A Social CRM & Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software Blog

Social CRM

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Welcome to my CRM software and sCRM blog.
This online forum and dialogue shares the experiences, lessons, learning and insight about the real world uses of Social CRM (sCRM) and traditional Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) systems.






Who's Going to Drive Social CRM Leadership?

An Opportunity Exists To Do It By Design, and Not By Reaction

In talking to sales and marketing pros, it's clear that there's an understanding of how social media can help them. But there's also a disconnect. Although many of these professionals have adopted social media into their personal lives, they haven't quite figured out how to do that in their professional lives.

This disconnect presents business leaders and managers with a great opportunity. Rather than stand by and wait for staff to devise their own work related social media strategies and implement them on an ad hoc basis or one-off basis, business leaders have an opportunity to design new processes for using social media and social CRM in way that they can automate, scale, measure and learn from.

Just as it's been tough to get sales staff to really use their CRM software system, it's may be tough to get them to make the jump to social CRM. However, I'm betting the social media jump won't be as challenging, because most of them have familiarity with social media, have social media consumer devices and enjoy using the tools. They know how it works, but now they need to know how it works at work.

That becomes the business leaders or managers job. An executive sponsor has got to let them know that it's okay to use these solutions on the job, and he's got to figure out how to use these solutions best within the company's existing business processes and information systems. This will come in the form of identifying a step in a customer facing business process where the use of a social CRM tool can help discover, accelerate or close new sales deals - or simply enhance and grow the customer relationship. Then, the sponsor's got to insist that staff integrate the social media process or tool before they progress beyond that step in the process. If he's picked the right point for the right data, users should view the benefit as obvious and the results should speak for themselves.

This also means that the sponsor or manager's job just became more difficult as he now has to be the guy who understands what tools are out there and which ones are right for his business processes. In order to encourage his reps to leverage social media, he's going to have to be the evangelist, and you really can't evangelize unless you're an expert on the story you're telling.

For software vendors trying to tap into this market, there's a big opportunity here. That's the opportunity to lay out illustrative use cases and do some concept education targeted at those business leaders. They're the technology advocates, a role that no longer necessarily belongs to the IT department, which is still where many software vendors tend to focus. IT can provide advice, integrate new tools with existing systems and help with implementation and support issues, but social CRM works best when it's adoption is driven by the business users who will actually be using it.

If a CRM software vendor can get the executive sponsor or sales manager speaking his language, and the manager can in turn speak to his staff and be clearly understood, that vendor then has inroads into not just a sale but into a successful deployment where user adoption is high, sales improve through the use of social channels and, ultimately, the company grows its profitable customer relationships.

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 Social CRM (SCRM) & Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software