So, before we start, give me an idea of where folks are with using Social Media for businessWho would say they regularly use social media for business?Is anyone getting business from social media? How did that happen?
Even though we are going to be talking about social media for sales, I think it’s important to remember that none of the social media tools, with the exception of LinkedIn, were created for sales or marketing.They were created for communicating and for building relationships.That’s the “social” part of social media – relationships. Social media is generally most effective when it is used to support your existing relationship building activities.If you are using social media only for delivering content one way, I think you are going to be disappointed with the results.The Sandler System teaches us a lot about communicating effectively (70 / 30 rule) and since social media is about communicating, we can use those same skills with social media.
But I have to be honest with you right up front.Social media is great for many types of conversations, and we are going to talk about some of those as we go alongBut frankly, it’s not particularly good for sales conversationsHowever, it is very good for conversations that can lead to sales conversationsBefore we get into that, lets make some distinctions between marketing and sales
Sales conversations tend to be more specific and more personal than marketing conversationsThese are your conversations where you are defining pain, and seeing if you can solve it at a price that is mutually acceptable, etc.Those are two very different types of conversations, with different dynamics and different goals.In fact, even though “marketing and sales” are usually lumped together, I think they are separate roles – would you agree?Just out of curiosity, does anyone here work in a company that has someone that fills the marketing role but doesn’t sell? Someone that generates leads and delivers them to sales?Do you have an agreement of what a sales ready lead looks like?
In my opinion, the marketing role is responsible for providing sales with more selling time with sales ready opportunities.As a marketing guy, that is how I see my job – more selling time with sales ready opportunities.The sales role is to do the Sandler stuff and close the deal. I also want them to give me some feedback about whether a lead truly was sales ready, and if the deal didn’t close, should we put them back in a nurturing campaign or just disqualify them altogether. In order for me to be able to identify a sales ready prospect, I (as the marketing role) need to have an understanding of our customers buying process
This is a depiction of the buying process from Ardath Albee’s eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale.Your customers’ buying process may not look exactly like this but it probably shares a lot of the same componentsI’m not going to go through all of this – the main point I want you to take away is that buyers have a process and it benefits us to understand their processSo briefly you can see that it starts with Status Quo. Then something happens that tips me to the point that something I’ve been living with, suddenly becomes important enough to deal with. It becomes a Priority. Sometimes we call this a Trigger EventOnce something becomes a priority it’s time to do some research, come up with options, revisit considerations (after research or option evaluation), validate his (buyers) assumptions, and finally make a choice and commitment.
Now let’s take a look at how the relationship between marketing and selling as changed related to the buying processIn the past, marketing focused mostly on awareness. Buyers were forced to engage with sales early because the information they need was locked inside the company.As information has become more readily available via the internet, sales people are becoming engaged later in the process. Buyers expect to be able to find the information they need through search and their peers. As sales people, if we try to have a sales conversation too early in the buyers process, it’s going to feel like a free consulting call.If we don’t engage until after the first option has been selected, we are going to have the “I just need a bid” call.Understanding your customers buying process is key to providing the right information to the right people at the right time so you can be the first option selected.[Exercise] – so let’s do a little exercise.Who has the priority shift, who does the research, selects and evaluates options, etc.Underneath, try to think about what information the various people need in order to move forward in the processHow did that go for you? Did you find spots where it would be helpful to know more about your customers buying process?
One of the ways we want to use social media is to increase the chances that when people start their research, that they will find us.There are two broad ways that Social media helps us get found.By being where they like to searchAnd by publishing content that is relevant to where they are in the buying processCreating accounts profiles on different social sites include keywords that will help them find usProfile should link to your blog and\\or websiteProfiles should help people contact youLet’s take a quick look at some of the places you can claim your digital real estate
One of the hardest parts about creating good content is making it relevant.The more we understand our customers buying process, the easier it will be to create relevant content.Because we know who they are and what they need.We can also find them by knowing what to listen for. We can also teach our referral partners what to listen for
When someone finds us via social media, they may be able get a sense of what we do and if we can help them, but they typically need more information.This is why we typically want to lead them back to our website or blog – wherever it is that you keep your more detailed educational material.In other words, we need to have a clear picture of what we want to happen next after we get found.
From a marketing standpoint, we typically want to lead them to our Try step of our marketing system.The marketing hourglass is sort of our version of the submarine.Earlier I talked about a sales ready lead. Sales ready is usually defined as someone who meets our ideal prospect profile and has also performed certain actions to indicate a readiness to buy. This action is often taking you up on your “try”.If you don’t have a marketing system in place, you still need to have a clear picture of what you want to happen next.
One of the other reasons that social media is becoming more important is that there is so much info available on the internet, that we need more filters and clues as to which ones we should trust
Ok, so we’ve been talking about how we can talk on social media, now let’s talk about listeningSM is great for listening. These are some typical things people listen forI think there is a great opportunity to increase the value you bring to your customers by monitoring what’s going on in their world and by bring them opportunities and news.But I think that where things really get interesting is when we start listening for trigger events
We talked earlier about Trigger Events or a shift in priority. Here is a similar concept from a book called Shift by Craig Elias & Tibor Shanto.The book discusses what they call the Window of Dissatisfaction, which is basically the time between deciding that the status quo is no longer acceptable and the search for alternatives.They did some interesting research related to Closing rates in each sectionStatus Quo – =< 1%Window of Dissatisfaction – 60% - 90%Searching for Alternatives – 10% - 20%The authors also found that buyer’s perception of the value you provide is highest during the Window of Dissatisfaction.in the status quo and searching for alternatives mode, your buyer sees little difference between the value you provide compared to your competitors, so you are more likely to be competing solely based on priceSo clearly there seems to be a big benefit of connecting with decision makers during the Window. How do we do this? By contacting them as soon as possible after a trigger event happens.
[Discussion]What triggers our customers to move from Status Quo into the Window of Dissastisfaction?Our goal for marketing is to get people into our marketing system as soon as possible after they experience a trigger event1 trigger event can be related to 2+ opportunitiesOnce we know what trigger events to look for, we can listen for them on the internet.
Create searches on relevant keywordsSave searchesHave new search results sent to you
Let’s talk about different social media tools, what their strengths are, and what you might listen for
The next four slides relate to different social media tools, how people typically use them and what you might listen for on them.Less like a newsletter and more about helping get found
On this slide I’ve tried to match up some common social media tasks with the different Sandler tools that may help you with those.For example, on most social site you have the opportunity to create a profile. This is a great place to use elements from your 30 second commercial.The other item I want to mention is transitioning conversations. At some point you are going to have to move from a marketing conversation to a sales conversation. Or you may want to take an online conversation offline.Any questions.
Ok, we are in the home stretch now. Let’s talk a little bit about managing social media so it doesn’t take over our lives.How do we manage all of this and still do our other job(s)?
Begin with the end in mind. What we are looking for is more sales conversations. These not going to happen via social media. Rather we will use social media to either get a referral, find people to cold call, or put people in our marketing system until they are sales ready
You need to set some goals. Where it makes sense, you may want to add Social Media to your CookbookSet a goal of asking for introductions via LinkedIn
Many people find it helpful to break their activities into Daily, Weekly, and Monthly actionsPerhaps you check FB & Twitter once or twice a dayPost to your blog weeklyWrite a newsletter and\\or find new people to follow monthly
There is an ever-growing list of tools designed to make managing social media easy.The problem is, there are so many. If you try to select tools first, you will spend a ton of timeSo determine your plan first, which will tell you your needs, and then select your toolsSome broad categories of tools includeUnless you like drinking from a fire hose, you will want some tools to help filter and organize your twitter conversations. Here are three popular tools to help you group, filter, search, and manage your twitter account.
1. Social Media and Sandler<br />Brooks Associates Client Appreciation<br />June 29, 2011<br />Prepared by Bill Brelsford<br />
2. Is & Ain’t<br />Soc Med were developed for communicating, not biz dev (exception:LinkedIn)<br />Social = Relationship<br />Media = Communication vehicle<br />Support relationship building activities<br />Broadcasting does not build relationships<br />70 / 30 rule<br />
3. Social Media Conversations<br />SM is good for many types of conversations<br />but<br />Sales Conversations Ain’t One of Them<br />luckily…<br />It is great at supporting and starting Sales Conversations<br />
18. Tools for Listening<br />Google Alerts<br />Company names, executive names, industry, brands<br />search.twitter.com<br />LinkedIn<br />Follow company or person, Monitor Q&A, Participate in groups, save searches and receive updates<br />Tools like TweetDeck, HootSuite, SocialMention<br />CRM<br />
19. Blog<br />Best tool for producing and sharing educational content<br />More Content = More Traffic via Search<br />Often the cornerstone of a Soc Med strategy<br />Some discussion via comments<br />Listening – better for keeping up with competitors and industry news<br />
20. LinkedIn<br />Only Soc Med tool built specifically for biz<br />Best place to start if new to Soc Med<br />Makes Networks Visible (Big Deal)<br />Lots of ways to integrate with other tools<br />Listening<br />great place to listen for trigger events<br />Starting to get “noisy”, may take time to find good groups andor discussions <br />
21. Think Headlines<br />Tweets are limited to 140 characters<br />May be trickier to find keywords to search<br />Most tweets <br />Ask questions<br />point to a more detailed resource on the web<br />#hashtags – used to categorize conversations<br />Listening - search.twitter.com/advanced<br />People, places, time line, attitudes, questions<br />
22. Facebook (Business Page)<br />Google indexes – helps you get found<br />FB continues to get more business friendly<br />Many sites using FB friends and likes to help filter results<br />Listening – most B2B companies appear to be using as an additional outlet for same content<br />
24. Taming the beast<br />
25. Begin With The End In Mind<br />
26. Create the Plan | Work the Plan<br />
27. Create a routine first<br /><ul><li> Daily
29. Monthly </li></li></ul><li>Then pick your tools<br /><ul><li>TweetDeck.com
32. CRM</li></li></ul><li>Recap<br />Social Media is about the conversation<br />Listen first<br />Get found by<br />claiming your digital real estate<br />create and share valuable content<br />Lead back to your web site and the “Try” stage of your Marketing Hourglass<br />Use a system to stay on top of things<br />Select tools after you define your needs<br />
33. For More Information<br />Bill Brelsford<br /> Rebar Business Builders<br />firstname.lastname@example.org<br /> 913.962.9261<br />www.rebarbusinessbuilders.com<br /> Subscribe to The Business Builder newsletter<br /> Download free eBooks<br /> Subscribe to my blog<br /> Links to connect on social media<br />