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Top Ten People to Follow in the Social CRM Space and Why (pt. 1)

Posted by on February 26, 2010

Since I’m speaking at the New Comm Forum (see sidebar) on the topic of Social CRM (SCRM), I thought it would make sense to put together a list of SCRM folks that I have been learning quite a lot from.  These aren’t necessarily the most influential or popular SCRM practitioners or analysts, just the one’s I really pay attention to and learn from.  I’ve become very interested in SCRM over the past few months because of how it relates to Enterprise 2.0, mainly that SCRM is a key component.  There is still a lot of work that needs to be done in both E2.0 and SCRM but you can bet that the people mentioned below are going to gave some great ideas and strategies around these areas.  Here are the people that I recommend you follow in the SCRM space, they are all far smarter than I am!

Esteban Kolsky

You know it’s rare that someone just astounds me with their ideas, concepts, and understanding of something; it happens but no often.  I’ve had the opportunity to meet with and chat with Esteban on numerous occasions and I always learn something new from this man.  He is one of the few people in the space (in any space for that matter) that actually break things down from strategy concepts into actual process, meaning he actually talks about and presents ideas for how SCRM fits into an organization what a company needs to do to make it successful.  Esteban provides detailed analysis of the space and usually has some great visuals to accompany his posts which clearly demonstrate his ideas and line of thinking.  I’m such a fan of Esteban’s work that I asked him to help me out on my SCRM presentation, and boy am I glad I did.  If you have any interest in SCRM then Esteban is definitely one cat that you want to make sure you follow.  Esteban writes on CRM intelligence and strategy and you can also find him on twitter.

Paul Greenberg

If you think of the movie the God Father then most people would consider Paul to be the mob boss of SCRM (ya, I said it).  I haven’t spoken with Paul on the phone yet but that’s changing soon.  One of the popular definitions of SCRM actually came from Paul and it’s referred to quite often when speaking about SCRM.  I’m actually in the middle of reading Paul’s relatively new 650 page book on SCRM and so far it’s fantastic.  He has a great writing style that actually makes SCRM interesting and easy to understand.  Paul is great at really breaking down concepts and explaining the “why” and the “how” behind SCRM; he also understand the E2.0 space which makes his posts and ideas that much more valuable.  Paul doesn’t blog as often as some of the other SCRM folks out there but hey when you have a 650 page book out that’s understandable.  Paul authors a popular blog over at Zdnet called Social CRM: The Conversation and also runs the 56 group.   You can find Paul on twitter as well.  Oh and don’t say anything bad about the Yankees or this man will come after you, and we all know what happens when the God Father comes after you…

Brian Vellmure

Brian is one heck of a smart guy and a fellow traveler.  As with Esteban, Brian writes a lot of really great stuff on strategy and concepts and also has some great visuals to explain his ideas.  Brian not only covers concepts and ideas but actually talks about requirements from the company in order to make SCRM a success.  I really wish Brian would write more often because he has a world of wisdom to share.  Just check out his site and scroll through some of his recent posts and you will exactly what I mean.  I’ve learned a lot from Brian and look forward to keep doing so.  Brian is also on twitter so make sure to say hello.

Prem Kumar Aparanji

Better known as the Scorp From Hell (ya, intimidating isn’t it?) Prem is chalk full of great SCRM information.  I’ve had numerous interactions with Prem on twitter and on my site when I talk about SCRM.  Prem is the SCRM evangelist for Cognizant.  My big complaint of Prem is that he definitely doesn’t write enough.  He’s great to have a conversation with online and shares some great information on his twitter account (which is where I learn a lot from), but I know he has some really solid ideas and concepts that I wish he would put down into more solid grounded articles.  When Prem does write though he cranks out some kick ass SCRM content complete with analysis, visuals, and solid ideas.  If you want to learn more about SCRM make sure to strike up a chat with this man on twitter and have your pen and paper ready to take some notes.

Brent Leary

I’ve been following Brent’s blog for a little while now and while Brent is one of the SCRM leaders he also talks about the social media space in general as well which makes for some interesting reading.  Brent runs his own SCRM consultancy and is on the advisory board of the Social Customer blog.  Brent is really good at getting down to the nitty gritty of SCRM and his understanding of the social media space makes him take a unique perspective to SCRM.  Brent does everything in depth vendor analysis to interview to SCRM strategy concepts and ideas.  This man does it all and that is one of the reasons why he made it on my list of top SCRM guys.  I actually haven’t spoken with Brent (yet) but we’ve had several online conversations.  Brent is also on twitter so say hello to him.

I’m hoping to do a second part in this series to highlight some other great SCRM folks, if you think there is someone that I should take a look at or chat with please let me know.  All of the folks mentioned above I have been following for a while now and have had some sort of interaction with all of them.  Hope you find this list of SCRM allstars valuable!

  • Parag

    The rise of new communication channels is bringing with it a rise in customer contact points, and therefore customer data.Social media offers new ground and new and innovative methods of interacting with (or at least monitoring) customers, something organizations are eager to take advantage of.
    customer relationship management

  • zachphilip

    i am so happy you shared this list! it was extremely helpful for me. the other good find was

  • santoshsetty

    Hello Prem, Greetings to you and Congratulations on your work on Social CRM. You are a pride for the entire community and wishing you all the best for your future.

    Santosh Setty
    Resource Manager,
    IBM, Bangalore, India

  • Jacob,

    Thanks for sharing. I would describe myself as a sponge so learning from influential people is great… Ill have to add them this afternoon.

  • I think they are all very relevant in the field of Social CRM (SCRM).

  • I think they are all very relevant in the field of Social CRM (SCRM).

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