The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, is the reason we’ve invested significant time, effort and budget into deployment of, and training on CRM systems. When 80% of all business is conducted with 20% of your customers it is essential to identify and communicate with the hungriest market segment so that you can sell and service those most likely to do significant business more effectively, whether that be engagement with existing clients or through the cultivation of prospects into new members of your 20% club.
It’s a familiar anecdote though to hear that “just as I finally got CRM working the way I wanted my provider chipped in with, ‘that’s great, a real step forward! Now, let’s talk social CRM…’” At that moment it can feel like you have just mastered the art of how to do it wrong.
All business is of course already social – it always has been and it always will be - and even the strongest relationship, in both business and beyond, needs an element of skilful social management in order for it to flourish. In the early stages of the CRM revolution there was a painful divorce between tech and these skills as things became clinical and routine and the love got lost. Only now is the reconciliation truly complete with the importance of ‘relationship skills’ once again at the forefront of
The future is now
No longer is it deemed acceptable simply to be in a relationship, you are expected to work at it.
This is not something new that you need to learn – you already know how to do the social side through your existence in a society, and your CRM provider simply supplies the social features you need to put that knowledge to work for you.
Social CRM is an extension of the tools you already use to monitor relationships, not a complete retooling. It is the use of social channels integrated with traditional CRM tools and processes to support a holistic strategy of customer engagement. Here at Enable, internally and with existing clients we talk a lot about the exciting possibilities of Social CRM, Social Enterprise and the exciting, ever changing landscape that is transforming the way we do business in the 21st century. Even though these skills are innately ingrained in all of us, implementation remains an exciting and innovative subject.
There is much to do amending and documenting business models, policies, best practises, actual processes and even in articulating the methodologies that we need to employ to actually implement it effectively. Great business people invariably have great instincts, and never has it been more important to trust those instincts than when embarking on a Social CRM policy. To train and then trust your staff, sending them out into the marketplace armed with everything needed to skillfully manage each situation
to a successful conclusion and bring home the business.
A vibrant internal enterprise social infrastructure servicing a well-informed workforce finely tuned in the
art of customer relationship management is now achievable for businesses of all shapes and sizes, and using cloud technologies it’s easier to manage and more affordable than ever. It’s a significant part of what we do at Enable, and it’s exciting to be involved in a sector that is taking great strides forward on an almost daily basis.
Over the coming weeks the Enable blog will delve in depth into some of these topics and how they can help your business, so make sure you check back regularly.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!