IBM touts social lead passing – want their leads?

A recent blog posting titled “Use of Social in Lead Passing ! Part 2 of Social Selling” from an IBMer who talks about how they are using social media tactics to grow business.  The end of the article highlights their internal communication tools so they do not share customer data. I found a flaw in how their flow goes.

All IBMers had access to this micro-blogging status and unlike Twitter, he/she was able to post the customers name. IBM guidelines prevent employes from specifically sharing customer names unless authorized. Had it not been for he/she stating she was working with “Endicott College”, the thread would not have generated local responses and the details that followed.

Now I took great interest as any business would love to have open range chats and discuss confidential possible customer data.  The article went on to give a fictitious scenario in social media fillerhow the flow would work, allowing the employee to get feedback ad possible insights into the new lead.  What caught my eye is a few things I pieced together from numerous posts.  IBM does have a new initiative around social business.  Even going so far as to grade performance on use of the tools, followers and sharing (unconfirmed but heard from numerous places inside).  Further up in this social lead passing article a mention was made how the IBMer connects to the possible lead.

After a couple conversation, connecting on LinkedIN, and additional information is provided, the customer wants to see how the product works and talk with other customers.

Some may have just caught where I was going with this posting.  I went to LinkedIn, searched for employees at IBM that are in inside sales, telecenter and more and soon found I could watch as they connected to companies after becoming connected myself.

So the idea about social lead sharing takes an interesting twist in security when you blend external data sites along with internal communication channels.  I know many reps that never even check in using Foursquare or other services for fear that competitors are watching where they go.  LinkedIn provides even more information as it shows exactly who they are talking to at the companies themselves.

Watch how you blend customer data and social privacy management.  Couple this with rating employees on social interaction and some things are bound to slip through.