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bq. “If you have a screwed-up customer process and you deploy Salesforce, all you do is screw your customers _faster_,” he said. Brett Queener is, admittedly, not the “guru” of social customer relationship management at Salesforce. He bestows that title on SVP Product Marketing Kraig Swensrud and “Chuck Ganapathi”: , SVP of Sales. (I’m not a fan of the “guru” label… “don’t follow leaders, watch the parking meters,” right? But somehow the term always ends up in my interview questions…gotta drop that one…) I got the chance to sit down with Queener after his opening keynote at the “Sales 2.0 Conference”: conference yesterday. Brett Queener is *one sharp and funny dude*, and he’s chartered some of Salesforce’s cooler acquisitions (like the natural language processing company, “Groupswim”: . He knows a *metric ton* about customer relationship management, and he’s a thought-leader and an industry veteran, whose team is about to drop a game-changing product for small-and-medium enterprise: “Chatter”: . Queener has been doing CRM since I was a shorty, promoting punk shows in the basements of Madison, Wisconsin. As Ali G would say, “Mad respek. Mad respek.” Once we sat down, Queener immediately dug into why SMBs are going to want to get started on social customer relationship management (sCRM) and B2B collaboration products like Chatter. The average small/medium-biz CRM customer) is 200 to 1000 employees. These are the organizations that Queener speaks of – the ones that need to understand and engage the social customer so badly. “I don’t know if it’s a question of small vs large organizations,” he said. “Small [businesses] _need_ to be scrappier; they don’t have the manpower.” “When you have organizations of 200 to 1000 employees – the CIOs come *from* the business,” Queener said. “It’s all about moving fast-fast-fast.” When selling to CIOs who “grew up” in their verticals (and are largely first-time CIOs), you’re working with a tough set of challenges relating to the value that they derive from the customer management software their use. “I’m _less worried_ about small and medium businesses embracing [scRM/Chatter] quicker, but I think the challenge is that if Chatter is done right, it should accrue value on an _incremental_ basis, without the set-up time. The area that usually groks it first is the small business customer.” There’s one key difference about SME’s that Queener highlights: “They don’t have as many employees – knowledge discovery is a little harder [for them].” Then there’s the chasm, and the reason that sCRM and CRM implementations fail in small and medium enterprises. “I think to some extent it’s the same that it ever was,” Queener said, ” the notion that you buy a CD and suddently you’re better at CRM, that’s bunk. It’s about what your business processes are and how you generate demand, close business, and serve your customers.” He explains Salesforce’s success in SME segment as a derivation of speed-of-deployment. “The reason Salesforce has been successful is because in the past all the time was spent on deploying technology. The idea is that if you remove the barrier, you have more time to focus on what you do best. In the on-premise world you had 6-12 months. Today, we hear of companies turning on thousands of users in a day, or a month,” he said. But Queener warns SME’s to fear the reaper: lousy business processes. “If you have a screwed-up customer process and you deploy Salesforce, all you do is screw your customers faster,” he said. More cowbell, indeed _[Disclaimer: the social concept was a Salesforce Referral Partner, but they technically ended the Referral Partner program on 2/1/10, so we have no direct financial relationship with the company at this time.]_