It’s no secret that controlling the sales process has become more challenging. More often prospects rely on web resources and the opinion of peers in making purchasing decisions. Absent the opportunity to establish one’s unique value proposition, the differentiator becomes price. The logical extension of this scenario is a price battle among suppliers of similar or identical products, resulting in the erosion of both profit margin and the value of skilled sales professionals.
One way to try to avoid with this conundrum is to identify and connect with the decision makers that can help you win the sale. Stakeholders will respond to a trusted resource for information and guidance. This is not a new concept. Think referrals. Think networking. Now think Dynamics CRM with Social Insights.
Social Insights is a new feature resulting from a strategic alliance between Microsoft and InsideView, providing accurate account and contact information to use for research, list building, making social connections, and more (lots more but we’ll get to that in another blog post). Social Insights is available at no additional charge to Dynamics CRM users with a Professional level license. Social Insights was released in Q4 without a lot of fanfare. This belies the fact that it has the potential to deliver tremendous value to Dynamics CRM users in the B2B space, and consequently provide Microsoft with a competitive advantage in respect to other players in the CRM space.
Upon activation, Social Insights can be configured to appear within CRM users’ contact, lead, account and opportunity records. Social Insights presents several types of company information, aggregating data from many sources.
Some of the most useful information includes contact information for managers and executives. You will find email addresses and phone numbers, profiles from social networks such LinkedIn, and more. You can filter a company’s contact list by department and management level to narrow down your search. Users can import account and contact information into Dynamics CRM with the touch of a button, eliminating the time and inconvenience of manual entry. Import these as lead or contact records to augment your existing lead list or to find additional influencers you may not have access to yet. You can also “follow” individuals to get alerts whenever they appear in a news article, tweet, or press release.
Here’s where we start making connections between your own network and individuals in the Social Insights database. Import your own business contacts and social connections (i.e., Outlook contacts, LinkedIn, and Facebook) and you’ll be able to see the connections you share with the contacts in Dynamics CRM. Reach out to your personal and business connections to request warm introductions to the key contacts you want to engage.
With a little work on your part, Social Insights can provide an enormous amount of value, helping you make connections and close sales!
Best of Luck!
If you have any questions or immediate Dynamics CRM needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
xRM3. Because business is not two-dimensional.