Social Media and Your Salesforce: Slides from 2014 IASA BootCamp+


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Presentation presented at IASA BootCamp+ March 2014.

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Social Media and Your Salesforce: Slides from 2014 IASA BootCamp+

  1. 1. SOCIAL MEDIA AND YOUR SALESFORCE Darin M. Reffitt, Chair of IASA’s Social Media Subcommittee @dmreffitt on Twitter
  2. 2. Background Per a LinkedIn study released February 13, 20147 of Small and Medium sized businesses (SMBs) are using social media of SMBs using social media are doing so for marketing purposes of “hyper growth” companies say social media helped increase brand awareness of “hyper growth” companies said social media helped generate new leads
  3. 3. Background More things to consider: of CEOs do not return cold emails or cold calls, per InsideView1 the number of web or social media sources buyers turn to before making a purchase decision26 of B2B buyers started product research on social media or other online communities in 201226 of B2B decision makers think sales representatives are unprepared for meetings, per SiriusDecisions1
  4. 4. How Do B2B Decision Makers Use Social Media? Per 2013 Forrester Research, as quoted from KinetixMedia14: visit communities or forums that are NOT associated with a single brand or vendor at least once a month visit Facebook at least once a month visit LinkedIn at least once a month Use support or discussion forums & communities associated with a specific vendor or brand visit Twitter at least once a month Access Google+ at least once a month
  5. 5. The Combined Challenge Buyers are 57% through their buying process before engaging with salespeople, according to the Corporate Executive Board30 More difficult to reach decision makers Easier for buyers to do their own research on solutions Greater adoption of social media by companies and individuals A shift in sales approach is required
  6. 6. Social Selling • Definition: the use of social media to increase revenue and sales team productivity25. • What it is: – Listening – Connecting – Engaging – Advising – Sharing – Monitoring • What it isn’t: – Pushing products – Spamming “Before LinkedIn and other social networks, in the sales world, ABC stood for Always Be Closing. Now, ABC means Always Be Connecting, because your connections lead to your next hire, your next job, your next lead, and your next close.” - Jill Rowley, Social Selling Evangelist at Oracle30
  7. 7. Social Selling of B2B buyers are informing themselves about enterprise products and services through 3rd-party sources before consulting a vendor’s salesforce31 of those say that these 3rd party sources are a factor in their purchase decisions31 “B2B buyers are shopping at work like they do at home.” –Avanade31
  8. 8. On the Other Hand… • Traditionally, companies have limited access to social media by anyone other than Marketing or Communications • Perceived (and sometimes valid) brand risks limit the ability of the salesforce to post or share content if it’s seen as being on behalf of the company • Proper training is a better solution than denying access
  9. 9. General Strategies Listen • Prospect companies voluntarily deliver significant amounts of strategic information about their goals, challenges and plans for growth via social media. Sales teams can use this information to target their approach to the needs of each prospect • Individuals in targeted companies often share challenges or seek ideas for solutions via social media. Proactive response to those individuals can lead to sales growth and additional referrals
  10. 10. General Strategies Connect • Social media has become—digitally—a combination of what chamber of commerce mixers, class reunions, and conferences used to be in person • Networking via social channels can lead to sales opportunities not only directly, but via referrals from clients, former classmates, distant relatives, and digital influencers • Include your social media links on business cards and email signatures to make it easier to find you via various channels • Crosslink your social media accounts to each other
  11. 11. General Strategies Engage, Advise, & Share • Social media enables members of the sales team to become digital influencers themselves • Acting as an ongoing resource for advice and expertise keeps both the salesperson and the company top of mind when a window opens for a sales opportunity • Answering questions about the business in general keeps you top of mind as a resource • Post relevant content from other sites that will interest targets • Blog about industry or implementation best practices • Link targets to solutions to other issues
  12. 12. General Strategies Monitor • Just as companies issue strategic clues on Twitter and other social sites, so too do competitors, enabling you to monitor their strategies and prepare for future campaigns, initiatives, and/or challenges • Intelligence gathering on social media is more current and enables real-time response • Set up Google alerts for key names and topics to listen proactively for news38: – Your Name – Company Name – Competitor Names – Client Names – Key Unique Terms “According to a study by conversocial, only 3% of tweets directed at a company actually use their official @username37
  13. 13. General Strategies Develop a daily routine4 • Watch the Hootsuite video referenced in the online sources (#4) • 10/10/10 rule: Spend: each day connecting with buyers each day gathering intelligence about prospects/competitors/etc. each day becoming a trusted advisor “Distinguish yourself as a provider of consistently good advice.” –The Social Media Sales Revolution
  14. 14. LinkedIn Forrester Facts: B2B Decision Maker use of LinkedIn: “88% have connected with peers or colleagues in the past month, while 40% have participated in groups that are affiliated with a brand or vendor. 81% of LinkedIn users visit the site with a business purpose at least some of the time.” • LinkedIn is “the world’s best business networking database”35 • Your profile is your online resume – Professional photo – Complete background and experience – All relevant skills and expertise • Ask for professional recommendations from other clients • Join relevant groups37 – You may join up to 50 groups – Groups give you a place to answer questions and demonstrate knowledge – You can contact people in your groups even if they aren’t direct contacts
  15. 15. LinkedIn Profile Professional picture Professional name Attention-grabbing heading Vanity URL for links Contact info Other social media Summary demonstrating expertise Experience
  16. 16. Twitter • If new, start by following key companies and industry associations – Look at who is following them • Search and monitor key hashtags4 – follow the people posting about those topics • Use your profile space strategically – Use hashtags and key info in a very limited space • Use the same photo across all social sites for easy confirmation • “Stakehold” your handle on new sites to protect it38 • If selling into a geographic region, search geographically4 – use Twellow Forrester Facts: B2B Decision Maker use of Twitter: “86% of users look to Twitter primarily to read others' tweets, with very few actively sharing through this channel. More than half have posted a tweet themselves or retweeted something they've read online. And 42% have used Twitter to get product support.” Same profile picture Describe your value Cross-linked sites Unique header photo
  17. 17. Facebook • Consider separate accounts for personal and business purposes35 • Join public & private groups related to your field • Be cautious with privacies and photos – Remember that your profile photo and your cover photos are public • If connecting with business colleagues in a personal account, use the List feature to organize and ensure you’re sharing appropriately. Forrester Facts: B2B Decision Maker use of Facebook: while ”Only 2%…view their Facebook presence as primarily for business” many use Facebook for business sometimes. “Of those that do, 71% use it to connect with people…Slightly more than half have liked a brand or vendor (57%) or clicked on an ad/posted on a page owned by a brand or vendor (51%).
  18. 18. Google+ • If only 49% are using it, why leverage it? • 72% of product research for a future business purchase begins on Google, according to Pardot's 2013 State of Demand Generation Report2 • Google+ ties directly to SEO for your website and for social media • Enables a link into YouTube, for video blogging • An alternative to using two Facebook accounts – Facebook for Personal, Google+ for Business • Allows organization by “circles” – Circles are like Facebook Lists – If not already on Google+, you can start fresh with ideal groupings – Control who sees various posts and who you see in your feed
  19. 19. Blogging • Hubspot reports that 92% of companies that blog multiple times per day have acquired a customer from their blog1 • “Encourage team members to think about new ways to focus on prospects’ needs and business challenges by answering common questions that prospects ask in their buyer journey”6 • The most successful B2B content marketers rated blogs as the most effective social media tactic, per a 2014 Benchmarks study8 • Blog about industry trends, challenges • Blogs can be written or video • Platforms: – WordPress – Blogger – YouTube
  20. 20. SlideShare • Upload presentations on general educational topics to SlideShare as a PowerPoint or PDF • Link them to your LinkedIn and publish them via Twitter/Facebook/Google+ • Ensure you include an author biography within your presentation and link it to your other social media accounts39 • Be strategic with keywords to reach your target market Searching “Insurance Accounting”: Searching “Insurance Systems”: Searching “Insurance Technology”:
  21. 21. Other Sites to Consider • Quora: a question and answer site that enables experts to share their expertise, and which is tied to your Twitter/Facebook/G+ account • Other trending sites may not seem applicable, but there’s something to be said for being first to market via a new channel • Pinterest and Instagram may seem largely B2C, but according to a recent FastCompany article2, that’s not set in stone: – “…whether they're sharing photos "From the Factory Floor" or showcasing "Badass Machines," General Electric does a great job on Pinterest. When it comes to images, Maersk is leading the B2B pack on Instagram” • Instagram and YouTube can serve as ideal content generators for other sites – Video and photos tend to gain traction over other types of content A study by Simply Measured showed that Instagram photos shared by brands to Facebook resulted in 274 engagement actions, and to Twitter resulted in 22 retweets per photo37
  22. 22. Salesforce Social Roadmap • Each company’s roadmap will be different • Things to consider: – How socially engaged is your company? – Who is allowed to post content at your company? – What legal/regulatory challenges does your industry face? – To whom are you selling? Where are they on social media?
  23. 23. Sample Social Roadmap Who may access social media? Howsociallyengagedisyourcompany? Twitterisstillkinda scary We’reonLinkedIn andTwitter JustLinkedInand Twitter?Pshaw! Only Marketing may use social media Everyone can see social media; but only a few authorized people may post Our client facing staff is an extension of our brand on social media Silent Observers Active Listeners Skilled Networkers Client Advocates Responsive Listeners Brand Promoters Brand Advocates
  24. 24. What Sales Managers Can Do • Provide Training – Read Chapter 9 of The Social Media Strategist (#32) for a great overview of training approaches and areas – Recommends three levels of training: – Intro level for everyone (“Undergraduate”) - Policy, platforms and ettiquette – Intermediate level for those with social media exposure (“Graduate”) – Brand & reputation, case studies, crisis preparation – Advanced level for those engaged directly in social media (“Doctorate”) – In depth training & real-life examples with outside speakers
  25. 25. What Sales Managers Can Do • Advocate for social selling • H&R Block’s approach can serve as a model32: – “H&R Block’s approach reflects a solid understanding of the environment. It recognizes that employees and associates are going to be active in the social Web and that trying to restrict or control all of their conversations is futile—not to mention limiting their potential effectiveness. To protect its brand and ensure consistency, H&R Block educates everyone at the company on its online communication (social media) policy—to the extent of even including that policy in vendor and partner agreements.”
  26. 26. What Sales Managers Can Do • Lead by example – Show them how to get engaged on the various sites and demonstrate appropriate usage • Incorporate social engagement into goals – What gets measured gets done • Develop incentives to salespeople to engage on social media9 – Prizes – Rankings – The best at social sales get access to the best tools9 (ex. LinkedIn Premium memberships) “We incentivize salespeople every day to record the number of appointments, outbound calls, proposals sent, and other activities that we know drive sales. Why not include their number of blog comments? Or new Twitter followers? Or recommendations on LinkedIn? Make it fun, and make it competitive at the same time. Rank the sales team in order of their ‘social strengths.’” – Jeff Hoffman16
  27. 27. What Marketing Can Do • Help drive the cultural shift at your company to embracing social media and enabling use by the salesforce – Incorporate the salesforce into the overall social media plan goals2 – As you define your overall social media marketing goals and tactics, including the salesforce as a channel for distribution and lead management will help you to succeed – Ensure a comprehensive Social Media policy is created that enables the salesforce to engage socially • Provide tools to assist2 – Corporate accounts with services to help the salesforce manage and measure social media success will standardize processes and ensure compliance with corporate requirements – If you don’t give them the tools to do the job they will find or make their own “If the culture in the organization doesn’t encourage communication, whether internally or externally, then adding in social media technologies is going to be difficult. And it’s often management that has difficulty understanding how to integrate, not the employees.”5
  28. 28. What Marketing Can Do • Support the Sales Team – Give them content to share - according to a recent IDG Connect B2B study, 89% of IT buyers want educational content, and the study notes that, "IT buyers will soon look to social media as the single most important content source to inform their buying decisions.“2 – Provide fully-developed Company pages and Official Twitter Accounts to lend the sales team credibility – Follow the sales team back on Twitter
  29. 29. Other Considerations Account Ownership • Decide up front who will own the accounts – Company-owned accounts should follow standard naming conventions – Personal accounts have more freedom to share content without appearing to be endorsing • Legal precedent is being set* – LinkedIn is generally viewed as personal • Avoid ambiguity – Set a policy and get forms signed for corporate-owned accounts Legal/Compliance • Make legal a partner instead of an adversary • Use appropriate tools for legal and compliance purposes *“Who Owns a Social Profile? You or Your Company?” owns-a-social-profile-you-or-your-company
  30. 30. Tools • Cardmuch: app that scans business cards and finds the LinkedIn account of the individual • Hootsuite: social media dashboard that enables organization of social media accounts, keywords, posts, hashtags, etc. – Within Hootsuite you can form followers into groups4 • Prospects • Customers • Competitors (private twitter list) • Influencers • Partners • Twellow: Twitter directory • Twitter Search Engine
  31. 31. Tools • RSS Readers37: – Feedly – NetVibes – Newsblur • Twitter Automation/Schedulers37: – HootSuite – Sprout Social – MarketMeSuite – TweetDeck (now owned by Twitter) • Tools to Measure Social Influence37: – Klout – Kred – PeerIndex
  32. 32. Vendors • Enterprise Social Marketing and/or Compliance Platforms: – GaggleAMP9 – Hearsay Social – PeopleLinx – Socialite – Socialware – Smarsh • Training Programs: – PeopleLinx – LinkedIn specific – Sales Performance International • Listening Platforms: – Radian6 – Sysomos
  33. 33. Final Thoughts • Start by listening and learning the rules of engagement – Figure out what your audience is doing and what your opportunity is32 • Voice matters – Building a personal brand requires a personal voice – On social media, organizational voices are less trusted than the voices of real people32, which carry more weight and seem more real • The 4-1-1 Rule37 – Published in 2009 and popularized by content marketing guru Joe Pulizzi – For every 6 posts: should be original posts to interesting content may be self-serving to your own content or campaign should be a retweet/repost of someone you’re following
  34. 34. Final Thoughts • Cone Inc. 2009 “Social Media in Business Study: of business buyers believe all companies should have a presence on social media of business buyers believed social media should be used to interact and become more engaged with them
  35. 35. Online Sources 1. 10 Ways To Teach Your Customers To Buy From You: customers-to-buy-from-you-social-selling/ 2. 5 (Relatively Simple) Steps To B2B Social Media Marketing Success: 3. 5 Ways Your Company Can Use Social Media: Tools to Employ – Infographic: 4. 7 Steps for Sales Teams Going Social – Video: 5. 7 Steps to Making the Most of Social Media in Your B2B Business: marketing/7-steps-making-social-media-b2b-business-0768144 6. 7 Ways Your Sales Team Can Get Results with B2B Social Media: media-sales-team-results/ 7. 81% Of Small And Medium-Sized Businesses Use Social Media: media-study/ 8. B2B Content Marketing Statistics and Trends: How Do You Measure Up?: 0777094 9. Empowering Sales Teams with Social Media to Drive Leads – Video: empowering-sales-teams-with-social-media-to-drive-leads/ 10. Even Though It’s Called B2B, There’s Still A “C” On The Other End:
  36. 36. Online Sources 11. Getting Social: Top Social Media Platforms for B2B: media-platforms/ 12. Hot or Not: The Best Methods for Finding New B2B Customers in 2014 – Infographic: 13. How B2B Companies Are Using Social Media – Infographic: companies-are-using-social-media-infographic/ 14. How B2B Decision-Makers are Using Social Media: 15. How Do B2B Companies Use Social Media? – Infographic: 16. How to Ease Your Sales Team Into Social Sales: 17. How to Enable Employee Brand Ambassadors Through Social Media; ambassadors.aspx 18. Make Social Media Easy For The B2B Sales Team – Slides: accelerator-partners-sm-for-b2-b-sales-130923 19. Other Than LinkedIn, Why Are B2B Marketers Still Unsure About Social Media?: about-social-media/ 20. Preparing sales teams for social media – it’s not just about the hard sell: media-and-marketing/preparing-sales-teams-social-media-%E2%80%93-it%E2%80%99s-not-just-about-hard-sell
  37. 37. Online Sources 21. The Rise of Social Salespeople: salespeople/ 22. Selling Social Media to the Sales Team: sales-team 23. Six Brilliant Ways B2B Brands Are Tapping into Social Media: ways-b2b-brands-tapping-social-media 24. Social Media and the B2B Sales Courtship: b2b-sales-courtship-0777660 25. Social Selling: An Overview for Sales Executives: 26. Using a Social Media Marketing Strategy to Reboot Your Sales Team: team/ 27. What Is Social Selling? Connections And Content: selling-connections-and-content/ 28. Why Sales Teams Need a Social-Media Strategy: sales-teams-need-a-social-media-strategy/why-sales-teams-need-a-social-media-strategy 29. Why Your Sales Team Needs To Get On Social Media: media/ 30. The ABCs of Social Selling: Always Be Connected:
  38. 38. Online Sources 31. B2B Buyers Seen Adopting B2C Shopping Practices: seen-adopting-b2c-shopping-practices-38359/
  39. 39. Printed Sources 32. Barger, Christopher. The Social Media Strategist: Build a Successful Program from the Inside Out. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012 33. Bodnar, Kipp and Jeffrey L. Cohen. The B2B Social Media Book: Become a Marketing Superstar by Generating Leads with Blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, E-Mail, and More. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2012 34. Gillan, Paul and Eric Schwartzman. Social Marketing to the Business Customer. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2011. 35. Landy, Chase and Kevin Knebl; The Social Media Sales Revolution: The New Rules for Finding Customers, Building Relationships, and Closing More Sales Through Online Networking. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011 36. Online Business Buddy. Social Media Sales Techniques: The 25 most effective ways to boost sales like a Pro with Social Media!. Self Published eBook, 2013 37. Schaffer, Neal. Maximize Your Social: A One-Stop Guide to Building a Social Media Strategy for Marketing and Business Success. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2013 38. Shih, Clara. The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Market, Sell, and Innovate, 2nd Edition. Boston: Pearson Education, 2011 39. Stock, Darren. Social Media Marketing: Strategies Tips Hints For Any Size Business. Self Published eBook, 2013