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How to Fine-Tune Your Social CRM to Capture Leads From the C-Suite

posted by Margaret Spencer on June 4, 2012

Recent studies reveal a rising trend of C-level executives participation in social media, and there’s evidence to believe this will extend well into the future. The fifth Global CEO Study by IBM highlights a significant percentage of CEOs are seeing a shift toward social media in the next 3 to 5 years. For B2B marketers, this means more opportunities for generating fresh leads that really matter to the business.

fresh leads, leads database, C-level leads databaseBut with such opportunities come risks marketers must face. One of these risks is not having an adequate CRM approach to deal with and capture prospects from the C-Suite. Traditional CRMs may no longer be up to the challenges of addressing a socially-connected target markets and may altogether fail in growing your leads database. That’s why it’s very important to rely on other variety known social CRM to enable you to take full advantage of the C-Suite’s arrival to the social media world.

Let’s first brush up on the basics. Many people mistake the term “CRM” to refer to a piece of software. Although customer relationship management does depend on some level of software involvement, CRM actually refers to a strategy or philosophy of dealing with customers and prospects. Put that in the context of social media and, in theory, you have yourself a social CRM. In practice, however, it’s not that simple. Here are five general guidelines to help you maximize your social CRM strategy.

1. Collaborate internally.
Among the reasons why C-level executives are going social in droves is the ability to crowd-source ideas from within their organizations. Your social CRM strategy should allow various levels and departments in your company to meet and make sure you’re heading toward the same end. Enterprise social networking platforms enable you to achieve this and are also widely used today.

2. Interact and participate.
Social media marketing is pointless if you don’t proactively interact with your social media community. With your C-Suite prospects, you should be able to respond to questions or concerns as well as participate in dialogues and conversations. The key idea here is to be interesting and engaging enough for members of your social media circle.

3. Reach out.
Social networking itself is simply an electronic version of the basic human action of reaching out. Aside from making new connections to increase the potential size of your C-level leads database, social networking also involves sending and receiving personalized communications inside and outside your social media circle.

4. Monitor, measure, and manage.
An adequate social CRM allows you and other personnel in your organization to assess your campaign’s progress or lack thereof. Your social CRM platform should always give you an informational edge at every level and stage in your project. Aside from internally-generated data, you should also focus on external factors such as trends in order to make more informed decisions.

5. Balance manual & automated aspects.
While social CRMs largely revolve around the digital realm, full automation isn’t exactly a plausible option. In many instances, you may need to manually respond or intervene. This is seen in the case of auto-responders versus manual email responses. Obviously, fresh leads are better nurtured with direct human intervention while reporting and measurements are better handled automatically.

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