Social Business Software (Social Business Series I)


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Social CRM, Enterprise 2.0: Do I need one of those?

Social Business Series (I)

The articles in this Social Business Series are being written for real-life Sales and Marketing professionals in small and mid-sized companies, who are busy running their business and have not had the time to read everything  in the emerging Social-anything space or spend a lot of time in consumer social websites.

If you are looking for a formal definition of Social CRM, Paul Greenberg’s is the most broadly accepted. We won’t dwell in theoretical definitions here, we want to focus on what that means for the users of CRM tools: Sales Managers, Sales People, Marketers, Customer Service Representatives, and all other areas of the company involved in Customer Relationship Management.

Social CRM Software: What does it mean to me?

When people say Social CRM or SCRM (also CRM 2.0 in the past) they are usually referring to tools and processes that focus on the same general problem areas as traditional CRM software (sales, marketing, and customer service process automation, contact management, sales performance management, marketing campaign management, etc), but utilizing emerging social computing technologies (more on that later).

Social CRM software attempts to better connect and leverage social channels and tools to improve response time, support stronger engagement with customers, scale personal relationships, and ultimately create a better experience for your customers (which, in turn, should improve the performance of your business).

Imagine a CRM tool that monitors LinkedIn and warns you when an existing contact changes jobs or is promoted. It uses other available tools such as Jigsaw and Google Maps to keep your database clean and up-to-date. Imagine being able to engage with customers at a personal level (as you can when you have lunch with them every 3 months), but continuously and without intruding their routine. Imagine tools that let your happy customers influence your prospects to accelerate deals, integrates with existing forums to facilitate self- and peer-support.

That is the promise of Social CRM.

Enterprise 2.0 Software: What is that?

This terminology has been used to refer to software that use the same social computing technologies to promote internal collaboration and alignment between people and functional areas inside a corporate environment. The popularity of the term is partly attributed to the publication of the book “Enteprise 2.0” by Andrew McCafee, but the leaders of that movement are trying to evolve terminology into Enterprise Social Software.

Enterprise 2.0 tools attempt to use social tools and techniques (wikis, online discussions, real-time communication, streams, tagging, search) to shift the corporate infrastructure from the indirect interface such as static file sharing and reports (common in old tools such as SharePoint and ERP systems) to interactive, real-time collaboration.

Imagine a company where people at any level have access to the data they need in real-time. Imagine customer input continuously being directly applied to the product development process. Weekly project management meetings involving 20 people from all areas of the company turns into continuous interactions integrated to people’s routine. Imagine having a true business dashboard where you can follow key performance metrics in real-time and know of problems and discrepancies as they happen.

That is the promise of Enterprise 2.0.

Social Business Software: Let me guess…

Obviously, there is a lot of overlap and commonality between the technologies, scope and promises of Social CRM and Enterprise 2.0.

While this is not yet a well established terminology, Social Business Software seem to be emerging as the term to describe the convergence of the internal and external socialization of corporate engagements.

Social Business promisses to transform how companies work to adapt to an era where:

  • Information is available and accessible to all, empowering customers to take more control of the buying/selling process
  • People born after the 1980’s, who grew up influenced by the digital medium and behave differently from previous generations, become active consumers and take decision-making positions in business

Business that cannot evolve will not be able to compete as that market transition happen in the next few years.

Also in this Social Selling Series

If you found this article useful, stay tuned for the other articles in this series:

  • Social Business Software: Social CRM, Enterprise 2.0. Do I need one of those?
  • Social CRM Use Cases: How can it, specifically, improve business performance?
  • Consumer Social Media: What business should do about Twitter and Facebook
  • CRM to Social CRM: Is that a gradual transition or a revolutionary change?
  • Where Leads come from: The New Marketing Funnel is not where you think
  • Open Leadership: How you need to adapt to lead a new generation

As we develop this series, we welcome suggestions of topics of your interest. You can get notifications by e-mail about the publication by subscribing to the RSS feed of this blog.

This article was originally written for and posted at http://www.theclickcompany.com
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