• Two Tools to Improve Social Media and Teleprospecting Results

    By the time you have finished reading this, there will have been 37,349 new profile pictures on Facebook, 3,400 new connections added to your network, 15,654 publicly +1’s,8,700 new viral videos and approximately 1.2 million tweets. (**Editor’s Note: These numbers are completely fictional and used for dramatic emphasis, but I imagine that real numbers are similar.) Interesting things will be shared and pinned, blogs will be written and the amount of clout I carry will be graded on a daily basis. Randy Moss will be able to hold his own interview session, and have it broadcast online as if it’s the 6:00 news.

    Social Media is breaking in a new era of real-time intelligence and it has become imperative for businesses and employees to have a social media presence and awareness.  My introduction to the impact social media can have on a company came from David Meerman Scott’s “Real Time Marketing and PR”. David provides multiple case studies of how organizations, by responding in real time and utilizing social media channels, can react instantly to consumer concerns, capitalize on recent trends, and even create new ideas/products/opportunities.

    So how does Social Media affect the teleprospecting industry and inside sales representatives?  How can Social Media be leveraged and used as an asset to provide prospects and potential opportunities? Though all of these sites;  Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Twitter, Digg, Tumblr, and StumbleUpon, have their place in the B2B environment, I would argue that there are 2 sites specifically that should be part of every Inside Sales Rep’s arsenal (for best results, you need to be active and engaged on these sites).

    One of the biggest obstacles to overcome for teleprospectors is data/list quality and Twitter has some tools that could assist. Social Media B2B’s Kipp Bodnar’s article “How To Use Twitter Search For B2B Lead Generation” explains that “many people know about Twitter search, but advanced Twitter search and additional Twitter search tools are often over looked.”

    Things to consider with Twitter:

    • Utilize Twitter Search for key terms such as company name or product placement (CRM’s, ERP’s, MDM’s, Mainframe, Network Security etc…).  This will tell you, instantly, what is being said about your industry or product and provide access to real time data.  Whether there is a disgruntled employee complaining about how their Wireless Security Gateway keeps having service disruptions, or I’ve even seen prospects tweets requesting more information about Data Management and Governance. Would that count as a “Hot” MQL?
    • Advanced Search has two features that help identify information on competitors, influencers and market data: people and places.  For B2B, the ‘places’ features allow you to understand discussions on your industry in your assigned territory.
    • The best tool is a free application from a third-party vendor, followerwonk.com. It allows you to do key word searches on Twitter bios, where a majority of users update information regularly. Type in Target titles and the Target companies, and see what comes up.

    LinkedIn has solidified its place as the number 1 social media site for B2B engagement within the teleprospecting industry. There are two areas to consider when utilizing LinkedIn for prospects and opportunities.

    1. Many Teleprospectors already are using LinkedIn to locate companies and their employees. The search feature that doesn’t receive the same attention is the Answers category. Keyword searches on your industry will provide results from comments, discussions and questions that are being entertained within LinkedIn groups. You may be able to view responses and have access to the profile of the user that posted, but unless you’re a member of the group, you won’t be able to comment.
    2. Which leads into the second point, join as many groups relative to your industry as possible. Initially, the daily updates can get overwhelming, and you do have the ability to adjust the updates to weekly, but you may want consider that these discussions and comments will provide you access to active and open opportunities within your target market. Most professionals will now use LinkedIn to answer questions on solutions, provide feedback on what works and what doesn’t, and ask for referrals from their peers on product options. Spending time searching the internet for RFP’s can be extremely time consuming. Utilize LinkedIn to save time and improve the quality of opportunities in your market by receiving real-time access to data.

    Real Time Marketing Group has some interesting stats regarding social media. Currently 7 out of 10 people have at least 1 social media account, and one would expect that number will only increase over the next few years. Also, 1 out of every 6 minutes online is spent on social media and 75% of consumers trust peer recommendations over the 14% who trust advertisements. So get online and be actively engaged with groups, discussions and tweeting relevant information about your industry. Recommend solutions that you have experience with and monitor what is being said about your organization/product. When one of your major obstacles is data quality, what’s better than using a real time source for finding quality opportunities and accurate data?

    Jonathan Catley is a Business Development Representative at AG Salesworks.  To view all company blogs go to AG Salesworks blog site.

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