Social media may be disregarded in a number of situations within business.
So, it may not be known that social media can actually help close sales
Utilising social media gives sales representatives a chance to create relationships with new or potential customers without a large price tag. You can get involved in conversations, start new conversations and develop connections with people. These connections can lead them further and further down the buyer’s journey; right from the awareness stage to the decision stage.
There are a few ways that your sales representatives can get the most from social media, and here they are…
Credibility is the act of being trusted, believed in. It generally has a trail that people can follow to understand your brand.
It may seem unattainable for a busy sales team to build up credibility. You may think it will take up all their time and they won’t actually be able to carry out their own job tasks. However, it’s the complete opposite. If you fail to make time to build up credibility, it may negatively affect your brand. It’s important to contribute towards your brands credibility to allow people and new customers to trust you.
Some sales representatives have more time than others to build credibility. There are a few options you can adopt depending on the time you have and the time commitment you can make…
Low time commitment
If you have a very low time commitment, where you find yourself too busy in your own jobs and tasks to do anything else - don’t fret! If you want to build up credibility slowly, you can simply schedule posts at the beginning of the week on your social media channels. This shouldn’t take long, depending on what you’re wanting to post - and it is brilliant for getting people engaged and showing your expertise.
Medium time commitment
If you have a bit more time, you can get involved with new people and potential customers. You can take the time to contribute to conversations or comments, etc., in topics that are related to your expertise/business. Try to focus less on selling and more on simply developing relationships with people you speak to. Be genuine with them and be sure to humanise what you say.
Large time commitment
Having a much larger leeway in terms of what time you can spend building up credibility is extremely helpful. You may have time to maintain a blog, writing posts that share your expertise and knowledge. These posts can then help people see how knowledgeable you are and hopefully begin to trust you. Alongside this, you must still continue to update your social media and have conversations with people - anyone could be a potential customer, you wouldn’t want to miss out on any conversation!
Cold calling is not welcomed that well by people nowadays. In fact, it’s sometimes often enough to deter the receivers of the call straight away. If you’re looking to increase your sales, this is the complete opposite to what you want to do.
Social media is a great way to find prospects. There are a multitude of tools out there that can help you find potential customers and prospects.
i. Twitter (Advanced) Search
Twitter search, to begin with, is an amazing tool to use to find people who are talking about your industry. You can search for things such as hashtags, certain keywords and phrases, and so on. This way, you can see exactly what people are talking about and get involved in their conversations.
Advanced search actually enables you to create targeted searches, which notifies you whenever someone new matches your targeted search. This is useful as you will never ever miss out on an opportunity to connect with someone who could be a possible customer.
Google+ is similar to Twitter in the way that you’re simply using a search engine to find people talking about a specific topic - to then join in with these conversations and share your knowledge.
iii. Quora and others
Quora and other Q & A engines are full of questions that people want/need answering. It has to hold some importance to them to have led them to post online and ask for help; so you can trust that they truly do want an answer. Discussion boards are always a great place to inject your expertise in, too. It allows a large group of people to be exposed to your brand.
When trying to search for prospects on social media, do not do the same procedure for cold calling. Simply put, don’t cold call across social media. Social media is meant to be social, not all about business. Talk to people, engage, create conversations, develop relationships.
Social Media’s Role in Sales Calls
Obviously, social media isn’t going to take over your cold calling opportunities. You’re still going to be cold calling people to gain new or potential customers. However… social media can actually help you improve your sales calls.
i. Research before calling
Before cold calling, sales representatives will often do their research but you can add a social media check before, too. You could learn a lot more about the personal ailments of either the person you’re calling or the company you’re calling. People are a lot more personable and social on social media, so social media is a great place to learn more about people and learn perhaps more about what they want/need. Social media simply adds more context and makes you seem much more friendly.
ii. List of leads
Twitter enables you to create lists, these lists can be private or shared. Lists are a great way to keep your leads organised and keep up-to-date with what they’re getting up to on social media. This also enables you to keep in contact with them more personally if you so wish to.
iii. Keep your customers happy, even after converting
A customer has converted, now what? You don’t just leave the customer to it. Social media gives you a free, open source that enables you to keep in contact with your customers and make sure they’re still happy. Giving your customers consistently positive experiences simply starts to build up your reputation - which then allows customers to feel that their positive experience deserves to be spoken about. Think about the consequences of what you’re doing on social media; they all need to be, effectively, positive consequences from positive experiences.
iv. List of customers
As mentioned, you can create lists on Twitter. Creating a list of your actual customers can be beneficial to keep track of the positive experiences mentioned above. Keep this list monitored and watch for any comments or questions, or just any conversations you can get involved with. Always strive to surprise and delight your customers.
Aligning Marketing and Sales Around Social Media
Sales and marketing can meet in the middle to create a social media strategy. This strategy should outline who in what team will do certain tasks. Ensuring you align these teams simply creates a harmonic strategy that works hand-in-hand with no friction or disconnection. The questions that should be answered by this strategy are…
Who is responsible for setting up lists and alerts on social media?
How will a sales representative be told when someone mentions them or a keyword?
What should a sales representative look for on social media before a cold call?
Who is responsible for responding to people and posts?
What does a good/bad response look like?
How will both teams know what’s working?
What metrics will each team measure?
How much time should each team spend on their tasks/social media?
Align your marketing and sales teams around social media and ensuring everyone in each team knows the tasks at hand and is aware of how they need to be approaching them. If you’re going to use social media, it’s important to get it right.
Sales representatives may have never spared a thought for using social media. But, nowadays, it can be the most effective tool to encourage connections and developing relationships. Social media is one of the easiest ways to connect with people and create new relationships. You’re missing out on a large potential audience if you don’t utilise social media.
Cold calling these days isn’t very popular at all. But you still have to do it. A way to become better at cold calling and create a much more positive image around your brand is social media. Through social media, you can get to know a person without them realising you’re getting to know them - and call them with the information you’ve collated on them, giving them a positive and engaging conversation.
Why not give social media a try? It might close more deals than you could imagine