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    Four ways that social CRM can boost your bottom line

    If you're at the point where you'd like to take your business to the next level, consider leading your customers through the sales pipeline with social customer relationship management (CRM) software.

    A quality social CRM application will improve sales-related operations, increase the overall productivity of your sales force and ultimately generate more revenue for your small- to medium-sized business.

    Here are four ways that a social CRM will help you boost your bottom line.

    1. An increase in engagement

    The use of social media, from a business perspective, focuses significantly on engagement. That's why analytics tools, like Twitter Analytics, will show you the level of engagement for each of your tweets. It's one of the most important metrics.

    Using social media as a tool helps to put a human face on your business to draw more engagement. You'll build a healthy online image if you let a great CRM application assist you in the management of your social media profiles.

    A social CRM will show you who is saying what about your business, who is engaging with your online social media updates and the extent of your reach on various social media channels. It's an invaluable tool if you want to measure your outreach and set goals.

    As an example, Cleveland Brothers links to its social media profiles on the company's home page. If you follow those links, you'll see that some of the company's updates have more engagement than others. The company could use a social CRM tool to determine which types of updates receive the most engagement and make it a priority to post updates like those.

    Also, social media is great for fleshing out prospects. When someone reaches out to your business via social media, you can begin the process of walking that person through the sales funnel. You can also avoid spending your precious time with the tire kickers.

    2. Ease of information access

    A CRM will help you store your important information in a way that is both permanent and easy to access. That way, you can keep track of pertinent contact information about your leads and existing customers who are prospects for a resale.

    Also, many CRM applications store information in the cloud. That means it's always backed up and stored off-site from your location so even if there's a fire or robbery at your place of business, your data is safe.

    3. Efficient customer service

    Great customer service is no longer an option. Companies are going out of their way to make the consumer experience as efficient and painless as possible. As a result, it's in your best interest to ensure that your company is offering high-quality customer service.

    One study by American Express found that people who use social media for customer service say "they'd spend 21 percent more with companies who deliver great service - compared to 13 percent on average."

    A social CRM application will allow you to manage your multiple social media accounts from a single user interface. That will give you the ability to follow up on inquiries faster and easily keep up with what's trending on your various profiles. Ultimately, that will lead to better interaction between your business and its customers and improve sales.

    4. Improved sales and marketing productivity

    One study has found that when people use social CRM, they were 11.8 percent more productive. That same study showed that 21 percent of employees who use social CRM claimed to have a productivity increase of greater than 20 percent.

    One of the greatest features of a powerful social CRM application is that it can be tailor-made to different sales reps. Some of them might want to perform geotargeting; others might want to look for prospects on social media; some might want to filter existing customers based on a defined set of criteria and target them for remarketing.

    The best way to invest in a social CRM application is not only to invest in the software, but also in quality training so that you and your employees know how to get the most out of it.

    About James White

    James White is a content specialist for SEO Company Go and blogs in his free time at InfoBros. His articles have been published by ConverStations, Thought Catalog and IP Watchdog.
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