5 Tips for Getting the Most from Your Social Enterprise Investments | FirstRain

5 Tips for Getting the Most from Your Social Enterprise Investments

By Daniela Barbosa, Director of Business Development

Utilizing social enterprise collaboration allows sales professionals to not only connect with customers on a regular basis but to continually drive sales. Investing in social enterprise platforms is a great customer intelligence strategy, but there is often a disconnect between what a sales team or a company wants to happen by bringing in a social business and what actually occurs. From disengaging with clients to not doing the proper research from the get-go, you may start to see your precious ROI go down the drain. But you can prevent that from happening by identifying the sales opportunities that will come from employing social enterprise platforms for increasing revenue productivity to ensure you are making the most out of your investment.

1. Calculate Realistic Costs
According to data from Simpler Media Group, the social enterprise software market is set to reach $6.4 billion by 2016. Gathering exactly what your business or team wants to accomplish can significantly help B2B companies maximize their social enterprise investment and prevent finances from entering the digital ether.

In a piece for Entrepreneur, business writer John Patrick Pullen suggested companies develop an ROI formula before investing in social enterprise. Taking all of the data into account helps you create a social mission statement and set realistic goals. Assembling all of the information before entering a contract helps ensure you are not devoting more money into a social media campaign than you have to.

2. It’s All About the Tech 
In an article for Salesforce, Vala Afshar, CCO and CMO at Enterasys, advised companies to take a peek at the technology the social enterprise uses. Outdated software can hamper how the business connects with clients and collects customer insights. Afshar suggested sales professionals or team managers identify the specific set of parameters the enterprise employs. According to Afshar, streamlined technology that is built to easily adopt to changing preferences helps sales teams optimize their investment.

3. Go Where Your Clients Are 
By ensuring the technology used is top notch, sales teams are better able to identify their customers’ online activity. Afshar suggested taking clients’ temperatures when examining social enterprise software. You might want to have a quick chat with your social enterprise contact to understand whether they are on top of the latest and greatest social platforms.

4. Plan Everything Out 
In his Entrepreneur blog, Jason Falls, CEO of Social Media Explorer, advised companies to think beyond the benefits of entering the online world to drive their social enterprise ROI. Create a plan of action that the social business can stick to, but still provides room for change. Leaving things up in the air can significantly damper a social media campaign, so giving your enterprise contact as much information as possible about where your company is headed improves your chances of receiving a strong ROI.

Plus, no one wants to be left in the dark when they are trying to provide you with a service. If you want to be on Facebook verses Twitter, let them know. Plan everything out – you’ll thank yourself later.

5. Follow Through 
Don’t just let things go after doing all this great work early on – you have to follow through on your plan, stay in communication with your contact and provide feedback on a regular basis. Frequent connection and follow ups can help you identify any changes right away instead of wasting time in the future. Guiding a social plan along the way is much easier than making a dramatic shift half-way through the relationship. So stay in contact, because not doing so is setting you up for disaster.