By now, the fact that the marketing landscape is changing is old news. We’ve spent a lot of time discussing the new tools and resources available to marketers in order to meet their goals, accomplish their missions, and engage with prospects and customers.
But let’s consider for just a moment the further reaching implications of this well known fact: if the marketing landscape is changing, then so is the sales environment. Gone are the days when customers reach out to sales reps in hopes of gaining education and product information. Toady’s consumer is empowered with an over-abundance of information and is reaching out to sales reps much later in the purchase process than in the past. As a result, sales teams, as well as marketing departments, have had to rethink their strategy.
So if your customers are no longer coming to you, but are instead first searching for information about a product online, how can you engage with prospects during the research phase of the purchasing cycle? One of the best ways is through social selling. By leveraging social media channels as a way to distribute content, not only are you able to get your own branded content in front of prospects, but you’re able to feature your subject matter experts’ thought leadership and position your company as a well-informed resource and industry expert.
I’m confident that many reading this article may still be scratching their heads or laughing over the idea of using the same medium for business as you might use to share your latest funny cat video. But this too, is an archaic perception of social media. While yes, some may still use Facebook and Twitter as a means of sharing mundane details about their day, the platforms have both evolved into something bigger. Social networks give consumers a platform for sharing their brand preferences in a very public way with friends, coworkers and business colleagues.
Marketing automation vendor, Pardot, suggests that “[i]f your reps aren’t perusing Twitter for prospects who are dissatisfied with their current product or service, or exploring LinkedIn groups for people who might be interested in relevant industry topics, then they’re missing a valuable opportunity.” In fact, Pardot offers four steps for getting your sales reps social media savvy:
- Get Your Reps on Social Media.
- Set Up a Social Media Monitoring Tool.
- Have Them Monitor Applicable LinkedIn Groups.
- Have a Process In Place for Social Media Leads.
Looking for more ways to enhance your revenue by aligning sales and marketing? Be sure to check out this free upcoming webinar on June 27th, “How Sales and Marketing Integration Can Change Your Business”.
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