• The New Social Buying Journey

    Sales 2.0 or social selling are the hottest topics at this years conferences and trade shows. Organizations of all sizes are finally realizing they need to have a social presence and some form of social strategy in place. The problem is, most organizations don’t know where to start or what sort of process to have in place to best utilize the social intelligence these channels provide.

    Last year, the Aberdeen Group released a study in February showing that sales reps who utilize social intelligence in the sales process are 79% more likely to attain quota. The same study also revealed that organizations who have some form of social strategy in place and are using social intelligence were more likely to achieve their annual revenue goals. Most of these organizations started with a social monitoring tool (94%) or customer segmentation tool (73%).

    Your organization has the capability to monitor social channels and has taken the time to identify which social media outlets to listen to for your prospects. You have engaged with potential prospects or channel partners and probably achieved some form of success. I consider this strategy to be a reactive approach when using social channels and social intelligence.  You are monitoring the appropriate channels, but you are also waiting for prospects to raise their hands, letting sales reps know they are ready to engage.

    This is a great start for developing a social strategy, but it’s not the only way to take advantage of the real-time intelligence these channels are producing. The buyer’s journey has evolved as much as the sales process over these last few years. Buyer’s are now 70% of the way through their buying process by the time they’ve “raised their hand”. Those organizations that respond first are 50-60% more likely to close the business than those who are late to the party. So how do you engage with these prospects socially or identify who your target prospects are living on these networks?

    There are ways to identify your target prospects utilizing tools such as Social123, and develop nurture campaigns through an email automation solution that can help lead your buyer through the sales funnel. Identifying what actions are taken during the nurture process (opens, click throughs, responses, etc) will dictate when to engage with your prospects and also let you know what type of conversation your prospects will be expecting. Social CRM’s such as Nimble or InsideView assist sales reps in building out the complete profile of your prospects, allowing reps to personalize their message or engage with the prospect easier and faster. Once your able to establish this connection with your prospect you can qualify them and move them on in your sales process, creating more sales pipeline for you or your sales team.

    Through utilizing social media outlets and the intelligence that exists within these outlets, organizations are able to identify target prospects earlier in their buying journey. By nurturing your prospects with valuable content or providing value to discussions being had in LinkedIn groups, your prospects recognize you or your organization as a thought leader within your industry.

    We have partnered with three other great organizations to discuss this new social buying journey and reveal best practices on how to identify, nurture and qualify more sales opportunities utilizing social intelligence. Join ActOn Software, Social123, Nimble and AG Salesworks for tomorrow’s webinar as we look at the evolution of the social buying process and reveal how to identify your prospects on social channels and convert them into sales pipeline.

    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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