By Jim Brodo, former SVP Marketing
Using social selling in the sales process to accelerate revenue is a hot topic, but it requires an expert balance of art and science. It also greatly depends on your stage of the sales process.
How effective are you at selecting the right tools and using them at the right time in the sales process — in a way that delivers value to your prospects, your company, and your customers?
In this blog, I’ll share some ideas on Social Selling, in particular, three steps to generate high quality leads with Twitter.
#1. Align for Success
Use Twitter to extract more value from your marketing department. The platform is public, so it offers an easy way to share content and stay on message. Above all, I recommend retweeting content produced by your company’s Twitter handle. This will credentialize you and your company while driving brand awareness and thought leadership.
TAKE ACTION — To gain Twitter followers:
- Include your Twitter handle in your e-mail signature.
- Work with your marketing department to develop campaigns that drive followers.
- Retweet company and industry content that is of interest to your prospects and customers.
- Send out an invitation to your prospect list asking them to follow you.
Effective social listening is your key to unlocking the door to yes. Make sure you listen in these four critical areas:
1) Catch what is being said about your company
Listen to what others are saying about your company to prepare for potential prospect objections or to find social testimonials that promote your product or service. You can do this with Twitter’s sophisticated search tool. Also, ask your marketing department if they’ve implemented any social listening software to track selected keywords.
2) Listen to what is being said about your prospect and client companies
At this point, almost all marketing departments and investor relations groups tweet about their companies, so explore this real-time information for critical insight to close deals. I also recommend listening to what the public is tweeting about a prospect’s company. Such third-party opinions can provide valuable information about how you might better help your prospect.
3) Hear what your competition is saying
You’re more likely to out-compete your competition by tweeting them at their own game. Follow your competitors to see what messages they’re pushing. Then, position your tweets in a way that differentiates your offering. You can also check to see if your prospects follow your competitors, which will help you know who you’re competing against to win his or her business.
4) Listen to what industry analysts say
Follow leading analysts in your industry and your prospect’s business to acquire vital information that enriches your selling effectiveness. Because many analysts today tweet regularly, their profiles offer fantastic, real-time industry information — from just-released research, statistics, and opinions about business verticals in general, to specific companies. Examples include Gartner, Aberdeen, IDC, and Forrester.
#3. Engage to Give and Get Insight
Want to learn more about your prospects from a business and personal standpoint? Follow them, and scour their tweets for vital insights into their personality, interests, and business needs. Then, customize your sales approach accordingly. These new insights can really open doors, build rapport, and strengthen growing relationships.
TAKE ACTION — To engage prospects on Twitter:
- Follow people whom you want to follow you back.
- Retweet and reply to prospect tweets.
- Search for valuable personal and professional information to accelerate your sale.
- Be witty and authentic.
Best practices for using social media tools to speed up the sales cycle will continue to evolve — and knowing how and when to use them will only become more integral to the sales profession as they do. Are you ready?