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Sales Strategy & Management

5 Tips To Generate Sales Leads Through Social Media

In order to find new potential customers it is important to know where these people are.

Susan Dolan

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In order to find new potential customers it is important to know where these people are. Fortunately (or unfortunately if your business is not up to speed with modern online marketing trends) the overwhelming majority of people can be found on social media platforms; an observation that is statistically supported.

There are many users who participate in social media across several platforms, not just Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Social media sites such as Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat and Google Plus also have millions of users who are just as engaged and active.

Due to this, it is safe to say that social media is currently the optimum forum for mass interaction. However, a presence on social media is not enough.

Related: 9 Top Customer Service Turnoffs That Are Chasing Away Your Sales

Businesses and marketers need to know where to find their customers. And this is merely the first step in the social commerce journey! Many marketers who decide to use social media as a means of finding leads, may be confused how to do this when it comes to the actual implementation. But don’t worry, collected beneath are five tips to help marketers and businesses generate leads through social media platforms.

1Have a social media presence for your business

Unfortunately, some businesses are under the misguided idea that if they simply set up a Facebook Page and Twitter account then the fans will quickly follow suit.

This conclusion is erroneous. Simply put no social media users are going to follow a business who makes no effort to engage and interact with their following.

First you should ensure that your business has an account on all the major social media platforms relevant to your target customer. Once this important pre-step has been taken, the hard work begins.

To establish a presence and begin utilising social media networks as a tool to further your business it is important to post content regularly and continually interact with other users.

2Be human, not a robot

robot-and-human

One of the key aspects of social media is the social element. People do not sign up to social media platforms so they can be directly advertised to in their leisure time. They join up so they can connect to other interesting human beings across the world around a range of topics of significance to them.

If you want to be accepted by these users you will have to appeal to them as a human. This may produce more difficulties than was initially anticipated.

A good place to start is to make a personal pledge that you will not transform your social media networks into an alternative mailing list.

Instead you should look for ways in which you can begin engaging your followers in conversation. Also, do not be afraid of letting your personal voice come out via your posts and content. In addition, when you receive any comments or feedback, ensure that you respond promptly.

Related: Exactly How Involved Should You Be In Your Business’s Sales?

3Provide your following with what they want

As a marketer or business owner you already know what you want from your followers, namely to convert them into actual customers. For the best results you should consider this scenario from the perspective of a potential lead.

Ask yourself, what these possible leads will want. Also consider the fact that if you are not offering anything to them, why would they bother to visiting your website, or become a fan or follower of you on social media? This is the essence of inbound marketing.

If you can work out how to provide perspective customers and leads with what they want, then you will not have to seek them out, instead they will find you.

You should provide your following with interesting and engaging content, which is also informative, but do not ask for anything in return.

A good way of doing this is by setting up a company blog which explores issues, problems and questions which commonly arise from your customer base.

Once this has been done, you should link it back through your various social media pages. When doing this remember to include a visual aspect to your activities.

It has been found that the human brain is far more effective at processing images than it is at processing text. It is well worth playing with infographics, memes, videos and photos to see what provides the best results.

4Link your social media to your CRM and sales

A Customer Relation Management system, or CRM, is becoming a key tool for businesses who wish to maintain good relationships with their customers.

This is done by keeping accurate information about the minute yet important information, details of appointments and other important customer information. The other part of this is ensuring that this information is then accessible.

When your business is using social media as part of its sales process to prospect for leads, ensure that your sales team is up to speed with the facts.

Accumulate information as you proceed and ensure that you have a CRM in place to analyse and share this information with members of your company who require it.

Working in unison with various departments and individuals within your business will ensure that you enjoy more success from the information you have accumulated. Meaning that you will not have to rely merely on the charm of your social media efforts to gain results.

Related: Shark Tank’s Romeo Kumalo Weighs In On High-Impact Entrepreneurial Businesses

5Persuade them

If all other measure fail then do not be afraid to utilise a bit of persuasion. If you really want to gain public support for your brand on social media platforms, then the quickest way to do so is with some persuasion techniques.

This can take the form of a “contest”. Offer social media users the opportunity to enter a prize draw, however in order to enter they must either like or share your content.

If you offer something that people want you will see a large amount of people engaging with you in order to take part. 

Susan Dolan is a Google and social media expert from the UK. She had the privilege of living and working in Seattle in the US in 1999 where she witnessed the explosion of the World Wide Web and the birth of Google literally from the start. Over the years she’s provided a variety of services specialising in SEO and social media and now educates others speaking at numerous educational seminars. You can follow Susan on Twitter (@GoogleExpertUK) or visit her site at Seo Web Marketing.

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Sales Strategy & Management

(Podcast) Are All Prices Negotiable?

Person, socialisation, product, place – what are the key differentiating factors between those who negotiate price and those who don’t? And who determines the value of a product?

Nicholas Haralambous

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What is up for negotiation? When should you be negotiating prices, and when should you be open to negotiating prices with your customers?

Person, socialisation, product, place – what are the key differentiating factors between those who negotiate price and those who don’t? And who determines the value of a product?

Listening time: 8 minutes

Related: (Podcast) Phone Calls Often Solve Email Problems

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Sales Strategy & Management

Sales Leadership: The New Frontier

The Leadership skill of Influencing people increasingly trumps “hard selling techniques” as people enjoy the feeling that they are forced into buying a certain product less and less.

Dirk Coetsee

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“Once upon a time only certain people were in sales. Every day, these folks sold stuff, the rest of us did stuff, and everyone was happy. One day, the world began to change. More of us started working for ourselves- and because we were entrepreneurs, suddenly we became salespeople, too. At the same time, large operations discovered that segmenting job functions did not work very well during volatile business conditions-and because of that, they began demanding elastic skills that stretched across boundaries and included a sales component.” – Daniel Pink

The transformation of sales persons to Sales Leaders is not only the essence of this article but increasingly becoming a necessity, considering the skills demand required to convince people to buy your product or service within an modern environment wherein the consumer is spoilt for choice.

Related: 3 Strategies For Closing Sales Without Picking Up The Phone

In general staples in the make up of old school sales training was and in some cases still is: Product knowledge, fielding sales calls in a friendly way yet creating urgency, learning the ability to overcome client objections and of course do not forget the all-important methods of upselling.

All those elements of selling are still important in general yet “soft skills” such as active listening, handling conflict, and above all removing the emphasis from selling a product or service to selling an enhanced lifestyle or life experience has become the new frontier for the sales game.

The Leadership skill of Influencing people increasingly trumps “hard selling techniques” as people enjoy the feeling that they are forced into buying a certain product less and less. The “parrot method” of drilling sales scripts into the salesforce of the company is slowly but surely becoming obsolete as people want to feel that they are being cared about and considered within the sales process as individuals. “Caring for the other person is the only leverage in any conversation”, Gary Vaynerchuk says.

The above theory calls for a balance between Sales Leaders whom inspires their sales teams to create a personal, professional, and vibrant environment for their customers wherein which they are highly motivated to buy, and Sales managers whom monitor the key sales metrics and checks that sales procedures are being followed. In the modern world both Sales Leadership and management are needed at each end of the balancing scale.

Still, to this day an unfortunate large proportion of sales people are like lambs put to the slaughter, within some situations, as the only weapon taught to them is product knowledge and wearing a smile and then suddenly a very unhappy customer unleashes their anger upon them, and now the poor sales person has no knowledge in terms of how to deal with conflict, generally speaking. How to cope with and overcome conflict and other negotiation skills has become paramount in sustaining very good client relations.

Ethical Leadership is also strongly put forward as a necessary component of any sales training or course through this article. Sales techniques filtered through the companies Vision, mission statement and value system to test its validity and alignment to the companies’ culture can be increasingly effective as opposed to simply applying generic methods of selling which is not always aligned to the company ethos. A high level of ethics amongst Sales Leaders can ensure that after sales promises are kept and that the product sold is in effect as good as propagated by the sales person.

Related: The 5 Best Actions You Can Take To Improve Sales Calls

When a servant leadership culture is prevalent within your company it goes a long way to ensure that your sales people create a caring and positive experience complimented by an enhanced after sales service. Servant Leadership within a sales context is to put the customers’ and teams’ purpose above the individual team members purpose and that by itself is a potential multiplier of sales performance.

A highly important factor within the context of sales performance is the sales Leaders’ ability to formulate the right questions to be asked of the client in order to create a very pleasant experience. Statements in general can be quite dangerous as it is normally viewed as final and very hard to take back once communicated. Questions on the other hand requires an answer and when posed in a caring way can quickly establish rapport with a client.

Subtle nuances picked up by the Sales Leader through asking the right questions can greatly assist in creating positive client engagement. A practical example would be to refrain from the very obvious question of:  how are you? People are so used to being asked this question that they are not likely to give you a very open and honest answer and will be likely to provide you with very generic answers such as, “Fine thank you, “Well thanks and you”, and so forth.

By very simply changing the question to: “How are you feeling today? “, the very perceptive Sales Leader can relatively easily pick up on the client’s emotional state and adjust the conversation from there in order to create rapport.

In Summary, this writing actually asks one question to all CEOs’ and/or boards that must take their companies forward towards a desired future state: Do you want sales people and managers whom are likely to maintain the status quo, or do you seek Sales Leaders whom will challenge the status quo and will always be willing to ask more of themselves in terms of increased skill levels and performance?

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Sales Strategy & Management

You Have Less Than 7 Weeks Left To Turn Your 2017 Around

Implement these 5 steps and achieve 2017 revenue targets and set up a great start to 2018.

Charles Hsuan

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It’s no secret that 2017 has been tough for the majority, with less than 7 weeks to go before business winds up for the year. I’ve summarised an effective sales plan that will help you accelerate your way to success before the year ends.

Referred to as the “championship rounds” in boxing, the last few meters of a 100M sprint, be smart with the last bit of mental energy you have left and sell, sell, sell.

Implement these 5 steps and achieve 2017 revenue targets and set up a great start to 2018.

1Be Laser Focused on Your Customers

You’ll never be one size fits all to everyone, review your client base and define 3 to 5 groups of customers that your business serves, and solves problems for.

Grouping Map

  • Customers that behave similarly, have similar problems and face similar circumstances.
  • Define the groups by age, volume, category, geographic location, and similar demographics. The more components you assign to each group, the better you understand them, and effectively communicate your services to them, ultimately solving their pain points.
  • Personalise with a name it e.g. Sarah is a 30-year-old white collar worker that lives in the urban area, earns R30 000 a month in household income, she sends money back home each month “Black Tax” to support family members that lives in a rural area.

Related: Have We Lost Our Face-To-Face Sales Ability?

2What Goes Through Their Minds Before Making a Purchase?

  • Whether it’s subconscious or psychological, people buy solutions to problems, especially in a tight economy.
  • In order to stay relevant to your customers yesterday today and tomorrow. Continue to evolve and develop your products and services to ensure you are solutions driven.

3Build The Right Pitch

As each of your customer group face their unique challenges. Build a pitch that positions your communication for each customer group to maximise effectiveness.

Follow these 5 important pitch building steps

  • Who is the consumer?
  • What is the pain point that you’re looking to solve?
  • What is the setback for your consumer to not have that pain point solved?
  • What do you do to solve that pain point?
  • What is the result for your consumer, of having that pain point solved?

Once you’ve built the pitch, utilising them adequately, and start selling!

4Implement Your Strategy

This revenue-generating strategy has 2 aspects: hunting (Active) and farming (Reactive)

  • Hunting takes on the form of outbound action. Searching, meeting and engaging with your potential clients. In short, stepping out and finding your customers.
  • Farming is more reactive, it is known as inbound selling. You farm by leaving breadcrumbs that lead your customers towards your services. This is done by generating practical content and using digital platforms to attract attention towards your services or products.
  • Build a calendar for your hunting and farming activities, for the next 12 weeks, and specify tasks for each day.

Related: Savvy Sales Skills To Grow Your Franchise Footprint

5Execute, Measure, Adjust

  • Hunting: Make 10 calls before 10 am each day, make use of a sales script, this forms part of your daily activities.
  • Farming: Schedule a week’s worth of social media content to post.
  • After week one find out which group gives you the best response, tweak it & carrying on.

This plan will help you to notice which approaches yield the best results. You’re able to remove what doesn’t work and focus your time on what leads to the most sales. May this help you turn the last 7 weeks of the business year into a profitable one.

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