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Dynamics CRM - What Is Social CRM?

Social media integration is the clock radio of software features – they stick it on everything, whether it needs it or not. On the other hand, there are applications that benefit from a social focus and CRM, with its emphasis on communication, collaboration and customer tracking, is at the top of that list. So, what makes a CRM ‘social’?

The closest we’ve come to a consensus on what makes a CRM social involves two parts. However, they’re used interchangeably and there’s no guarantee that any given product is going to meet both criteria. It can be confusing, but hopefully breaking down each one will help you understand what social CRM can do.

Internal Communication

Whether between sales reps, with the marketing team or to the implementation staff, communication is key when working with a client. That’s why the first element of social CRM is about making it easier for your team to collaborate in real time.

In Dynamics CRM 2013, Yammer serves this role and you can think of it like sales Facebook. Instead of following people, you follow opportunities, contacts and accounts. You can post questions and documents for the whole organization or deal only with other users following a specific item. Like any good social network, it’s easier to manage than an email chain and it’s all on the on record.

Social Listening/Analysis

The most direct way to monetize social media is to collect leads from customers that are talking about their organization, your company or your competition. Truly social CRM gives you tools to listen for those conversations in the social space and react to them from your CRM. This bridges the gap between marketing and sales on the social front and makes it easier to measure the effects of social media on sales.

Last year Microsoft bought NetBreeze, a social analytics and monitoring company, and it’s planning to roll that functionality into Dynamics CRM in Q2 of 2014. It tracks the volume of conversations on given topics, the number of mentions your organization is getting in the social space and what the overall sentiment is. You can do all of that using current social media tools, but social CRM automatically puts that information in the hands of sales as well as marketing.

Every major CRM product is moving to incorporate social elements and you could be forgiven for writing off another wave of hype about ‘social integration’. However, social CRM is a reality and it will to add value to your sales and marketing efforts.

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