On Tuesday, Salesforce.com announced that it is acquiring social media monitoring vendor, Radian6. First off, we at Voce want to say congratulations to both companies! Over the past few years many of us have worked with folks at Radian6 and the team there has built a great service with great support. Having recently gone through our own acquisition, we know what a big deal this is and are very happy for them.
I’ve heard and seen surprise from some about this acquisition. But I have to say that I’m not that surprised, relatively speaking. To me this is all about the demand for companies to incorporate social media into their existing ‘traditional’ CRM platforms and efforts. Yes, I’ve seen a number of people say this moves Salesforce further into the blossoming ‘social CRM’ space. Personally, I don’t like that term though. CRM = customer relationship management. Shouldn’t that, even in a traditional sense, be done in a social manner?… You talk to your customers, right? People tend to get a little carried away with their terms sometimes.
Sales people, and that’s sales people in both B2B and B2C spaces, are using social media tools for lead generation. As they should. LinkedIn and Facebook hold a lot of valuable information. And vehicles like Twitter and blogs are good ways to hear of potential sales opportunities. Sales people want to be able to validate the time and effort they’re spending on social media though. How do these activities support starting, building, and fostering a relationship? How do they help with tracking sales leads? And most importantly, how do they support the revenue each salesperson contributes to their company’s bottom line. That’s what I think this deal is about. It’s not about creating or joining some new market called Social CRM, it’s about social media moving deeper into the traditional, age-old business processes and operations of companies.
It’ll be interesting to hear more details of this acquisition and how the integration will happen. I’m sure it will result in another strong step in linking social media activity to sales.