Social CRM and Its Place in the Sales Process
Even though Social CRM is still a new concept gaining traction in the sales world; it is a trend that cannot be ignored. Social CRM is changing the way that businesses not only conduct business, but also how they understand their target markets and engage with customers.
Social CRM is not all about the content you put out there; it is about how your audiences engage with this content. In our virtual world, there are many topics of discussion and Social CRM allows you to discover exactly what they are. The kind of content published is very useful for both sales and marketing professionals.
Sales thrive on relationships and the deeper the relationship the more likely it is to close a deal. When you understand your customer, they are more likely to choose your company over a competitor. Social CRM is also a way for any sales professional or marketing team to identify opportunities and conversations going on about your industry, product, and/or service. Social CRM also promotes thought leadership and the ability to expose your expertise on the subject matter.
In order to successfully incorporate Social CRM into your strategy there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Social must be incorporated into the sales process. In order for Social CRM to be effective and worthwhile, any social activity should be tracked in the CRM. Social CRM is relevant from the beginning of the process until the end. An example of this would be finding someone online speaking about your industry and asking for a recommendation. As a marketer, you are able to reach out to this person via social media, and potentially connect them with more relevant content to help introduce your product or service. By driving them to your website via social media, you are then able to add them into the CRM, and track their social movements, as well as their activities on your site. This is where having a CRM software that integrates with social is highly recommended.
- Social CRM involves both the sales and the marketing team. The marketing team should publish relevant content and eventually content that inspires followers to engage and act. The audience engagement is how the sales team will collect data and better get to know their customers and leads. By monitoring and analyzing their contacts’ social behavior from the data collected, allows the sales team to ensure they don’t miss any opportunities.
- Customer Experience Management is an integral part of Social CRM. The customer experience while engaging with your business is just as crucial as the product or service itself. With so many different choices out there, any company that hopes to surpass its competitors must provide a top-notch customer experience, and this means socially as well. If a customer or lead posts about your company or asks a question about your product via a social network, it is crucial to respond as promptly as possible. Monitoring social media for this can also help you catch both positive and negative reviews, so that you may respond accordingly.
- Use keyword searches to find out what people are saying about your industry, your competitors, and your company. This will allow you to act upon these conversations and get in there before someone else does. If you see someone mentioning they need a specific product or service that you offer, which is your opportunity to jump in there and introduce yourself in a polite and non-aggressive manner.
- The use of Social CRM needs to be adopted company wide. All members of the team should be knowledgeable in how to utilize the power that is Social CRM. Having everyone on board keeps the process consistent, as well as illustrates a commitment to the customer.
Social Media proves to play a significant role in not only marketing, but in sales as well. Harnessing this medium enhances the customer experience when engaging with your brand, and aids in moving leads down the sales funnel. Sales are about relationships, and with so many relationships developing online, it is only good form to join in.