How to use social CRM to qualify leads

The rise of social networks has opened up a whole new channel for small businesses to interact with customers and prospects. It is estimated that over four billion social media users worldwide spend an average of 145 minutes per day on a networking platform. So it's important that businesses, large and small, leverage social networks to tap into this valuable source of new customers and prospects. But it's also critical to consider how to incorporate social media into your customer relationship management. And that's where social CRM comes in.

What is Social CRM?

CRM stands for customer relationship management. The social part of the term refers to the focus on social media. But CRM stands for much more than that. It describes the process of how companies interact with their customers and strengthen relationships. Social CRM builds on this idea and encompasses engagement as well as lead nurturing on social networks.

It differs from traditional CRM, which focuses on the interaction between sales and customers by evaluating the publicly available data that leads, prospects, and customers share on social media. This data is then used to build a more comprehensive picture of their interests, likes, dislikes and lead potential.

It's also important to note that there is a difference between social CRM and social selling. The latter refers to the strategies that sales reps use to reach their target audience. Social CRM is the means of making those contacts.

How to find the right social CRM for your business

Whether you want to integrate social media tools into your existing CRM or need a new social CRM system, several criteria apply to both scenarios.

Data capture - This is a basic function: capturing relevant data about potential and existing customers shared on social networks. It also lets you monitor brand/company mentions and hashtags that relate to your business or a competitor.

Interaction - The more advanced tools allow you to engage directly with potential customers. This allows for conversations across multiple networks within the CRM platform.

Extensions - This feature allows you to link social data to the profiles of customers and prospects that are recorded in your customer relationship management system. This linkage gives you a deeper understanding of your contacts and allows you to send more personalized messages.

Analytics - Thanks to advances in machine learning and NLP (natural language processing), it's possible to analyze extensive activity on social media.

Why engagement depends on social CRM

In the past, it was common to hire an intern to manage the Facebook page. Today, however, given the massive impact of social media on sales, this is too risky an undertaking even for small businesses.

Social CRM can be considered CRM Plus because it goes beyond the scope of traditional CRM and fully incorporates social media as a sales platform. It gives your sales team the opportunity to learn even more about potential customers and prospects, and regularly hit the right time to close a deal. And that's not all.

Save time: combined with better insights, social CRM will make your sales team more efficient. Having a dashboard from which you can manage all your social media platforms at once will save you a lot of time. And you're much less likely to miss out on emerging opportunities.

Attract satisfied customers: A complete contact history for every person you interact with leads to a better customer experience. For example, if someone starts a conversation on Facebook and then moves to live chat on your website, they don't have to repeat themselves. The entire sales team can see what happened before.

This keeps everyone in the loop: Social CRM isn't just for sales, by the way. You and your entire company will benefit from having a complete overview. This overview can help marketers develop targeted campaigns, for example. And customer support can respond more quickly to issues raised through social networks.

When marketing, sales, and customer service all have access to social CRM, it leads to better company-wide alignment and a more seamless customer experience.

Social CRM benefits for your sales team

The benefits to your sales team cannot be overstated, they include:

Finding new leads - Social Listening allows your sales team to monitor social media for specific terms (e.g. your brand or a product or service). Once these keywords are set up, the analytics process can be automated as new leads are added to the sales funnel.

A deeper understanding of leads - Everyone you target has goals, challenges and intentions. Unfortunately, email interactions are only enough to understand a person to a certain extent. However, using social CRM, you can add context to those emails. This gives you a much clearer picture of your leads and the problems they're struggling with.

The first steps with CRM

The next step is to realize how much easier life will be for you in the future. Now you can say goodbye to scouring each of your platforms in hopes that you've covered all the bases.

However, choosing the right CRM is no easy task. There are nearly 400 vendors out there these days. But we have a pro tip for small businesses: Focus on cloud-based CRM providers. This is definitely the cheapest, easiest and most practical option for small businesses.


The role of social networks in generating prospects and leads is not going to decrease in the near future. It is here to stay, and that is why businesses - even small ones - need to adapt to this new reality. However, social CRM makes this not insignificant task much easier. Just write to us! We are the cloud CRM experts and we specialize in helping small businesses get the most out of social selling through CRM.