Sales and Social Media

Recently there has been a lot of conversation against the importance of relationships in selling such as this recent Harvard Business Review article on Selling is Not about Relationships which makes it seem like social media would not make a good fit for sales people.

But a new RAIN Group report proves otherwise and shows that sales people that truly “connect” with buyers in this “always on” environment we live in to win more often. So here are 3 reasons why …

Social media provides great way to connect with potential buyers

  • Social media provides the sales person with unprecedented ways to connect with potential buyers, increase likes or followers to the business, build relationships and most importantly start conversations.
  • Social media provides the sales person with a platform to allow for their online personality to shine and begin that trusted relationship which can create affinity with the buyer
  • Social media provides the sales person a platform for sharing value, which builds reputation and affinity for the seller

Social media provides a platform to collaborate with potential buyers

  • Sales people can use popular online meetings tools like Google Hangout or even GoToMeeting to create spontaneous meetings with potential buyers
  • Other technologies like Postwire can be used for more direct collaboration with more middle of funnel prospects
  • Social listening technologies like Radian6, Hootsuite (or whatever your favorite is) will allow you to chime in at most relevant times with potential buyers, middle of funnel prospects or even existing customers – keeping you top of mind at all times!

Social media allows you to educate potential buyers with new ideas

  • Social media provides plenty of ways to do this. Sales people that tweet their own ideas or find blogs articles that espouse their position – make it easy to connect with buyers. Content is king so being able to use it to your advantage is key.
  • Marketing teams provides the platform and resources to sales to be able to do this. Too many companies in my opinion leave it to the sales team to figure this out all this by themselves. Content is the new collateral. If marketing creates the platform and the sales team can bring it to life with customers then sales will surely flow.

An integral part of the sales process is getting to know your prospects and establishing relationships—and it turns out social media can help you accomplish this quickly and easily. Follow the steps above to help your sales team make the cash register ring using social media. Remember – when you’re there alone there is no one to compete!

Written by Paul Dunay
Paul Dunay is an award-winning B2B marketing expert with more than 20 years’ success in generating demand and creating awareness for leading technology, consumer products, financial services and professional services organizations. Paul is the global vice president of marketing for Maxymiser a leading web optimization firm, and author of four “Dummies” books: Facebook Marketing for Dummies (Wiley 2009), Social Media and the Contact Center for Dummies (Wiley Custom Publishing 2010), Facebook Advertising for Dummies (Wiley 2010) and Facebook Marketing for Dummies 2nd Edition (Wiley 2011). His unique approach to marketing has led to recognition of Paul as a BtoB Magazine Top 25 B2B Marketer of the Year for 2010 and 2009 and winner of the DemandGen Award for Utilizing Marketing Automation to Fuel Corporate Growth in 2008. He is also a finalist for the last six years in a row in the Marketing Excellence Awards competition of the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA), and is a 2010 and 2005 gold award winner in Driving Demand. Buzz Marketing for Technology, Paul’s blog, has been recognized as a Top 20 Marketing Blog for 2009 and 2008, a Top Blog to Watch for 2009 and 2008, and an Advertising Age Power 150 blog in the “Daily Ranking of Marketing Blogs.” Paul has shared his marketing thought leadership as a featured speaker for the American Marketing Association, BtoB Magazine, CMO Club, MarketingProfs, Marketing Sherpa, Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), and ITSMA. He has appeared on Fox News, and his articles have been featured in BusinessWeek, The New York Times, BtoB Magazine, MarketingProfs and MarketingSherpa. Paul holds an Executive Certificate in Strategy and Innovation from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Computer Science from Ithaca College.