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CRM Idol Showcases Smaller, Innovative Firms

CRM Idol Showcases Smaller, Innovative Firms
By Jennifer LeClaire

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CRM Idol could be a platform for larger tech companies, like Salesforce.com, Oracle, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard, to identify solutions they want to emulate, or find strategic acquisition candidates. Currently there are 63 contestants from 16 countries throughout the world entered in this year's CRM Idol.
 



You're familiar with American Idol, but how about CRM Idol? CRM Idol is an annual contest that offers small businesses in the CRM industry an opportunity to become "tech famous."

CRM Idol contestants have the chance to showcase their products in front of some of the most influential luminaries, power brokers and thought leaders in the CRM and Social CRM spaces. CRM Idol just named Phil Fernandez, CEO of Marketo and author of Revenue Disruption, as a final-round judge.

"CRM Idol has been a bellwether for innovation and 'next big things' in the CRM and Social CRM spaces since it was founded," Fernandez said. "Startups and small businesses are full of big ideas, and this event gives them an invaluable platform with which to gain visibility."

Favoring Social CRM

Fernandez will serve as an extended judge, joining other industry influencers, media, practitioners and vendors in selecting final-round winners. Extended judges make up half the final vote for CRM Idol. They also serve as mentors to the contestants in preparing for the competition.

Paul Greenberg founded CRM Idol in 2011, which is a Web-based contest. Contestants have already been chosen this year and briefings will be scheduled over the next several weeks. Finalists then must submit videos about their product, and winners are announced Dec. 5.

We caught up with Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, to get his take on the value of a contest like CRM Idol. He told us it's an interesting concept, especially given the push toward Social CRM and the innovation among smaller CRM companies.

"By having a service that helps people select new CRM technologies and tying it to a social engine, it begs the opportunity to actually favor CRM products that are socially oriented," Enderle said. "This contest is a way to put a focus on the industry and the tool set. Often you only see the big company tools and often they are not the best. It's much better to look underneath the covers at smaller firms who are often approaching this space much more innovatively."

Acquisition Scouting?

CRM Idol could also be a platform for larger tech companies, like Salesforce.com, Oracle, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard, to identify solutions they want to emulate or find strategic acquisition candidates. Either way, Enderle says this contest could push CRM products more into the social space. Currently there are 63 contestants from 16 countries.

"CRM probably should be social. It really should be more about managing the customer relationship and less about managing the customer paperwork. There is a huge difference between those two things," Enderle said. "Most CRM products are really about managing orders and they really should be trying to keep track of how the customer feels about the company and addressing customer problems."
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Dan:

Posted: 2012-06-10 @ 3:13pm PT
CRM Idol is a fantastic competition and I am happy to note that GreenRope has been selected to compete in this years competition.

Check GreenRope out for a free 60 day trial at www.greenrope.com. Email marketing tools, CRM integration, and much more are included!

Ian Moyse:

Posted: 2012-06-10 @ 1:07pm PT
Great to see this contest getting some airplay and we are pleased to be considered for the second year in the row having done well last year. We continue to switch many clients from the larger brand name CRM solutions and help them achieve a greater business outcome and desired end state.

Ian Moyse
www.workbooks.com

Shane:

Posted: 2012-06-10 @ 2:18am PT
I am seeing the same thing - a lot of CRMs are moving social (ex. Bitrix24 and others). I think a lot of SaaS tools will have to include the social component.



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