Google has been pushing harder than ever to keep its Lordship on the web. Their latest battle has been with Facebook who has been creating a powerful army of its own. Google makes most of its revenue through paid search, but has had very good success with its business marketplace: Google Apps. Google Apps provides businesses with business email (Gmail), file storage and creating of documents (Google Docs), Contact Manager, Mobile Access and Google Calendar. Google then went one step further by creating Google Marketplace, which gives third-party companies the ability to sell their products and services and linking them to a companies Google Apps account. The Google marketplace is very similar to the way Apple’s iPhone works with their App Store. So for example, if you use Mailchimp as your email marketing software, you can add Mailchimp to your Google Apps account, which will allow you to sign in automatically through your Google account. Basically Google Apps is the hubspot for your “cloud” business.
I use Google Apps for my 100% cloud-based business and love it. However, I have one problem with it: Google is not a CRM. If Google had its very own CRM built in, I bet they’d get an overwhelming response of new clients in a matter of days. What is holding most small business guy up from switching to Google Apps is the lack of CRM capabilities. Right now they have to sign up for Google, get a smartphone, and then sign up for a third party CRM. However, most third party CRMs currently available are not 100% compatible with Google’s platform. I’ve been using Highrise from 37 Signals as my basic CRM and task manager and then Google for everything else. I’m happy with the two programs. I’d still love to have everything under one roof. I don’t want multiple companies and all these small monthly bills. I like most small business owners want one simple, easy to use CRM program: email, calendar, task manager, contacts, deals and cases! I want it to work with no third party plugins.
My Prediction and Wishlist for Google
I believe Google will create a CRM program. Why they have not done it yet? I don’t know. Maybe they had time to kill and wanted to see how their Marketplace would do. I think the marketplace is very cool, but it still is more than we need as business owners. Also, I think Google has to create a CRM or Microsoft will. Microsoft is a bit behind Google in creating their cloud system, however, they are doing it. Microsoft has a CRM program called Microsoft Dynamics. The cloud version has been released, but I have not tried it out. I’m a Google guy. Also, people are tired of third party plugins left and right. Salesforce, the current leader in CRM-cloud computing, is buying out all the third party companies! So they get it! Will Google do the same? I hope so. I think they should buy out 37signals who has the best project management and CRM programs I’ve seen. I’d then have them take over Pipeline Deals as they too have a few good CRM tools! The problem with 37signals is that they just do NOT work with Google. They are completely separate and have no two-way integration. You have to install plugins from yet another company, that can be buggy, to sync 37signals and Google! Google needs to listen to the small business world and create a CRM program with all the basics. Google does not need to worry about their partnership with Salesforce, because small business owners don’t need such a sophisticated CRM. They need a simple, easy to use system. Google has that now: email, contacts and a calendar. Now just add the customer management, and they will see success. As I’m writing this, it got me thinking, what about Apple CRM? That would be cool!
Here is an article I read that digs a bit deeper into Google CRM. I received this article from Software Advice, who asked me to post it here. So please take time to read: Will Google Enter The CRM Market? by Lauren Carlson. It is a good read. Thanks, Lauren for sending this: and keep me posted on anything else you may discover!
What would you like from Google? Do you have a CRM that works well with the way you run your business?
p.s. I also know it is expensive and can be problematic for Google to create their own CRM…because so many other companies have saturated this market. Google’s marketing decision is probably to continue integrating 3rd parties. My predictions could be wrong. I sure hope I’m right, because I’ve just heard so many people frustrated with all these APIs and plugins. It is getting confusing. If Google holds back, there has to be a company that does a clean and perfect integration with Google.