Getting Your Social CRM Strategy Right: Steps 1 - 6

Getting Your Social CRM Strategy Right: Steps 1 – 6
Social CRM Strategy

By Barton Goldenberg

Organizations often embark upon a Social CRM initiative without having a clear vision of where they want to go and how they intend to get there. Needless to say, these organizations are the ones that end up reporting that their Social CRM implementation results are below user expectations. Is this any surprise for organizations without a Social CRM strategy?

There are a few organizations on the other hand that take the time to properly define a Social CRM vision and use a structured methodology to create and realize their Social CRM strategy and implementation road map.  Not surprisingly, these organizations tend to be ones that report implementation results that exceed user expectations.

What follows are steps 1 – 6 of a 12-step process for creating any organization’s Social CRM strategy.  Perhaps the organization has already accomplished one or more of these steps. An organization should use the complete ISM 12-step methodology as a checklist to ensure that each step has been properly addressed before moving forward with the Social CRM initiative.

Step 1: Prepare an Executive Social CRM Vision

Gaining the support of the top management team is critical to driving the success of any Social CRM initiative.  One way to accomplish this is to spend between 30 and 60 minutes with each of the business leaders from the organization’s customer-facing departments along with the CEO to discuss their Social CRM vision.

Step 2: Determine Social CRM Business Requirements

To uncover business requirements, set up additional 30 to 60-minute interviews with at least a dozen front-line personnel that work with customers all the time.  Then, write an Interim Business Requirements Report that summarizes and groups the findings by business function areas whether this is sales, marketing, or customer service.  Once needed alterations have been made, the Business Requirements Report now becomes the ‘final’ version.

Step 3: Identify Social CRM Technology Opportunities/Challenges

In Step 3, the organization will want to review current Social CRM technology trends and share these with the business leaders of customer-facing units.  Invite the CEO and other executives, if possible to discuss these trends. Document the results of the meeting.

Step 4: Determine Key People Issues    

Once identified, the Social CRM strategy should include recommendations about how to overcome each of the identified people issues. People issues have always been, and will forever be the reason why a Social CRM initiative succeeds or fail.  Do not underestimate their importance.

Step 5: Develop a Long-Term Technical Road Map

To determine what technologies will be needed, the organization’s technology subject matter experts associated with the Social CRM project team typically conduct research regarding Social Media platforms required to deliver on identified business requirements as well as their integration with Social CRM applications.  The end result is a technology road map that hopefully will provide appropriate guidance throughout the Social CRM implementation.  Be sure to document the technology road map, including an agreed-on timetable for implementation of the road map.

Step 6: Identify Business Process Issues

For each customer-facing business area, conduct cross-functional business process meetings to identify and document key Social CRM business processes in the areas of sales, marketing and customer service.  Assess each Social CRM process in terms of the seven business process success criteria: ownership, goals, metrics, interfaces, documentation, integrity and ‘fit’ with business vision.

I will discuss Steps 7 – 12 in my blog post next week.

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The Definitive Guide to Social CRMBarton Goldenberg, is the founder and president of ISM Inc., customer-centric strategists/implementers serving best-in-class organizations globally. As a CRM leader for 30 years, he was among the first three inductees in the CRM Hall of Fame. Recognized as a leading “customer-focused” author, his latest book, The Definitive Guide to Social CRM, is hailed as the roadmap for Social CRM success. Barton is a popular speaker on “maximizing customer relationships to gain market insights, customers and profits”. He is a long-term columnist for CRM Magazine and speaker for CRMevolution and frequently quoted in the media.