From the Influencers

Why LinkedIn Is Important to CRM, More Strategic Selling

June 24, 2016

The importance of better understanding customers and acting strategically were front and center when Microsoft earlier this month announced plans to buy LinkedIn for $26.2 billion.

Indeed, everybody and their brother is talking about customer experience these days. And customer relation management systems and social media profiles are two key tools organizations can employ to help them deliver better customer experiences. That’s because CRM and social media sites like LinkedIn provide a lot of data about individual customers, and in the case of social media were even created by those customers themselves.

Microsoft already has a CRM solution called Dynamics, but this particular product is a guppy swimming alongside the customer relationship management industry whale known as Salesforce. In fact, there have been rumors in the past couple years that Microsoft has tried to purchase Salesforce.

So Microsoft wants to make its CRM Dynamics more competitive. LinkedIn could dramatically change the relevance of Microsoft Dynamics, says Christopher Woodin, director of Microsoft sales operations at reseller and systems integrator Softchoice. LinkedIn is valuable to Microsoft, he adds, not only because it owns the biggest record of business people and a premium version of LinkedIn that sales people use for prospecting, but also because LinkedIn can help Microsoft pivot from selling businesses technology to selling organizations solutions to make them more competitive.

Speaking of LinkedIn and sales, a recent article by Kristina Jaramillo of Get LinkedIn Help, suggests that marketers need to play a stronger sales enablement role on LinkedIn.

“Marketers who go beyond lead generation and focus on sales and marketing alignment to achieve revenue goals using LinkedIn can prove a clearer, stronger social media ROI using LinkedIn,” Jaramillo says. “By providing rich insights into buyers, their companies, and their territories, marketers enable sales to better prioritize their efforts.”

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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