Over the years I would get invitations to connect with people on LinkedIn, and they would say “I use LinkedIn as my CRM…”
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Manager. Think Salesforce, Highrise, even the oldies ACT! and Goldmine. There are hundreds of CRMs.
JibberJobber was designed with “relationship manager” in mind… because we need a tool to help us manage the relationships we have with people we meet and want to meet. As important, we can use a tool that helps us with our follow-up, etc.
So yeah, chuckle and shake my head was my standard response for people saying they used LinkedIn as a CRM. For a while, it really didn’t have any CRM functionality. Then, they bought a CRM startup, and … nothing. Years passed and people still didn’t know the features were there. My message to people was “use LinkedIn as it was designed… to find people, and be found by others, but get a real and independent CRM for relationship management.”
There are various reasons to get a different system for CRM, but for me the most important was that LinkedIn had (and has) a history of taking away features that we (the users) tend to find useful, but for some reason they don’t want to keep around anymore.
Remember Answers? Events (I never cared for it, but of all the features that LinkedIn removed, this was the one that I heard the most complaints over)? How about the ability to view profiles of third degree contacts?
All pretty much gone. Check out this article at their help center: Relationship Section of Profile – No Longer Available
What does this mean?
It means that you should always separate your CRM needs from your social tools. Always.
I feel bad for the people who used LinkedIn as their CRM… because in a few months, all of the rich data they’ve entered there will *poof* away, just like the history of Answers. Bleh.
And… use JibberJobber for your CRM needs.