Sales, at its essence, is all about connecting with people and building relationships. “The rise of social media brings a new dynamic to the sales environment of any organisation and those wanting to be part of a new generation of industry leaders should invest in Social CRM,” says Keith Fenner, Senior Vice President for Sales at Sage ERP Africa and Middle East.
According to Fenner, using popular social media networks such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook makes businesses more accessible, more personable and enables them to maintain long term connections.
Social CRM is the process for monitoring, engaging in, and managing conversations and relationships with existing or prospective customers and influencers across social media channels. “By integrating social media with your CRM software, you will be able to foster communities and engage in conversations that will build meaningful relationships, so existing customers keep coming back and new customers keep coming in,” says Fenner.
Fenner’s top social media tips for sales people:
Establish a presence on Twitter
Doing keyword searches on Twitter helps you to find people talking about the issues your business is interested in and this could lead to a potential sale. The geographical search function on Twitter can help you to find potential customers who live in your area. Twitter is also ideal to track brand names and determine people mentioning your company’s name. Investing in Social CRM software will ensure for an even more structured interaction with the customer and will enable sales people to post or reply directly to a Tweet from within the CRM system. Specific Twitter feeds for specific companies or people can be viewed and the contents of the Tweet can be saved to a note within CRM.
Unlock sales opportunities within LinkedIn
By engaging with LinkedIn members, companies can achieve a wide range of sales and marketing objectives. The professional characteristics of the LinkedIn membership base and the content of online member profiles can be used effectively to identify qualified prospects, generate leads, research prospects prior to sales calls and establish a company’s presence. For example, in lengthy sales cycles, key personnel can change and LinkedIn provides a dynamic and simple way to track these changes and plot a sales strategy based on the profile and history of the new executive.
Gain customer insights from Facebook
Facebook allows for instant information about customers and possible sales opportunities, which enable sales people to better understand and know their customers for better relationship management. CRM for Facebook brings customers’ profiles inside the customer CRM account allowing users to not only view existing and potential customers’ profiles but also to integrate relevant data into the business’ data management system.
Establish a Yammer Group for sales teams
This internal social network allows for structured business conversations amongst sales teams concerning opportunities and leads, and gives sales teams the opportunity to support each other in a way that is more social and transparent. For example, by embedding Yammer into a CRM application, you give sales people immediate access to relevant conversations in a single collaborative desktop.