Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has been a big thing for over a decade. Most organisations have managed to put some form of CRM in place, whether it’s a dumb spreadsheet or a £1m plus Oracle setup.

Without exception, each one of them has come to realise that keeping track of information about customers and prospects is much more about the processes and discipline of capturing and recording the information than it is about the software.

That means that your CRM system is only ever as good as the information which it contains.

Plaxo figured this out, and offered a plugin for outlook which allowed your contacts to update their own records. It never really took off though.

LinkedIn on the other hand has penetrated the business user market like nothing else. Further, it typically ranks in the top 3-5 positions for a search on most professional people’s names.

Put that together with Google’s propensity to abstract more and more information out of websites and directly into its search engine results pages (SERP’s) and you have something which is changing behaviour.

In short, business users are increasingly using Google, LinkedIn to find phone numbers and contact details because it is often easier and more accurate than looking up the information in whatever the house CRM happens to be.

This may not be capturing all of the correspondence quite yet but how likely is it that LinkedIn may choose to offer a CRM product? In any event, users are moving away from using house CRM and that’s an issue if keeping it up to date is your goal.

By Phil Blything – Director of Liverpool Digital Marketing Agency, Glow New Media.

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