Gerhard Gschwandtner posted a very thought provoking post about Social Business on his blog at Sales Power Blog and I added my comment, which I wanted to also post here on my own website.
The whole topic of Social Business brings in so many dimensions, it makes CRM seem straight-forward in comparison, and there was significant investment, pain and unfulfilled expectations aplenty in that field over 20+ years, so Social Business will be a long term, disruptive change.
To me, content, conversation and collaboration (put forward by Gerhard) represent 3 stages of the journey, one building on the previous. And beyond there is potentially Cultural Conversion (in a religious, heart and mind, sense to pick another ‘C’)
There is also the people, process and technology triplet, where people includes both vendors and buyers, process is the sales cycle and also the buy cycle, and technology is the multi-layered apps, infrastructure and carrier, to draw on the IBM layered architecture of 25 years ago.
There are also the strategic, operational and tactical dimensions, simplistically at company wide, departmental and campaign/personal, embracing top down, or indeed the bottom up approach.
Where CRM was/is essentially internal, Social Business is fundamentally bridging internal and external, and therefore an order of magnitude more complex as a change project.
Hubspot and other pioneers have the advantage of a Sales 2.0 mindset and a blank sheet of paper, and their success will enable these changes to cross the chasm to early majority and beyond.
The Rock Star analogy (put forward in another comment in response to Gerhard’s post) is excellent – one succeeds handsomely while 99 struggle. In the era of social business the one successful company may well achieve that by taking sales and customers away from the other 99 who are just slightly behind the curve.
We live in interesting, and challenging times.
It’s great to be part of it.
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