Proven tactics that further sales conversations
Sales work has always been social. After all, selling revolves around relationships with a focus on networking and establishing rapport. No wonder IBM sellers are using social media to help make sales.
Social resources are just one set of tools in the sales arsenal, but they can carry significant weight depending on a client’s involvement. Here are some ways successful IBM sellers are using social media to meet clients earlier in the sales cycle and further conversations.
It all starts with search
Thanks to search, people are more proficient at finding their own answers to questions. Savvy sellers recognize that clients and prospects first turn to Google and social media for solutions to their business needs. When the search process begins, clients look for related keyword combinations in Google and often extend questions to professional networks on LinkedIn.
Many clients have learned to hold off on announcing their business needs to their Twitter followers until they are ready to initiate a conversation with salespeople. They realize that sellers are following their posts closely and looking for an opportunity to begin discussions. So, not only are our social sellers meeting clients earlier in the sales cycle, they are there to further conversations by answering questions and engaging as soon as clients are ready to get started.
Here’s how you can do the same:
- Build social presence with focus on related keyword combinations
- Set up Google Alerts and Social Mention to follow keywords, clients and competitors
- Use Addict-o-matic to create custom pages with the latest buzz on any topic
- Consider LinkedIn Premium account for additional search benefits
- Include links to rep page, blog and product pages on high-SEO LinkedIn space – click “Other” to name the site accordingly, as opposed to generic “personal website”
- Enhance online reputation with LinkedIn recommendations
- Offer useful answers to questions posed and direct clients to industry experts, taking advantage of Slideshare Expert Network
Social intelligence furthers the conversation
Often, data from a new lead provides few insights into exactly what the contact or company is currently facing, information that could open up a conversation. This is where social intelligence offers significant value. Access to timely and in-depth knowledge of important events affecting a company makes it easier to start sales conversations.
To gain insight, IBM’s social sellers use social media monitoring applications to feed information about clients, prospects and competitors directly to their desktops. Social intelligence provides an efficient way of identifying what matters when sales connections are made.
Follow the lead of top social sellers and use content gathered from the Web to show companies how you can address their key concerns and meet their desired outcomes:
- Track clients, prospects, competitors and analysts in one space with TweetDeck
- Monitor Facebook, LinkedIn and other accounts through Tweetdeck
- Research the best social monitoring applications for your sales initiatives
- Shorten hyperlinks and track visits with bit.ly to understand the topics in which your followers are most interested