Social CRM is pretty awesome, but I’ve been a fan of social CRM (Customer Relationship Management) for some time. It’s tough to dispute the power of social connections to generate business, or at least potential business.
A company by the name of Reachable has taken the Social CRM thing to a whole new level, though. By analyzing one’s personal contacts, social and professional contacts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.), and e-mail contacts, they offer the ability to ‘overlay’ their own database of 100 billion business connections. This probably includes not just your contacts, but the contacts of all of your contacts, giving some unprecedented sales access at your fingertips.
This isn’t just limited to your connections and those found with Reachable – you can also delve into the business and personal contacts of the individuals that work at your company. Yep: “…customized for a company with the private connections of their employees, customers[,] and partners. Reachable enables organizations to leverage all of their relationships to drive much higher sales productivity.”
Arguably, there’s something creepy about using the personal contacts of employees to generate sales leads…at least to me. Even though Reachable states that “connections are kept private and never shared,” well, that’s kind of beside the point of having leads in the first place, isn’t it? How does one actually get a lead without having it shared with them in the first place?
Maybe it’s just me feeling that, but I suppose in this day and age of meta-non-disclosure agreements and some of the things that employees are beholden to in order to secure employment, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was included in a contract somewhere. As long as an employee knows about this sharing – which I can only assume is indeed the intent, even though it’s not made clear in their press release – then there’s no problem. Well, as long as the contacts getting shared don’t mind either…or their contacts…and on and on.
Still, looking beyond the Big Brother-ness of this, I cannot dispute how amazing a tool it could be. The tools that 8thBridge built in Graphite are pretty amazing in how they seamlessly integrate with social media; and do it out there in broad daylight, so to speak. Sharing contacts ‘under the hood’ (again, so to speak) is still sharing of possibly powerful connections; as Reachable states on their blog site, personal connections generate more sales and, according to their own data, increases sales productivity by 243%.
It’s tough to argue against the weight of numbers. If Reachable can consistently deliver on this promise and indeed give you this kind of access, it’s staggering to think of the potential marketing and sales inroads you could make. I think it could turn sales and marketing on its collective ears, in fact.