March 18, 2014 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
It’s really funny to me how underutilized social media is by sales teams. Despite the fact that both parties are outgoing and trying to generate as many leads as possible, there sure does seem to be a disconnect between the marketing department and sales team. Here are a few ways your sales team can get involved using various forms of social media for not only more leads, but higher quality leads as well.
Let’s start off with an easy one, Twitter can be a fantastic resource for salespeople. When customers aren’t happy, they use twitter like a megaphone to get their voices heard in a public forum. This is the Internet, so subsection of the population is only going to speak negatively about their experiences; however, it’s up to your marketing team to identify these issues and yours sales team to reach out and create a genuine connection.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as you can do this both for complaints about your product and the products of your competitors. Reaching out may not develop into an immediate sale, but down the road, if someone was unhappy with a competitor, you were there when they needed you.
Marketing is driven by data. Sales is driven by relationships. When both teams can work together to identify not just a problem, but a solution as well, revenue happens. Twitter is probably the most powerful social media tool for connecting with people AND getting the necessary data to develop a sales and marketing strategy.
Your marketing team is able to see what’s trending through hashtags and let the sales team know what points to touch on, and any obstacles they may face before even contacting a potential customer.
Facebook is at an interesting entity in its life. It revolutionized social media marketing (take that MySpace) and basically catalogued 1/7 of the world’s population. It was thought to be the marketer’s dream, a place where people will tell you EVERYTHING about themselves for free.
Then Facebook realized the amount of money they can make from advertising (hint: it could buy Zuckerberg almost TWO new hoodies) and from there it’s been a downhill experience for the average user. Quickly scrolling through your News Feed will show you more ads and sponsored content than ever before.
This has both positives and negatives for your sales and marketing teams. On one hand, people can “Like” your products and you can tell what is resonating with the general public. Your sales team can use this data to appeal to new customers.
On the other hand, how often are people clicking “like” with no intention of ever buying anything? KISSmetrics found what a truly pathetic job social media does at converting. People don’t go to social media to shop, so companies should focus on creating an experience and increasing brand awareness with their posts – and that’s definitely the marketing side.
The benefits of LinkedIn from a sales and marketing perspective should be obvious to any business professional. Connecting with industry professionals is a sure-fire way to get noticed. The marketing team is easily able to identify people who could be potential clients by engaging in communities and discussions, and from there the sales team is able to reach out.
The benefit of LinkedIn over Twitter is that people can see your whole professional history and portfolio. You can instill trust in a client without having to go through a whole rigmarole sales pitch. LinkedIn is definitely a great resource in B2B sales, but there are obviously some drawbacks. Unless you pay, you can’t reach everyone you might want to. Also, identifying actual needs isn’t as straightforward as finding someone’s Tweet or a Facebook status update.
Pinterest isn’t for everybody. Some B2Bs struggle to use it and it’s really a matter of deciding what’s right for your brand. In many industries however, marketing and sales can use it to their advantage. So let’s say your marketing department is pinning your product line on its page. Noticing which pins are rapidly gaining ground and driving traffic to the website can help sales know what products to highlight.
The fallback to Pinterest is that, like Facebook, people can pin stuff all day, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re ready to buy. The repin could just be something they liked for a moment and decided to share. Differentiating between consumers and customers is key. If done improperly, this can lead to lost time for your sales department which means potentially lost revenue.
Keeping your sales team in the know to what’s happening with your company’s social media pages can become incredibly beneficial from a revenue standpoint. The data available from these channels is both incredibly cheap and accurate and allows for a direct connection to the consumer. It’s not the size, it’s how you use it.
More from the author: