Sales and Social Media: NO ONE'S SOCIAL (YET)

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					                                                                                           THE
                                                                                          SOCIAL
                                                                                          MEDIA
                                                                                          ISSUE




Sales and Social Media:
                         NO ONE’S
                         SOCIAL (YET)
                                                     i     f you work in B2B sales, you might research
                                                           companies through Hoover’s or find pros-
                                                           pects on LinkedIn. You might keep up with
                                                      friends (or just goof around) on Facebook or
                                                      follow the world’s stream of consciousness on
                                                      Twitter. Maybe there’s some overlap from the
                                                      professional side to the personal side, but not
                                                      that much. All this social networking seems to
                                                      have so much potential—and yet it all seems
                                                      just beyond your grasp. Is this all there is?
                                                         Yes. At least for now.
                                                         Most people agree that social networking is
                                                      full of possibility. It’s become a way of life for
                                                      many of us, and it’s beginning to have a notice-
                                                      able (and, most would say, very beneficial) ef-
                                                      fect in the consumer world. But in B2B, where
                                                      vendor-buyer relationships still matter, the new
                                                      channels for experiencing and leveraging those
                                                      relationships are barely penetrating.
                                                         An April 2009 report by ES Research Group
                                                      surveyed B2B sales professionals about their use
                                                      of social media. The results, as first reported by
                                                      Assistant Editor Jessica Tsai (http://sn.im/h107a),
                                                      were not encouraging. (See “Do These Tools
                                                      Help You Win B2B Sales?,” on page 30.)
                                                         “Results show that a very small percentage
                                                      of salespeople are using Twitter or Facebook;


Social computing is still working its way into the consultative sales process.
For most sales forces, that’s just fine | By Marshall Lager


www.destinationCRM.com                              CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT | JUNE 2009      29
 THE
SOCIAL
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                                    Sales and Social Media
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   some more are using LinkedIn and                           says.“Sales leaders are always looking for     had a branding problem—namely, that
   Hoover’s,” says Dave Stein, chief execu-                   the next shortcut,” he adds. “There’s a        everybody’s heard of the top three insur-
   tive officer and founder of ES Research                    tremendous amount of hype around so-           ers but nobody had heard of Minnesota
   Group. “They’re not really using social                    cial media and Sales 2.0—it gives another      Life—and very little sales technology. “I
   media to sell.” Even the most commonly                     opportunity for the quick fix instead of       recommended they get onto social net-
   used tools in the survey—Hoover’s and                      doing the right thing.”                        works like LinkedIn,” Stein says. “They
   OneSource (combined in the study be-                          The right thing in this case is a rea-      came back a few days later with a mes-
   cause of the similarity of their services)                 soned, considered approach to how the          sage from their compliance department,
   and the oft-mentioned LinkedIn—                            social component works with selling.           stating that their people can’t communi-
   showed little effect in actually winning                   “You don’t want 150 salespeople with           cate outside the company except with
   sales. Mostly, they did what social net-                   their own methods and processes for  
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Most people agree that social networking is full of possibility. It's become a way of life for many of people, and it's beginning to have a noticeable (and, most would say, very beneficial) effect in the consumer world. But in B2B, where vendor-buyer relationships still matter, the new channels for experiencing and leveraging those relationships are barely penetrating. An April 2009 report by ES Research Group surveyed B2B sales professionals about their use of social media. Results show that a very small percentage of salespeople are using Twitter or Facebook; some more are using LinkedIn and Hoover's, says Dave Stein, CEO and founder of ES Research Group. Stein says that part of the solution is using market research to find out if, and where, social media can help a business interact better with its clients, rather than relying on the B2B model where it seems that merely having social outreach, even through trial and error, can be enough to provide benefits.
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