In January, I wrote about how LinkedIn improved their services to look and smell like a CRM.
I am a Personal user of LinkedIn, and a Premium Business account costs $24.95 a month which I think is pretty steep considering all the On-Demand SaaS offerings out there for CRM. After all, you can’t beat free.
Nate Riggs latest post on LinkedIn Profile Organizer for Premium Users Delivers CRM Functionality discusses the pros and cons if LinkedIn can be a true CRM.
He nails it on the head when he says “Profile Organizer has been designed to be integrated into a users normal work flow patterns with one to two clicks in mind to complete a task.”
In today’s disparate software solutions, the true winner will emerge as the one who can integrate all aspects of the workflow efficiently as possible. Why toggle through various web pages when you can get 1-stop shopping?
Nate also quotes, “You can even capture the full offline contact information and store it in LinkedIn along with notes for each profile you save. The ability to capture this data begins to position LinkedIn as more than just a network, but as a much more robust CRM-like tool for full relationship management.”
If people and people management is your job, capturing data and information is your bread and butter to a full blown relationship. Don’t you like it when a salesperson calls you up and asks about your kids first? That human element is what drives relationships, not software.
A quick look at LinkedIn’s website comparing account types shows the robustness of the premium services:
The last bullet point is the all-important-one for a true CRM package, whether your email is Microsoft Outlook or Gmail/Google Apps. You need to track conversations, which is why Gmail is quickly becoming the email of choice. You need to track promises, or else they become false promises, and you can bet what will happen at renewal time.
Unless I was an HR recruiter, I would upgrade in a heartbeat if LinkedIn was the sole source of finding new talent. But as a personal user, I don’t feel compelled to upgrade. At least not yet.