In our Digital Transformation series, we’re exploring the way digital transformation is impacting sales and marketing techniques and learning how we can harness the power new technology advancements to make waves in our marketing and sales processes.
In part one, we discussed how buying has changed and how digital transformation has allowed us to get to know our buyers even better. In part two, we’ll be delving into the world of social media. Discussing the power it wields within sales and marketing, and how you can link the knowledge gained through your buyer persona session with social media platforms to create an effective sales and marketing strategy.
Digital Transformation's Impact on Selling
Digital transformation has taken power away from the traditional salesperson or marketer and placed it into the hands of the customer. From review websites, to customer tweets and in-depth third-party YouTube videos, customers have a wealth of information available at a tap of their screen. Meaning they can effortlessly move themselves from awareness through to a decision without even entering a company’s website or interacting with a salesperson.
This doesn’t mean that there is no longer a place for sales people and marketers in the digital age. Rather, that digital transformation is pushing businesses to adopt the inbound methodology, becoming more customer-centric and even more vital within the buyers journey. Selling is no longer about cold calling or marketing about disruptive techniques its about a conversation, and you need more than one person to have a conversation.
Many view social media as a purely recreational platform used for sharing memes and cute animal photos, but with digital transformation, it has become so much more than that. Social media is an area that will only going to continue to grow and businesses are realising it's potential. Facebook alone has over 2 billion users daily, can your business afford to miss out on over 2 billion potential conversations?
Rather than fighting against the current, your sales department should be looking to bring social listening and social media interaction into their sales process and using this tool to target potential leads.
Fitting social media into your sales strategy
Once you have developed your buyer personas (covered in post one of this series), you will know that social media can act as a hive of information about your prospects. You will have figured out which platforms your buyer personas are most likely to engage with you on and you will know they post and interact on these platforms almost daily. All of which can be tracked and used to your advantage to develop a well-round sales and marketing strategy. But that’s not all.
Your sales team should be encouraged to interact and reach out via platforms like LinkedIn with potential prospects to become familiar and gauge interest, it’s social for a reason so lets start having those conversations. Are you noticing the same people liking your Facebook post or retweeting your latest tweets? Don’t ignore them! Use social media as an opportunity to make initial contact and warm up these potential leads, this relationship building can result in a much smoother journey through the sales funnel.
Social media can be used effectively in every touch-point of your sales process to successfully nurture and close business. Use LinkedIn to conduct pre-call research on prospects – even something as simple as ensuring you’re not mixing up the J. Smith you have on file with someone else at the business who has the same initial and surname. The more prepared and well-informed you are, the easier it's going to be to gain that prospect's buy-in in both you and the product or service you are taking to market.
If you are having trouble catching a prospect over the phone or constantly having your emails ignored, try an alternative approach with Facebook or LinkedIn messaging. Include a valuable resource or key statistic to catch their intention rather than invading their social network just for the sake of making contact. You can even track hashtags on Twitter through tools like HubSpot, to gauge the level of discussion within your prospects industry. What challenges are they currently discussing or are there any complaints about a competitor’s level of service? This is all vital knowledge you can use to your advantage and incorporate into your pitch.
Aligning sales and marketing with social media
To feel the full force of social media’s benefits, sales and marketing need to live in harmony. It’s important to align your sales and marketing strategy to not only ensure you’re delivering a coherent message but to cover all bases and make sure you’re catching your prospects attention at every opportunity.
You can attract potential leads to your brand with captivating content through targeted social ads, convert with gated content on promoted blog posts, pass onto your sales team to close with their newly implemented social listening and finally, delight them with exclusive follower content or offers to turn your new customers into promoters for your company. Social media is the promoter’s paradise. As mentioned, buyers flock online to look at product and company reviews, so if you can get your clients or customers to sing your praises online then it’ll greatly impact your sales and marketing efforts.
Download our All You Need To Know eBook, where we delve into how sales and marketing has changed to keep up with digital transformation and how sales and marketing professionals can use these advancements to stay ahead of our competition whilst delivering the best experience for our customer experience.