Using CRM/Salesforce to Manage SMM

What is it?

According to destination CRM, “CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is a company-wide business strategy designed to reduce costs and increase profitability by solidifying customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy. True CRM brings together information from all data sources within an organization (and where appropriate, from outside the organization) to give one, holistic view of each customer in real time. This allows customer facing employees in such areas as sales, customer support, and marketing to make quick yet informed decisions on everything from cross-selling and upselling opportunities to target marketing strategies to competitive positioning tactics.”

Salesforce’s objectives are, “Sell more effectively with better sales tracking and real-time visibility. With Salesforce, every step of a sale—from phone calls and emails to collaboration with colleagues—is tracked in one place, so reps stay on top of deals and build stronger relationships with their customers.”

Salesforce touts the following statistics:

29% increase in lead conversion rates
21% increase in sales win rates
24% increase in deal size
26% increase in sales revenue
38% increase in sales forecast accuracy

The primary product of Salesforce is their web-based programs that track sales leads, project revenue, and help call center reps deal with problems. But customers have been asking for better ways to respond to social media. Their popular social media tool, Chatter allows companies to monitor what is being said on LinkedIn and Twitter. This winter a newer, higher priced option is said to be even better. An updated Chatter will allow businesses to set up social networks that interface with other users. They can have discussions and share documents. Salesforce is a tool to help boost sales and customer loyalty by harnessing the excitement about a product or brand on social media. Salesforce is a CRM or Customer Relationship Manager that gets businesses globally connected. Today relationships are more important than ever. Businesses formerly were deemed success or failure because of their physical location. Today a business needs to be a social enterprise. Customers need to be “friends.”

Who Should Use Salesforce?

Some businesses, including large companies have hesitated to delve into social media. Social Media Marketing or SMM is scary. The free-wheeling realm of conversation is not easy to control. Safesforce reminds would be users that when consumers are online shopping and trading product tips on Facebook or Twitter, the software can “help companies understand and profit from those desires and complaints.”

Today Toyota uses Chatter to create a network of electric car owners. Burberry uses Salesforce for its ecommerce site. KLM uses Salesforce to follow complaints voiced on Twitter. Disney has a Salesforce marketing campaign with a Facebook trip planner and photo sharing tool. Gatorade monitors Twitter and Facebook conversations at its Salesforce Social Media Command Center. Dell tracks social media users’ conversations about its brand.

View small businesses in US and Canada using Salesforce.

What is the Future of SMM?

Companies that embrace social media and cater to mobile shoppers will get closer to them. Customers that don’t interact with their market will get left behind. Salesforce recommends becoming a social enterprise. This means connecting and sharing, in business. Recognize that customers are just as likely to search for you on Facebook as they are to visit your website. A social context in business is a prerequisite for success.

View a Social Media Marketing Checklist for basics of getting started and poised for the future.

What can you do?

Start simple. Be online; active in as many social media avenues as you can manage. Use tools such as Google Alerts to be aware of communication online. Find out which networks your customers spend the most time in. respond to negative comments and have a procedure outlined for dealing with such (for example, direct them to customer service hotline).

Learn more about Customer Relationship Management at

Written by
Terra L. Fletcher
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