Let’s assume it’s true that the only thing more important than what you know in sales is who you know.
Then the ultimate asset for any sales representative would be a constantly expanding network of valuable allies in business – people who have a vested interest in empowering you with relevant, applicable knowledge.
If you imagine an economy before social media, this concept of a business community enriching one another through collaboration seems utopian. Yet, even in this dog-eat-dog world, that’s exactly what we have available to us if we embrace the power of social media in sales.
Contrary to what social media laggards might think, leveraging Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and a variety of social and sharing tools isn’t about creating a feeling of goodwill. It’s about driving more revenue through better prospecting and stronger relationships.
Each social media tool channel has a distinct purpose. Identify which channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram) meet your purposes and appeal to your customer base. If your customers are tweeting regularly about problems and solutions, assume the role of subject matter expert in these dialogues. If you’re selling to consumers in a market where “likes” correlate to sales, test ways to get prospects and customers to try your offers on Facebook.
75% of B2B buyers claimed social media would likely influence future purchasing. – Eloqua/Oracle
2. Create Persona
You’re an employee, but you’re not representing a monolithic company. Your personality is an asset that adds perceived value to your company. Indeed, your personality is something customers will embrace, and love your company more if they do – but what is your personality?
Are you insightful, humorous, playful, or witty? Are you your industry’s most passionate advocate? Are you a leading subject matter expert? Identify your persona and use your photograph liberally so that people will understand you and seek to connect with you on a personal level.
Today’s self-informed buyers conduct 67% of their buying journey online. – SiriusDecisions
Every social media channel is comprised of communities. Prioritize the communities that are most relevant and most active in your industry, and join them. Use internal communities to receive information and news from subject matter experts, and external communities to share information with your industry cohorts and target customers. Before participating, read and understand their unique protocols and manners of expression. Before you can join in, it’s important to understand their unique cultures, protocols, and manners of interacting. Ease your way in; outsiders can appear to have mercenary agendas and will be rejected.
80% of B2B Enterprise Marketers distribute content through Facebook, 76% through Twitter, and 71% through LinkedIn. – Marketo
Add value to your relationships by provoking thought, starting and contributing to dialogues, seeking and lending expertise, and yes, promoting your solutions. Use a variety of types of interactive content, from videos to webinars.
Use the connections you’ve formed with influencers to extend your reach. For example, connect with bloggers and ask them to embed your video content in their posts as value-added content. Or have your subject matter experts answer questions in LinkedIn user groups to showcase your company as the go-to source for expertise and solutions. Use “friends” birthdays on Facebook to reach out to your most valuable contacts and turn them from acquaintances to allies. Announce a flash sale through Twitter. Post discussion threads in forums about the problems your company solves. In every communication, use your persona and be consistent with the voice of your company to brand yourself as well as your solutions.
89% of top performers say the way to maximize the value of social media engagement is to post value-added content. – Gleanster
Now that you’re engaged, monitor all of the interactions on your social media channels that you’re directly involved in, and that relate to your industry. Use sales enablement tools to identify important conversations that may be triggers for lead capture or a sales call. The conversations you’ll be monitoring provide excellent opportunities to capture high quality leads, and to know when they are ready for engagement outside of the social media sphere. Sales enablement technology will also allow you to close the loop, attributing customer acquisitions and sales to their original social media sources.
68% of top performers say social media has “influenced or been a source of closed opportunities in the past 12 months.” – Gleanster
Leveraging the best practices for social media in sales will require understanding the rapidly evolving world of social media, and continuous professional development in order to stay on top of the trends. The investment of your time will be worthwhile, and likely very enjoyable, given that sales people are social people.
Want to learn how to leverage today’s technology to rapidly receive and post relevant content to drive your personal brand? Bridge Metrics’ sales enablement solution includes one-click integrations with major social media platforms. For more information, contact us at 877.801.7158. See more at: http://www.bridgemetrics.com