World’s Most Incomplete List of Social CRM Experts

Social CRM is my new hobby. When I originally heard the term, I mocked it because I didn’t understand it. Sorry about that. Now I am listening, and I am starting to get it. Here is how I got here:

1. Ignorance: I ignored social CRM and when asked, I mocked it. Again, sorry.

2. Enlightenment: Salesforce.com bought Radian6, and I moderated a roundtable with some of the top social CRM experts in the business: Mike Fauscette, Brian Vellmure, Mitch Lieberman, Steve Woods and Esteban Kolsky. I realized that these are smart guys and I needed to figure out social CRM.

3. Education: I asked some people whom I should follow then started following them on Twitter. I started to read what I could (when I could). Brian Vellmure is now one of my boys, and is a resource for me on the topic.

Here are my observations on social CRM:

  • I have stopped reading regular “social media” experts. What I like about the social CRM crowd is they don’t talk about “how to set up your Facebook” page. Instead they are focused on tying social back to the organization.
  • Warning: It can be hard trying to distinguish the thought-leaders from the wannabes. From the looks of it, there are CRM analysts who added the word “social” to the front of their expertise. There are social wonks who have tacked “CRM” onto the back of their expertise. You have to be careful in determining who’s who.
  • If you want to know the definition of social CRM, I found a good one here on Focus.com.
  • The list at the end of this post might be wrong. I have thrown this out here to get reactions and am prepared to refine the list. Here is what I did: 1) Asked my respected friends whom to follow; 2) Added some of my favorite CRM guys (shout-out to Chris Bucholtz) even though I am not sure they all claim to be on the social CRM bandwagon. If they don’t now, they will soon enough.

How about this for a big, hairy goal that should prove to you I am beginning to understand the market: I hope Esteban Kolsky reads this and rips me. Then I know I have arrived. Seriously, if I am wrong, let me know, I am cool with that. But please don’t insult anyone.

So, here it is — the 70 (OK, 71 and now 72) people I follow on the topic of social CRM (in random order):

  1. Greg Satell
  2. Lauren Vargas
  3. Frank Eliason
  4. Rachel Happe
  5. Tatyana Kanzaveli
  6. Becky Carroll
  7. Blake Landau
  8. Ray Wang
  9. John Rourke
  10. Jeremiah Owyang
  11. Michael Wu
  12. Maria Ogneva
  13. Jim Berkowitz
  14. Graham Hill
  15. Jacob Morgan
  16. Jon Ferrara
  17. Laurence Buchanan
  18. Ed Sullivan
  19. Brian Vellmure
  20. Michael Fauscette
  21. John Perez
  22. Allen Bonde
  23. Robin Carey
  24. Blake Cahill
  25. Amber Naslund
  26. Adrian Ott
  27. Barry Dalton
  28. Arie Goldshlager
  29. Leila Summa
  30. Don Peppers
  31. Gregory Yankelovich
  32. Mike Boysen
  33. Wouter Trumpie
  34. Mark Tamis
  35. Marshall Lager
  36. Mark Reuter
  37. Russ Hatfield, Jr.
  38. Bill Odell
  39. Merlyn Gordon
  40. Nitin Badjatia
  41. Mark Behrens
  42. Bob Warfield
  43. Wim Rampen
  44. Bob Thompson
  45. Janet Jozefak
  46. Martin Schneider
  47. Paul Greenberg
  48. Jill Dyche
  49. Anthony Nemelka
  50. Clara Shih
  51. Christopher Carfi
  52. Jesus Hoyos
  53. David Alston
  54. Valeria Maltoni
  55. Brent Leary
  56. Mitch Lieberman
  57. Sanjay Dholakia
  58. Prem Kumar Aparanji
  59. Josh Weinberger
  60. Esteban Kolsky
  61. Natalie Petouhoff
  62. Andreas Gotthelf
  63. Kathy Herrmann
  64. Louis Columbus
  65. Don Tapscott
  66. Anthony Lye
  67. Chris Bucholtz
  68. Umberto Milletti
  69. Jim Storer
  70. Jeff Nolan (added 5/17  1.25pm)
  71. Brian Vellmure

Interested observer:

71.  Michael Krigsman

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

When the Blood Flows on the Streets, It’s Time to Buy Real Estate

At Sherpa last week, I met one of my readers. She said in essence: “I love your blog, but lately you have been bumming me out.”  She’s probably right. I am trying to make the blog reflect what I feel and am thinking at a given time.  Looking over my posts, you can see I’ve gone from irreverent, cocky, and sometimes funny to gloomy, dark, and fear-inducing in a fairly short span of time.  For me, the most important thing is that, as sales and marketers, we deal with REALITY and be as proactive in our adjustments as we can. If I write about sunshine and roses, how is that going to help us get through this?

Speaking of getting through this, when times get tough you have two choices; Lay down or fight.  I have seen a couple marketing departments “lay down” recently and I am really disappointed.  Yes, the world is going to hell, but guess what, your job is to survive and advance.  I look forward to watching which organizations make the adjustments necessary to come out on top in the next couple years.  I especially like those organizations that view negative times as opportunity.  Organizations see blood on the street, and go for the jugular.

Here is a fighter: Netsuite.  Let’s be honest, we know of Netsuite because of Larry Ellison’s early association and because they went  public.  We have NOT seen them putting themsleves out there and aggressively marketing.  Guess what, now they are coming hard, and it’s exciting.  I got the email below from them and while you may see a promotional email, I saw a company sending the proverbial first shot over the bow.  And guess what, they are taking on a Goliath — Salesforce.com.

This is what we need, we don’t need technology companies riding their installed bases, instead we need companies engaging in true hand-to-hand combat.  This is the American way.  A CRM war is just what the doctor ordered, and I hope more and more categories start to play.  (P.S. my boy Chris Bucholtz from InsideCRM has got to be excited about this).  I see more and more of Netsuite out there, and I like it.

So, you wanted something positive?  I am absolutely positive that the real winners of this crisis are the ones who dig their heel in and battle.

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

2008 Top of the Funnel List

The oldest link-building trick in the book is the “best of” list. But this is not merely a link-building exercise. Actually, I have been dying to write this for a while. Since I have started the blog, I have found places on the Web to gather ideas and have had a chance to really think about the people that have given me the foundation for my ideology.

Because it’s my list, I created my own “best of” rules for how I made my choices:

The bottom line is that my professional career has to have been affected by you to make the list. That’s it.

There are only 19 on this list, so consider this Part I. I can’t help but find people as I expand my professional horizon.

So here are the 2008 Top of the Funnel Award winners, in no particular order:

  1. Michael Stelzner: I started reading his blog when I started mine. He’s really smart and interesting. Not surprisingly, he is a great writer and a clear-cut thought leader in what works or doesn’t work in the white paper business.
  2. Howard Sewell: This dude is a total stud. I have known a lot of people who have worked with him and believe in his work. He is known in Silicon Valley to be a guy who can deliver. So get this, I PAID to take Howard and Michael’s class on whitepaper syndication. That’s right, PAID. That typifies the kind of respect I have for them. I wish his blog posts were longer however.
  3. Stu Silverman: This guy gets WAY too much ink from me, but he was my boss, knows b2b lead generation as well as anyone, and always delivers. He’s a consultant who has built lead-development teams in the Valley for 30 years. Not a blogger, so, I have to refer you his one white paper. Spend an hour with him, and you walk out smarter.
  4. Jon Miller: You just know this dude is smart. His blog posts are insightful and Marketo (his company) is on the verge of greatness. I know a guy who is smart when I see one. I read most blogs when I remember to or feel like it. I always read his blog, Modern b2b Marketing Blog.
  5. Brian Carroll: I am a sell-out. There may not be a more famous guy in our business. And this is way too obvious choice. But, I like this guy and as an Internet guy myself, props to him for being the number 1 result on Goggle for “ b2b lead generation.” Anyway, I like his work, and he sits on top of the lead-gen world as our number 1 thought leader.
  6. Aaron Ross: This one is interesting. So, I know Aaron. He built a very successful outbound lead-generation group at Salesforce.com. But you always have to be careful as to whether companies like Salesforce.com made the man or if the man helped make Salesforce.com. The most important thing is that he built the outbound group that went after mid-size and higher opportunities, so he didn’t get to sit back and ride the Salesforce.com wave. I like reading his stuff a lot and think the guy is really smart. Also Aaron has a new business, Pebblestorm.com, which is innovative and ahead of it’s time.
  7. The guys from Sirius Decisions: I can’t choose one, I have liked everyone of them. I was introduced by my boy Matt Elders and was impressed. More and more marketing departments are using their lead-generation methodologies. That’s a good thing.
  8. The inventor(s) of Eloqua: I know they are trying to play their guy Steve Gershik up on webinars and over the internet, but I just couldn’t put him on the list yet. No offense, he just didn’t fit into my rule-set. But Eloqua will prove to be a landmark breakthrough for marketing, and all the others jumping in to play in the marketing automation game will ultimately thank these guys for inventing the category.
  9. MarketingSherpa: I love MarketingSherpa. Period. I read the reports all the time.
  10. Laura Ramos at Forrester Research: I saw Laura speak once and liked her schtick. Her stuff is good, not as “feet on the street” as some of the others, but valuable nonetheless.
  11. Anneke Seely and Sally Duby from Phone Works: I use their compensation reports in one of my posts and read them every year. Like Stu above, these gals run around the Valley building inside sales and lead-gen teams. They have a great reputation, and I love that they use the compensation reports to stay in our hearts and minds. In other words, smart.
  12. Brian Provost: Total fix here. I work with Brian, but let’s be clear: if there is a guy who has the best win percentage in the competitive b2b Internet market, its Brian. He IS SEO, not a guy who reads it out of a book, from classes, or online posts.
  13. Mike Damphousse: Mike does outbound appointment setting. He helped build up By Appointment Only and now has his own gig: Green Leads.  You gotta love the brute force outbound guys, especially those willing to take all the risk and charge you per-appointment. Check out his blog.
  14. Paul Dunay: Another referral from Matt Elders. Paul has a blog that I read, and when I spoke to him I was amazed at his sophistication. You want a guy who knows what DRIP/nurture marketing is? Talk to Paul or listen to his stuff.
  15. Robert Rosenthal: I like guys who write their blogs with curse words and raw opinions. His blog approach is close to mine, written like he talks and fun.
  16. LinkedIn Answers: This is obviously not a person. Maybe I could have listed their CEO, but since I think he should have sold the company last year when he had the chance, I’m not going to give him any props. I can however, sit back in awe of the greatness of Linkedin Answers. I use it, other smart people are on it, and the answers you get are awesome.
  17. The b2b lead blog: I just started reading this blog. The posts are interesting and witty. Also, they are prolific, so I get new content from them ALL the time.
  18. Tamara Gielen: She has a great email marketing blog, BeRelevant!. I particularly appreciate blogs that are easy to read and have practical advice. This is one of them.
  19. Denny Head: Denny has just started a consulting business, but I saw what he can do when he was with Avaya. He built a lead-processing machine there that is bar-none one of the best I have seen. Now he is selling his secrets.

This was fun. As I mentioned, 19 is not a lot, so stay tuned for more.

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter