A Road Map to Your Leads

The following post was live-blogged from Sales Hacker Series – Seattle. The speaker was Aseem Badshah, Founder and CEO of Socedo. This summary provided by PipelineDeals.

Today’s buyers are actively using social media, but many B2B salespeople have not started to use social media to prospect and find leads. If you’re not using social media for lead discovery, you may be missing out on a big opportunity.

Consider the following:

 Your buyers are on social media - do you know how to find them?
Your buyers are on social media – do you know how to find them?
  • 72% of all web users are active on social media.

  • 46% of buyers do some research on social media prior to making a purchase.

  • 33% of buyers say they prefer communication via social media over a phone.

Salespeople have a great opportunity to reach their buyers on social media, and the opportunity is only increasing over time. Even better, communication from B2B businesses is not as crowded on social media, or as maligned as cold calling or cold outreach via email. Reaching out to people via social media can help you cut through the noise and should be one of your outreach channels to reach leads in 2015.

As with any lead prospecting strategy, you need to make sure that you’re prospecting with a purpose. Ask yourself the questions:

  • How and where do you find qualified leads?

  • What are the most effective ways to reach out to leads via their placement in your pipeline?

  • How do you ensure the maximum ROI from your efforts?

1 – Finding your target audience.

When you use social media to prospect for new customers, make sure that you choose the right platform. It won’t do your business a lot of good if you’re reaching out to people on the wrong types of social media sites.

 Engaging on the right social media platform is key to getting in touch with your target buyers.
Engaging on the right social media platform is key to getting in touch with your target buyers.

For example, if you’re in sales or marketing, it may be best to focus your brand on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Quora, or Twitter. LinkedIn is the premier professional gathering place and has numerous groups for salespeople and experts in different fields. Quora or Twitter are great places to research topics, and a great place to contribute to on-going conversations.

If your product is more lifestyle focused or is community based, social networks like Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest may be good choices for you.

Ultimately, in social media, you need to find leads in the places that they congregate.

2 – Discover prospects in a new way

Many marketing and sales teams have buyer personas that describe the types of organizations and people that buy their product or service. One valuable addition to your buyer persona is their social media profile. In other words, when they’re on social media, what are they doing and where do they hang out?

When you’re developing a social media profile for your buyers, consider the following:

  • Who are your buyers following in their given community?

  • What events are they going to? What groups on LinkedIn are they a part of?

  • Who are the influencers in their community and what media do they interact with?

  • How do people describe themselves on social media.

One great way to research leads online is to search by keywords, hashtags or groups. For example, if you’re looking for people in the startup community, you may search for folks who tweet at #saleshackerseries, interact on LinkedIn startup groups, or follow influencers in a startup community.

The key on social media is that you need to be highly targeted in your approach to outreach. Most brands will not create viral content that will reach thousands (or millions) of people organically. Businesses need to be savvy in how they prospect.

3 – Master the social media outreach funnel

As with any prospecting method, there is a natural flow of engagement when prospecting new leads on social media. Businesses typically get frustrated by bad results when they try to hard-sell everyone they meet online. Instead, consider how you can move from a light to heavy touch using various types of engagement.

 Socedo is a great tool for medium touch and outreach on social media.
Socedo is a great tool for medium touch and outreach on social media.
  1. Light Touch (follow, liking a post, etc.)

    1. Purpose is to ping your prospect with little notifications that show off your brand.

    2. See if they interact with you. If not, you can continue to like their posts or interact lightly.

    3. Tools to use: Oktopost, Hootsuite

  2. Medium Touch (direct message, comment, etc.)

    1. The purpose is to start a conversation or add to an existing conversation. DOn’t try to hi-jack a conversation. Make sure to add value.

    2. Be helpful by sending them a resource that you have, like a webinar, ebook, or whitepaper.

    3. Tools to use: Socedo, Insightpool

  3. Heavy Touch (phone call, email converation)

    1. If someone has responded well to both light and medium touches, this is the right moment to transition this person off of social media and into one of your traditional outreach channels.

    2. Try to get this person into a qualification conversation or demo.

    3. Tools to use: Sproutsocial

It’s a new world in sales

There’s a lot of green field for sales in social media. As a salesperson, focus on using social media as a tool to augment and compliment your existing sales process.

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