How Marketing Can Make Social Media Easy for the B2B Sales Team
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  • 78% of salespeople using social media outperformed their colleagues who don’t
  • What you aim to achieve will depend on the unique elements of your business and your industry. Some of the most common goals include using social media to raise brand awareness, foster prospect and customer engagement, build communities, improve or reduce the costs of customer service, and generate new leads.
  • LinkedIn: Best platform to use for B2B Sales Over 7 million Canadian users (and counting) Business-focused Flexible Keep in contact with new and old connections Twitter: Open connections, a lot of business applications In Canada, over 10 million accounts Great way to share and access information
  • 56% of B2B marketers are planning to increase their social media spend in 2013. That’s great, but are they increasing their spend in the right areas? At the end of the day, we believe if marketing departments aren’t focusing at least some of that increased investment on helping their B2B sales teams, they’re missing a gigantic opportunity. Great content: Map it to the sales funnel. What are your prospects pain points? Why information are they looking for as they move through their buying process? Involve the sales team in the process. Put their names front and center where you can. They’re the experts and should have the best customer insights. Highlight that. Make it easy to share: For industries with proprietary or time-sensitive information like the financial services industry, or if you’re just worried about how salespeople might use social media, creating lists can ensure that salespeople stay on message. It also makes things much simpler. Using a tool like Hootsuite, you can create lists of pre-approved sources of information that salespeople can easily go in and re-post without worry. For example, for one of our customers in the interior design industry, we’ve worked with them to identify a series of pre-approved industry sources that can be leveraged without question. As definted by Forrester, “ Sales enablement is a strategic, ongoing process that equips all client-facing employees with the ability to consistently and systematically have a valuable conversation with the right set of customer stakeholders at each stage of the customer's problem-solving life cycle to optimize the return of investment of the selling system.” Very wordy, but at its core, sales enablement is about empowering your sales force with the tools they need to build customer relationships. As it turns out, 78% of salespeople using social media outsell their peers who don’t. Especially with regards to B2B sales, when buying cycles are longer and there are more parties involved in making decisions, taking the steps to leverage social media as a sales enablement tool is important. The first way marketers can enable their salespeople for success is by sharing social insights that can be garnered from social media tools like Hootsuite, TrendSpottr, or Hashtagify.me and marketing automation tools. It’s been estimated that buyers are now as far as 70% of the way through the buying process by the time they even reach out to salespeople. Marketers can help to fill in these gaps with social listening. Keeping tabs on how prospects and potential prospects behave and converse on social media, and by keeping tabs on general industry trends and developments, marketing departments can provide B2B salespeople with valuable information that can be used in the sales process. Again, using lists is vital. In a recent project for a client of ours in the industrial services industry, we set up searches based on specific product categories, geographies, based on their competitors, and based on industry publications. Scanning these lists provides quick access to pertinent information. Social media is a lot like moving abroad. It can be a bit of a culture shock, just like living in a new city and country with a different language or a new culture. Before you can gain the full trust and acceptance of your new community, you need to learn about the norms, customs and behaviours. Set Expectations: To be successful, it’s vital to make social media a part of your daily schedule. Where you can, it’s a great idea to work to make social media targets a part of a salespersons overall targets. How many new connections should they be making per week? How many times should they be sharing content? As always, make your targets specific, measurable, achievable, and rewardable. Planning Sessions: Focus on customer service requirements; marketers on social media can reduce the burden on sales staff by being well-versed in customer issues and proactively solving problems.
  • 56% of B2B marketers are planning to increase their social media spend in 2013. That’s great, but are they increasing their spend in the right areas? At the end of the day, we believe if marketing departments aren’t focusing at least some of that increased investment on helping their B2B sales teams, they’re missing a gigantic opportunity. Great content: Map it to the sales funnel. What are your prospects pain points? Why information are they looking for as they move through their buying process? Involve the sales team in the process. Put their names front and center where you can. They’re the experts and should have the best customer insights. Highlight that. Tell VA Partners Lead Wrench story Make it easy to share: Trying to boil the ocean is the quickest way to fail. Start small by setting weekly or monthly goals for reps that can escalate over time. Focus on the metrics that are highly visible – shares, posts, likes, RTs, followers. These are metrics that can be tracked easily for you and are related just a bit to prestige. Using tools is the difference for a lot of our clients. They make things a little less overwhelming for unsure sales reps and maximize efficiency. At VA Partners, we use tools like Hootsuite every day in our social selling processes. As a marketing department, you can also leverage paid tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator to expand the reach and capabilities of your sales team on LinkedIn. For industries with proprietary or time-sensitive information like the financial services industry, or if you’re just worried about how salespeople might use social media, creating lists can ensure that salespeople stay on message. It also makes things much simpler. Using a tool like Hootsuite, you can create lists of pre-approved sources of information that salespeople can easily go in and re-post without worry. For example, for one of our customers in the interior design industry, we’ve worked with them to identify a series of pre-approved industry sources that can be leveraged without question. Lists can also help salespeople with their prospecting efforts or with monitoring the activity of their leads or competition As definted by Forrester, “ Sales enablement is a strategic, ongoing process that equips all client-facing employees with the ability to consistently and systematically have a valuable conversation with the right set of customer stakeholders at each stage of the customer's problem-solving life cycle to optimize the return of investment of the selling system.” Very wordy, but at its core, sales enablement is about empowering your sales force with the tools they need to build customer relationships. As it turns out, 78% of salespeople using social media outsell their peers who don’t. Especially with regards to B2B sales, when buying cycles are longer and there are more parties involved in making decisions, taking the steps to leverage social media as a sales enablement tool is important. The first way marketers can enable their salespeople for success is by sharing social insights that can be garnered from social media tools like Hootsuite, TrendSpottr, or Hashtagify.me and marketing automation tools. It’s been estimated that buyers are now as far as 70% of the way through the buying process by the time they even reach out to salespeople. Marketers can help to fill in these gaps with social listening. Keeping tabs on how prospects and potential prospects behave and converse on social media, and by keeping tabs on general industry trends and developments, marketing departments can provide B2B salespeople with valuable information that can be used in the sales process. Again, using lists is vital. In a recent project for a client of ours in the industrial services industry, we set up searches based on specific product categories, geographies, based on their competitors, and based on industry publications. Scanning these lists provides quick access to pertinent information. Social media is a lot like moving abroad. It can be a bit of a culture shock, just like living in a new city and country with a different language or a new culture. Before you can gain the full trust and acceptance of your new community, you need to learn about the norms, customs and behaviours. Set Expectations: To be successful, it’s vital to make social media a part of your daily schedule. Where you can, it’s a great idea to work to make social media targets a part of a salespersons overall targets. How many new connections should they be making per week? How many times should they be sharing content? As always, make your targets specific, measurable, achievable, and rewardable. Planning Sessions: Focus on customer service requirements; marketers on social media can reduce the burden on sales staff by being well-versed in customer issues and proactively solving problems. Feedback: A strong feedback loop will help you identify holes in your strategy and is an excellent opportunity to further understand your customers. Communicating with your sales reps can provide insight into what prospects really care about, what works, and what doesn’t. For example, it will help you to understand how you should update or change the overall social media policies.
  • 56% of B2B marketers are planning to increase their social media spend in 2013. That’s great, but are they increasing their spend in the right areas? At the end of the day, we believe if marketing departments aren’t focusing at least some of that increased investment on helping their B2B sales teams, they’re missing a gigantic opportunity. Great content: Map it to the sales funnel. What are your prospects pain points? Why information are they looking for as they move through their buying process? Involve the sales team in the process. Put their names front and center where you can, get them to provide you with content. They’re the experts and should have the best customer insights. Highlight that. It’s great content for your social platforms but also means that your sales reps have skin in the game and will be more actively involved (DYNAMIC STORY). Make it easy to share: For industries with proprietary or time-sensitive information like the financial services industry, or if you’re just worried about how salespeople might use social media, creating lists can ensure that salespeople stay on message. It also makes things much simpler. Using a tool like Hootsuite, you can create lists of pre-approved sources of information that salespeople can easily go in and re-post without worry. For example, for one of our customers in the interior design industry, we’ve worked with them to identify a series of pre-approved industry sources that is on-message and on-brand and that can be accessed and promoted without question. As definted by Forrester, “ Sales enablement is a strategic, ongoing process that equips all client-facing employees with the ability to consistently and systematically have a valuable conversation with the right set of customer stakeholders at each stage of the customer's problem-solving life cycle to optimize the return of investment of the selling system.” Very wordy, but at its core, sales enablement is about empowering your sales force with the tools they need to understand customers and subsequently build customer relationships. As it turns out, 78% of salespeople using social media outsell their peers who don’t. Especially with regards to B2B sales, when buying cycles are longer and there are more parties involved in making decisions, taking the steps to leverage social media as a sales enablement tool is important. Start by using social media tools yourself in your role in the sales process. According to LinkedIn, sales people typically get about 30% of their leads from marketing. Use social media tools to prospect for new customers which can be passed off to the sales teams means they’ll have direct links to the power of social selling. It’s important to lead by example. Next is enable your salespeople for success is by sharing social insights that can be garnered from social media tools like Hootsuite, TrendSpottr, or Hashtagify.me and marketing automation tools. It’s been estimated that buyers are now as far as 70% of the way through the buying process by the time they even reach out to salespeople. Marketers can help to fill in these gaps and understanding buying signals or triggers with social listening. Keeping tabs on how prospects and potential prospects behave and converse on social media, and by keeping tabs on general industry trends and developments, marketing departments can provide B2B salespeople with valuable information that can be used in the sales process. Again, using lists is vital. In a recent project for a client of ours in the industrial services industry, we set up searches based on specific product categories, geographies, based on their competitors, and based on industry publications. Scanning these lists provides quick access to pertinent information. Social media is a lot like moving abroad. It can be a bit of a culture shock, just like living in a new city and country with a different language or a new culture. Before you can gain the full trust and acceptance of your new community, you need to learn about the norms, customs and behaviours. Set Expectations: To be successful, it’s vital to make social media a part of your daily schedule. Where you can, it’s a great idea to work to make social media targets a part of a salespersons overall targets. How many new connections should they be making per week? How many times should they be sharing content? As always, make your targets specific, measurable, achievable, and rewardable. Put sales reps on a pedestal: If possible, use your company account to highlight your sales team. I think that fundamentally, people like to build relationships with people more than they like to build relationships with a faceless company account. Using your social media platforms to position your sales reps as thought leaders and increase exposure can do a world of good. Measure Results: When measuring results, you need to ensure you’re going back to the goals you set and communicating that to the sales reps. You can again use tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator’s Enterprise Management function to gauge usage, best practice adoption, and identify problem areas. Planning Sessions: Focus on customer service requirements; marketers on social media can reduce the burden on sales staff by being well-versed in customer issues and proactively solving problems.
  • 56% of B2B marketers are planning to increase their social media spend in 2013. That’s great, but are they increasing their spend in the right areas? At the end of the day, we believe if marketing departments aren’t focusing at least some of that increased investment on helping their B2B sales teams, they’re missing a gigantic opportunity. Great content: Map it to the sales funnel. What are your prospects pain points? Why information are they looking for as they move through their buying process? Involve the sales team in the process. Put their names front and center where you can. They’re the experts and should have the best customer insights. Highlight that. Make it easy to share: For industries with proprietary or time-sensitive information like the financial services industry, or if you’re just worried about how salespeople might use social media, creating lists can ensure that salespeople stay on message. It also makes things much simpler. Using a tool like Hootsuite, you can create lists of pre-approved sources of information that salespeople can easily go in and re-post without worry. For example, for one of our customers in the interior design industry, we’ve worked with them to identify a series of pre-approved industry sources that can be leveraged without question. As definted by Forrester, “ Sales enablement is a strategic, ongoing process that equips all client-facing employees with the ability to consistently and systematically have a valuable conversation with the right set of customer stakeholders at each stage of the customer's problem-solving life cycle to optimize the return of investment of the selling system.” Very wordy, but at its core, sales enablement is about empowering your sales force with the tools they need to build customer relationships. As it turns out, 78% of salespeople using social media outsell their peers who don’t. Especially with regards to B2B sales, when buying cycles are longer and there are more parties involved in making decisions, taking the steps to leverage social media as a sales enablement tool is important. The first way marketers can enable their salespeople for success is by sharing social insights that can be garnered from social media tools like Hootsuite, TrendSpottr, or Hashtagify.me and marketing automation tools. It’s been estimated that buyers are now as far as 70% of the way through the buying process by the time they even reach out to salespeople. Marketers can help to fill in these gaps with social listening. Keeping tabs on how prospects and potential prospects behave and converse on social media, and by keeping tabs on general industry trends and developments, marketing departments can provide B2B salespeople with valuable information that can be used in the sales process. Again, using lists is vital. In a recent project for a client of ours in the industrial services industry, we set up searches based on specific product categories, geographies, based on their competitors, and based on industry publications. Scanning these lists provides quick access to pertinent information. Social media is a lot like moving abroad. It can be a bit of a culture shock, just like living in a new city and country with a different language or a new culture. Before you can gain the full trust and acceptance of your new community, you need to learn about the norms, customs and behaviours. Set Expectations: To be successful, it’s vital to make social media a part of your daily schedule. Where you can, it’s a great idea to work to make social media targets a part of a salespersons overall targets. How many new connections should they be making per week? How many times should they be sharing content? As always, make your targets specific, measurable, achievable, and rewardable. Planning Sessions: Focus on customer service requirements; marketers on social media can reduce the burden on sales staff by being well-versed in customer issues and proactively solving problems.

How Marketing Can Make Social Media Easy for the B2B Sales Team Presentation Transcript

  • 1. @markeelliott @sambrennand @vapartners #smwB2BSalesJoin the Conversation: How Marketing Can Make Social Media Easy for the B2B Sales Team September 23rd , 2013
  • 2. @markeelliott @sambrennand @vapartners #smwB2BSalesJoin the Conversation: Agenda 1 Introductions 4 5 LinkedIn Twitter 3 Finding The Right Platforms 2 Why Use Social Media for Sales? 7 Creating a Plan 9 Additional Resources 8 Taking Relationships Offline 6 How Marketing Can Make It Easy
  • 3. @markeelliott @sambrennand @vapartners #smwB2BSalesJoin the Conversation: • Marketing Manager, Venture Accelerator Partners • B2B marketing and sales roles with TELUS and Microsoft Canada Introductions • Co-Founder, Venture Accelerator Partners • 10 years at a Fortune 500 company in various sales, marketing, and leadership roles Mark Elliott Sam Brennand • Outsourced sales, marketing, and social media services for growing companies • Worked with dozens of companies and driven millions of dollars in revenues VA Partners
  • 4. @markeelliott @sambrennand @vapartners #smwB2BSalesJoin the Conversation: • Competitive intelligence • Account management • Prospecting • Stay top of mind • Demonstrating subject matter expertise Why Use Social Media for Sales?
  • 5. @markeelliott @sambrennand @vapartners #smwB2BSalesJoin the Conversation: Where Do You Stand? LinkedIn’s ‘Social Selling’ Spectrum:
  • 6. @markeelliott @sambrennand @vapartners #smwB2BSalesJoin the Conversation: • Where are your customers and partners? • How do they like to get information? • Don’t spread yourself too thin • Maximize your ROI Which Platform Works for You?
  • 7. @markeelliott @sambrennand @vapartners #smwB2BSalesJoin the Conversation: Why LinkedIn? Source: TechVibes Source: Carabiner PR Why Twitter? 85% 82% 77%36% 71%
  • 8. @markeelliott @sambrennand @vapartners #smwB2BSalesJoin the Conversation: • Create great content that solves your customers’ problems • Consistent blogging • White papers • eBooks • Case studies • Videos • Webinars • Events How Can Marketing Help?
  • 9. @markeelliott @sambrennand @vapartners #smwB2BSalesJoin the Conversation: • Make it easy • Start small • Use free (or nearly free) tools • Create lists • Schedule and send reminders • Keep it simple and consistent on social platforms • Create easy to follow best practice documents How Can Marketing Help?
  • 10. @markeelliott @sambrennand @vapartners #smwB2BSalesJoin the Conversation: • Sales enablement with social media • Set an example • Help sales understand customers by sharing social insights • Set activity targets • Put sales reps on a pedestal • Measure results • Training sessions How Can Marketing Help?
  • 11. @markeelliott @sambrennand @vapartners #smwB2BSalesJoin the Conversation: • Solicit the sales team’s feedback • Weekly/monthly meetings • Compile customer stories • Celebrate and promote social selling success stories How Can Marketing Help?
  • 12. @markeelliott @sambrennand @vapartners #smwB2BSalesJoin the Conversation: LinkedIn: The Basics Link to Company Page Photo Complete Profile Join Groups
  • 13. @markeelliott @sambrennand @vapartners #smwB2BSalesJoin the Conversation: • Make connections with existing accounts • Watch for profile changes • Add 1 connection a day • Update status • ‘Like’ posts • Participate in groups • Answer questions Account Management with LinkedIn
  • 14. @markeelliott @sambrennand @vapartners #smwB2BSalesJoin the Conversation: • Leverage 2nd Connections • Company Page • Connections • Company Details • Searches • Company • Contacts • inMail • Who’s looking at you? • Always connect LinkedIn Prospecting
  • 15. @markeelliott @sambrennand @vapartners #smwB2BSalesJoin the Conversation: • Completed profile, with picture • Create lists • 3rd Party Sources • Company • Prospects • Customers • Competitors • Create searches • Use tools • Web • Mobile Twitter: The Basics
  • 16. @markeelliott @sambrennand @vapartners #smwB2BSalesJoin the Conversation: • Use it every day • Follow before engaging • RT is powerful • Events and ‘#’ • Don’t be afraid to connect with an @reply, but don’t pester Using Twitter
  • 17. @markeelliott @sambrennand @vapartners #smwB2BSalesJoin the Conversation: • Set aside time regularly • Set goals • Connect • Everyone loves a RT/Share • Don’t just share your info • Create lists • Help others Creating a Plan
  • 18. @markeelliott @sambrennand @vapartners #smwB2BSalesJoin the Conversation: • Find the connectors • Meet at events • Ask new connections for a coffee or a call • Review older connections and schedule meetings • Offer to help before you ask for anything Taking Relationships Offline
  • 19. @markeelliott @sambrennand @vapartners #smwB2BSalesJoin the Conversation: @B2Bspecialist Linkedin Group Great Resources @aprildunford @markevans@CopywriterTO @MaRSDD @james_t_shanks
  • 20. @markeelliott @sambrennand @vapartners #smwB2BSalesJoin the Conversation: @markeelliott Connect With Us @sambrennand @MaRSDD