Revolutionize Your Sales Organization – How Social Listening & Engagement Will Transform your Future Sales Growth
Jon Ferrara – CEO, Nimble
In this last session of the SF Sales 2.0 Conference, Jon Ferrara underscored the need (perhaps requirement) to use social selling techniques. Nimble converts 10% of website visitors into buying customers with $0 ad spend. HOW? By engaging their customers in channels where they congregate, taking part in the conversation. If you want to learn something, LISTEN to your customers’ interactions with the larger community.
Jon took a step back, talked about the CRM. Remember using a CRM back in day? He reminded us CRMs are management tools used to keep a “rope on the necks of salespeople.” It doesn’t help the sales organization build or manage relationships. CRMs were designed to kill contact tools to keep sales from leaving a company with data.
Social Listening tools aren’t tied to contacts today, but sales people still live in their in-boxes. Jon recommended using LinkedIn to connect with people of interest, then to use the CRM to record the interactions. Today, contacts, communications, and activities are scattered across multiple tools. LinkedIn, Twitter, Klout, Data.com, Facebook and topic-specific communities, etc are places where the 2.0 Buyer does research and forms opinions. If you aren’t part of the conversation, or at least listening, how much revenue opportunity have you missed?
Before the rise of the social conversation, companies shouted at people exhorting them to buy something – TV and radio ads are a good example. Now, customers talk to each other, and they can talk back to their vendors in both positive and negative language. Customers want to connect to authentic, real companies.
- A Social Business Solution combines Sales, Contacts (communications, activities) and Social Monitoring.
- Build your company brand. Be relevant, be authentic, and be personal. Content attracts a sustainable community. Share the right content to build the community beyond the brand.
- Build your personal brand, too. Create a social identity. Identify communities. Educate and engage. Connect and nurture.
Educate your customer with content. Customers will want you more if you give them information. Be perceived as the Thought Leader. Go beyond liking posts/status updates. Re-Tweet their posts, add relevant comments to the discussion. Don’t forget to thank others for sharing your thoughts.
This effort doesn’t require a lot of time. Jon recommended checking LinkedIn and Twitter twice daily. Scan Twitter followers relevant conversations to join. Check your business’s Facebook page for questions and respond if appropriate. Scan Google alerts for brand and company mentions.
Repeating a recommendation heard in several earlier sessions, Jon suggesting communicating with your customers using video instead of the phone. Skype is a good option, and it increases the depth of conversation with your customers.