Taking Social CRM theory and potting it into practice

In one of the Social CRM experts groups fellow group member Michael Brito asked some very interesting questions. I thought it’s worth sharing here.

The Xeesm team and their partners do about one Social CRM implementation per week right now and here is their experience:

1. Who owns social CRM (It’s easy for all of us to say everyone does, but that’s not reality quite yet; even for basic social media marketing)

We developed a co-ownership model. The actual application (which ours is) is owned by the sales team to operate. But the way the product structure is (contact information is contributed and managed by the customer), all the actual contact information is owned by the customer. The actual opportunity information is owned by the sales team but can be shared with the customer. The actual “social relationship” is co-owned by the sales person and the customer person. So if a sales person leaves the company, he or she still keeps the social relationship, but the opportunity of course remains with the organization. Now there is a lot more to it – but it may give you a first idea how it can be orchestrated.

2. How do I get organizational buy in and support?

I guess that is independent of Social CRM – that is a corporate culture question. Here is a little anecdote: One of our clients spend close to $1,000,000 in training and a major upgrade in their traditional CRM system last year. Now some people wanted our system but you can already guess what IT and Finance said. Now here was their math:
240 sales people cost the organization 48,000,000 a year – all in. How important is it to protect a $1 Million investment and sacrifice the effectiveness of the $48 Million investment

3. How do I expand globally? What’s the infrastructure look like? What do I need to budget for database integration?

Now that is a very technical question. But if you look into a true Social CRM system that is (see above) co-owned by the market, “database integration” is a very different topic compared to traditional CRM. You will learn that a Social CRM system is a different beast in terms of data management. “Data” is not important “Information” is very important. We teach IT to differentiate between free flowing *information* and corporate confidential *data*. Once you are there, the integration piece is actually not that difficult.

4. What are the policies that need to be implemented internally, externally?

First of: forget to implement “external policies” if you need to force your customer to stick to your policy you lost already here. Then teach your team to stick to the external policy (which doesn’t exist) and you are cool – just kidding. But seriously, take one of the very many social media policies that exist. Here is a list of over 100 social media policies http://www.socialmedia-academy.com/blog/index.php/resources/social-media-guide-lines/

5. How do we go about training the organization? Do we hire externally or manage ourselves?

I suggest to do it in two steps:
1) Check out http://socialminutes.com a easy to use kick start to social media
2) Once you have a picture what your customers are actually doing you will be able to decide what kind of training you need. The biggest problem though: 90+% of sales trainer train what made them successful 10 years ago – definitely NOT social media related.

6. What’s the escalation policy?

Good thinking! Obviously that very much depends on your product, market, customer behavior, and many other things. There is no “general answer” unless I misunderstood the question.

7. What if there is a crisis? What’s the process for handing?

That’s part of the to be developed escalation procedure.

8. What’s the workflow process?

Again that is company AND customer base specific. Part of our thinking is “stop the cookie cutter seven step sales process” It is out of date and completely disconnected with the way people buy. THAT IS actually the point why you most likely come and decide to explore a Social CRM system in the first place. Otherwise you would stick with your multi million $ investment.
While the work flow is rather custom there is a pattern we see:
* Social Media Monitoring (primarily done by marketing)
* Opportunity identification (done by a pre sales team)
* Social selling phase I (there are several steps to stay close to the prospect / customer)
* Community integration
* Opportunity collaboration (with the prospect – regardless of the sales stage)
* Buying decision process
* Customer onboarding (after P.O.)
* Customer service integration
* Advocacy process (Making the customer to an advocate)

I know it’s a long answer but it was a set of loaded questions

on Friday we run a 90 Minutes Best Practices Training

Axel
http://xeesm.com/AxelS


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