Original post from 2011 below.
To date, gCRM has not happened. The Google G Suite Marketplace has a number of CRM players which are all capable. Some observations.
First SAS70 and now SASE 16 and whatever is next have become more important to the enterprise. Not just in the dataroom but down to the application level. This is also seen in other verticals such as healthcare with HIPPA and financial with PCI DSS
Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure grab most of the headlines. Enterprise clouds (IBM, etc.) are real and growing. Still the market is addressing computing power and not next level applications.
Market consolidation of LinkedIn, Jigsaw, Gist, etc.
Key sales tools nearly a decade ago are now no longer independent. LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft. Jigsaw was acquired by Salesforce. Gist was acquired by Blackberry.
Email still key.
As a outreach tool email has become more important. Less time on the phone for cold calling. More rapport development through correspondence. Still hold by this thought that gCRM and Google entrance into the enterprise market will happen eventually.
Original 2011 post: Will Google enter the enterprise applications market?
It is a matter of time.
The recent GM announcement signal that the company is almost there. For many enterprises, the first business process to be put into place is CRM. Google will enter the enterprise application space in CRM to better leverage existing services.
1) gMail is becoming widely used in the enterprise. The cloud is proving privacy can work.
2) Email is the de facto CRM application. Sales, service and marketing all rely on email to connect with customers.
3) Google has great corporate data research with finance.google.com.
4) Searching for anyone (customer, prospect, etc.) involves a Google search in addition to searches in other services like LinkedIn, Jigsaw and Gist.
5) Alerts could be configured to prompt action based on search results.
6) Sales, service and marketing are becoming more about individual and less about the company due to social tools.
7) Microsoft and, Google partner, Salesforce are battling it out for cloud-based CRM. gCRM would be less robust, but give companies a reason to move from Office to Google Docs.
So what does Google need that they do not have today? I see 3 big pieces.
One, process across marketing, sales and service:
Process is a must. Organizations turn to a CRM system to give them best practices and process flows that they do not have. In my experience, all CRM clients are looking to improve process through technology — not the other way around. Process for marketing, sales and services organizations are very different, but all have a common thread of measuring the cost per call (also called contact, customer, or incident).
Two, sales pipeline and forecasting
Sales pipeline and forecasting is an extension of process, but it needs to be more flexible and dead simple to configure. Why? Because the average VP of Sales is on the job just 19 months. Every new VP of Sales will want to be measured by his or her own agreed to metrics, not by the old metrics that got the last VP ousted. This is very common and will be so for the foreseeable future.
Three, integration to back-end systems. Integration with back-end systems is one of the constants in CRM. This can be any system from ACD call routers to an ERP system. In the 30 or so CRM deployments I have been involved with, integration has played an critical part every time.
If Google will address these three missing pieces in a way that is robust yet flexible, gCRM will be a winner.