CRM in Practice -Social Media Usage
CRM in Practice - Social Media Usage.
One of the biggest changes in the last few years has been the inclusion into CRM systems of links to Social Media. Whilst clients do ask, for many, this is just a simple tick box on their functionality matrix checklist. The two questions most often asked are...
“How useful is it?” and “How does it work in system X?”.
This blog begins to answer the first question...
with the second question answered in our next blog on this topic-:-
“How Useful is it?”
Simply put...very useful!
The key is how to use Social media effectively and ensuring it is not just that functionality tickbox in your CRM system. Effective use will partly depend on Social Media training,CRM Adoption and the profile of your customers and industry. Using social media is for many companies still in its infancy, and you can be carried away, but let’s look at some pragmatic applications.
For me, whilst Twitter monitoring can be useful, the size of the sales Opportunity probably dictates how much time and effort you spend on background Social Media research and monitoring, together with the Customers or Prospects profile. However, it is always useful to check their website and thier social media engagement.
Now to possibly the most important Social Media tool in business use and one in which you should be familiar and competent at using if you are in any Sales and Marketing or Customer Service facing role…
The Power of LinkedIn with CRM
As a LinkedIn Trainer, I am not in favour of using it to just send “Invites” to Prospects or Customers until I feel that there is a strong relationship or connection, but LinkedIn offers the most powerful reason for social media engagement in CRM in my view. Why is this?
Itis a great tool for doing pre-meeting research and gaining an understanding of the target company, indeed of your Customers. You are able to gain an excellent insight into the people you are dealing with in greater depth than ever before, and you can now do all this from your desk before you even meet. This can have a positive impact on how you sell and work with that client or prospect, if used effectively
My best example was of working with a client who was very visual on a SAGE CRM project. The client was very focussed on “look and feel” and using different coloured workflow icons, all very possible, albeit time consuming. We were questioning the time and effort involved against would Users understand these differences. After ‘connecting’, it became apparent why this was important. Even though I some social time with the client, one item had never come up and that was his attendance at the Royal College of Art. So of course, design was important. If I had connected earlier I would have seen and better understood this. To be fair, I had only just joined myself in 2007, so did not appreciate how it could be used for Sales.
My Five Golden Rules for using with CRM
1. Ensure you research likely targets (Customers or Prospects).
2. Link their profiles for instant and easy clicking (how you do this may vary between CRM - see next blog).
3. Alwats do pre-meeting research and then creenshot and add profiles to a ms word document and attach this to the Opportunity of the likely people you are going to meet.
4. "Click" on all relevant profiles at least a few days before.
5. Follow Company page and thier Twitter account, if the opportunity size is relevant and they use Social Media activity (distinguish between a ‘presence’ and ‘active engagement’).
Doing this does require discipline and there are a few other activities you should do that will enhance your own use of LinkedIn with your Customer Relationship Managementsoftware.
My main argument would be that Social Media monitoring and engagement and the ability to do research should now be part of every Sales and Marketing or Customer Services person skillset. However, it is important that your team are trained to use it properly.
CRMC have developed both an in-house LinkedIn for Sales Workshop and an Introductory Webinar to demonstrate how this works in practice. Our short 30 minute “LinkedIn for Sales” Webinar can give you a useful insight into the skills you need in more detail and how this works with your CRM...
by Gary Perkins 11-Apr-2016 16:30:00
17th May 2016