This week marks my 9th Dreamforce, the annual user conference for Salesforce.com. As one of the largest (ok maybe the largest) CRM tool – at it’s core SFDC provides the basic building blocks of a CRM tool. Of course, now, 15 years later, it’s so much more than that. This week promises to be a bit of a crazy one, as usual, filled with great sessions, learning experiences, networking, and dare I say parties. As I get my body ready for the anticipated lack of sleep, and over filled brain, now is a great time to refocus on the fact the wine & CRM are a natural match. The philosophy of Customer Relationship Management is one that has been struggling with in the wine industry. In 2012, only a handful of software companies have solutions that suit the wine industry, but even fewer industry companies are getting the concept of CRM as a tool. That is changing, and the next few years are an exciting time. Why does your wine business need CRM? We all know it’s a tight market out there. How do you plan to sell more wine this year? How do you plan to segment your customer base? Too many times do I get emails from wineries that don’t know my needs or wants. Why aren’t you paying attention to me as your customer? You know I bought 5 cases of pinot last year, so what are you doing with that data/ world of the customer? Keeping in mind that CRM is not a four letter word, many potential customers are scared off by the very concept as a 400 pound gorilla. Putting the technology on the backburner for a minute, the methodology is the first hurdle to overcome to a successfully customer relationship philosophy. Viewing the big picture is, and should be, the end goal of a consumer focused business. As I head off to the conference, now is a great time to share some posts about CRM as well as my interview with Paul Mabray, founder of Vintank, about the future of CRM and technology in the wine industry. Where will the wine industry go from here? How can we help you get there? Get your creative juices flowing and start thinking about CRM! For news from the field, please follow #df12 and my twitter alias! Cheers!