Why sales reps need to be conversant to increase sales through social media.
Social Media is now an inevitable part of our daily lives. According to Statista, the number of worldwide users is expected to reach some 2.95 billion by 2020 with China and India leading the way.
No aspect of our lives has remained unaffected with the social media invasion, whether personal or professional. As they rightfully say “If you are not paying for it, you are not the customer; you are the product being sold” which is credited to have originated from this source. Companies have been observing user habits for decades and presenting us with targeted ads based on our behavior. Whether it’s Google, Facebook or any other social media outfit which doesn’t charge its users, the revenue model is pretty much the same for all of them. User data is the holy grail of social networks.
As we know customer acquisition & user retention are the most focused parts of the effective startup strategy; Sales, customer acquisition & conversion can also benefit immensely via social media. The social media usage patterns give a lot of valuable insights on customer preferences and can help sales representatives focus on the areas which drive sales and also, increase the sales through social media.
There are numbers to back up the claim that incorporating social media in the sales process increases the sales upto 23% more than using just traditional sales methods. Since customers exhibit buying patterns through social media, a clever salesperson would know how to use this public information to his advantage. The following can be benefits
1. Prospect Intelligence
Social Profiling is very common these days. From profiling a candidate before the interview to dating, social media is used to gain intelligence on the prospect everywhere. Sales representatives can use tools like Quora and other Q&A platforms to target people who are looking for what they are offering. They can even use Google+ search or Twitter’s advanced search options. All these channels help in better profiling a prospect and gaining more information what they are looking for ultimately having better leads for sellers.
2. Better Chances of Conversion
Once the prospect knows that you understand their needs and have a perfect solution for their requirement, they will trust you and become a customer. Your intelligence came from finding their social media profiles to get an idea of what they want, how badly they want it and based on this critical information, you could model your sales pitch accordingly. Social media helps to qualify a lead to know what are the chances of its conversion to a sale.
3. Chance of Upselling
Once you do have a customer because of the extra work is done through social media intelligence, it’s important that you stay in touch with the clients. Yes, there can be emails and actual emails but nothing brings the personalization that social media can. Keeping in the loop with your existing customers not only helps in keeping them satisfied but also builds loyalty. It even helps get more customers by word of mouth publicity and recommendations from existing customers.
4. Better Market Knowledge
Sales Reps active on social media would know the trends and the tactics the competitors apply. They even have better chances of building an online credibility and giving an impression of being more accessible, thus gaining trust from their prospects. Social media puts you right out in the market besides getting to know the market yourself. Since sales reps are the face behind a company’s logo, they need to add more value to the sales process than just having the website. That human touch can come easily with the knowledge of and be active on social media.
5. Marketing and Sales Alignment
If the marketing and sales department work together and have aligned their goals in line with the company’s social media strategy, it can give unprecedented leverage to the firm. Social media is normally connected to the marketing efforts of the company and considered the primary duty of the marketing department. However, if the sales team is not in sync with the efforts made by the marketing team and how results of social media engagement can be used by them to their advantage, the marketing strategy has a gap. If the sales reps know how every twitter mention, facebook or LinkedIn message can be used by them in their sales pitch it will add to delivering more value and ultimately result in better sales procedures for the company.
Like all the other professional areas, sales has benefitted with the advent of social media. Sales reps have to be prepared to make the full use of additional information at their disposal. Social Media can be the key differentiator. Sales reps have to embrace this new change or perish.