Social Discovery of Business Relationships

Posted by | August 07, 2012 | Opinion | No Comments

Enterprises big and small are realizing that the capabilities introduced in consumer social networks can add immense value and productivity to the corporate world.  The growth in adoption of enterprise social networking tools like Yammer, Chatter and Jive is evidence that the way companies communicate internally among employees and externally with customers and partners is changing dramatically and permanently.

One of the fundamental reasons for this change is the benefit of social discovery.  Social techniques like groups, feeds, @mentions, and hash tagging enable employees to effortlessly discover content, expertise and information from across the company in ways that email just can’t touch.  There is a 2-day conference going on right now in San Francisco dedicated to this topic of social discovery.

So why don’t CRM systems to a better job of allowing Sales Professionals to discover social relationships?  Companies spend an incredible amount of effort, time, and money getting their sales professionals to enter Contacts, and update Opportunities.  Shouldn’t there be a reward for the teams on the front line driving revenue for inputting data into CRM?

After 10 years in sales & sales management at having seen SFA implementations big and small, simple and complex, I believe there should be much more reward and insights available to the selling professionals, and it should come from a company’s enterprise social graph.  The enterprise social graph simply stated is every relationship of every employee, customer and partner your company has, on line and off.  With all the efforts being invested in social media, one of the most valuable assets a company has, it’s collection of relationships, is being overlooked.  Layering your enterprise social graph into CRM can add powerful social discovery into the simplest of tasks that can answer important questions during a sales pursuit, and can drive significant sales productivity:

  1. What if a brand new Sales Rep at your company, by simply viewing an account in CRM, could immediately discover which company executives have meaningful relationships in the account?
  2. What if a Sales Rep could enter a new contact in a key account, and immediately discover colleagues that worked with that person at previous companies?
  3. Or one of my favorites, what if you could pull up an account and discover people in the account that used your product at a previous company?

Your enterprise social graph can tell you exactly those things and so much more!

Stay tuned!