Why Social Media Should Matter To Sales Teams

By on September 4, 2014

Social Media has been widely accepted as an essential tool for marketing teams and customer service teams, but when it comes to sales teams, from worries about productivity, to questions over relevancy, the uptake has been slow.

But with potential customers being 70% of the way through the sales cycle via online discussions & social media (amongst other avenues), before first contact with your sales teams, it is time to put fears to one side, start answering questions, and looking to the benefits – of which there are many.

Benefit #1: Social Media can help your sales team identify & track prospects

With the use of social listening tools such as Hootsuite, Microsoft Social Listening & Tracx, your sales teams can monitor conversations around your products & brand. They can research customer needs, problems and concerns, and find the answers to their questions before even picking up the phone or sending an email. The insights gained can shape sales strategy, dialogue and even product development.

On top of this, your sales team can (and should) also be part of those conversations, turning a cold contact into a warm one in 140 characters or less! Beware though, it is essential that your team understands that they shouldn’t be blasting adverts all the time, or going in to hard sell. Social Media is a platform for discussion & listening not selling.

Benefit #2: Watch competitors and gain an advantage

Monitoring competitors’ activity on social media can give your sales team a serious advantage. Not only can they see what they are doing right but, and perhaps more importantly, they can see what they are doing wrong. Understanding how a competitor is underperforming can highlight gaps in your own offering that you need to fill or even identify areas of your service that your sales team should be pushing.

It is also worth having your sales teams identify who your competitors’ customers are and monitor what they are saying – are they unhappy with the service and possibly thinking about switching providers? If so, there’s your in!

Benefit #3: Field sales queries quickly and make a conversion

Whether sales queries are being directly aimed at you or conversations are happening around products that you sell, if all your sales reps have access to your social channels, they can answer them swiftly (and make no mistake, customers will expect a swift response). Your sales reps are the experts – you wouldn’t have your marketing intern at the other end of a sales phone line, so why would you want them fielding sales queries on social media?

A prompt and well-informed response will leave your potential customers with a positive image of your company, so that when the time is right to make a sale, your sales team’s job is a whole lot easier!

The face of selling has changed, and now is the time to adapt your practices and get on board with new technologies. Not only will you appear outdated to customers if you don’t, but you also run the risk of losing out on sales too.

How is your sales team currently using social media? Let us know in the comments section! 

About Jennifer Carter

Jennifer Carter is a digital marketing executive at Clever Little Design. She blogs about social media and new technology. Follow her @CleverLittleJen.
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