Why Zoho CRM doesn’t integrate with LinkedIn

LinkedIn used to have lots of integration partners.  In 2014 they made the genius decision to eliminate all access from integrated 3rd parties of ALL kinds, except for Salesforce.  Then Microsoft purchased LinkedIn and has maintained this folly.  Currently, as I understand it, Salesforce users have to pay $100/month for integration with LinkedIn.  This effectively doubles the license price for SF.  In other words, LinkedIn thinks that it is such a valuable platform that they can protect it’s value as an island.  It’s sort of like AOL in the early days of the internet.  The thinking goes that we add value to our ecosystem by requiring users of all other platforms to log in twice, and not share our information with any other software platform, except the 1 platform who will pay the most.

It reminds me of a troll at a bridge wanting his toll.  Except that he only allows 1 person to cross, and that person has to pay more than anyone else can or will.

It is a strong argument to NOT use LinkedIn and to search out and invest into more open platforms.   The world of software today is about connectivity, not isolation.  Thus it seems likely that LI will either cease to be the market leader (think how many people subscribe to AOL today) or they will have to relinquish said control and allow their ecosystem to connect with others.   Either way it makes sense to not invest time and treasure into the LI platform, at least for most businesses.   If you are a company that can afford CRM + LinkedIn in starting at $200/month then you can afford to be in that elite club, and it may be a great investment.  If you are like most of us, who can’t or won’t pay that ransom, then I suggest you explore LinkedIn alternatives that DO play will with your other systems.  More on that later.

Here is a link to a discussion of the LinkedIn / Zoho integration:    Zoho LinkedIn Integration  This discussion is worth reading as it contains some tips on how to make it easy to open a linkedIn page directly from a CRM record.  No integration, but still better than nothing.

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