Can B2B Sales efforts be improved by using Social Media?

By David Sauter, CEO

Published: November 9, 2011

Social Media is the buzz of today’s business landscape. If you are in B2B sales, you may be wondering if social media is worth all the visibility it receives. If so, how can you use it to increase sales success? Is it really useful or just a waste of time? The answer is that social media can greatly enhance your ability to make a sale – the tricky part is that it takes some work on your part.

If you have been selling for awhile, you would probably agree that selling is the act of aligning your “solution” with another’s “problem”. This is easier said that done and the path to a sale, can be fraught with traps and blind alleys – equating to wasted time. The more you can learn about a prospective company in advance of your pitch, the easier you can determine if there is favorable alignment. Sales people that seek opportunities without a sales strategy are prone to wasting valuable time. So you are always seeking ways you can efficiently connect with potential customers.

We live in an age of abundant information. I remember my elementary education when “comprehension” was as important as “reading speed”. Likewise consuming content is necessary but using that information in a meaningful way can be the difference between sales success or sales mediocrity.

Sales leaders have the aptitude to not only fish where the fish are, but know where to find hungry fish. In other words, there are suspects and then there are prospects. Prospects are the ones that fit that special profile, that display compatibility with your organization and services/products. How can you tell which are a likely fit? One way is to determine how they engage with their customers. Social media can provide a good deal of insight about a prospect. Are they active online, do they engage their customers, is there web site intriguing? It is likely that companies that place value on engaging with customers also value fresh ideas and innovation – seeking partnerships that support their mission.

Understanding social media is a “must have” to today’s sales professional. Knowing where to look and what to look for provides those clues that tell the sales pro which suspects can quickly become prospects – leading to increased sales. Solid research is essential to sales success and using social media can turn a cold call into a warm call.

So invest some time with Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Linkedin – and fill your pipeline with opportunities that you can effectively align with. More tips to follow in future posts.