically one for Twitter. Companies will be able to not only monitor customer feedback on products and services, but also analyze those comments and develop marketing responses to the “tweets.” Read more.
Forrester Analyst Jeremiah Owyang projects that in two years, social networks like Facebook and Twitter will become even more powerful than company websites and traditional CRM systems. Customer relationships will be built on these platforms and growth will be driven by community and individual brand advocacy. xRM comes into play again in this new era of “Social Commerce”—it’s a framework that can manage all existing relationships and pave the way for developing new ones as well. Read more about the future of social media and what it means for CRM, here.
Facebook just hit its 200 million user mark and Twitter’s increasing popularity is the big story so far this year. Many companies are using social networking and micro-blogging sites such as these for their marketing efforts, but did you that they can be used to improve your customer relationships? Twitter, for example displays some xRM key characteristics, including access to customers—or in this case potential customers, and relationships—specifically those built between Twitter followers. The opportunity for companies lies in the management component of the equation. Leveraging brand interactions profitably will require some serious out-of-the-box thinking, which is what xRM is really all about. Read more about Twitter in this arena here.