Salesforce.com is not a substitute for communication

I recently received a nice, polite, relevant email from an account exec. who works for a Social Media company. No surprise there, a few weeks ago I went to a networking event this company was a sponsor. Nothing to weird right, they sponsored a great event, making it very affordable for a bunch of interesting people to get together and talk shop.

The Rub: I had already contacted this company through multiple channels, I have an account exec working with me; I’ve emailed, twittered, exchanged business cards and talked on the phone with them for 30 mins. I know I’m in their Salesforce.com database.

A Reminder: Sucessfully engaging your customers requires more than technology. Social media, customer relationship management systems are not a substitute for effective, real communication.

Communicating effectively with customers isn’t easy—software doesn’t fix that.

One of the largest players in the social media platform space today showed me again that its not about the platform, its still about people.

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2 thoughts on “Salesforce.com is not a substitute for communication

  1. Your comment is correct and accurate and yet, one of the realities of business is making do with finite resources. Automated responses and business rules that govern them are just tools to hopefully improve communication among people.

    It’s very possible that the account executive assigned to you has been given the task inside of Salesforce.com to call you and has failed to do so. It’s also very possible that your company falls into a segmentation strategy employed by the social media company in question, that says, companies that spend X dollars receive a personal visit from the area vice president after the event; companies that spend Y receive a phone call follow-up from the event; and companies that spend Z dollars get a timely, relevent email. This is not an ideal scenario and ignores future value of customers, but many, many companies, still don’t reliably and consistently event thank their customers or prospects for attending an event like you have indicated. At least in this instance they have acknowledged your attendance and expressed their gratitude for your participation.

    It sounds like the system has done it’s job – now the account executive must do his or her part.

  2. Hi Ian,

    Thanks for your insights into how this might have played out within their Salseforce.com work-flow. The odd thing is that I had previously communicated with another account exec and had a conference call with her, I’m quite sure that some of the previous touch points I had with the company are logged in SF. If I don’t get back to her by Friday, I fully expect that I’ll get a call to follow up on our next actions.

    The confusing part was that, if the company was pursuing post-event a segmentation strategy similar to the one you describe (which sounds like a very powerful and effective use of technology), it didn’t exclude attendees who already had initiated a pre-sales process. –Sean

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