Posted: August 7th, 2012 | Author: Greg Fiorindo | Filed under: Opinion | Tags: crm, enterprise social graph, social crm | 1 Comment »
Enterprises big and small are realizing that the capabilities introduced in consumer social networks can add immense value and productivity to the corporate world. The growth in adoption of enterprise social networking tools like Yammer, Chatter and Jive is evidence that the way companies communicate internally among employees and externally with customers and partners is changing dramatically and permanently.
One of the fundamental reasons for this change is the benefit of social discovery. Social techniques like groups, feeds, @mentions, and hash tagging enable employees to effortlessly discover content, expertise and information from across the company in ways that email just can’t touch. There is a 2-day conference going on right now in San Francisco dedicated to this topic of social discovery.
So why don’t CRM systems to a better job of allowing Sales Professionals to discover social relationships? Companies spend an incredible amount of effort, time, and money getting their sales professionals to enter Contacts, and update Opportunities. Shouldn’t there be a reward for the teams on the front line driving revenue for inputting data into CRM?
After 10 years in sales & sales management at Salesforce.com having seen SFA implementations big and small, simple and complex, I believe there should be much more reward and insights available to the selling professionals, and it should come from a company’s enterprise social graph. The enterprise social graph simply stated is every relationship of every employee, customer and partner your company has, on line and off. With all the efforts being invested in social media, one of the most valuable assets a company has, it’s collection of relationships, is being overlooked. Layering your enterprise social graph into CRM can add powerful social discovery into the simplest of tasks that can answer important questions during a sales pursuit, and can drive significant sales productivity:
- What if a brand new Sales Rep at your company, by simply viewing an account in CRM, could immediately discover which company executives have meaningful relationships in the account?
- What if a Sales Rep could enter a new contact in a key account, and immediately discover colleagues that worked with that person at previous companies?
- Or one of my favorites, what if you could pull up an account and discover people in the account that used your product at a previous company?
Your enterprise social graph can tell you exactly those things and so much more!
Posted: August 6th, 2012 | Author: reachableblog | Filed under: Opinion | Tags: social crm, social proximity selling, social selling | No Comments »
Editor’s Note: This article by Reachable CEO Al Campa was originally published on Business 2 Community.
With all the changes in business, one thing remains the same: business is about people. Despite globalization, technology revolutions, social networks, and razor-thin competitive margins, business is still about people working with people. People who can’t connect effectively with others rarely do well in business.
Consider sales, for instance. We buy things from people we have a positive relationship with; people we like and trust. And if those relationships stay positive, we keep buying from them, even if they switch companies and sell something different. The relationship and trust endure. Recent research indicated that a prospect is five times more likely to return a sales call if they have some type of personal connection to the sales person. This results in a 243% increase in effectiveness throughout the sales process. Sales managers would die for a 24% increase in effectiveness, let alone a 243% increase.
So one would assume that when companies assign sales territories and determine which sales reps will sell to which accounts, they would consider the strength of social relationships – or “social proximity” – in their assignments, particularly since there is a goldmine of relationships they can leverage, from their employees, customers, and partners. But most don’t. Most sales territories are still determined by geographic boundaries and physical proximity. Sales reps are assigned to nearby zip codes or area codes, or they are assigned by state boundaries where they live.
Here are three reasons why you should consider social proximity selling for your organization:
Increase productivity for outbound prospecting. The recent research I mentioned earlier showed that for every 1000 prospecting calls made, only 345 are returned if there is no personal connection but 849 are returned if there is a personal connection. That is a 243% increase in productivity.
Improve conversion rate for inbound leads. Inbound leads can be prioritized by the strength of the personal connection somebody in your organization has to a prospective account. This enables you to focus your sales resources on opportunities where you have an inside edge.
Get deeper penetration into target accounts. Target accounts can be assigned based on who has the strongest personal connections to them. This will allow you to leverage established relationships with key influencers and decision makers in order to extend your presence within key accounts.
In the past, it would have been difficult to determine who had the strongest connection to a particular person or account. But now, solutions are available that can mine social networks, email address books, and CRM systems for connections between your company’s expansive network of contacts and your target customer. Incorporating this social proximity into your sales process could significantly increase sales productivity and drive top line revenue growth.