Simplistic CRM never earned much credibility with the sales guys when it came to prioritizing their work. Lead ratings were typically hot, medium or cold and set fairly arbitrarily, often by marketers applying dumb rules. So few reps actually changed their behavior based on a lead rating. Even marketing automation systems' behavioral scoring rarely holds much weight with the sales folks, so they don't rely on those scores to prioritize their call-down lists.
But combining the traditional profile (explicit), behavioral (implicit) and time-based (decay) scoring with the new information from social networking enables a much more realistic and real-time indicator of prospect interest levels. Of course, we can never know what the prospect is thinking, but social CRM now give us a lot more information about what they are doing.
There's still a fine business case for simplistic CRM systems. When they are done right, you can expect double-digit improvements in key sales and marketing metrics. But the really big gains are going to come from social CRM. The new data, the deeper collaboration and the increased insight should drive at least double the improvements we've seen so far. The numbers aren't out yet, but don't be surprised when they show meaningful increases in the profitability of the marketing and sales business process.
David Taber is the author of the new Prentice Hall book, " Salesforce.com Secrets of Success" and is the CEO of SalesLogistix, a certified Salesforce.com consultancy focused on business process improvement through use of CRM systems. SalesLogistix clients are in North America, Europe, Israel and India. Taber has more than 25 years of experience in high tech, including 10 years at the VP level or above.
Read more about customer relationship management (crm) in CIO's Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Drilldown.