Earlier this month I kicked off the newest season of the Sales Peer to Peer at Hamilton’s Innovation Factory with a presentation focused on how to use social media for B2B sales.
In today’s market, there’s a huge opportunity for sales teams to leverage social media to help with account management, prospecting, and to reinforce their status as subject matter experts.
You can view my presentation below.
Here are the 5 keys to successfully using social media for B2B sales.
1. Pick the Right Platforms
Obviously, there’s no shortage of social media platforms available to make use of. However, understanding which ones your customers, prospects, and partners use for business is the key. From there, pick the top two to work with on a daily basis. For most B2B sales reps, the best platforms would be Linkedin and Twitter.
2. Create a Plan
It’s very easy to let social media become a time suck. Conversely, sometimes it’s easy to not be present for large stretches of time. By creating a plan that has you spending 15 minutes at a minimum of twice a week, you can be incredibly and surprisingly productive. Sharing new content, connecting with people, and engaging with other users are all regular activities that should be done.
I find that when many people do social media wrong, they tend to either not share or they just share information about their own company. Social selling, and social media for B2B sales in particular, is about connecting with your prospects on their own terms, so the key is to share a mix of 3rd party, customer, partner, and original content.
4. Use Tools
There are a number of great free social media management tools that can support your social media efforts. My favourite, and one I use every day, is Hootsuite. It allows me to find great content, schedule posts, and engage with prospects, customers, and partners. It also has a great mobile app that is extremely handy for a salesperson on the road or for between meetings.
5. Marketing or Leadership Support
There are a few things that the marketing and/or leadership teams can do to help sales teams succeed with social media. The first and perhaps most important is by helping them understand the value and support of using social media throughout the sales process. Secondly, they can create great new content on a regular basis to promote engagement at multiple levels. This allows sales reps the chance to point back to your site regularly and boost your organization’s credibility as a subject matter expert.
As always, if you haven’t started yet, make sure to create a plan before you start using social media for B2B sales.
If you’re interested in learning more about social media and the B2B sales process, follow us on Twitter at @vapartners for daily tips.