LinkedIn is Missing Something Huge
Next time you’re heading out to meet a perspective client, have a look at their linked in page before you go. Do some preliminary research, arm yourself with specific knowledge. Assuming their profile is somewhat up to date, it could save you time if you already have most of the basic information you need to establish common ground. It’s a great place to read up on industry news and your future customers involvement.
You can also participate in groups and send messages to people in your network. You can upgrade to premium service and expand the number of people that you can reach out to. It also give you expanded profile information and offers integration with other services like LexisNexus.
There is one thing missing from LinkedIn, and it’s significant
Where is the CRM? Customer relationship management (CRM) is a widely implemented model for managing a company’s interactions with customers, clients, and sales prospects. It involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize business processes. A year ago it looked like LinkedIn was going to add CRM to their service with the purchase of an existing social CRM service. Nothing has come out of that yet. We’re still waiting for LinkedIn to add this much needed feature. There is a wide gap between the reality and the hype of CRM. LinkedIn is in an ideal position to fill this space.
LinkedIn is a gossip site, but it’s also the social center for businesses. There’s no reliving past indiscretions from younger days and no pointless lists of followers with nothing to contribute. LinkedIn has managed to remain professional and stay above the mindless clutter on other popular social sites.
A CRM integrated into LinkedIn would allow customer information to be automatically updated when the client changes information on their profile. Your CRM database would be kept constantly updated by the very people it contains. The CRM could also show all the interactions my clients are having with each other and those members of my networks. A LinkedIn CRM would allow the user to develop a large and well-connected list of relationships among colleagues, clients and potential customers.
LinkedIn needs to remain the leader in business social media. If they don’t want to deploy their own CRM, they need to open up their data to CRM software producers. CRM software would benefit from constantly updated and evolving data and provide portals to the wealth of the LinkedIn database.