Companies are increasingly communicating with their customers via social channels like Facebook and Twitter in addition to more traditional channels like call centers. While doing so might give customers a "warm fuzzy," these social interactions can be difficult to translate into more tangible CRM benefits.
To get tangible benefits, companies will need to integrate social communications with their existing CRM data, advises Bruce Temkin, managing partner of the Temkin Group. "I define CRM as information about customers, with processes and activities layered on top of that data. That has to be integrated into the customer experience effort. If your voice of the customer program sits in [customer experience management], which it often does, and isn’t linked to CRM, which it often isn’t, that’s a silo you don’t want to have,” he says.
Actiance is addressing this need for integration with a new connector for its Socialite social media enablement platform and Salesforce.com. According to Actiance, the connector enables employees to account for and monitor sales discussions happening across social media channels and tie each communication to follow-up data recorded in Salesforce.
With the connector, users' Socialite connections are automatically linked to their Salesforce accounts and contacts, Socialite activity is sent to Salesforce when contacts provide feedback or respond to posted content, and summary reports of social activities from Salesforce contacts are provided.
The Socialite platform also includes an analytics engine that allows managers to assess the impact of the distributed content within their network and measure the results on sales and network growth, thus making it easier to evaluate sales programs, highlight top-performing employees and identify best practices that can be broadly implemented.
"Businesses understand that social sites can add value to the company's sales teams, but haven’t deployed the right tools to fully track specific social media activities and map that activity to a prospect or customer’s entire profile," said Scott Whitney, VP of product management at Actiance. "Working with Salesforce, we’re bringing sales conversations and related social interactions together for the first time, greatly enhancing the information sales managers and teams have on prospective clients. The impact of social media on a businesses’ bottom line can now be mapped to specific activity, showing true ROI of these new forms of communications."
The Salesforce connector will be generally available on August 31 as a no-cost option for Socialite. According to Actiance, the Socialite platform offers the ability to manage access and content shared across 200 features on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. It logs conversations and content, captures posts and deletes, and provides for the export of data to an archive for review and retention to help companies fulfill any regulatory requirements. Actiance customers include nine of the top 10 U.S. banks.