The ubiquity of social media has made it an essential tool for salespeople looking to stay connected with partners and customer. Channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can support sales strategies by helping sellers drive immediate value, increase the volume of their efforts and improve the velocity of their sales.
Being social media-savvy is quickly becoming essential in the sales world. Salespeople who fail to embrace the platforms risk low engagement, longer sales cycles, and poorer revenue performance.
Interested in enhancing your social selling game? Consider these three ways to turbo charge your social strategy.
Tip 1: Use social as a relationship-building platform
Along with surveys, CRM data, and telephone and email outreach, social media can be a great place to connect with and gather information on clients and partners. Imagine having a direct channel to prospects and buyers that allows you to get to the all-important “Why”:
Why is this prospect looking for a solution? Why have they purchased other products? Why are they looking at a competitor’s service? Why are they are no longer happy with or interested in a company?
Smart salespeople use social media (in particular Twitter, LinkedIn, and vendor or market-specific online communities) to communicate directly with prospects, build an understanding of their dilemmas, and offer them the ideal solutions.
Tip 2: Use social to challenge customers’ perceptions
The way businesses communicate has changed dramatically since the rise of the internet, and consumers have come to expect originality, authenticity, and insights from brands’ digital presences.
The interactive and concise nature of social media platforms makes them essential tools for meeting these expectations. Because these channels help ‘cut through the noise’ and reach prospective customers on clear, direct levels, they can offer new perspectives and build credibility.
Using social, salespeople can create awareness and interest among prospects and customers without ever setting foot on a plane, train or automobile. While using social to push boundaries and create a corporate personality requires a close alignment of a company’s marketing and product teams, the alternative is pushing out ineffective, stale messages to potential buyers. By offering something of value in the places where conversations occur, sales efforts are much more effective.
Tip 3: Use social to track engagement across the sales process
According to Sirius Decisions, the average length of a sales cycle has increased 22 percent over the past five years due to more decision makers being involved in the buying process. Pega research found that B2B sales cycles often take seven months - or longer - to close.
Anything that can give sales teams a leg up in understanding prospects and accelerating their speed through the pipeline is valuable. That’s where social media comes in: Salespeople can gather and analyze data from these channels to understand how to engage clients with the right message, at the right time, and with the right platforms. Using this valuable data analysis to correct actions can help sales teams make stronger, more informed decisions.
Using social media to engage clients, challenge notions, and track engagement will allow salespeople to speed up sales cycles, increase the value they provide to new prospects and customers, and broaden the scale and reach of their sales efforts.
Have you experienced social media success? Share your best practices in the comments.
Chris Benedetto is a Marketing/Product Leader at Pegasystems.