From Critical Requirements of an Enterprise Social Platform Whitepaper:

There is an adage that if you can’t report on it, it doesn’t exist. I don’t think this is always true but related to social sales, it is. If you can’t show meaningful data on how the program drives sales, you are going to have a hard time justifying the investment. I remember a few years ago, I would hear companies say that the Holy Grail was being able to connect the dots between social activity and sales and report on it from within the CRM system.

Well, we have finally reached that point today. If you can’t run a report and see the exact value of every social lead in the sales cycle and how much business has been closed as a result of social activity, then you need to upgrade your system. Best-in-Class businesses today can show reporting for every individual in the organization and match it to the sales hierarchy of their company. Many of the lighter weight solutions in the market underestimated the importance of reporting and either can’t access important information that relates to actual sales or can’t provide reporting that has many levels, business units, teams, etc. There are hierarchies of reporting that are hyper important, regardless of the size of your organization.

For example, if I am running a six-person regional sales team in Charlotte, NC, I want to see only the data from my six people. And what if there are 7 other sales managers in the building? Each of these local sales leaders need to see their direct reports. And there’s a regional manager that oversees the eight of us, and she’s got six more sales leaders in Raleigh, and four in Columbia, and nine in Atlanta. They need to see reporting for that group. There’s a divisional leader. They need to see a bigger group, and there’s somebody who’s running the whole program. You must be able to match the hierarchy of the reporting in the company.

If you can’t provide this level of reporting, it will frustrate sales leaders and they won’t pay attention because they don’t want to look through reporting on 40 people who don’t matter to them. Once again, the enterprise architecture is critical because you must be able to offer the complexity and robustness to control the reporting based on individual users, groups of users, business divisions, business units, etc…