Are Sales People Being Left Out of the Social Media Revolution?


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Earlier this week, the following question was posed on LinkedIn:

Are sales people being left out of the social media revolution? Where should sales people focus their social media efforts?

Andrew Somosi, the SVP of Marketing and Business Development for Lattice Engines, provided his insight on how sales professionals can participate in and extract value from social media channels:

“[There is] tremendous opportunity for sales professionals to become more productive by applying social media techniques at various points in the sales cycle. Companies certainly can help by deploying technology, but there’s quite a bit that sales reps can do on their own.

Here are some concrete examples:

1. Targeting – Successful reps align their selling time to the account opportunities with the highest likelihood of conversion and/or highest likely deal value. Listening to posts (e.g., in LinkedIn groups) from employees at their target customers and prospects can surface customer needs and sales opportunities. Reps can do this on their own, but companies can help automate this process. In addition, companies can apply technologies that synthesize activity on social media networks. Companies with stronger social media footprints (e.g., more connections, more postings) are typically more likely to be in growth mode and are often more open to technology-based solutions.

2. Gaining Access – Many sales people already use LinkedIn to identify relevant decision-makers and influencers in their target organizations. The ability to obtain warm referrals through the network is very powerful. Of course, the broader your network, the more contacts you can reach. New technologies are taking this one-step further by enabling an entire sales team to group together their LinkedIn networks, and thereby dramatically extend their overall reach.

3. Understanding the Customer Context – The more sales professionals understand the business issues facing their customers, the more relevant they can be and the more they can add value in the sales process. You’d be surprised by just how much insight can be gleaned from Twitter. We had done some quantitative research, and found not only that Twitter is becoming a mainstream broadcasting application even for smaller companies, but that it’s possible to learn extremely relevant insights about the company (e.g., awards they won, product launches, new personnel, geographic expansion, etc.). Sales reps can easily listen for this info by setting up Twitter lists for both customer and employee handles.

4. Sharing Internal Content – There are lots of opportunities for reps to be more efficient and effective by leveraging internal social technologies to share sales presentations and understand how their peers have succeeded in making sales to similar customers.”

How are you or your sales reps leveraging social media for sales? We welcome your thoughts on where sales professionals should focus their social media efforts.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence is the Marketing Manager for Lattice Engines, a company specializing in B2B sales intelligence software. Prior to joining Lattice Engines, she was the Marketing Director for JVKellyGroup, Inc. (a D&B company), where she was responsible for all marketing and public relations. Jennifer holds a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism from Emerson College.


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