Recently I’ve been working with colleagues on some surveys that we’re planning to dispatch to customers in an effort to more finely tune our definition of a “lead,” and at the same time measure the level of CRM expertise a potential client has when they begin the sales process with us. In the process, it’s really shed some light on the role that social media could play.
When it comes to selling CRM, I think we encounter a problem that a lot of B2B businesses do: understanding the level of expertise a prospect has about your products/services and how they should be applied to solve their business needs. Let’s face it, selling CRM software to an SMB that doesn’t really understand the concepts of CRM presents a major hurdle. Nor is that the vendor’s fault or the customers, it’s simply a fact of life. Some customers know more than others. But being able to filter those prospects via lead nurturing into “buckets” for handoff to sales at the right time is a big part of the marketing/sales relationship in a B2B business model.
As part of this nurturing process, different buckets will be looking for different levels of personalized data that speak to the combination of business problems each prospect is looking to solve, and thus how they view your products; information a sales person needs to know. How a company provides that information can go a long way to closing a sale. It’s here where I could see social CRM playing a big part in facilitating the answers in a timely and relevant manner.
In a style very similar to a knowledgebase for customer self-service, why not leverage a social community as a knowledgebase where FAQs during the lead nurturing process are stored, along with their corresponding answers and other relevant content? I think it could provide a great tool for allowing prospects and leads to find the answer they’re looking for, and ideally (if the vendor is tracking these actions), a way to more accurately discern which “buckets” leads should fall into, thus speeding up the sales process and providing the background information to prospects that puts your company’s products and services into a more positive light.