EtoB : businesses in the era of social web – the social CRM

It is quite an evidence to say that BtoB businesses do not focus on the same aspects of the customer experience. For a typical buyer/customer, a brand’s values are somehow less important than one-to-one engagement with the seller, as it usually involves a personalized and (hopefully) long-term relationship between both parts.

Whether in lead generation, selling, or customer service, human relations and personal qualities are keys, which mean that tapping into the social web will soon become unavoidable for most companies.

By public demand…

Generating leads is becoming a two-way process, and listening to your customers allows you, not only to know them better, but to serve them better. Every market is now quickly becoming a niche market, whether by fragmentation or by emergence of tailored products and services. Taking part to the conversation will allow businesses to sell customers what they need, not what they, as a company, think they need.

From leads to customer service, the social CRM

If generating a positive sentiment through brand’s engagement is still an important factor, always comes the moment in the sales process where concrete criteria of choice rule: performances, customer support, and price. As the way customers interact with brands evolve, traditional CRMs fall short in capturing one essential factor: the acceptance of these criteria. To be successful, a BtoB company not only has to sell its products or services at the right price, but must also ensure its customers stay happy with this price to build a long-term relationship. Sentiment upon concrete criteria will soon matter as much as those criteria themselves.

As more and more advices and experiences are shared online, listening about every aspect of a commercial transaction is becoming critical, and the use of social CRM tools will soon become mandatory to allow companies to leverage their own offering in order to foster trust and consumer loyalty. With no doubt, the social web is about to reshape the whole way companies do business, starting from the sales process itself for BtoB companies.

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