I know, I know. Google isn’t a customer resource management (CRM) company - at all. They had the opportunity to buy a CRM company, about 110 times. And they never did.
The closest thing I’ve ever seen to “Google CRM” is Etelos - they’re a web app distribution platform company based out of Seattle that lets companies distribute apps on their software-as-a service (SaaS) platform. Their Etelos CRM for Google came out in about 2007, and then vanished a few years later. I don’t know why.
These days, a number of CRM vendors have platform integrations for Google Apps. Let’s take a few minutes to go over the who (which vendors have integrations) and the why (why you might want to look at each one). I’ve listed them in order of how interesting I found them, but there’s a really neat one at the end that you probably didn’t know about.
This two-year-old social CRM software company, founded by Goldmine founder Jon Ferrara, recently secured a $1 million seed round of funding. While they don’t have the $6-10 million they’ll really need to be a formidable competitor for big CRM companies like Salesforce, they have a list of impressive partners for integrations (Hubspot, Mailchimp, Wufoo, Zendesk, Yammer, Tweetdeck and Hootsuite). While their technology may not be fully built-out, their Google App has 4-star review. Nimble is definitely a company to watch in 2012.
If you’re an Oracle CRM user, it’s likely that you’re not changing systems anytime soon. While Oracle’s Google integration is not extremely well-tested, it looks like the couple of users who have reviewed it have had positive things to say.
Google integration is somewhat limited here. Salesforce added a module for Google AdWords about five years ago, and via Appirio, calendar sync, about three years ago. Other than that, there’s a Salesforce For Google Apps, but the integration is pretty surface level. That said, if your company is using Salesforce across a large team (i.e. 200 people), you might not have much of a choice.
I think a lot of people forgot that they invented a Connector Tool for Google Calendar, three years ago Gmail and Google Docs integration came in a little while later, and over the years, they’ve even hauled in a Google Analytics lead unmasking feature. Surprisingly cool, for the price.
While these guys are not technically a CRM company, the two more expensive tiers of their social media and marketing automation software plays with Nimble, listed above. If you want to bring lead scoring as close as possible to your Google Apps on a low budget, this is the way to do it. Their eBooks are also extremely informative, free, and easy-to-read.
This Gilbert, Arizona based company has grown dramatically in 2011 - to 7000 customers (23,000 users). While their Google integration is very light - calendar only - I wouldn’t be surprised if greater integration is on the roadmap. Any company with under 20 sales and marketing employees should take a look at this one, simply due to their aggressive pricing, and reliable product.
This one is traditional CRM (even though SAS makes some cool customer intelligence software), but it’s a Google integration that I don’t think anyone knows about. It turns out that SAS does contextually relevant search on the Google Search Appliance. If you’re in charge of masses of customer data, you really should know about this one.
- Google Apps and CRM: What works, what doesn’t, and how to tell if your organization should integrate the two
- How To Select A CRM System: Nine Factors To Consider When Evaluating CRM (Whitepaper)
- SAP buys its way into the cloud with SuccessFactors
Disclosure: My company, the social concept, is an InfusionSoft Silver Affiliate and a Hubspot Affiliate partner.