Is your company using Twitter? Which department does that fall under?
If you are anything like most companies, the answer is probably marketing. When Twitter burst onto the social scene, busy sales reps were all too happy to turn over management of Twitter’s tidal wave of thoughts, opinions, and content to the marketing side of the house.
In hindsight, this was probably a smart move. It’s taken marketing folks a while to figure out a way to parse and systematically organize the firehose of data bursting from Twitter each second.
However, with increased integration into existing sales processes, advanced search and filtering, and tools for easy monitoring and listening, Twitter has matured into a venerable tool for sales teams to identify and nurture leads. Lets look at a few ways sales can make this happen.
Identify New and Existing Prospects
The first step is to identify your prospects. If you are using a marketing automation platform, you will be able to link directly from a prospect profile to their Twitter account. If you haven’t jumped on the marketing automation bandwagon yet, you should be able to export your lists of prospects from your CRM and search for your prospects directly on Twitter.
It is also important to keep your ears open for new prospects that may be talking about your company on Twitter. There are a surprising number of people that take to Twitter to ask for product recommendations. Develop a workflow between sales and marketing for handling potential prospects on Twitter.
Show Some Restraint
This may sound like common sense, but people never enjoy having a company invade their personal space. However, when you approach a prospect on Twitter, this is exactly what you are doing. Nobody sets up their Twitter account in hopes of being solicited by a business.
So hold off on the barrage of retweets and mentions you were about to lay on your prospects and try this method instead:
- Listen First: Take time to view the last few updates of each prospect. What are they sharing? What are they saying? This could give you an insight into that prospect’s pain points and a potential angle for reaching out.
- Comment: Find a post that correlates to your industry or even a post on a mutual interest and thank them for sharing. Social media is all about being acknowledged, and your prospect will appreciate your genuine interest instead of a sales pitch.
- Share: A few days after you make contact with a prospect on Twitter, you can start looking for an opportunity to share relevant content. Are they tweeting about a problem you just covered on your blog? Point them in that direction!
Take the Conversation Somewhere Private
Although Twitter holds tremendous strategic value for prospecting and nurturing leads, it is not a platform for the rest of the sales process. Twitter is incredibly limited in the amount of information that can be transferred, not to mention the fact that it’s a public forum. Once your prospect has reached a stage where you think they are open to further discussion, take the conversation off Twitter with a phone call or email.
Twitter is no longer just the domain of social media managers and marketers. The social network can be a tremendous asset for sales teams as well!
Are you using Twitter in your sales efforts? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!