How Twitter Can Help Your Sales Team

JulioVisko
Julio Viskovich Managing Partner & B2B Sales Enabler at NexLevel Sales, NexLevel Sales

Posted on December 10th 2012

How Twitter Can Help Your Sales Team

A 2012 study by the Aberdeen Group found that 79% of sales reps that incorporated social media into their sales process achieved their quota over the last year compared to 43% of the industry average. How could this be? It’s because the traditional sales process is a few touch points with long periods of darkness. Social media, and particularly Twitter, help transform the sales process into something more engaging and interactive. 

Obama Twitter bio 
I like to think of social media as the salt and pepper on an otherwise bland experience by allowing salespeople to interact more consistently with their prospects in new ways to build trust, rapport, and to stay relevant when other vendors are not. 

Start With Your Own Twitter Profile

Take advantage of the personal link you can add to your Twitter profile. A great place to drive people is to your LinkedIn page or your organization’s demo request or corporate page. Adding appropriate hashtags to your profile can help your results in twitter searches as well.

Aspire to Become a Thought Leader and Trusted Advisor

Are you trying to be relevant to executives, sales and marketing professionals or accountants? Be sure that you create and share content that will speak to them. Wondering where to find daily info? Try using content curation tools, follow hashtags, Twitter lists and create RSS feeds that bring relevant content to you daily. Here's my list of sales thought leaders that influence me and provide me with daily and relevant content for my audience.

Take Advantage of # Hashtags

What are your prospects talking about or interested in? Are they using specific hashtags? Find out what these hashtags are and use a real-time listening tool and retweet 3rd party articles that your prospects are interested in, or articles that help contribute to your company’s vision and direction. When engaging, simply offer a helpful voice while avoiding the urge to sell. This is long-term behavior that helps you become a trusted advisor instead of an annoying vendor who only calls them to sell something.

Hashtag MonitoringBuild These 5 Twitter Lists to Listen Effectively

1. Prospects - Find people talking about your industry or work for companies in your target market and add them to your prospects list. Be sure to make this list private to avoid alerting your audience you consider them a “prospect”. Monitor them on a daily basis and look for those trigger events that tell you it’s a good time to reach out

2. Competitors - Monitor and see who your competitors are talking to and determine if it's right for you to also jump in the conversation authentically or even at all. 70% of businesses ignore complaints on Twitter. Sometimes its best to be there to clean up the mess and convert them with better service. 

3. Companies in your industry - What are companies in your industry talking about and who are they talking to? The companies in your space often have customer cross-over. This is a great way to find new prospects. 
 
4. Customers - Engage with your customers! One of the best ways to find your prospects is by looking in the same space as your customers. Let potential prospects see your interaction and continued post-sale touches with your best customers.
 
5. Partners - Do you have any partners that work with the same target audience often share similar needs and questions? Stay relevent by following your partners and interacting with them on a daily basis. The more these partners see and interact with you, the more likely they’ll remember you or recommend you when the time comes.
JulioVisko

Julio Viskovich

Managing Partner & B2B Sales Enabler at NexLevel Sales, NexLevel Sales

Julio is a social selling consultant and implementation specialist. Recently named by AA-ISP as a Top 25 Sales Influencers of 2013, InsideView and Social Selling University as 1 of the top 15 professionals using social selling in 2012 and was featured in Eloqua's Grande Guide to Social Selling. Surfing, skydiving, traveling and eating the hottest peppers from around the world make up Julio's downtime. Check out Julio's personal social selling blog for more of his tips on social sales.

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Comments

cshamblee
Posted on December 10th 2012 at 1:23PM

As I was reading, I started to wonder... could cars be sold through Tw by following your suggestions; do you think a car dealership could sell cars and car services by following your process?

JulioVisko
Posted on December 10th 2012 at 11:19PM

There are so many ways to carry these concepts in to a new environment like selling cars. As a large manufacturer I would focus on building general awareness and buzz, perhaps run a special campaign for customers who "like" your page. Edelman Digital released a report rescently called the "Trust Barometer" which revealed that most people trust 3rd party opinions over opinions of marketers, ensuring you have brand advocates out there is essential. As a dealership, I would consider a local rather than global approach. For example, one could setup a geographical Twitter search to capture and listen for all mentions of "buying car" within a 10 mile radius of the dealership. This would allow someone to know who in their area  is looking to buy a car and can reach out to them with some deals, specs, or information. Identifying buying triggers of those in the neighbourhood opens up the opportunity to market "hyper-locally" rather than globally.

courtnettennis
Posted on December 10th 2012 at 7:17PM

These techniques for Twitter seem really strong for B2C but what are your thougths on B2B.  Do you think there is a growing presence of B2B companies on Twitter and do you foresee that happening in the future? Could the same techniques be applied to B2B businesses. In my mind, B2B could be a growing market for social media platforms to target; however, a lot of B2B sales are driven through personal relationships and reputation. 

JulioVisko
Posted on December 10th 2012 at 11:12PM

Great question! Consumers are all over the social sphere so selling to consumers naturally seems to fit this approach, but inside sales teams who focus solely on B2B are having success. The opening stat about sales reps achieving their quote is specifically talking about B2B sales efforts. You are so correct when you say B2B sales are driven by reputation and relationships. Using social to become a trusted advisor and building a relationship with buyers when they are not ready to buy can yield huge payouts. I think you're right when saying B2B is a growing maket for social selling and see nothing but upside in 2013.

Qnary
Posted on December 11th 2012 at 2:31AM

These are great tips for how to incorporate Twitter into your sales strategies.  Creating these different list will make it easier for you to keep an eye on specific people and potentially gain their interest in your company and/or product.

JulioVisko
Posted on December 11th 2012 at 4:31AM

Any other tips for using Twitter for sales?

JulioVisko
Posted on December 11th 2012 at 3:02AM

So true. Creating and monitoring these lists may not directly close a sale but will allow you to stay relevant when others are not, and give you insight as to when the best time is to approach a prospect. Social media puts an end to cold calling, as the new name should be "warm calling" since social arms you with information about the prospect and company your are dealing with. Couldn't agree more with Qnary!