Demystifying Social Business: Optimizing the Lead to Deal Process

RWang
R "Ray" Wang Prinicipal Analyst & CEO, Constellation Research, Inc.

Posted on June 17th 2013

Demystifying Social Business: Optimizing the Lead to Deal Process

Constellation Research pioneered the complete set of front office and back office use cases for social business in 2010. This report provides insight into a key mega-area -- lead to deal use cases. This best practices research report offers insight into two of Constellation’s primary research themes, the Next-Generation Customer Experience and the Consumerization of Information Technology/The New C-Suite.

Key Business Processes for Social Businesses

Social business initiatives have gained acceptance as a key driver in business innovation. Since 2010, organizations have experimented and successfully deployed social business initiatives across a variety of business processes. In Constellation’s recent 2013 survey of 237 social business adopters, more than a majority (57.8 percent) of the market leaders and fast follower respondents had moved from experimentation to scaling social business initiatives to match demand. This trend signifies the successful growth of social business across a number of use cases. With over 50 use cases identified in the survey, organizations now have defined entry points to begin social business initiatives. Consequently, many businesses can learn from the experience of market leaders and fast followers. Constellation has curated eight mega-use cases for social business that cover key business processes such as:

  • Campaign to lead
  • Lead to deal
  • Incident to resolution
  • Kick off to delivery
  • Concept to production
  • Sourcing to acceptance
  • Hire to retire
  • Invoice to payment

This report focuses on the lead to deal mega-use case, which includes both traditional business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) situations such as territory management, collaborative selling, partner selling, crowdsourced intelligence, matrix commerce, save the deal and steal the deal. These use cases should provide a starting point for mapping out the sales journey.

As Adoption Progresses, Seven Major Use Cases Emerge for Sales Processes

The recent 2013 survey of 237 global social business adopters shows 57.8 percent of the market leaders and fast follower respondents scaling social business initiatives to match demand (see Figure 1). This shift from choosing the right go-forward platform in 2012 highlights a move from Level 3 (Evangelization) to Level 4 (Pervasiveness). This first wave of people has started to see the benefits of social business initiatives and intends to scale them out throughout their organizations and value networks. They have succeeded by finding executive sponsors, measuring metrics that matter and aligning with business processes.

Figure 1. Social Business Adoption Moves From Platform Consolidation to Scale (right click to view image)

Seven Key Use Cases Emerge in Lead to Deal

The lead to deal use cases focus on how social business can improve sales team efficiency, reduce sales cycle time, foster collaboration and drive revenue. Lead to deal is a very popular place to begin social business initiatives as the management objectives for many organizations focus on operational efficiency and revenue growth. Constellation identifies seven use cases in lead to deal (see Figure 2):

  1. Territory assignment focuses on relationships not geographies.
  2. Collaborative selling taps into the entire organization’s network.
  3. Partner selling creates force multipliers in the sales force.
  4. Crowdsourced deal intelligence improves win rates.
  5. Matrix commerce creates a buyer-centric approach.
  6. Save the deal tracks customers through the sales funnel.
  7. Steal the deal uses influence to take deals from competitors.

Figure 2. Constellation's Lead to Deal Social Business Use Cases

Social Business Is Here To Stay

The moniker “social business” will disappear over the next 24 months. However, the concepts underlying social business will provide the foundation for good business strategy. The new abilities to take social, mobile, cloud and Big Data will converge to create new opportunities. The result - social business is just good business strategy. 

Report Links

See the objectives, metrics, and starting points market leaders and fast followers use to begin their social business initiatives in lead to deal. Buy the full research report on the Constellation Research website.

Reprints can be purchased through Constellation Research, Inc. To request official reprints in PDF format, please contact sales (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com.

RWang

R "Ray" Wang

Prinicipal Analyst & CEO, Constellation Research, Inc.

Speaker's Bio

R "Ray" Wang is the Principal Analyst and CEO at Constellation Research, Inc.  He's also the author of the popular enterprise software blog "A Software Insider’s Point of View". With viewership in the millions of page views a year, his blog provides insight into how disruptive technologies and new business models impact the enterprise. Ray's a prominent keynote speaker and research analyst working with clients on innovation, business model design, engagement strategies, customer experience, matrix commerce, and big data.  He advises Global 2000 companies on business strategy and technology selection.  Ray is quoted regularly in Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Bloomberg, Reuters, IDG News Service, and other global media outlets.

Long Form Bio

R "Ray" Wang is the Principal Analyst and CEO at Constellation Research, Inc.  He's also the author of the popular enterprise software blog "A Software Insider’s Point of View". With viewership in the millions of page views a year, his blog provides insight into how disruptive technologies and new business models impact the enterprise.  Prior to founding Constellation, he was a founding partner and research analyst for enterprise strategy at Altimeter Group and one of the top analysts at Forrester Research for enterprise strategy.

A background in emerging business and technology trends, enterprise apps strategy, technology selection, and contract negotiations enables Ray to provide clients and readers with the bridge between business leadership and technology adoption. Buyers seek Ray’s research in disruptive technologies for his insights into the business processes, business models, and organizational design required for successful adoption.

Business topics focus on harnessing innovation, creating next-generation business and IT leadership, and applying the new rules of business. Technology topics include SaaS/Cloud solutions, Social CRM, Next Gen ERP and apps, business process transformation, Project Based Solutions, Order Management, Master Data Management, and middleware technologies. For technology sellers, Ray provides strategic guidance in go-to-market strategies; reviews and designs software licensing, pricing, support, and maintenance policies; delivers competitive assessments; evaluates software partner ecosystems, and researches business processes such as the perfect order and customer experience for the enterprise and SMB markets.

R "Ray" Wang is a highly sought after thought leader and speaker.  His dynamic speaking style brings energy and enthusiasm to a range of topics including how disruptive technologies impact the future of work, next generation customer experience, cross channel commerce, big data and analytics, digital marketing transformation, and technology optimization.  Ray tailors his presentations for intimate audiences from boardrooms to the tens of thousands in live broadcasted keynotes.

Sample speaking engagements include research based topics such as:

Resources

Bibliography of past speaking engagements.

Sample video clips

Media Influence

Ray blogs at Forbes CIO Central and for Harvard Business Review. News organizations such as The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Business WeekFortune, Inc., The Associated Press, CIO MagazineInformation WeekComputerWorldFinancial TimeseWeekCRM Magazine, IDG News, ZDNetTechTarget, and Managing Automation frequently seek his point of view. : Ray is an energetic and passionate keynote speaker, and has also been featured on major TV news outlets such as CNBC.

Industry Recognition

In both 2008 and 2009, Ray was recognized by the prestigious Institute of Industry Analyst Relations (IIAR) as the Analyst of the Year, and in 2009 he was recognized as one of the most important analysts for Enterprise, SMB, and Software. In 2009, A Software Insider’s POV was listed in the top 20 of Jonny Bentwood’s Technobabble 2.0 Top Industry Analyst Blogs. In 2010, Ray was listed as one of the Top 5 Analyst Tweeters in Edelman’s TweetLevel Index, recorded as part of the ARInsights Power 100 List Of Industry Analysts, and named one of the top Influential Leaders in the CRM Magazine 2010 Market Awards.

Business And Technology Experience

Ray brings enterprise experiences honed from two decades of product management, management consulting, and technology marketing roles. Prior to serving as a VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester for enterprise apps strategy and contract negotiations, he headed up the customer relationship management (CRM) analyst relations program for PeopleSoft.  At Oracle, Ray served senior product management roles in the E-Business Suite. While at Personify, Ray was the marketing chief for a Web analytics startup valued at $500 million.

Before working for packaged application vendors, Ray developed his management consulting and business strategy experience at Capgemini Ernst & Young, Deloitte Consulting, Detroit Medical Center, and the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He specialized in business transformation at the executive level,  general strategy, program management, change management, mergers and acquisitions, SAP/ERP implementations, and healthcare operations.

Education

Ray graduated from the Johns Hopkins University with a B.A. in natural sciences and public health. His graduate training includes a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University in health policy and management; and health finance and management. He is also certified in SAP FI/CO modules, facilitation, and program management office.

Ray currently serves on the Board of Advisors for the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management's Centre For CRM Excellence.

Geographical Location: San Francisco Bay Area, United States or somewhere 30,000 feet up in the air.

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