06 Jul CRM is social. Social networks make CRM conversational.
Viewing profiles? Capturing recent information? Tracking communications? Building lists? Predicting activities? The Customer Relationship Management (CRM), processes a company uses to track and organize its contacts with its current and prospective customers are a one-way road on the social media landscape.
CRM comes in many flavors: Sales CRM is intended to boost sales opportunities; Operational CRM supports the front office; Analytical CRM identifies opportunities to upsell or cross sell to customers; Consumer Relations CRM manages consumer affairs and customer relations interactions; and Collaborative CRM helps a company interact effectively with customers across different business units.
All of them are social. Why? They drive, manage and improve customer interactions. And, interactions are social. The more you know about the person you’re interacting with (the customer), the better an interaction is likely to go.
CRM brings together information from all data sources within an organization (and where appropriate, from outside the organization) to give one, holistic view of each customer in real time. This allows customer facing employees (in such areas as sales, customer support, and marketing) to make quick and informed decisions on everything from cross-selling and upselling opportunities to target marketing strategies and competitive positioning tactics.
In the Facebook era, according to author Clara Shih, one of the most reliable and untapped sources of CRM data remains the customers themselves — who make personal data freely available on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Shih demonstrated this value while she worked at Salesforce.com by creating Faceconnector — a free add-on that allowed companies to view Facebook profiles within the context of salesforce.com CRM. The result? An ability to tranform cold calls into warm introductions — using current data provided by customers.
“Knowing someone’s name, employer and contact information isn’t enough,” Shih said. “That is what social networks give us.”
Social media networks compliment information in a company’s homegrown CRM system by revealing relevant facts that salespeople can use to begin conversations: Common interests, education, shared acquantances and points of interest.
Facebook reveals a prospects personal interests and history. LinkedIn reveals their work history, professional experience and network of contacts. Twitter reveals opinions expressed about a company by others.
That is why it’s common practice for sales people to have Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter open on their desktop — and why CRM processes, software and tools will continue to evolve with social networks.
Coffee is for Closers
An alternative and entertaining view of CRM from salesforce.com. Why? Because “it takes brass balls to sell ads for a video web blog.”