Software Advice has posted a grid that presents a new way of looking at the social CRM market. More importantly, Marketing Director Houston Neal argues that social CRM actually doesn’t exist. The market is too fragmented and no vendor pulls together all the necessary features, which include platforms, monitoring tools, social analytics and CRM. probably comes the closest, Neal argues, but even Salesforce doesn’t have all the pieces in place. As a result, “If you want a complete social CRM system, you will have to piece together tools from multiple vendors,” he concludes.

I previously expressed my opinions about the whole concept of social CRM. It seems to me that the “social” qualifier isn’t necessary. Any good CRM system today should incorporate social activity into profiles. In any case, the bigger issue for most companies isn’t whether their CRM is social but whether they are even using CRM correctly in the first place. In order to get the most out of CRM, everyone in the organization who touches customers must be part of the record-keeping process. Unfortunately, many companies simply use CRM as a fancy lead management tool.

The people at Software Advice had been a voice of skepticism in this somewhat over-hyped market, and I think that’s needed. Have a look at the grid and see what you think. They’re asking for input.

Social CRM Market Map