As virtually anyone will tell you, being successful in business today is all about networking. And they'll also tell you that with social media dominating the airwaves, it's all about managing that network online. This piece from Consulting magazine addresses that very issue. Companies, especially consulting firms that are so inherently tied to the value of their relationships, must take the step of monitoring those relationships electronically. The author, Geoffrey Hyatt (full disclosure: he's a VP at an ERM company) directly refers to enterprise relationship management (ERM) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems as ways of tracking all relevant client contacts and relationships—basically LinkedIn for companies.
Hyatt also mentions that, despite knowing what's good for them in terms of maximizing their networks, most consulting firms do not have a comprehensive automated way of tracking their contacts. There's something both inefficient, but also a bit homely in doing things the old-fashioned way—especially when it comes to managing person-to-person interactions (those who are brought up on Facebook will have no concept of that behavior once they get to the business world). But consulting firms need to get real: We're getting to the point in our rapidly evolving, scarily cyber world where if they don't take advantage of these tools, they'll be quickly left in the dust, clinging to their Rolodexes for dear life.
And that's just contact management systems—Step 1, people. We haven't even gotten to the transformative power of blogs, Twitter, etc., and the ways they can change your business. As this video will tell you, it's time to hop on the bandwagon!
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