Social CRM – are we there yet?
Anita Holley, Head of Marketing EMEA
The statistics are damning – British business doesn’t appear to be ready for the social customer. Our infographic below shows that just 16% of British businesses have adopted Social CRM, while 17% are completely unaware of its existence.
Only 21% are planning to implement, while 46% have absolutely no plans to “go social” with their customer relationship management software just yet.
This is in stark contrast to the social customer. 42% of social media users have used their social accounts to contact a brand, and 61% are willing to give feedback. Indeed, social customers are getting increasingly impatient with brands and their lack of response. 25% of those who complained on social networks (Facebook and Twitter in this instance) expected an answer within the hour, and 6% within 10 minutes!
So… the customer’s impatient, waiting for a reply – and only 15% of businesses bothered to respond at all. Imagine if the other 85% had, though… we know that social CRM can improve productivity of the sales team, but it’s the customer service aspect that’s really lacking.
If you want to see social CRM in action, try complaining to a few brands today. Myself, I’ve already had a pop at my broadband supplier and my mobile phone company today, and I’m pleased to see that both are on the ball, at least from a social point of view (if only they could be so quick on providing a timely service!)
The objective for businesses, then, is to catch up with their customers. We need to move from social chatter to social reality, and quickly – otherwise British business faces getting left behind by a market that is infinitely more agile than ever before!
Why is integration between LinkedIn and CRM so important?
Anita Holley, Head of Marketing EMEA
A year ago, before I started working from Maximizer Software I would spend my Wednesday mornings, with my team, loading marketing leads – I have to admit it was a miserable and labour intensive job.
But yesterday the task was significantly easier thanks to Maximizer CRM and the great lead automation functionality. Now, instead of spending time manually adding leads, my team and I can ensure the quality of leads is high (and I am proud of our one in three conversion rate) by reviewing the information we hold on each new contact via LinkedIn, which is very handily integrated with Maximizer.
In my opinion, LinkedIn is probably the most under-rated yet most valuable social media channel in a B2B marketer’s arsenal. Unlike Facebook or Twitter (which, to be fair, were never set up for business use), LinkedIn has remained a truly B2B social network, with professional groups sharing ideas, conversations, business strategy advice, plus access to contact information. In minutes of logging into LinkedIn, I have all the company and contact information I need to process a lead… I can even identify whether the contact is truly the decision maker! (And if not, I visit the company LinkedIn profile, identify the Management Team and create a secondary campaign targeting the more senior managers – referencing the fact that Maximizer are already in conversation with a colleague).
The information on LinkedIn is invaluable and our Sales Team appreciate the additional effort the marketing team and I make to provide it. But using LinkedIn, in conjunction with a CRM system, for many marketers is still a time-consuming struggle, due to the manual backwards and forwarding required. And if these marketers have increased lead targets but a static budget, ‘time’ is a commodity – that is why, for me, efficient integration between LinkedIn and CRM would be a real benefit and a highly powerful marketing tool.
In an ideal world, I guess what am I looking for is relationship data that identifies a contacts needs and concerns. Social Media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook and from a B2B perspective LinkedIn have this information and I want it; in my CRM!
I want to be able to open my CRM and see all new prospect details synchronised with their LinkedIn profiles, and as well as the company’s web address, the company’s LinkedIn profile too. And finally, the holy grail for any marketer, the identification of the Management Team of that company through the original contacts connections. I can only dream of the marketing possibilities such information could inspire.
Imagine how targeted your marketing campaigns would be if you received an alert from LinkedIn when one of your prospects posted a question based on your product, or sought professional advice your business could provide. Plus, with the contacts LinkedIn information at your fingertips, not only could you respond to such a request, you would personalise it to the individual contact, enhancing your relationship and increasing your chances of a sale.
I am truly grateful that Maximizer offers me and my team a way to link and track contacts according to their LinkedIn profile in our database automatically. This makes lead processing a happy time, instead of an arduous task involving handfuls of browser windows on random websites, they can just look up the company or contact directly from Maximizer in LinkedIn and link them giving everyone in the customer cycle an easier way to gain access to current data. And, as I mentioned at the start of this blog, I use this integration to gain a holistic view of customers and prospects and I pass this information on to my sales teams, so they too can develop stronger relationships.
And, although true integration and synchronisation is a matter for software development with its own timescales it’s great to see our product roadmap is actively working to bridge the gap.