In the next several months we’ll start seeing VRM getting respect as a counterpart to CRM — in some cases with a social angle as SRM and sCRM get into the mix. For more on that, here’s Bob Pike on Social Customer Relationship Management:
Forrester predicts the era of Social Commerce, the future of the social Web as I see it, starts to embrace a corporate philosophy and supporting infrastructure that migrates away from CRM and even sCRM to one of Social Relationship Management or SRM. This will usher in the fifth era as observed by Forrester. And, SRM is also acutely cognizant of and in harmony with VRM (Vendor Relationship Management).
VRM is the opposite of CRM, capsizing the concept of talking at or marketing to customers and shifting the balance of power in relationships from vendors to consumers. As such, systems are created to empower consumer participation and sentiment and improve products and services with every engagement.
Should we think the unthinkable and finally adopt a set of new rules which are aligned to actually what is happening this new world of social collaboratio online? Yes I do think so.
Nowadays the science of selling has gone much further with ‘relationships selling” as distinct from “transactional selling” and is even being inverted in the form of “soft selling” or should that now be “soft buying”. It goes beyond selling, organisations have CRM (Customer Relationship Management) processes and systems and are now starting to realise that they need to provide their customers with access to VRM (Vendor Relationship Management) processes and, possibly, systems. There had always been some people who understood it, but there was a development of a general realisation that “selling” and other related areas are manageable!
I believe here John is talking about VRM in a B2B context, where it has been used for many years. Still, it speaks to the need for customers to interact with companies that have transparent and available processes.