How To Build Your Sales Pipeline Faster Using Social Media

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Social media plays a crucial role in building an effective and sustainable sales pipeline - learn why social selling is important. From prospecting on LinkedIn and Twitter to making social media and your sales pipeline work together, learn how to built your sales pipeline faster. Grab the entire ebook here.

Text of How To Build Your Sales Pipeline Faster Using Social Media

868-415051268-3.pdf

How to Build Your Sales Pipeline Faster Using Social Media

10X more productive series

PRESENTED BY

An eective and accurate sales pipeline is a vital component of any successful

business, and social media now plays a crucial role in the sales pipelines of

truly outstanding companies.

The constant flood of posts being published by consumers on all social media

platforms can provide an invaluable data source for salespeople, but it also

comes with responsibility. Customers are more engaged than ever, and they

demand regular contact and highly personalized relationships with the

businesses they patronize. Consumers have extremely high expectations of

businesses, as Daniel Newman notes on his Millennial CEO blog:

...67% of consumers expect a same day response to a

service response that they post on social media channels... a

staggering 47% expect the response in 2 hours and 35%

expect it in just 30 minutes.

Thats a tough standard to meet, but for companies that keep in touch with

customers on social media, the payo comes back in the form of intense

customer loyalty, social proof, testimonials, and referrals.

Newman also mentions that while advertising sources show less than a 50%

rate of trust among consumers, a personal referral from within a customers

social circles has a whopping 90% trust rate. By wowing customers with great

treatment on social media, you build relationships within their communities. If

even one of those people becomes an ambassador for your brand, and starts

recommending you to their friends and colleagues, your business will reap the

rewards.

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Why Social Selling is Important

So how does the sales pipeline factor into all of this?

Tracking customer interactions and knowing what each one means is the only

way to build a strong sales pipeline. Using social media to engage with

customers allows you to have many more interactions with them, and it allows

you to track those connections. From prospecting to engaging brand

ambassadors and even closing deals, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social

platforms can give you the data you need to make a super-ecient and

accurate sales pipeline.

Before you can start cashing in on the value of your social media contacts

though, you need to have the foundations of a strong sales pipeline in place.

Presented by Base

Your sales pipeline needs to be a well-oiled machine for recording data and

making predictions based on that information. The more info you can gather

about any potential customer, the better the service you can provide them at

each stage of the sales process. Your sales pipeline will help you determine

which customers to go after, what kinds of oers to make them, and when it is

time to either close a deal or let the customer go.

A well constructed sales pipeline is vital because it can tell you how best to

allocate time and eort to maximize your sales and build the best relationships

with your clients. The first step is to build your pipeline, and for that you need

the first piece of information, the seed from which all sales grow: a lead.

Bases 6 Step Plan to Manage Your Sales Pipeline oers solid, actionable

advice for building a sales pipeline, all the way from capturing your first lead to

closing the deal. It all starts with capturing leads, and Base oers a succinct

explanation of why a lead capture form on your website is the best and

easiest way to do that:

Lead capture forms can be solid gold for your business. The contact

information you glean from these forms belongs to people excited enough

about your product to oer their contact information. Leads generated through

these forms have contacted you directly and expect you to reach back out to

them.

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3

Building a Robust Sales Pipeline

Customers who fill out a lead form will not only be your most likely buyers,

they may also become ambassadors that bring you new business. Treat these

people right!

Once you have the framework for capturing leads, you need to be able to

track each potential customer throughout their entire relationship with your

business. Bases ebook, How To Understand Your Pipeline and Track Sales

Eectively, breaks down the sales pipeline into distinct stages:

1. Prospecting: Finding new customers using social media and other channels

2. Qualified: A customer shows real potential. They want what youre selling!

3. Quote: If theyre asking for a price quote, they probably mean business.

4. Closure: This is where the rubber hits the road. Youll need to be highly

responsive and promptly answer any remaining questions the customer has.

Go out of your way to provide industry data and other supporting info that

shows them why it is a great choice for them to go with your product!

5. Won (or lost): Make the sale. Sign the paperwork. This is the start of a great

business relationship with your new customer.

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Tracking customer interactions throughout the sales process is important, but

it is only one part of the equation. Using the data you have to make accurate

projections about sales targets, customer retention, and sales team

productivity are also vital. Having the sales pipeline in place is great, but

managing it carefully is what really pays dividends.

Management consultant and sales blogger Mack Powers oers some concise

reasons on why sales pipeline management is fundamental for any business.

Powers says that a good sales pipeline can:

Assist you in tracking deal flow or deal velocity to determine if any

opportunities are stuck.

Show you how to allocate resources to assist in closing business

opportunities based upon the deals most likely to close.

Indicate how likely you will be in achieving your budgets or targets.

The Sales Funnel Analysis report in Base will help you analyze lead and deal

progression through the sales pipeline. By looking for stages with low

conversion rates, you can start to identify stage bottlenecks and correct

course.

The Sales Funnel Analysis Report also tells you how eective your team is at

closing deals. Instead of looking at the conversion rates between stages, this

time look at the number of deals closed. You can specify by team or by rep

over any given period of time.

With Base, you can filter, sort and define dates on all your business activities

to help you analyze your company, team and individual performance. By

spotting trends and patterns, you can improve your sales process, pinpoint

strengths, and anticipate challenges.

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Your business has limited resources, and your time is valuable. The ultimate

purpose of a sales pipeline is to help you leverage that time most eciently so

that every moment that you invest in sales yields the best possible returns.

There was a time when successful salespeople spent most of their time on the

phone or visiting clients in person. While those are great ways to make sales,

they are time intensive, and todays hyper-competitive business environment

makes it hard to invest that kind of eort in anyone other than top-dollar

customers.

Fortunately, new social media platforms provide an incredible resource for

salespeople to make connections and build relationships with individuals and

communities while simultaneously gathering info to enhance the sales

pipeline. Hubspots current CRO and ex-VP of sales, Mark Roberge said:

I challenge sales people to take 2 hours per week for the

next 2 months that you would have been prospecting, and

blog. Or go to Twitter and Retweet some stu, or go in a

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LinkedIn group and participate in conversation, or go find a blog where your

prospects are hanging out and put a smart comment in there. You know a lot.

You are a thought leader in your space because youre answering the

objections and helping prospects every day with your value proposition. After

those couple months, reflect back and ask yourself, Were those 2 hours you

spent blogging and interacting on social media would they have been better

spent prospecting or did you get enough value from that eort?

Takeaways:

1. Customize your sales pipeline to your business using Base.

2. Use the sales funnel analysis report to analyze how your sales process is

performing. Make necessary changes.

Presented by Base

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Social media platforms such as LinkedIn can oer benefits at every stage of

the sales process, but finding new customers, or prospecting, is the area

where it is easiest to make social media work for your business. Thanks to

LinkedIn, there is an easily accessible, highly detailed database of

professionals that savvy salespeople can tap into to find customers and

ambassadors for their businesses.

LinkedIns main value as a prospecting tool lies in its premium Sales

Navigator an