Customer Relationship ManagementWhat is social CRM? Does it work? Should I be concerned about Twitter and Facebook? Can I get leads from social channels like Facebook?

There are many questions here and all of them have the same answer.

Over the last few years more and more SMBs have been using social channels to manage what is being said about them but they may not be using social channels as a way to obtain and target new customers.  How are they doing this?

Many are using CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software. There are many different companies that offer solutions to help you manage your activity and relationships with customers while helping you target new prospects. Companies like Batchbook and Kickapps are focused on more social & collaborative aspects of your business. Others like Salesforce , Sugar CRM and OnepageCRM are focused on helping you manage leads and sales that are coming in.

Whatever your needs are, most of these companies offer a free  30-day trial to test them out. This is key when selecting a software tool to implement. Much like test driving a car before you buy, you want to be sure you get what you are paying for and it works just like you want.

CRM technology has gotten much easier to use over the last 5 years.  I would not have suggested CRM as way to help SMBs 5 years ago, but now I’d suggest giving it a try. The worst that could happen might be that it doesn’t work the way you need it to and you end up managing customer relationships the way you have been doing.