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New Trends in CRM

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New Trends in CRM


4 Introduction
Dave Brock | President and CEO, Partners in EXCELLENCE

Part: 1 2 3 4 5 6

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Part 1: Exceed Your Sales Expectations


David Tyner | Director of Sales, KinetiCast

Part 2: Triple The Effectiveness Of Your Best Sales People


Ben Bradley | Managing Director, Macon Raine

Part 3: How Social Media Are Ruining Your Lead Qualification Strategy
Charles Green | Founder and CEO, Trusted Advisor Associates

Part 4: Use Social CRM to Improve Communications


Cheryl Hanna | Blogger, Service Untitled

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Part 5: Is Social CRM Compatible with Enterprise 2.0?


Esteban Kolsky | President, thinkJar

Part 6: Four Experts On How To Turn Social Media Into Sales


J.D. Lasica | CEO, Socialmedia.biz

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With the sponsorship of

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Introduction

Dave Brock | President and CEO, Partners in EXCELLENCE


Customer relationship management (CRM) software and so-called Sales 2.0 tools have been hot topics in the sales community for many years. Salespeople usually scoff at CRM: Its just managements way of looking over my shoulder at everything I do. Or: Spending all this time updating the system just takes away from my selling time. Does management want me to be an administrator or a salesperson? From sales managements view, the complaints take another tack: Weve spent so much money in implementing our CRM system, but we still arent getting the results we expected! The picture gets even cloudier when marketing folk start to leverage CRM data, integrating their marketing tools with the sales tools. Arguments, finger pointing, and excuses proliferate. Im not one to back away from a heated discussion, so heres my two cents: I cannot imagine an individual or organization wanting to perform at the highest possible level without leveraging these tools to their utmost! The tools give sales and marketing professionals the capabilities to: Engage their customers in new ways. Gain additional insight into customers, markets, and prospects. Get important feedback about their own products, the competition, or their companys performance. Improve personal and organizational productivity or efficiency. If these are not sufficient reasons to delve more deeply into CRM, here is another view: Your customers and prospects are leveraging CRM tools, the Web, and social buying more than ever. The importance of these tools and their utilization by customers will only increase in coming years. If we are not intercepting our customers and prospects where they are, we are going to be missing more and more opportunities. This e-book offers a variety of provocative perspectives from thought leaders. They are designed to help you think about leveraging CRM and related tools to achieve concrete results. Too often I find that discussions about CRM, SCRM, and all the other alphabet combinations miss the point. These conversations focus on the tools, when in reality the tools are simply enablers and not ends in themselves.
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Introduction (contd)
The articles in this collection focus on crucial questions such as: What are your business strategies and priorities? Who are your customers? Why do they buy, and how do they buy? How do they want to be engaged? What role does each part of the organization (particularly sales and marketing) play in engaging and communicating with the customer? How do marketing and sales integrate more effectively in the new buying environment? How do you refocus marketing and sales, focusing on collaboration and eliminating the traditional silos? How do you create value for your customers? How do you create a compelling and differentiated customer experience? What are the key drivers to performance in your organization? How do you build your processes or define roles and responsibilities to optimize performance? How do you measure and track performanceboth within your organization and in terms of your customers? Until you answer these questions, its impossible to get the greatest value from CRM, SCRM, Sales 2.0, or whatever other tools you might be using. But if you take the time to articulate your strategies and priorities, then these tools can dramatically improve your organizations productivity and efficiency. David Tyner offers a view on sales forecasting accuracy in Exceed Your Sales Expectations. An expectation of every buyer of a CRM system is dramatically increased forecasting accuracyafter all, with all this information in the system, wont forecasting accuracy be improved? David suggests the challenge is not the system, but the underlying methods that organizations use to assess the likelihood of winning a deal. He suggests that our error is grouping all prospects into a single category and treating them the same. David provides an alternative approach by differentiating the type of prospects and how to work with each type. In Triple The Effectiveness Of Your Best Sales People, Ben Bradley offers insight on how to organize and integrate your sales and marketing more effectively. Improving focus, decrapifying marketing, developing core competencies around lead generation, and leveraging data in more comprehensive ways can all help improve the effectiveness of your people, freeing them up to focus on interacting directly with customers. The role of the salesperson is changing. Additionally, the role of marketing and how we qualify leads is also changing. Charles Green talks about this in How Social Media Are Ruining Your Lead Qualification Strategy. All the old rules and assumptions on which we base our traditional lead generation programs must change
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Introduction (contd)
in the social world and with social customers. As Charles points out, this is actually goodas long as we recognize the changes and leverage them in our lead generation programs. Social media offer us tremendous advantage in reaching out to customers, engaging them, leveraging their conversations, and generating leads in new ways. In Using Social CRM To Improve Communications, Cheryl and Douglas Hanna explain how todays social CRM systems invite customers to interact directly with the company, helping us engage and communicate with customers and prospects. Esteban Kolsky shifts the conversation from technology to goal alignment, collaboration, and integration in Is Social CRM Compatible With Enterprise 2.0? This is an important discussion because the whole point of all this technology is to help us reach our goals of engaging and working with customers and prospects. The best way to maximize the capabilities of these new tools is to define strategic goals and then leverage technology platforms in support of strategy. When I talk to executives about incorporating social media and networking into the marketing and sales programs their organizations conduct, I always get the question, How do we turn our investment in social media into sales and orders? In his essay Four Experts On How To Turn Social Media Into Sales, JD Lasica synthesizes the views of leading social media practitioners. How many times have you wished that you knew what your customers thought about a given issue? In the old world, you might have done some market research or convened a focus group. These methods tended to be limited, expensive, and slow in yielding results. In todays world, all you have to do is listen/engage/ask. I started this discussion with the bold statement, I cant imagine any high-performing individual or organization not leveraging these tools to their utmost. The articles in this e-book are just the beginning of the discussion. Read these articles and discuss the ideas inside your organization. Then start staking out your strategies and positions in the new worlds of marketing, selling, and buying!

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Introduction (contd)
Dave Brock is President and CEO of Partners In EXCELLENCE, a global consulting company focused on helping organizations achieve the highest levels of performance in sales, marketing, customer service, and business strategy. He helps individuals and organizations develop and execute strategies to outPerform, outSell, and outCompete their competition. Dave is an internationally recognized speaker, writer, and thought leader in leadership, sales, value propositions, marketing, strategic alliances and partnering, business strategy, and management. @davidabrock www.partnersinexcellenceblog.com

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Exceed Your Sales Expectations


David Tyner | Director of Sales, KinetiCast
Have you ever had a sales manager tell you that he was unhappy with how long prospects were lingering in your sales pipeline? If so, please forward this to him. Look at any CRM system and youll find plenty of common elements. They include fields for sales stage (with a default win probability), expected close date, and expected revenue. Using these elements, management typically forecasts by discounting the expected revenue based on the win probability (per the sales stage) and organizing opportunities according to expected close date. Thus management has an idea of what it can expect in terms of revenue over the next several months. This is all very basic Sales 101 stuff, but is often the source of unmet expectations between sales managers and their sales forces. Disconnects between sales forecast and subsequent sales performance usually arise because win probability is tied to the sales stage of the opportunity. For example, if an opportunity is identified, it has a 10 percent chance of closing; if its contacted, 20 percent; qualified, 50 percent; and proposed, 67 percent. It is my experience that, when looking at sales pipelines from a macro perspective, the source of the lead is the single best indicator of how long a lead will remain in your pipeline and the likelihood that it will survive to become a happy customer. Therefore, I suggest that you define the lead source at a very high level. In my CRM system, I have just three different lead sources. They are: Seekersthese are prospects that seek you out Soughtthese are prospects that you seek out Suggestedthese are prospects that were referred to you It is important to think of these categories when engaging with your prospects, forecasting your pipeline, and managing sales expectations.

The Seeker
On the surface, this prospect appears to be the best. After all, she is most like your mother in that she recognizes just how special you are. She has demonstrated admirable wisdom by successfully identifying you as someone who can potentially solve her particular problem. Perhaps she looked you up through a web search, found you through social media or just somehow innately knew that you were the (wo)man! More likely, she is using one of your competitors and has decided, for one reason or another, to contact you.
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Unless you represent the clear-cut industry leader, the notion of a prospect seeking you out should actually be cause for some concern. It should raise a red flag for you when companies look to spontaneously replace their current vendor. If they were a good customer, paid their bills on time and worked in partnership with their current vendor, why would they be looking elsewhere? If they were indeed a good customer and the incumbent vendor were moderately competent, that vendor, its sales team, and customer service staff would be bending over backwards to make sure their good customer was happy. Case in point, I was once contacted by one of my competitors largest customers. They called me in for a meeting and already had all of the information I would normally solicit waiting for me, accompanied by a list of one-sided, ridiculous demands. Against my recommendation, our company met their demands for reduced pricing and extended billing cycles as well as some other one-sided concessions. They quickly became my fourth largest customer from a revenue perspective. Frankly, I looked like a hero for the quarter. However, the stringent requirements of this customer caused me to have the lowest year-over-year growth of my sales career! My prospecting time was diminished and time

spent with profitable customers was cut. I was not able to methodically sell and produce the right kind of business. Eventually, the reasons why this company left its incumbent supplier became painfully obvious. In an unprecedented move, I presented a business case for why our company should fire this customer and no longer do business with them. We gave them 30 days to find a new vendor. Despite the loss of this revenue, I was able to sell far past the deficit and ended up in the top 1 percent among all sales people globally for my company. I still say that my best and most profitable sale that year was selling my company on the idea of cutting that customer loose. The moral of the story: be very cautious when a prospect seeks you out. Find out why they have sought you out. Be very slow to give concessions. Most importantly, establish a balanced, open communication system with them so that they view you as a respected partner and not a pawn.

The Sought
The Sought are the most challenging and have, by far, the lowest conversion rate. However, these prospects
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are the key to success for the B2B sales elite. If you want the highest quality leads, you have to seek and engage them for yourself. No one knows more about your products strengths and potential for success than you. No one knows more about the types of businesses that will have a painful problem that your company can solve. No one is as invested in wanting to close the right kind of business than you are! This is the prospect you are cold-calling, sending more information to, and trying to get time with in order to engage the right buying influences. The big challenge with these prospects is that they are extremely difficult to accurately forecast in your sales pipeline. A symphony of sales activity must take place, rapport built, relationships established, knowledge exchanged, and persuasion gently applied. After first contact, the entire sales process must be executed with flawless precision. Keep in mind that this prospect may shut you down at any time because, after all, they did not seek you out. Unlike The Seekers and The Suggested, The Sought have no initial reason to engage with you. Often The Sought will tell you that they are happy with their current supplier. To that, my response has always

been, If you are happy with them, wait until you get a load of me! Of course Im kidding, but seriously, the fact that they are happy with their current supplier is some of the best news you can hear. It may have more to do with their being a perfect customer than their supplier making them happy. Your job is to get to the right person or people with the right message at the right time.

The Suggested
These are relatively rare in B2B sales. When you can get them, they can be fantastic. Though not always an easy sale, they represent the opportunity to work from a position of mutual, professional respect. Unfortunately this is uncommon at the beginning of a sales cycle. The main challenge with The Suggested is that they are often not properly qualified. I recommend that you try to introduce as many of these prospects into your pipeline as you possibly can. Sources can include your own marketing department, current clients, social media, and your oldest and dearest friends. The B2B sales elite treats all prospects with the utmost professionalism. However, its especially important to go the extra mile with these prospects. Remember, your actions reflect not only on
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Exceed Your Sales Expectations (contd)

you but on the person that referred you. If you do your job well, you will have done the person who referred you the business a favor by making them look very smart for recommending such an outstanding company and sales professional. Lastly, make sure you report back the results to your referral source and, if possible, reciprocate by providing them with leads as well (e-mail me and Id be glad to share some ideas on how best to do this). Realizing that there are salient differences among the types of prospects is one of the first steps in understanding a sales pipeline. In reviewing potential sales opportunities, as a sales manager, how did they get here? should be one of your first questions. This will help you manage actions and exceed expectations.

David Tyner has 18 years of experience as a toplevel performer in sales and operations. He has been a perennial Presidents Club member throughout his career. Currently, Dave serves as the director of sales for KinetiCast, the simple, powerful, and proven online sales presentation tool for the B2B sales elite. As the director of sales, he helps sales people and sales organizations to exceed their quotas. He is the author of the KinetiCastsponsored Sales Salve blog and has been featured as a guest author for many top sales blogs. Dave lives in upstate New York with his wife and their two daughters.

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Triple The Effectiveness Of Your Best Sales People


Ben Bradley | Managing Director, Macon Raine
When did the job of selling get lumped in with everything else? Asking a great sales person to clean CRM data, lick envelopes and turn over rocks looking for prospects is not a good use of skills, time or money. Maybe this is why CSO Insights reported that only 52% of sales reps met their quota in 2009? Selling is the management of a very complex business process. It is complex because customers arent predictable and they dont always act reasonably. They need sales because they value the continuity of contact. Customers cant have a relationship with your brand; they need a person to have a relationship with. Do the math: a top closer with a $2 million annual quota creates value worth $1000 per hour ($2,000,000/2000 hours=$1000/hour). Asking your top relationship managers to turn over stones looking for leads and updating CRM is costing your organization big. Prospecting is expensive. In the 2010 Miller Heiman Sales Best Practices Study, fewer than one out of five study participants reported using a prospecting plan. Yet, a full three quarters of top-performing sales organizations said they were consistent in this activity. There is a disconnect somewhere. At some point, as your sales organization grows, youll find it more cost effective to insert specialists into the process rather than ask your closers to manage the entire process. To triple sales, instead of tripling the size of the sales organization, the smart money looks for ways to triple the effectiveness of the best closers. So how should you do this? What is the fastest way to break away from the old habits and build new, scalable, repeatable and affordable processes for creating new sales opportunities for your best closers? The first task is the task of definition: Dont fight it anymore. Go ahead and ignore the marketing purists who believe sales and marketing are different. For you, now, as you think about taking the next step in the evolution of your sales organization and as you try to stretch your very limited budget, the job of marketing is to create new opportunities for sales. Period. The end. The job of sales is to carefully manage those opportunities and relationships until they are ready to become customers and provide feedback on ways to streamline and improve the marketing activities. Get on the same page. Get on the same page with what a customer actually looks like less than a third of Miller Heimans study participants agreed that their
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sales and marketing organizations were aligned in what their customers want and need. Decrapify your marketing: A January 2009 Customer Experience Panel conducted by IDC Global asked which of the following is the #1 thing a rep can do to improve the value of your relationships with the sales team and the vendor they represent? More than 40 percent of respondents said: Put aside the generic sales pitch. This meansit is okay to go off message or off-brand as you help your people build sustainable relationships with your customers. Give sales people time to do what they do best: It is easy to under-estimate the amount of work required to convert a qualified lead into a sale. From justifying ROI, recruiting and coaching an internal champion, managing expectations and competitive positioning, the skills required for successful selling are very different from the skills required for successful prospecting. Expecting the same person to excel at both is unreasonable. Lead generation must become a core competency: Cold calling, trade shows, advertising and other big marketing tactics still work for lead generation. However, the time is not far away when a consistent

program of long-tail content, SEO and word of mouth marketing will become your primary source of leads. The time is now to start understanding this reality and begin preparing your organization for the inevitable. Simple data matters: In B2B, it doesnt take a rocket scientist to know that you cant sell something to someone unless you know their e-mail, title, mailing address, company affiliation, and phone number. In other words, you cant sell something to someone unless you know who they are. Getting the right data, keeping the data clean and cultivating the contact data until the prospective customer is ready to have a conversation matters more than most think. If you love your data, your data will love you back. Slightly more complex data is even better: Once your data is clean, you are then ready for the big time with lead scoring and modeling online body language by tracking a prospects visits to the website, webinar attendance, downloads and other behavior to determine the best times to enage the sales team. You cant do the fun stuff until you get your data under control. How many net new names did you add to the CRM each month? Dont be content with the existing database. Every month there should be a concerted
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effort to bring new names into the CRM. Even if you have a huge flow of inbound leads into your website each month, the acquisition of new names ensures your marketing remains proactive as you hunt for new key accounts. The type of person who is comfortable cleaning data, who understands key account selling and is happy being the guardian of data is very different from the type of person who is happiest in front of customers. It may be the best qualified person for this role is not a sales person at allbut rather a specialist that understands the tools and techniques of marketing AND selling.

Ben Bradley is managing director of Macon Raine, a public relations and marketing agency. Known for wearing plaid and sweater vests before they were popular, he writes about the intersection of marketing, technology, and business. As an avid indoorsman, his primary interests include technology adoption, change management, micro-finance, network and physical security, collaboration, networks, and groupware.

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How Social Media are Ruining Your Lead Qualification Strategy


Charles Green | Founder and CEO, Trusted Advisor Associates
You may have noticed it already, or it may be lurking in the background. Youll see it soon enough. Your traditional lead qualification methods are under attack from new social media. And that is not a bad thing: its a good thing. As long as you recognize it. In other words: the goal of most approaches to lead qualification is to get rid of those least likely to buy, in the least costly manner possible. And as long as the two implicit beliefs hold truethere is an unlimited number of leads, and they are all independent of each otherno problem.

Traditional Lead Qualification


Traditional lead qualification strategies are based on two implicit assumptions. First, that there is an infinite number of leads. Second, that those leads are largely independent of each other. The combination of those assumptions leads most businesses to think of lead qualification as an exercise in efficiency. Heres a sample quote from one leadqualification vendors website: your selling assets can spend their valuable time selling to prospects that have the need, the budgets and the necessary decision making ability to purchase. No longer will your sales arm have to waste time flailing around trying to find the gold nuggets within an inquiry pool.

How Social Media Changes the Game


Enter new social media. Suddenly assumption number one looks nave. It always was nave; we all knew in the back of our minds it was nave, but we could afford to ignore it. But now that you can slice and dice data about potential customers in infinite ways, the finite nature of that number appears much more clearly. Yet the real killer is assumption two. The whole point of all social media is that they are, in fact, social. Your customers talk to each other. In a nutshell, thats the revolution. As I heard SAP put it a few months ago, CRM systems used to capture all the dialoguebetween seller and customer. Only now, theyve realized that was only 5 percent of the real dialogue. The other 95 percent of the real dialogue happens between customers.
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How Social Media are Ruining Your Lead Qualification Strategy (contd)

How Social Media Impact Lead Qualification


Now we can see the impending collision. If your attempts at lead qualification are based solely on sellers efficiencies, then they are likely to be fast, impersonal, machine- and bureaucratic-driven, and low on customer sensitivity. Phone sales reps will be incented to get you off the phone ASAP, impersonal website forms are designed to shunt you off to another machine as soon as possible. Massive efficiency-driven lead qualification programs are practically designed from the outset to cut relationships off as soon as possible, keeping just a few high-potential opportunities. But now customersand potential customerscan and do talk to each other. And the more they talk, they more they build impressions. In the old days, the rule of thumb was that a good experience would be relayed to five people, a bad experience to maybe 20. In the days of social media, you can add several zeros to those numbers. And the elapsed time can be days, even hours. Suddenly, efficiency-driven seller-centric lead qualification programs can be seen as brand-name destroyers; marketing-killers; and a fast route to downgrading the companys reputation.

Suddenly, the old approach to lead qualification is destroying marketing effectiveness.

The New Lead Qualification


The implication is that no longer can we separate lead qualification from marketing. The way you handle potential customers is intimately bound up with the creation of the companys imageevery bit as much as customer service, or existing marketing programs. From here on, lead qualification has to take its cue from the inbound marketing movement. How you treat people affects how they treat youand word gets around. Lead qualification now has to be viewed in a longer time context, and as part of an integrated approach to branding, image enhancement, and demand creation. In simpler terms: take 1020 percent more time to help your leads, offer them value, make a positive impression, create future demandcall it what you will. Just dont treat them as unlimited, unconnected, blank faces to be harvested; how you treat them is how the world will treat you.

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How Social Media are Ruining Your Lead Qualification Strategy (contd)

Charles Green is an author, speaker, and world expert on trust-based relationships and sales in complex businesses. Founder and CEO of Trusted Advisor Associates, he is author of Trust-based Selling and co-author of The Trusted Advisor. He has worked with a wide range of global industries and functions. Charles works with complex organizations to improve trust in sales, internal trust between organizations, and trusted advisor relationships with external clients and customers. He spent 20 years in management consulting. He majored in philosophy at Columbia University and has an MBA from Harvard. A widely sought-after speaker, he has published articles in Harvard Business Review, Directorship Magazine, Management Consulting News, CPA Journal, American Lawyer, Investments and Wealth Monitor, and Commercial Lending Review, and is a contributing editor at RainToday.com.

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Use Social CRM to Improve Communications


Cheryl Hanna | Blogger, Service Untitled
Customer Relationship Management began as a process to help companies manage their customers and potential customers using a database full of information about their buying habits. It helped companies maintain and improve customer relationships and hone in on the most successful and promising target audiences. From there an organization could concentrate on potential new sales, support, and marketing strategies to retain customers and find new ones. Now we have progressed to Social CRM, which takes the original CRM concept and adds new communication channels via the social web, all with the goal of creating better customer relationships. No longer do customers just call and speak to customer service representatives; customers speak to each other, comment on articles, research common opinions, and blog. The emergence of social media forces companies to track what is being said about them and who is saying it. When a company isnt aware of public sentiment, clients and customers may perceive that the company just doesnt care enough to respond. A recent Nielsen survey found that Twitter is the primary online communication medium today. Twitters unique visitors have increased 1,382 percent since 2009. So why not use this popular line of communication to positively engage customers and build trust and brand loyalty? Here are some suggestions to help you leverage Twitter and Social CRM generally: Brand AuditingBe aware of what is being said about your companys brand. Watch criticism, review feedback, and pay attention to marketing successes and failures. Making the Personal ConnectionSmart salespeople have always gathered personal details about their customers. They have always used this information to deepen relationships with clients by sending them birthday cards, communion cards, favorite chocolates and the like. But now we have the Get Social Twitter Pro Module, which helps companies leverage customer relationships by tracking a clients last 20 Tweets to develop insight about the clients life and daily activities. Market TrackingCompanies can track users and consumers who love a product but arent necessarily customers of a particular brand. For instance, I have
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a Keurig coffee maker which I find incredible, yet I was not the purchaser. Still, positive consumers like me are potential customers. Company SupportSocial CRM systems can track keywords and give continued support about a product. When someone from the company is listening, angry customers can be immediately identified and referred to a customer service agent who can act upon negative comments and avoid potential damage. Practicing Social CRM invites customers and clients to interact with a company and manage customer relationships with more success while saving money from potential unknown fire storms and risking the loss of valuable customers. Cheryl Hanna is a real estate agent and freelance writer living in South Florida. She writes about customer service and the customer service experience at www.serviceuntitled.com. You can email her at cdh732@gmail.com or see her posts at Service Untitled.

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Is Social CRM Compatible with Enterprise 2.0?


Esteban Kolsky | President, thinkJar
At a high level, Social CRM vendors and Enterprise 2.0 vendors are pitching the same product. They use similar words: collaboration, share, engagement, conversation, and social (oops, maybe not all the same words). The concepts of what they deliver are very similar as well: collaborate with customers to build a better business, collaborate with employees to build a better business. Unfortunately, that is where the similarities end. As strange as it may sound, I have encountered no Enterprise 2.0 initiatives that have actually made direct contact with the customer. Almost as if doing something for them is sufficient and talking to them would ruin it. In spite of all the talk of customercentricity, the Enterprise 2.0 projects are still pretty much company-centric. The reverse of the coin is not much better. CRM and Social CRM projects have been bragging about their customer focus for quite some time as well. They point to different implementations of Customer Experience Management or similar CX initiatives as proof that they care about the customer. Talk is cheap. Wihle CRM and Enterprise 2.0 initiatives often gather customer feedback, that feedback is seldom used or even understood. Whatever good intentions are present in trying to make CRM and Social CRM more customer-centric, vanish in the reality of implementation. Hmmm. Maybe, just maybe there are similarities we can work on. The two initiatives want to be customer-centric, both want to be more collaborative, and both are not getting it right the first time around. Maybe, just maybe Compatibility through goals? Sure. As a matter of fact, the proposal of building a social business on the way to creating a collaborative enterprise relies on that compatibility of goals. The concept of creating a shared platform where customers and organizations can work together to create a better process that will deliver greater value to both of them is not flawedit has been proven to work quite well. Organizations that work jointly with their customers, giving them access to the necessary systems as if they were employees, tend to have happier customers.
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There is something to that idea Is compatibility of goals the only area where Social CRM and Enterprise 2.0 are pulling in the same direction? If you dig a little deeper, the two projects leverage similar tools. Features, bells, and whistles may vary from one camp to the other. But at the core, the basic functions are the same. Collaboration, Integration, and Platform-driven development are the same whether you are talking about customers, consumers, partners, or employees and functions. The jobs may differ, but the tools used and the systems and platforms they rely on are similar. Vendors have not explored these similarities in details. Its here that the promise of collaborative enterprise shines. We have similar goals, similar infrastructurewhat about similar operating principles? This is going to be the critical point in blending these two disciplines going forwardhow they operate so that all stakeholders benefit, while building value for the organization.

Convergence will be less about technology and goals, those are easy, and more about making it all work together. Dont you think? Esteban Kolsky Esteban Kolsky is the founder of thinkJar, a consultancy and think tank specializing in helping vendors develop better enterprise applications and users create awesome strategic customer experiences. He previously was an analyst with Gartner, researching customer service and customer experience, and assisted with the planning and deployment of several hundred CRM, call center, and contact center solutions for Global 2000 organizations. Today he continues to help vendors and organizations to improve their relationships with customers and is recognized as a thought leader in the areas of collaborative enterprise, social business, social CRM, and all matters related to customer interaction management.

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Four Experts on How to Turn Social Media into Sales


J.D. Lasica | CEO, Socialmedia.biz
One of the enduring questions in the social media landscape is: Can we really use social tools to move the needle financially? That topic was met head-on recently at an event in San Francisco titled How to Turn Word of Mouth and Social Media into Sales. Here are some takeaways from the speakers remarks at the sold-out gathering: Who: Becky Brown, Director of Social Media Strategy, Intel Comments: The brand advocacy program is a huge part of how we measure social media success at Intel. We listen to influencers who are talking about Intel. The company uses two main social media tools: Radian6 to measure sentiment and Objective Marketer to manage campaigns. Be resourced, Becky said. Use employees and advocates and agencies. She said it was important to use listening tools to find people who are not your brand advocates, who are negative advocates. And take it on yourself. You cannot ask an agency to read all your posts for you. You cannot get college grads to handle your Twitter account. These are real customers talking about your brand, so engage with them directly. I dream of a day when I have a team dedicated to positive and negative responses on these networks. (Disclosure: Im a member of the Intel Insiders social media advisory group.) Who: Tony Lee, Vice President of Marketing, TiVo Comments: Summed up the credo of Silicon Valley well: If youre not failing quickly, youre not doing an interesting enough experiment. Take chances. Launch multiple programs and initiatives. TiVo stands traditional marketing on its head with its decision to incentivize and reward its long-time customers over newcomers just coming into the showroom floor. We now give our best deals to our best customers. (Yay! Ive had two TiVos since 2004 and wrote about the company in my book Darknet.) Your customers arent stupid. There are times when you need to listen. If a customer is screaming and rude, others will understand. Its OK to ignore people who are rude.
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Four Experts on How to Turn Social Media into Sales (contd)

Who: Rob Fuggetta, CEO, Zuberance Comments: Rob cited a company that assayed customer loyalty with the ultimate question: How likely are you to recommend our brand or product to a friend? Customers responding 0-6 were considered a detractor; 7-8 a passive; 9-10 an advocate. Great advice: Rob told brands to involve customers by inviting them to respond to questions and make it easy for your advocates to engage with your brand. He pointed to a campaign by HomeAway, a vacation rental site, and said that its success lay in interactions with its communitywe just gave them a way to connectrather than offering giveaways or free T-shirts. He pointed to a lawsuit just brought against TripAdvisor, which was sued for defamation because, the litigants alleged, the hotel guests posted inaccurate reviews. Audience reaction? Overwhelmingly on the side of TripAdvisor and the unfettered flow of opinions, right or wrong. He talked about a $20,000 investment by ClubOne that led to a $180,000 return69 percent of participants in a 14-day free offer brought a form into ClubOne to try out a membership, and 15 percent of those people

purchased memberships. You can measure with great specificity the results you get from social marketing. Final words of wisdom? Put in $1 and get $10 back by launching a word of mouth campaign that stokes genuine conversations about a product or service. This is earned media, not paid media, where fabrication and marketingspeak hold sway. Who: Michael Brito, Vice President of Social Media, Edelman Digital Comments: Michael underscored the difference between a brand influencer and an advocate. Advocates are talking about your brand even if you ignore them. Influencers, for the most part, require incentives. They offer insights into a product in exchange for a quid pro quo, such as access to write a story. It all comes down to trust. Edelman issues an annual trust barometer, where publishers and journalists are high on the list (first time Ive heard that in a decade!) while marketers are not. If you look at your advocates across the Web, their reach is much greater than being featured on the front page of TechCrunch, he said. Listening and doing nothing is worse than not listening in the first place.
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4 Experts on How to Turn Social Media into Sales (contd)

J.D. Lasica, one of the earliest social-media strategists, is a consultant to Fortune 1000 companies as well as mid-size companies, startups, and nonprofits. He is widely considered one of the worlds leading authorities on social media and the revolution in user-created media. J.D. is chief executive of Socialmedia.biz, wrote the book Darknet, about emerging media, founded Ourmedia, the first (free) video hosting site, and speaks at a wide range of conferences. J.D. lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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