Sales has evolved immensely in the last 10 years and with the Internet driving much of that change and many sales organizations are wrestling with how to adapt their selling effort to these changes.
One area of uncapped potential is social networks.
Most companies view social media as a marketing channel to which messages are broadcast and consequently there hasn’t been much interest from sales departments, but more than ever sales reps need to be experts (enjoy this great infographic on the evolution of sales Buyers in 2010 and beyond – the Age of Expert Positioning)
Putting things in perspective. Back in the early nineties I launched my first company and tried to sell e-commerce websites to retail companies who at the time enjoyed strong catalogue sales. We couldn’t convince retailers that the Internet was going to revolutionize their business and that they should put their catalogues online. We were probably too early, but fast forward not even 10 years later and many of these businesses found themselves in receivership after they failed to adapt fast enough to the online shopping wave.
Now, most of us can’t even imagine using a paper catalogue to purchase anything.
The reality is, like it or not, and many sales leaders don’t like it, social media is here to stay and it is not going away any time soon. If anything it is getting bigger and more all encompassing. It is everywhere!
Here’s the opportunity
Hundreds of millions of people are on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social networks. Every second, two new people join LinkedIn. The #1 activity of adults online is social media. Believe it – many of your prospects are online.
Social networks offer an excellent opportunity to for reps to demonstrate their expertise. Yes it is a tricky endeavour – balancing time and making sure SM doesn’t interfere with selling, but your perspective changes if you look at social media as prospecting and tweeting content as lead gen.
What’s your plan for social media for the next 12 months? Read some of our pointers here >> Three Steps to Social Selling.
Eliot received his B. Comm. from Carleton University and has been honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Award winner.
He co-authored Sales Recruiting 2.0, How to Find Top Performing Sales People, Fast and provides regular insights on sales team management and hiring on the Peak Sales Recruiting Blog.
Latest posts by Eliot Burdett (see all)
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