Social Media and Inside Sales: Time Waster or Money Maker?


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Rini Das, CEO of PAKRAGames, is one example of a Sales 2.0 executive who, by all indications, is on the path to revenue-generation by incorporating LinkedIn, Google Alerts and Twitter into her online prospecting strategy. She and her CMO, Michelle Stewart, search for, research and send personal messages to their target audience (often based on the information their prospects provide themselves on their profiles and in their tweets): sales VPs and inside sales executives in selected industries who are either one-degree-removed connections or are those with whom they share a group. By incorporating these outreaches into their weekly prospecting process and religiously tracking metrics, they know how many prospects contacted via these sources will end up in their pipeline. Of the invitations they extend, 72% accept, 36% are are qualified and 21% make it to their pipeline.

But many inside sales leaders – and their managers – are still questioning the value of social media in the sales process.  This was one of the key topics discussed at last week’s Inside Sales Summit, now in its second year and produced by the young but growing AA-ISP (American Association of Inside Sales Professionals). The conference, held in Minneapolis, drew more than 200 executives and managers who manage phone and Web selling and lead qualification teams from companies including 3M, ADP, Apple, Carnival, FedEx, GE Medical, GeneSys, IBM and a host of smaller companies. The panel discussion I led, “Social Media in Inside Sales: Time Waster or Money Maker?” was one of several sessions aimed at inside sales professionals looking for new ways to engage increasingly hard-to-reach and harder-to-please buyers. The panel included senior-level sales executives Brett Wallace from ZoomInfo, Greg Volm from InsideView and Kevin Flynn from, who described how they’ve integrated social media into their sales, marketing and internal team collaboration.

I kicked off the panel by describing “The Inside Sales Social Media Panacea”: What sales managers need to know in order to answer the “time waster or money maker?” question:

-For each of your customers and prospects, you know which social tools they use and prefer (if any), so your team can easily reach them in new ways and stand out from everyone else.

-You have a proven process for using social media in the sales cycle and can track social media outreaches (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.), along with calls and e-mails and the associated contacts metrics: connections, qualified leads, forecasted leads and sales.

-You can measure the impact of pre-contact research using social media and networks such as blogs, LinkedIn, Google Alerts and Twitter, and decide if the extra time spent in planning mode, which reduces activity, yields better results.

-You know which leads and which sales came from which social media and networking activities and at what point in the sales cycle, draw conclusions accordingly and spread the best policies and practices across your sales organization.

What other questions are you asking about social media? How are you measuring the success of your social media and social networking programs? What results are you seeing?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Anneke Seley
Anneke Seley was the twelfth employee at Oracle and the designer of OracleDirect, the company's revolutionary inside sales operation. She is currently the CEO and founder of Phone Works, a sales strategy and implementation consultancy that helps large and small businesses build and restructure sales teams to achieve predictable, measurable, and sustainable sales growth, using Sales 2. principles.


  1. Great story about Pakra. I can only echo the success with social selling. Our customer base is microscopic compared to traditional CRM companies but those close to 100 customers do the same thing:
    1) See where are my clients in the social web
    2) Socially engage – connect, be helpful, learn what they need
    3) Augment phone and face to face meetings with myriads of online touch points – strengthening the social connections
    4) No more “checking in if I can be of any help” instead KNOWING when help is needed or a contact is appropriate
    5) The response rate quadruples over old techniques and so does the sales success.
    6) Sales people are no longer human call machines – but actually do what all theory is preaching “business is done between people”

    And while the tools they use allow them to reach up to 200 clients a day and have 50 meaningful interactions, the numbers game is over. It’s no longer important how many touches a sales person can do but how strong a relationship he or she can create to make sure that if the client is deciding to buy they are part of the decision process.



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