Mitigate prospecting and sale-closing challenges – Use CRM and community solutions

Sales Challenges series, part 2

Yesterday, we opened the Sales Challenge series by looking at challenges around messaging and the solutions to mitigate them.  Today, we’re going to investigate challenges around prospecting and closing sales and the ways in which you can use CRM and community solutions to resolve them.

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Social media is about more than marketing

I watchlist a variety of blogs and articles about social media because Intellicore Design Consulting is building part of our consulting practice around offering community solutions.

What strikes me is that the focus in mostly on making marketing initiatives for (again mostly) B2C businesses.

And that’s a great way to use social media.  However, social media outreach is about so much more than marketing.  It’s about forging connections and collaboration.

Community venues like Facebook and MySpace and their corporate equivalents might get most of the press but, in my mind, they’re only one piece of the social media environment – and of the least value to most B2B businesses.

What sort of community and collaboration do most B2B businesses really need?  Let’s dish...

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4 tips for building strong customer relationships using online communities

The Internet is a good news bad news invention.  The good news is that is gives companies greater outreach than we’ve ever had before and that’s beneficial either to provide or acquire services and products.  The bad news about the Internet, though, is that it can create a lot of clutter.

To ensure your company and its messages are heard, you need a strong foundation that will allow your company to rise above the clutter.  There are a number of strategies to accomplish this goal but, in my mind, the foundation requires a strong relationship with your customers and prospects.

One approach to construct this foundation is via online communities.  Let’s talk about how....

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Speaking of the cumulative power of blogging

Just two weeks ago, I blogged about the real value of B2B blogging and today I want to revisit the topic after seeing an interesting phenomenon in one of my blogs.

It’s one of my personal blogs but it still illustrates a point.  See, in the blog in question (not this one!), I’ve been stacked up this week and failed to post.  Imagine my surprise, though, to pop into my web statistics and discover a great week of visitations anyway.

Here's why...

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Bring back the love – advertiser vs consumer

Community Network’s normal stomping ground is the B2B arena but the video included in this article shines such a bright light on the misalignment that’s occurring between companies (advertisers) and consumers in many of today’s companies.

What the video highlights is just as relevant for the B2B market as it is for the B2C.  Check it out and see how much it resonates with you.

If by the end, you’re feeling like Claire Coffee, then you’ve got an intuitive understanding, if not a literal one, of what it means to want a good customer experience….that delightful sense of company/customer participation that extends beyond customer centricity.

The videos’ originator is

And now, Bring Back The Love videos…...

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Internal corporate communities – making great music together writers Mike Schultz, Publisher, and John Doerr, Contributing Editor attribute words of wisdom to Benjamin Zander, founder and conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra.  In a conference for business leaders Zander said,

The job of the conductor is to get the best music out of the musicians. His role is to coach, encourage, support, and occasionally push. But the conductor never makes a sound.

That got me thinking about internal corporate communities. 

If handled correctly, internal corporate communities are one way for corporate executives foster communication, collaboration, and participation among employees....

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It's all in the dance -- What's makes successful online communities

The numero uno factor contributing to community success  is the ability to connect with others, so say a little more than 50% of survey respondents of 100-ish companies who participated in the Deloitte-Beeline Labs 2008 Tribalization of Business study.  Another factor, scoring a little more than 40%, is the ability to help others.

Know what I immediately thought of when I first read the study results?  Dancing.

Let me tell you why because it gives a clear metaphor of the power of online communities...

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Spend marketing dollars effectively during a trashed economy

Where are companies investing their marketing dollars as the economy turns down?  Two blogs in my reading list posed this question recently.  One is Jeremiah Owyang and the other Marketing Sherpa.

Their posts stimulated my own post on where companies are likely to gain the greatest bang for their marketing bucks and why.

To set the stage, we'll start with some wake-up results from Marketing Sherpa and then I'll segue into  answering some where and why questions posed by Jeremiah...

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