Everyone knows that social media has become the "killer app" for marketing. But what about sales? Isn't sales still about direct contact via phone or in-person meetings? Well, yes and no. Here are our top 5 reasons to use social media as an integral part of your inside sales strategy.
Outreach is reversing direction
In this day and age, you are far more likely to set an appointment with a decision maker (and have it "stick") if the decision maker finds you and makes the appointment. That happens via referrals from your followers in social media. They get to know and trust your expertise from online discussions and content. They refer you to decision makers who make the call. To make this work you need to have a strong "social graph" or presence in social media.
Your competitors are already there
It's easy to check by following your competitors in social media and see what they are doing. Chances are, they are already engaging with prospects and customers. Are you going to surrender that potential market without a fight?
Your prospects and customers expect you
Social media is fast becoming the customer support channel of choice. Many large brands now employ 24/7 teams to answer questions and engage with customers on Twitter and Facebook. If you aren't there to respond to feedback and questions, you have lost an opportunity to turn critics into advocates.
Nurture and engage your prospects
Today's sales cycle is all about education and trust. This happens over time and to an ever-larger degree via social media. Social tools allow you to find interested leads and develop an ongoing relationship in which you help them to solve their problems with your solutions.
Improve conversion rates
Yesterday's leads came in from mass mailing, advertising or e-mail campaigns. They were completely unqualified, requiring at least one sales call just to qualify them and set an appointment. Today's social media lead already knows you and your products and, by showing interest, overcomes the need for cold calling and improves your lead-to-customer conversion rates.
Granted, social media isn't for every company or every sales person, but to ignore this channel altogether is probably suicide in today's fast-paced online marketplace. Every inside sales team should have a social media policy in place to guide them through the do's and don'ts required for each brand or company. Social media management tools should be carefully selected so that managers can monitor activities and respond quickly to both opportunities and potential problems.
What are your strategies and plans for leveraging social media in inside sales?
Contact us today to learn more.