Why LinkedIn is not CRM
Some have taken to using the social network LinkedIn like a CRM system, but that doesn't mean LinkedIn is a CRM system.
No ownership of data
The first problem with LinkedIn is the simple fact that the data is not in your possession or control. LinkedIn may adjust the terms and features of their professional network at any time, which means that certain data and features could be lost.
Lack of analysis
A CRM system isn't a virtual card-index box. CRM systems offer opportunities to analyze the data that has been collected. This is another reason why LinkedIn cannot be characterized as a CRM system. A CRM system can be linked with other software, such as Microsoft Excel, making it possible to export the data and analyze it separately. CRM systems also feature the necessary tools for analysis as standard.
Limited possibilities for data collection
Collecting data in a CRM system provides more opportunities than simply gathering data and then entering it into the CRM system by hand. Modern CRM can be linked with a range of other programs, so that the data in the CRM system originates from a multitude of sources.
No link with business-critical software
A CRM system can be linked with other software, e.g. an ERP system or software for email marketing. Linking a CRM system with other business-critical software offers more opportunities and possibilities. As an example, a CRM system could be linked to email marketing software for optimal results.
There is more to relationship management
Relationship management and CRM are two concepts that are often mentioned in one breath. So it may sound logical to designate LinkedIn as a tool for relationship management, but this would be far from accurate. LinkedIn is certainly suitable for staying in touch with contacts and keeping up with developments in one's network. However, the problem with LinkedIn is that this takes place on an individual level (individual people communicating with each other) rather than the level of the organization. Consequently, there is a distinct lack of tools to enable organizations to maintain contact with relations. A CRM system provides insight into the data it holds to all of the organization's staff. Archie CRM, for example, features the Attention Monitor — a tool that collects data regarding the intensity of contact with particular relations and what impact that contact has on turnover. There's a great deal more to relationship management than simply maintaining contact with various people.
There's another way: combining LinkedIn with CRM
LinkedIn is a professional network, which makes it an ideal place to keep up with vital updates. Has a contact departed the company to take the next step in their career? There's a good chance this information will be shared on LinkedIn. Need to send a quick message to a contact? Another example in which LinkedIn is a fine tool to use. So LinkedIn and CRM certainly aren't mutually exclusive. On the contrary: in the most ideal scenario, they complement each other. And thanks to new revenue models and the rise of the cloud, a professional CRM system is now within reach for ever greater numbers of entrepreneurs and businesses.