You are here

The Evolution of CRM to sCRM

CRM has become Social CRM, or sCRM, gathering information about a customer based on everything they do and say across all media, to give the complete picture.


In the beginning there was CRM. Customer Relationship Management let Sales Executives:

  • Build lists
  • Customise campaigns
  • Record contacts with each individual

It worked mainly because previous “Contact Managers” had been desktop applications that sometimes functioned without even a basic shared database.

Customer Relationship Management gave salespeople a single version of the truth about their customers. However, who coined the term CRM? We don’t know. But it meant conversations across phone, face-to-face, and email were stored in sequence, enabling communications and offers based on each customer’s dreams and desires. Implementation cost $60-130 million but at last, customer information had a life beyond the Sales, timely and accurate.

This was just the start of the journey.


CRM went from application to ecosystem. Thousands of plug-in apps made CRM customisable and useful to everyone (it enabled up-selling and cross-selling, but not just among Sales.) A customer in CRM was now a person, not just a name and job title. A company has many employees, but its customer saw one relationship. At least that was the plan.


A few years later, the world moved its opinions and its customer relationships onto social media. They laughed on LinkedIn. ‘Fessed up on Facebook. Tattled on Twitter. So CRM evolved again: into Social CRM, or sCRM. sCRM realised a customer isn’t an email thread or a series of calls. A customer lives in Tweets, Posts and Status updates, Likes and Follows and memberships. Moreover, so do their buying signals, service needs and business pains so sCRM evolved to deal with them.

Today’s sCRM lets you build a holistic view  of the customer, including what the customer says to you, says on social media, or even what they say to others. sCRM lets you participate in all these conversations as if they were the same conversation.

Today, businesses use sCRM to:

  • Track
  • Analyse
  • Gain insight into customer behaviour
  • Across the whole business.

On average, this leads to a 19% increase in conversion rates, improves data capture and increases ROI. That’s Social CRM.

Use this guide to gain a holistic view of your customers and place them at the centre of your business strategy to build long lasting and loyal relationships: ‘The Ultimate Guide to: Creating customer centricity with CRM’

This post first appeared on the Redspire blog.