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Social Media Strategy and CRM Application: Importance of Context
Blog / Entrepreneurs / Mar 31, 2014 / Posted by Nikolaus Kimla / 5079

Social Media Strategy and CRM Application: Importance of Context

Keeping track of your Social Media Strategy via your CRM ApplicationIn the last year or so, the importance of social media to a CRM application has been all the rage. “Does your CRM solution support social media?” seems to be the question on every CRM pundit’s lips.

It is a valid question, if only because of the preponderance of both companies and individuals that are today interacting through social media. If you’re going to engage a prospect, some social media strategy had better be in the mix.

Taking a step back, it can be readily seen that the importance of social media engagement really depends on what your customer base is, the type of commerce you conduct and the product you sell; the context of your sales and marketing environment.

Social Media Strategy in B2C

The most obvious type of commerce in which social media strategy would be important would be business-to-consumer—B2C. Consumers are generally all over Facebook, for example, and might also be taking part in Facebook groups and communities that relate to your offering. Through CRM application you would want to monitor and interact with prospects and comment on relevant status updates.

Companies that market direct to consumers also normally create their own Facebook profiles, and Twitter profiles as well. Marketing messages (the more creative, the better) can be regularly posted or tweeted to followers, keeping them interested in your product or service.

For B2C, it can also happen that an opportunity can be taken advantage of when potential customer comments on the interest in your product. Opportunity management can be made much more easier as the opportunity can then be tracked and acted upon right from your CRM application, when it supports social media.

Social Media Strategy in B2B

But how relevant is social media to B2B sales? The answer: it is relevant—but only to a point.

As we learn from a study of insight selling, everything possible must be learned about a company, its buyer or buyers, and their buying patterns. At the outset of a sale, social media could play a part if your target company engages in a lot of social media activities; these could be followed and knowledge of the company could be gained.

Another angle is the obtaining of insight into the individuals with whom you will be dealing. Today the chances are high that one or of them is active on Linkedin, networking with other professionals. It is also highly possible that they are personally active on Facebook and other platforms. Your CRM application should be able to track this activity and help you plan your social media strategy.

This kind of information is useful to your initial contact with the buyer; you can comment on posts he or she has made in a professional capacity, and even (if it is appropriate) on Facebook or Twitter posts regarding aspects of the person’s life outside the company. If done right, this can help solidify your initial rapport with the buyer at the outset of the buyer-seller relationship.

But beyond that initial contact, other factors that fall outside the purview of social media become far more important. Of first importance is your product or service—is it something that will truly assist the buyer’s company? Unlike B2C sales, the buyer isn’t usually interested in what your product will do for him or her personally—he or she is making this purchase for the company.

Almost as important (and many would say as important in today’s B2B commerce universe) is the relationship you establish with your target company. Your understanding of their issues and your keen address of them is what moves a sale forward through the sales process.

In this respect, knowledge of your buyer’s personal comments and activities—and even of opinions on general business activities—gained through social media are going to count for very little. At the end of the day, it’s the benefit that both you as a salesperson and your company’s product or service bring to the target company that will result in your achieving the sale.

A CRM application should certainly support social media and be a part of your social media strategy. Such facility should certainly be utilized. But how that facility is utilized is, importantly, a matter of context.

Stay tuned for more articles about upcoming features of Pipeliner CRM. Subscribe to our RSS feed and be always the first to know. Get your free trial of Pipeliner CRM now.

About Author

CEO and partner of pipelinersales.com and the uptime ITechnologies, which I founded in 1994 and has since played a significant role in the development of the IT-environment. pipeliner is the most innovative sales CRM management solution on the market. Pipeliner was designed by sales professionals for sales professionals and helps close the gap between the requirements of C-level executives for transparency and the day-to-day operational needs of field and inside sales. I am also the founder and Initiator of the independent economic platform GO-AHEAD!, which orientates itself on the principles of a free marketplace in terms of liberal and social responsibility. Connecting people, the trust of business leadership in terms of values such as freedom, self-responsibility, and entrepreneurial spirit, and strengthening their awareness in order to create a dynamic boost within the economy triggered through spontaneity, all stand for the initial ideas surrounding GO-AHEAD! I studied in Los Angeles and Vienna and received my Masters's Degree in 1994. I am married and have 3 children My Specialties are in: Sales Management, Sales CRM Software, CRM Cloud Solutions, SAAS, Business Strategy, Software Development, "Pipeline Management", Social responsibility, outbound sales, b2b sales, inside sales, sales strategy, lead generation, sales process, entrepreneurship, coaching, mentoring, speaker, opportunity management, lead management, Austrian School of Economics

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