June 1st, 2010
Three Key Social Media Tactics for Sales
This week I thought I would share with my readers a “guest blog” from Tom Pick on Sales and Social Media…I have known Tom for a few years and he is top SEO and Social Media consultant… read and enjoy….
Although marketing departments tend to be the heaviest users of social media for business, sales groups aren’t far behind. Social media may have even more value in sales than in marketing, as marketers still generally deal with prospects in groups, while sales professionals deal with them as individuals—which is where the social media rubber really hits the road.
There are myriad ways to incorporate social media into sales cycles, limited only by creativity. However, here are three basic tactics that should be part of every complex sales cycle.
1. Stay current on what your company is doing with social media. Considering how social media has changed the buying cycle, most prospects will do significant research about your company online—including your firm’s social media presence and what your customers are saying about you—long before engaging with you. It’s critical to work with your marketing group to understand the messages and activities that are part of your organization’s social media presence in order to avoid any unfortunate “gotchas” during the sales process.
2. Research your prospect’s company on social media. Just as knowing about your own company’s presence is vital, so checking out your prospect’s social media presence can be very helpful as well. Use tools like Social Mention, Twitter search and UberVU to discover what your prospect’s marketing group, and their customers, are saying about the firm online. You may gain valuable insights into their strategies and challenges. At the very least, you’ll be able to have a more informed and interesting conversation.
3. Use LinkedIn. Check out your primary contact. How long has he/she been with the company? How do they describe their role? Look to see who else from the company has a profile there, particularly if you know or can identify other members of the purchasing team. Which LinkedIn groups do these people belong to? What kinds of topics are being discussed in those groups? What clues can you gain as to your prospect’s likely concerns and key business challenges?
The point isn’t to be “nosy” or any such thing; after all, you’re only viewing publicly available information. The goal, rather, is to be as informed as possible about your prospect and his or her company before engaging in a conversation, so that you can make that initial conversation, and every subsequent one, as productive as possible for both sides.
And remember that sophisticated buyers are doing their homework about your company and its offerings online before raising their hand for more information. Doing the same makes you look smarter, uses both your time and your prospect’s time more efficiently, and just may help you close more business.
About the author: Tom Pick is an online marketing consultant in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He’s also the award-winning writer of the Webbiquity blog, which focuses on B2B lead generation and Web presence optimization — the fusion of SEO, search marketing, social media, content marketing and interactive PR.