Social media has become a “must-have” when prospecting in today’s conversation economy. LinkedIn, the social media corporate tool of choice first started off as a recruitment tool and today, 80% of companies still use it in their recruiting efforts- which essentially translates to power prospecting. Most salespeople are still confused on how to best leverage social media into the sales mix- when they do, it is usually at the beginning part of the sales cycle.
We must “touch” prospects 8-12 times in our nurturing efforts, so it makes sense to incorporate social tools into our prospecting efforts. Based on the popular webinar delivered with Selling Power, here’s a great way to build your Social Media Prospecting Blueprint. This strategy integrates Salesforce.com’ six sales stages:
Sales Stage 1: Identify
This is the pre-call research stage and the homework that must happen on your end before contacting your prospect. There are so many great sales intelligence tools out there that aggregate great information such as Hoovers, Google, Jigsaw, LinkedIn, InsideView- these will help you learn about your target companies.
Sales Stage 2: Discover
We are selling in a “conversation economy” and must listen and discover what is out there. The next step is reading and commenting on blogs, engaging in a LinkedIn discussion, watching a YouTube video and following key influencers on Twitter. Tuning in on this level helps you listen for compelling events that will influence the buying process.
Sales Stage 3: Validate
This is your introductory first impression whether you send a unique email through GoldMail, or you use a power dialer such as ConnectAndSell- you only have seconds. How you say it and deliver your message is key to earning time. BTW- this is where you include your homework in your opening statements.
Sales Stage 4: Solving
After you have briefly engaged and have determined this may be a good prospect, this is when you start nurturing the opportunity. Create your multi-touch strategy to educate with regular drip marketing and remember to deliver “contagious content.”
Sales Stage 5: Presenting
The chances of an opportunity converting after a demo or presentation is much higher today – include more presentations in your sales prospecting process. The web collaboration tools such as WebEx, GoToMeeting, Adobe’s Connect are popular tools, use these to make short presentations earlier in the sales cycle.
Sales Stage 6: Closing
Customers are still low-risk and although they are spending money, they still want a return on their investment. There are great ROI calculators and tools you can incorporate at this stage.
Josiane Feigon is author of the book, Smart Selling on the Phone and Online–the sourcebook for inside sales. Her Cubicle Chronicles blog is voted among the top 25 sales blogs. She’s founder and CEO of TeleSmart Communications, a 20-year veteran and thought leader of the industry, Josiane is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on inside sales team and manager talent, providing consulting, coaching, and training solutions for hundreds of Fortune 1000 companies.
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