Using “social” to reduce person-to-person sales costs


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Winning new business with a big company can reduce profits if face-to-face selling  means a high cost of sales ratio. Business services firms would expect to spend 30-40% of project billings on the costs of acquiring a new client.

Social reduces travel and entertainment costs of new customer acquisition.

Here are some things to watch out for when using social media:


1. Effective vs. busy: Is marketing  time online spent communicating directly with constituents, answering questions or giving suggestions? Posting profiles and expecting followers to turn into buyers is wishful thinking. 

2. What were the benchmarks for the program? If service improvement was an objective, for instance, what was the service level when you started, and has customer satisfaction changed since then?

3. Indirect monetization can be calculated. If you have a following of 5,000 people, for example, and it would cost $2 per person for a direct mail campaign, then the indirect value of your online reach would be $10,000 (5,000 times $2).

Social channels, if you use them to distribute your company’s promotional messages, are a lot like running an ad in the Yellow Pages. It’s not the size of that publication’s circulation that counts; it’s how many people find you, take action and build relationships with your company that gives you a return on invested time.

You may be asking how to use social media to meet business goals. The four objectives it can achieve are:

1. Improve search-engine rankings: Be found by potential audiences—and not just in searches for your company’s name or website, but in the words a buyer would use. High-traffic specialty sites may be where your audience does research. If you knew that to be the case, you might not post content on sites such as YouTube and Facebook.

2. Get better business intelligence. Integrating social-behaviour data collection with your own database will yield insight on your audience’s preferences around content and platform (public vs. industry sites, for example). You’ll be better informed about how to get your audience to take action. Social clues that show interest from users include commenting, sharing material or opening a link.

3. Cross-reference content to the “take action” point of your website. For example, if you have a coupon offer posted on an industry blog, include a link back to the redemption point so you can capture the incoming URL for your lead-nurturing activities.

4. Take a “test-lab” approach to using social media. Test responses to a variety of messages or calls to action. Sharing and link open rates, for instance, will give you clues as to which messages or calls to action are more effective. The data will start indicating what does and does not work so you can convert busy time into effective time.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Catherine McQuaid
Customer Discovery, Lean Sales practitioner 1. Repeatable, scalable sales processes 2. Market-tested hypotheses = data-informed decisions


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