Time to read: 2 minutes. So far social media for sales teams has been stagnant. That’s because we’ve been waiting on marketing to create LEADS with LinkedIn, blogs, Facebook, YouTube, etc. But all they’ve managed to produce (after all these years) are Likes, followers and shares. Most marketers prefer measuring social media more than SELLING with it. I say it’s time for sales teams to take action.
You’ve heard it or said it. C’mon, I know you have. Behind closed doors we ask our colleagues… or even ourselves as we shower in the morning or sip our coffee.
“Should I stop waiting on marketing to create leads with LinkedIn, blogs, Facebook, YouTube, etc?”
I say YES. Say yes with me. YESSS!
Marketers have proven themselves inept. Let’s be honest. They spent years asking, “what’s a Fan worth?” and coming up with crazy math to prove that it’s worth a few bucks and change.
And from that we learned what?
We advanced toward what goal more effectively?
Bottom line: Most marketers like to measure more than they like to create SALES.
David Eades of Sales Performance International recently said to me, “I couldn’t agree more. We are asking sellers to become this new version, a ‘Micro-Marketer’ for your company’s solutions.
When you think about it, a seller is much more in tune with the wants and needs of the everyday buyer than the marketer is.”
The time is now for marketers to either take responsibility for creating leads and sales (as David Ogilvy himself said) or get the heck out of the way!
Where to start with social media for sales teams?
I started generating leads for myself by starting here—asking these deadly simple, practical questions about each, individual platform (e.g. Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, blogs, etc.)…
- Is my target market there?
- What are they doing on/expecting from __________ (insert social platform)… right now?
- Are there ways I can join in and create tangible meaning for prospects in exchange for LEADS?
Example: Steelmaster’s use of Facebook. This B2B and B2C seller of prefabricated steel buildings is generating multi-national leads and sales right on Facebook. Not bad hu?
You can make this decision too. Quickly, easily. Ask yourself:
1) Is my target market there?
For Steelmaster… this part was not so obvious until they noticed #2…
2) What are they doing on ____________ (insert social platform)… right now?
Steelmaster noticed pre-existing behavior on Facebook among their target market. This kind of behavior is often times not so obvious until you uncover it.
One BIG behavior to look at is photo sharing.
Look around. Look in Google+. Look in LinkedIn Groups. Look to see what people are doing. Are they:
- Sharing photos?
- Sharing tips with and learning from each other?
- Asking for advice?
- Participating in contests?
- Expressing need for answers to troubling questions?
- Yearning to learn a new skill or advance toward an objective?
- Wanting to avoid a risk?
As you discover what they’re doing consider…
3) Are there ways I can join in and create tangible meaning for prospects in exchange for LEADS?
Can your business participate in “the doing of” whatever it is you see customers doing, wanting, hoping for, fearing?… but in ways where you can make 2+2=6?
In other words, can you jump in and have material impact on prospects’ lives or business?
Can you help them scratch an itch, get excited about something, solve a problem, learn a new skill… in ways that help them become more confident buyers (informed, capable)?
Because if you can it’s likely customers will trust the source of their new found confidence—you/your brand. Connecting a product or service (when appropriate) becomes easy. Now it’s simply a “next step” in a journey the prospect finds themselves on.
Alternatively (in the case of “scratching an itch” like Steelmaster… which is one of the best Facebook B2B examples I’ve found) customers’ natural sharing of photos can be tied to a promotion that invites new customer leads to be collected in exchange for a give-away.
Thanks to Ed Worthington of Action Business Systems and Baltimore-Copiers.com who inspired this post.
What do you think?
Photo credit: Gill Poole