Salesforce 2.0 – Social Selling in the Linkedin Era

Enterprise 2.0 is the original term describing the ‘Social Enterprise’, the use of social media by enterprise organizations.

As the name suggests it’s ideal for the large enterprise, helping them better manage the chaos of information they generate, but it’s certainly not limited to them. Indeed the fundamental value of the Cloud is that it makes powerful enterprise-level software more accessible to smaller companies.

For example higher end solutions include Microsoft Sharepoint, customized with add-in software like SocialText, to enable private Twitter-like messaging within the organization to improve collaborative communications.

Smaller businesses have options like Igloo, offering the same features on a SaaS basis for prices starting as little as $99/month.

Collaboration 2.0

The principle business value of these technologies can be highlighted in this McKinsey article, Harnessing Your Staff’s Informal Networks, which for Sales purposes can be translated into:

  • Social Intranet –  Staff work faster and share information more efficiently through social media channels, using ‘Follow’ techniques to better stay current and connected with key news and data. This includes Sales who can stay up to date with important product information.
  • Deal Rooms – Sales teams can use Project Spaces to better project manage each of their opportunities, using Social Document Management to more efficiently manage bid response processes and produce deal-winning proposals faster.
  • Partner Portals and Customer Communities– Organizations can better support and enable their reseller channels, and better engage their customers, through the extranet features that make some aspect of the toolset available externally.

Social Selling

Salesforce 2.0 doesn’t stop here. It also encompasses the fact that there is the external world of social media that is a marketplace where where new contacts and prospects can be engaged using new tools.

  • Social Selling – Communities like Linkedin can be used to reach out to new contacts, as described by Sales For Life, experts in using social media for sales activities like building prospects to fill your sales pipeline, discussed in this series of articles.
  • The Social Media News Release – Similarly PR is also now socialized. As the name suggests the Social Media News Release is an example of how the traditional press release has now been augmented to utilize this new world. It standardizes additional features like link sharing back to your social communities and providing integrated download resources.
  • Best Practice Marketing – Sustaining regular relationship-building interactions via tools like Pardot, who specialize in marketing automation. This enables marketing teams to program a campaign of ‘ticklers’ to continually engaged prospects and progress them through a lifecycle of development, feeding them links to content like Social Media News Releases, as well as blogs and other expert materials.

Conclusion

The Cloud offers a portfolio of apps that can cater for the entire life cycle of finding and engaging with potential new customers online, automating the development of a relationship with them via content that is produced via internal collaboration tools.

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