The Facts about Social Business Adoption

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While those people working with social are getting some value of it, most don’t know how to take social technologies and adopt processes to it, said Esteban Kolsky, analyst with thinkJar after his presentation at the CRM Evolution 2012 conference in New York City.

Kolsky’s analyst firm questioned over 300 people in a study about the adoption of social technologies in business.

Here are some of the key findings from the study:

  • Confusion of the value of social networks does not hinder adoption. In general, across all CRM services (e.g., marketing, sales, service) the social aspect still has lots of confusion.
  • Virtually everyone believes that social media will become a key communications activity with customers.
  • Social media is a new set of channels for the business to use, nothing more.
  • The volume of social media information to track and access is overwhelming.
  • Today, adoption of video and pictures is huge. Esteban argues that people relate to the images more.
  • 1 out of 4 senior managers “get” social media as a business tool.
  • Two of the biggest hindrances to adoption of social media are, in order, security issues, not understanding the benefits, and not sure which business cases can leverage social media.
  • The survey was split into thinking and adoption. When it came to questions about adoption, there was about a 50 percent drop off.
  • Marketing is using social simply to provide information.
  • Only 37 percent see social as an area for escalation which is the opposite of what customers do. On Twitter, 93 percent of interactions get escalated.
  • Knowledge creation and knowledge management are going to drive social in the service space.
  • For employees, they found usefulness with their corporate blog, Twitter, video, pictures, and the social business platform.
  • 43 percent have been using social media for more than 24 months.
  • 39 percent of people believe that social CRM is not applicable, are not using it, and are not interested in using it. Esteban believes this number is low since they sent a certain percentage of surveys out via social media.

Current state of social

Right now, content is the key aspect of social CRM. There’s little understanding as to how generation, management, tracking, and reporting work with social. There’s no strategic plan, yet. Next stage is analytics and measurement and then finally the goal will be a collaborative enterprise, said Kolsky.

CRM 2.0 is for Sales Management

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What is your sales staff doing to help sales management figure out which customers to go after, asked Jim Dickie, Managing Partner of CSO Insights in his presentation, “CRM 2.0 for Sales Management,” at the CRM Evolution 2012 conference in New York City.

To develop your business, you have to find great sales people specific to your business and second, find the right customers to help your business grow.

Sales DNA assessment

You want people that will not only be successful but will also want to stay for a long time. You can determine that by looking at these three criteria, advised Dickie:

  • Innate Talent: Are they strategic or tactical? Long term or short term?
  • Culture Fit: How do they fit within the culture of the organization?
  • Acquired Skills: Will they be happy here over time? Even if you bring on a great salesperson, but they’re not happy, that’s a bad hire.

What customers should you go after?

Salespeople often go after high performance customers, meaning those that are great consumers of your products and services. Problem is these customers could be low potential meaning you’ve maxed them out. Dickie suggests you seek high potential customers that are low performing. There’s greater opportunity in that space.

In sales today the sin is not to lose. The sin is to take too long to lose. That’s why analyzing your pipeline can’t be a once a year process. It has to be ongoing. Dickie argued that it’s OK to have a decreasing pipeline if you’re getting more out of the customers you’ve already got.

The Sales Ecosystem

The sales ecosystem is a combination of things that are in and out of your control. You must constantly deal with economic shifts, competitive landscape, political environment, and prospecting. Even if you come up with the best strategy to handle it, nothing’s going to happen unless you have the culture to support your strategy.

Hiring the right talent, finding customers with great potential, and building a strategy with the right culture, is the great new potential of sales management.

Dickie concluded with this thought from Allan Lam, SVP for Fairchild Semiconductor:

“Do I have the capacity to persevere? Do I have the stomach to face failure? Let’s be really frank. If you embark on a journey like this and two years down the road the efforts are not showing any results, you can lose your job, but I also believe that if you don’t do anything, you are going to get fired anyway.”

SimplyCast Integrates with Zoho CRM

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This is a Guest Post by Michael Cusden, Marketing Manager at SimplyCast.

The entire team at SimplyCast is thrilled at the addition of Zoho CRM integration to our list manager. Since it is our goal to help our clients access important customer data no matter where it is stored, it only makes sense to include Zoho.

SimplyCast’s all-in-one marketing solution & Zoho CRM are used by businesses to manage customer information in order to create targeted online campaigns. SimplyCast is an web-based marketing platform that provides users with automation and the ability to engage with clients on the preferred mode of communication.

A key component of SimplyCast is its all-in-one model that lets users create professional email, survey, voice, event, fax, SMS, press release and Twitter campaigns from one account and send accordingly.

SimplyCast selected Zoho for CRM integration because of Zoho’s proven ability to provide high levels of functionality and performance, and to provide an automated way to import contacts from Zoho CRM to their application.

Zoho CRM integration enables Zoho users to manage their leads and contacts making sure online marketing campaigns managed in SimplyCast always have the right lead, prospect and customer information included. Users will have the ability to seamlessly upload contacts, leads and prospects with no exporting from Zoho CRM or worrying about incorrect customer data. Read more

Inserting and updating records on Zoho CRM automatically from Zoho Creator

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Zoho Creator forms can be embedded on webpages for data collection. Upon submission, a copy of the data can be inserted into any module on Zoho CRM associated with the same account. This is done using the dedicated DELUGE Tasks for Zoho CRM. But what happens if the data already exists on Zoho CRM? Will it be duplicated? Will it be overwritten? Will it be merged?

Well. That which you want, happens.

Take this simple contact form that can be embedded on a website. Presume, for every new contact, you want an entry in Contacts module of Zoho CRM. But if the contact already exists, then you want to update the record. For every new entry, this form fetches records from Contacts Module in Zoho CRM, and checks if the email address already exists. If a match is found, then the other fields are updated. Else, it is added as a new contact on Zoho CRM.

You need to ensure that the field names specified in the script have to be the same as those on Zoho CRM Contacts module. Install this sample application on your account to view the script.

The Future of Mobile CRM

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Everyone agrees that a mobile CRM strategy is critical, yet so few are doing it. Instead of trying to find people who are using mobile CRM, I decided to ask people what they wanted out of mobile CRM. It was simply a free form discussion trying to understand what people’s ultimate desire was for mobile CRM from the perspective of employees using the tool in the field, and customers engaging with the company from their mobile device.

At the opening party at the CRM Evolution 2012 conference in New York City, I asked people, “What would you like mobile CRM to look like?” Here are their answers.

Embarrassing Things Happen When You Don’t Use Zoho CRM With The Mail Add-On

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I’m not going to preach about the benefits of Zoho CRM, or why you should use it with our Mail Add-on.

Instead, I’m just going to highlight what happens when you don’t.

Below is an email, a real email, I just sent to the VP of Sales or a company that was trying to sell us some service. Fine company, but they are not using Zoho CRM with the Mail Add-On.

This is not the first time, in the recent past I’ve had the same experience with other companies trying to sell me stuff. From now on, they’ll get similar emails. I just made this a template in Zoho Mail.


ps. I changed the names  to protect the innocent ;) Everything else is verbatim.


============ Forwarded message ============
From : <my email>
To : <VP of Sales Email>
Date : Wed, 29 Aug 2012 14:56:37 -0500
Subject : Fwd: Re: New Partners
============ Forwarded message ============

<VP of Sales> –

Hello! We have never spoken before, but I’ve spoken to two of your sales reps – <Sales Rep 1> and most recently, <Sales Rep 2>.

The reason you’re getting this email is because, see, after some lengthy discussions with <Sales Rep 1>, I decided not to sign-up with you guys, and we left it there, amicably.
Then, <Sales Rep 2> contacted me again this week – starting from scratch (I understand <Sales Rep 1> left).

Now, this is not the fault of your sales guys. It’s just they don’t have the right tools.

The most valuable communication between you and your prospects/clients is stored in your email. When you combine your email with your CRM, not only you can avoid embarrassing situations like this, but most importantly you can provide better service to your customers; and everyone in your team can stay informed about what’s going on with each prospect.

Zoho CRM allows you to combine your email (any email you’re using) with your CRM. Painlessly. No BCC:, no nothing.

Yes, I understand you’re currently using Salesforce, but well, we just saw how that is not working too well for you guys!

Let me know if you’re interested in learning more and I’ll connect you with one of our account managers.



Who’s Benefitting from Integration and Mobile?

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Companies that are more strategic in nature, meaning they look at how their actions affect the whole organization and how they can bring it together for a common good, are more likely to be integrating social at the application level. They’re bringing social into CRM, marketing automation, and customer service, said Brent Leary, Partner with CRM Essentials, in an interview at the CRM Evolution 2012 conference in New York City.

What’s more important is those that are integrating social into their applications are 2 to 3 times more likely to see benefit from social tools. That’s because a strategic organization is, by its nature, working more collaboratively, said Brent Leary, referencing a social business study he conducted in partnership with the SMB Group about companies’ integration of service applications and use of mobile technologies.

Leary’s analysis tried to see if there was a dividing line between those companies that were using social and mobile strategically versus those that were far more informal and not integrating the services into their existing systems.

The strategic integrators are 40 percent more likely to predict increased revenues in the upcoming year as opposed to those that are more adhoc in nature. The ones who aren’t even using social from a business perspective are even further behind, said Leary.

Strategic players are also leveraging mobile. Not just from a productivity standpoint but also from a marketing and brand building perspective. They know they have to create content that looks good on a mobile device. If they want to build relationships and sell things they have to include mobility in their strategy, Leary said.

Integration and mobile are both costly endeavors. So I asked Leary if he only had a little money to spend, where would he place his dollars?

“If you really want to build relationships and get the customers eating out of your hand you really have to get into the palm of their hand first. So you have to come up with a mobile strategy, engage them where they are, and build from there,” said Leary.