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
Adam Metz is the VP of Business Development at Metz Consulting the social concept, a social customer management-consulting firm, based in Oakland, California. Metz has consulted with companies since 2006 on how to acquire, manage, monetize and retain customers from the social web. Metz's customer community, at http://metz.customerhub.net has nearly 500 members, and offers a no-cost 9-hour training course on social customer relationship management.Metz's second book, The Social Customer, was released on 9/16/11 and has hit #1 on the Amazon marketing charts. Adam's first book, There Is No Secret Sauce, has sold or downloaded over 3000 copies, and is currently in its third printing. He has additionally published an eBook, The Metz Way.Metz specializes in social media marketing and social customer relationship management (social CRM) for awesome consumer brands and loves lifestyle, travel, apparel and consumer-packaged goods (CPG) companies.Metz has consulted with nearly 100 consumer and B2B companies, including Hershey's Chocolate, Waggin' Train Pet Food, Wente Vineyards (top 30 winery) Pirate's Booty, MBT Shoes, Maestroconference, Obama Girl (Barely Political), Lynda.com, Passport Resorts, Hollywood Park Racetrack, The San Francisco Convention and Visitor's Bureau, Mighty Leaf Tea, Timbuk2 bags, and dozens of others. Adam Metz also worked on the first social media program for Pulitzer-Prize winning author Thomas Friedman.Metz has lectured at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Washington, and University of California, Santa Cruz and has given keynote talks at numerous conferences and associations including the California and Minnesota Chapters of the American Marketing Association, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the Western Association of Convention & Visitors Bureau Technology Conference, and the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association.Metz lives in Oakland, California with his fiancee Susan.