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After SaaS: Opportunities for Next-Gen CRM - Huffington Post


Huffington Post-After SaaS: Opportunities for Next-Gen CRM
Over the past 15 years, Salesforce.com has risen to be the undisputed leader in CRM.  However, says Gartner, the CRM market overall is showing single digit growth, so companies like Salesforce could be disrupted. A mobile-social offering targeted at sellers of peer-to-peer marketplaces like Etsy and Shopify and priced based on its performance could gain enough momentum to create a new CRM leader. Here's a playbook for it based on what I've learned working at Siebel and Facebook.
How Salesforce disrupted the CRM market a decade ago. 
When Salesforce entered the CRM market, it took a disruptive approach by:
  • Focusing on the SMB market first, which until then didn't have access to sophisticated CRM capabilities that only large companies with big IT departments could afford to buy and maintain,
  • Creating a web-based service, which was easy to use and upgraded itself in the cloud, in contrast to the cumbersome "install base" of an Oracle or a Siebel, and,
  • Inventing the SaaS business model (Software as a Service), which transformed heavy upfront infrastructure investments into monthly recurring budget line items.

For several years, Salesforce was discounted by the market leaders of the time, Siebel, Oracle and SAP, until it was able to sign a marquis account (Merrill Lynch) right on their turf: Fortune 1000 companies. The rest is history and today, about half of CRM software revenue is delivered by SaaS, with Salesforce as the #1 vendor, according to Gartner.

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