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How to Use LeadSift’s Intent Intelligence to Facilitate Sales & Marketing Alignment

Over the last decade, B2B buyer behavior and expectations have rapidly changed. Consumers have access to more information, technology, and opinions that help them to fuel their buying decisions. The marketing landscape in most industries has become more crowded than ever as companies gain access to software and new-age strategies that fuel their growth. It’s more important than ever to have access to a wealth of data outside of your own channels to improve strategies and facilitate sales and marketing alignment.

Intent data and business intelligence data is an asset that facilitates this alignment. Buyers engage with more pre-sale content than they ever have before. Most companies are only tracking interactions with their own content, leaving an account’s big-picture interactions within their industry unexplored. LeadSift’s platform allows you to identify prospects that have signaled intent and interest on social media and public forums by discussing your industry or engaging with your competitors. We help to facilitate sales and marketing alignment by delivering leads throughout the sales cycle.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how our intent & intelligence data can help companies achieve marketing-sales alignment with new accounts, current customers, and target accounts. But to have a full understanding of how our intelligence can help in this regard, you have to understand what our data signals and how it is collected.

What Is LeadSift’s Intent Data?

LeadSift allows companies to specify trigger events that apply to their industry in order to identify new prospects, current customers, or target accounts that may have interest in investing in a product similar to their own. There are many different types of trigger events that can signal intent that companies can use to identify prospects.

Some of these trigger events include:

  • Engaging with competitors.
  • Engaging with your partners or industry influencers.
  • Mentioning target keywords on social networks.
  • Engaging with industry news.
  • Attending industry events.
  • Following you or competitors on social networks.

LeadSift’s data provides extremely valuable business intelligence that can help to inform your marketing and sales strategies. Our intelligence gives you context for an account’s interactions within your industry, allowing you to custom-tailor an approach to engaging with them effectively.

Prospects identified through our intent data fall into one of three categories:

  • New Accounts
  • Target Accounts
  • Current Clients

How you approach engaging with prospects and clients that fall into these categories will differ based on what category they are in, what trigger events led to their inclusion, and whether the account is already in your marketing or sales systems.

B2B deals are complex. According to SalesForce, it takes 6-8 touches to generate a viable sales lead. It’s important that sales and marketing teams make each touch count by speaking to the account’s biggest concerns. Having a better understanding of your accounts by examining their interactions across a number of different channels — and not just your owned content — will facilitate alignment and help your team’s to speak directly to stakeholders using terms and angles that appeal to them.

Let’s take a look at how engaging with prospects that fall into these different buckets could work:

New Accounts

New accounts are accounts that aren’t in your system and haven’t been a part of any marketing or sales campaigns. New accounts that you find in LeadSift’s platform present a unique opportunity to score and evaluate those prospects and assign them to the appropriate marketing or sales processes. Context is important when examining the intent data for new accounts. They must be segmented with the trigger event that led to their inclusion taken into account.

New accounts that have interacted with competitors are perfect candidates for initial nurturing and awareness-building campaigns. Just because they have interacted with a competitor doesn’t mean that they are aware of your company — but they could, and should be before they make their buying decision.

LeadSift’s intelligence helps you to better understand new accounts before your first engagement. Depending on what the data reveals about their interactions, you may be able to discern what is most important to them before you deliver your first nurturing campaign. This is extremely valuable, as it allows you to approach every new account from the context of their actions outside of your owned channels.

Target Accounts

Target accounts are accounts that are already in your sales or marketing systems. LeadSift’s intent intelligence can provide you with additional context that can inform your communications with stakeholders within that account. This could influence the messaging of nurturing sequences and sales conversations, helping you to tailor your messaging to their most influential concerns.

If a target account is owned by sales, any data or intelligence that you can provide can have a huge impact on the outcome of the sales process. As soon as the intelligence is delivered directly to your CRM, you can personalize sales collateral and messaging to touch on the topics that the account has publicly stated are important to them. Your sales teams will appreciate the additional context and improved conversion rates.

Our intent intelligence also helps to customize and tailor your approach to target accounts that you are owned by marketing and in the nurturing process. Often, what a stakeholder from a target account shares on public web will be more honest and open than they may be willing to share in surveys. If you can’t identify interest in a specific feature, you can’t speak to it within your marketing materials. Intent data outside of your own channels will facilitate alignment and help your sales and marketing teams develop a more laser-focused approach with each target account.

Current Clients

Finding existing clients in the LeadSift system can be a positive or negative sign in regard to your relationship with that particular client. If a current client is interacting with a competitor, it may be a sign that they are unhappy with your solution and are considering another solution. Using LeadSift data to identify these accounts not only gives you a heads up, it also greatly improves your chances of retaining them as a client. Only 18% of companies place their primary focus on retaining customers, despite the fact that reducing churn by 5% can increase profits by 25%-95%.

Existing clients that are interacting with the competition or inquiring about competing solutions on public forums are perfect candidates for manual outreach or being added to a customer retention nurturing cycle. Our intelligence is an excellent tool for identifying unhappy clients and working to get ahead of things before they begin shopping for competing solutions in earnest.

As an example, if you identified a current client that was engaging with a competitor, you could send them nurturing campaigns that directly compares your solution to that competitor. Allowing them to see how your product stacks up against the one they are considering could open their eyes to why yours may be the better choice for their company.

Identifying a current client that is interested in the competition doesn’t necessarily have to trigger manual outreach, either and could instead trigger the delivery of a retention email sequence. Being creative and testing how different approaches affect outcomes is critical for getting the most out of your LeadSift intelligence data.

However, a current client showing up in LeadSift’s system doesn’t necessarily have to be a negative signal. They could be completely satisfied with your product and are just sharing their views on competing platforms, engaging with industry influencers, or commenting on a news article. Context is important.

You wouldn’t want to deliver a nurturing sequence with the goal of retaining the client when the client has no intention of leaving. Positive signals can trigger their own marketing campaigns aimed at furthering your relationship based on that intelligence. Either way, their actions outside of their owned channels provide insight into what is important to their company and to individual stakeholders within it.

When existing clients show up in our data, it’s important that you segment them and identify corresponding actions based on the trigger events that led to their inclusion. Use their statements and recorded interactions within LeadSift and your own channels to inform your strategy.

LeadSift’s Intelligence Facilitates Alignment

Leadsift’s intent intelligence facilitates sales and marketing alignment by delivering leads throughout the sales cycle. Data on existing clients can be used to improve retention and further build positive relationships with stakeholders within the organization. New accounts can be enrolled in valuable nurturing campaigns that build trust and credibility while pushing them down the pipeline toward becoming a sales qualified lead. Intelligence on existing target accounts can be used to personalize marketing and sales messaging to speak to their most pressing concerns.

Utilizing intelligence and data outside of your owned channels will provide you with a more complete picture of each account and allow you to tailor your messaging to their personalized needs. With B2B deals being so complex, it’s important that you are able to make the most out of each interaction with target accounts. Having a better understanding of your accounts will help you to ensure that every interaction hits home and speaks to their organizational concerns. LeadSift’s intent intelligence helps to facilitate marketing and sales alignment by giving you a bird’s eye view of your accounts and industry-at-large, so you can best position your product throughout the sales cycle.

 

How To Put Together an Account-Based Marketing Strategy

In recent years we have seen an explosion in the popularity of account-based marketing. According to a study by SiriusDecisions, the number of companies that had a full, active account-based marketing (ABM) program increased by more than 21% in the previous year. The effectiveness of the strategy has pushed many companies toward adopting it, moving away from more traditional marketing strategies that have long been the norm.

Despite its rapid growth, ABM is still new to many. The strategy may have picked up steam earlier if it had been easier for organizations to better-align their marketing and sales departments through software. The strategy requires their alignment. Bizible’s “State of Pipeline Marketing Report” showed that marketers using ABM are 40% more likely to report alignment between their marketing and sales teams than those that don’t. The accessibility of ABM technology helps to facilitate that alignment and has played a key role in the growth of the strategy.

Before we cover how to put together your first ABM strategy, let’s start by defining what ABM is.

What is Account Based Marketing?

Account-based marketing is a different take on traditional marketing models, perfect for B2B marketing.  The difference between ABM and more traditional marketing models is that the organization treats every prospect or customer account as its own individual market unto itself. In ABM, your message is catered to the specific needs and attributes of the account.

The term, “account-based marketing” is self-descriptive. It’s marketing that is specified to a given account — whether the account is an existing customer or a prospective one. The “account” refers to the company as a whole and typically includes several stakeholders at the company who may play a key role in decision-making in regard to your product.

ABM is most useful to organizations that sell to accounts with multiple buyers or stakeholders, which is most common in B2B sales. By marketing to the prospect account, on the whole, you can connect with all of the stakeholders within a given account and increase your chances of closing the sale. In B2B sales, it is not uncommon for a single organization to have five or more stakeholders involved in a single deal.

ABM focuses on fostering and tracking interactions with all stakeholders within an organization, building relationships with them over time. The laser-focused nature of the strategy provides a clear ROI and reduced resource waste that would typically be spent using other strategies.

Now let’s take a look at how companies can begin to put together their first account-based marketing strategy and align their marketing and sales:

Putting Together an Account-Based Marketing Team

For ABM strategies to be successful, there must be alignment between your sales and marketing teams. Both departments should be heavily involved in goal-setting and KPI definement, working with your management team to define the strategy. Remember — these teams will be solely responsible for the success of the strategy. It’s important that they have a say in what will work for them.

If you don’t already have ABM-capable sales and marketing teams in place, your first step is to assemble a core that has bought into the strategy. The actual roles that make up an account-based team will differ based on the needs of your organization. At its most basic, ABM teams consist of sales reps, sales development professionals, and marketing professionals.

Companies that are engaging in account-based marketing and sales for the first time should look to hire individuals that have past experience with the strategy. If you are transitioning your internal teams, it may be a good idea to invest in training or bring in a manager that can help to facilitate a smooth transition.

Defining Your ABM Goals & Strategy

With your ABM team in place, it’s time to define your goals. Both your sales and marketing teams should be involved in the definition and outlining of the goals and strategy. Each goal that you create should follow the SMART Goals formula.

As you define your goals, consider the context of your use of ABM. Are you launching a new product? Attempting to increase market share within an industry segment? Enter a new market? The goals that you define will be heavily dependant on what you are trying to accomplish and the current resources that your team has at their disposal.

Most companies begin account-based marketing with a few different goals in mind. If your team is smaller, you may want to start with a single goal so that you can monitor your progress and make changes to your strategy as issues arise.  

Choosing an Account-Based Marketing Technology

ABM requires specialized technology to execute. Managing all of the stakeholders within a given account and accurately tracking your interactions is at the core of every successful ABM engagement. The growth in CRM and ABM-specific solutions in recent years have played a key role in the growth of account-based marketing strategy usage. According to a study from Walker Sands, more than 70% of companies increased their marketing technology budget in 2017. 

With ABM software, you can track your interactions with stakeholders and customers through all digital channels, rather than just email and phone calls. It takes the whole spectrum of channels into account, including social media, text messaging, and app-based conversation platforms. It makes it possible to engage with every stakeholder who has a role in ultimately making a decision on whether or not your product is a good fit for them.

Additionally, the best ABM solutions are built with versatility in mind. No two account-based teams operate in exactly the same way because your own tasks and processes should be specific to your product. Companies must personalize their marketing based on personas, points in the sales process, campaigns, and previous interactions with a customer.

Identifying Targets

Once your team has agreed upon a defined account-based marketing strategy and technology, you can begin to identify and prioritize the accounts that you would like to target. These accounts should closely match your customer personas and ideal customer profile.

In ABM, accounts are treated like large, organization-level personas. These personas help you determine the size of the companies that you would like to target, the roles of the stakeholders within those organizations and better understand what is most important to them as an organization. Having an understanding of a target’s company structure can help you determine how you convey your product to your targets and identify who the decision-makers are within the organization.

Choose your Channels

What are the best channels to use to reach your target accounts? Where are your ideal customers hanging out and engaging in conversation? You won’t be effective in account-based marketing unless you are able to meet your customers on their preferred channels and deliver your message in a form that gives you the best chance of being heard.

If you will be establishing connections through social media, you can use this study by Pew Research to better understand the demographics of each of the popular social media platforms. Knowing where your account stakeholders spend their time on social media is critical for both marketing and sales teams.

Launch, Measure, and Optimize

Now that you know who you want to target and where you want to engage with them, it’s time to launch your campaigns and measure their effectiveness. You should never assume that your first instincts will be able to reliably provide the best results. Over time, you will have to work to split test, optimize, and refine your strategies.

Getting Started with Account-Based Marketing

Account-based marketing is a bit less overwhelming when you see it broken down into individual steps. More than 85% of marketers that measure the ROI of their marketing efforts describe account-based marketing as delivering higher returns than any other strategy their company uses. With alignment between your marketing and sales teams, ABM provides you with an effective way to find your ideal prospects, engage with them through the channels that make the most sense, and close the sale by speaking to their biggest internal concerns.

LeadSift is a sales intelligence solution that allows you to identify target accounts and prospects actively engaging with competitors outside your own content. Click Here to Book a Demo.

Why Inside Sales is Changing the Industry and Turning Traditional Sales on Its Head

Inside sales is changing the way that companies sell to prospects. In recent years, we have seen rapid growth in the number of inside sales jobs, far outpacing traditional field salespeople. While traditional sales roles still make up over 70% of the sales workforce in North America, this rapid shift could change the balance in the coming years.

A recent study showed that 46% of Vice President of Sales reported a shift away from traditional sales models toward inside sales, compared to only 21% going the opposite way. Of course, that doesn’t mean that traditional outside sales positions are going anywhere. There is always going to be a need for those positions. But the trend is clear — as companies have more tech solutions to help them bridge the gap, and customers become more comfortable using technology to communicate and buy products — inside sales will continue to increase its relevance.

At its heart, inside sales is all about relationships. Sure, you aren’t meeting up for the fancy dinner and a round of golf like you might imagine salespeople do when closing new sales — but the digital wall between inside sales reps and customers encourages increased focus on relationship building and nurturing.

By why? What is the perfect storm that has led to an industry that employs more than 60 million sales reps consultants worldwide to shift so quickly? There are a number of reasons and advancements over the last decade that have led to this:

Inside Sales is More Cost-Efficient

Sales VPs are under immense pressure to increase sales while spending less money. In this study that we mentioned earlier, it was found that inside sales teams generate a new customer at 40-90% less cost than a traditional field sales rep.

There are a number of reasons for this, but the lack of traveling expenses and in-person meetings do play a large role. Inside sales reps close deals with their keyboard and phone, not expensive dinners and cigar lounges. One report stated that the average cost of an inside sales meeting typically fell in the $25-$75 range, while traditional field sales calls usually cost between $215-$400 per meeting. That’s a huge difference.

There is also a difference in the average salaries of inside sales reps and field sales reps. Let’s take a look at the data on Monster.com:

Inside Sales Reps Average Salary:

inside sales salary

Field Sales Reps Average Salary:

field sales rep salary

Inside sales reps are paid nearly $5,000 per year less on average, with a lower salary ceiling. Companies are always looking for ways to be more cost-efficient. When you frame the shift toward inside sales in that light, the changes that we have seen start to make a lot of sense.

Tech Solutions Have Made Relationship Management Feasible

Inside sales as we know it today wasn’t always viable. Over the last decade, we have seen a variety of tech advancements pave the way for the inside sales boom.

In previous decades, those face-to-face meetings were required to B2B deals. Today, an inside sales rep can hop on Skype, Uberconference, or any number of apps to speak directly to prospects. Additionally, sales and customer relationship management software allow sales reps to juggle more sales relationships at any given time, with higher levels of effectiveness in each interaction.

A few of the technologies that have paved the way for the change in the sales landscape include:

Video Conferencing

Sales reps can hop on a video conferencing app whenever it is convenient and build rapport with their prospects. Video conferencing software gave inside sales reps an avenue for closing deals, that wasn’t audio-only, without leaving the office. It’s a boon to efficiency. Sales reps can simply take more calls and more meetings with prospects in inside sales than they can using more traditional sales strategies.

Text Messaging & Email

Text messaging and email have really paved the way for the inside sales boom. Sales reps can stay in constant communication with prospects, delivering sales collateral and nurturing materials that further the relationship with minimal time investment. Both text messaging and email lend well to automation, removing the sales rep from physically having to insert themselves into every interaction with a prospect.

The public’s adoption of these technologies has played a large role in their usage in the sales process. Customers are comfortable receiving sales materials through these mediums today, but just a few years ago that may not have been the case. Today, customers enjoy the convenience that these channels allow.

CRM Solutions & Sales Tools

Perhaps more than any other technology, the prominence of customer relationship management (CRM) solutions have played a key role in the growth of inside sales. The ability to effectively track and monitor interactions with every prospect allows sales reps to maintain relationships with more prospects at any given time.

Sales tools have also helped with the adoption of inside sales strategies. The ability to automatically place calls and send messages from inside a sales dashboard is a game changer. Sales reps are able to capitalize on more opportunities. Built-in calling features give reps more control over their relationships. CRM systems do most of the relationship monitoring heavy lifting, while reps can focus on closing deals.

Buyers More Comfortable with Remote Collaboration

Using these technologies and channels wouldn’t be all that helpful if prospects were not willing to use these channels to communicate and collaborate with salespeople. The adoption of these technologies has played the biggest role in the inside sales revolution.

Today, customers are more willing to interact with sales reps through video conferencing software, text messages, and email when closing B2B deals. Without that familiarity, the face-to-face meetings would still be a requirement.

Better Coaching and Development

Inside sales operations allow for better coaching and development of skills. In traditional sales teams, sales reps spend a lot of time out of the office taking meetings. When most of the selling takes place in the office, salespeople are able to bounce ideas off of each other to improve and spend more time with their sales leaders to sharpen their skills.

Managers also have much more control and insight into their teams in inside sales. CRM and sales tools track all of our interactions with customers, allowing management to break down performance and identify areas for improvement more easily. In traditional sales roles, sales reps are expected to self-report their interactions, and many conversations don’t have an official record to analyze.

Flexibility

Inside sales teams have a lot of flexibility compared to traditional sales teams. Because the cost per meeting is lower, inside sales teams have more room in their budgets for experimentation and split testing approaches.

With the help of sales tools, they are able to maintain relationships with more prospects, allowing for sales reps to specialize more easily. Many inside sales teams split their salespeople into segmented groups, often by industry. They may hire for specialized positions, such as a sales development rep. Allowing your sales reps to specialize helps them to really understand their customer segment and speak to their biggest problems in their sales conversations. This freedom and flexibility leads to increased conversion rates and more engaged customers.

Improved Alignment

The transparency provided by today’s software helps to improve alignment and transparency in sales teams. Team leaders have the ability to track and analyze every step that a sales rep takes. Every new contact, missed call, text message, and voicemail is tracked. Having access to this data gives inside sales leaders the ability to have a true top-down view of their operations.

This is Just the Beginning

Inside sales has caught fire over the course of the last half-decade, fueled by a wealth of software and customer management solutions, along with the changing behavior of B2B customers. As a result, sales teams have adjusted. Today sales reps spend more time researching and providing value to prospects, and less time in expensive face-to-face meetings.

This evolution is evident in the stats. More companies are shifting their focus toward inside sales, particularly in tech industries where customers will have a familiarity with the tech and tools required to communicate and engage with inside sales reps. While field sales will always have its place, we are likely to see the inside sales industry continue to grow at a rapid pace over the course of the next few years.

 

Introducing A Smarter Dashboard For Identifying The ROI of Social Media

This is an update I’ve been waiting for. It’s always been a challenge to quantify the actual value of a social lead and track their value over time like in a traditional sales model. This latest update, provides LeadSift clients with exactly that! Today we’re excited to share with you one of the latest things we’ve been working on at LeadSift: the launch of an ROI driven dashboard. LeadSift now delivers clients with insights and information that will help them better understand their sales funnel and track the value of their social leads. Let’s dive in so you can see exactly what I’m talking about:

Accessing the LeadSift Dashboard
For those of you who have already accessed the analytics section, some of this is just a refresher. For anyone who is responsible for delivering success metrics for their campaigns, this is going to be very helpful. To start, you simply click “Analytics” in the top corner of the LeadSift platform. LeadSift Analytics Platform

Once you’ve clicked “Analytics” you will be taken to the dashboard where all the magic begins.

Monitor Social Leads In Your Pipeline
As a tool that is committed to delivering businesses and brands with relevant social leads, we now arm you with the ability to assign and track the dollar value of leads through the entire engagement cycle. You can assign the value of a lead, track their progress through the funnel and assign value to the various types of engagement you may have. To see how many leads have come through the LeadSift platform, select the appropriate date range and you’ll see the analytics graph: LeadSift Platform | Dashboard | Lead Identification

The dashboard will highlight how many posts were scanned by LeadSift to identify the total number of social leads in your pipeline. What gets me most excited, is the opportunity index. The opportunity index is the total value of all the leads that are in the pipeline times the value of a converted social lead. For example, if you’re selling a product worth $100 and there are 1,000 leads in the pipeline; the total value of the opportunities delivered by LeadSift is $100,000. In the example above, the total value of the leads delivered by LeadSift was $115,370 – That’s the potential ROI.

Track The Value Of The Social Leads In Your Pipeline
We recognize that every business and brand will value social leads differently. Thus, when we created the opportunity index we wanted to ensure that you had the ability to customize the value based on your situation. To identify the value of your actual lead, you simply click “edit” at the bottom of the dashboard: LeadSift | Sales Funnel | Lead Identification Once here, it’s time for you to identify the base value of a social lead. Ask yourself how much is the Customer Life Time Value (CLTV) if you sold one of your product or service to one of the prospects. That value is what you would then place in the “Base lead value” section. Social leads deliver these potential customers to your sales pipeline. You can assign the probability of closing the deal on social by assigning values based on interactions (demo, pitch, proposal submission etc.) with them; that is how a Sales pipeline is built. Using this logic, identify the close rate probability based on each social engagement, as each interaction would be helping move that user further into your sales funnel. LeadSift Edit Screen The value of the leads you’ve interacted with are then calculated based on these figures and delivered back to the main dashboard: LeadSift Funnel
Understand Who & What Is In Your Sales Pipeline
Finally, we’ve given you the ability to see the social leads that are most likely to convert and the demographics for the leads we’ve delivered. This can help you drill down and identify which leads require some serious attention while the demographics provide insight that can guide a series of marketing and communications decisions.

LeadSift | Demographic Insights | Lead Software Understand The Success Of Your Efforts

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 4.31.26 PM

The new LeadSift dashboard also highlights key insights around how your audience is interacting with your content. It tracks the levels of engagement, the click through rates on your content and even tracks your average response time. The combination of these insights give you clear indicators of what areas you need to improve in your social media efforts and arm you with the knowledge to deliver richer content and better customer service.

For the first time, you can now attribute a value to social leads and truly track the ROI of social media. We’re always working hard to create new features that will help you drive real results through social media. We’re continuing to evolve and develop LeadSift and would love to hear what you want in the future.

Sign up for a 7-day trial today!

How Brands Can Host Killer Cocktail Parties on Twitter

 

With the holiday season just around the corner it’s time to start planning party schedules and all the other social events that we come to expect this time of year. If you are a brand and have a Twitter presence maybe you are also planning on sharing some of the holiday excitement with your online community? If so, I have one question for you:

Do you know how to throw a successful Twitter cocktail party for your brand?

If you don’t, don’t worry, you’re not alone.  I had the chance to experience social media engagement legend, Gary Vaynerchuck, at a conference earlier in this year; he inspires a lot of people with his natural approach to engagement on multiple social channels. Gary explained that Twitter is the “largest cocktail party in the world”.  It’s hard to argue that since the definition of a cocktail party is casual interactions with people that may or may not lead to long-term relationships.

When it comes to throwing a cocktail party on Twitter, it’s the same as a in-person cocktail party – is all in the details. Brands are trying to hone in on these details, but  are struggling with building their social strategies beyond simple monitoring and high level reporting. Understandably, the focus to gain additional insight from the community is at the top of the list for most marketing teams, but the struggle for most is when and how to take action.

Who exactly should brands engage? Is random engagement still creepy?  What content will resonate with followers and allow them to talk about certain brands and share that brands content with their followers?  What about the audience talking about a brands products or services that do not follow that brand or even knows it exists?  Whether it is ideal or not, if a brand has a Twitter handle it should be hosting a Twitter cocktail party everyday!

Let’s look at this tweet for example – “Car shopping this weekend, stressed out already!”  This can be intimidating for a brand to engage with as the message has mixed emotions.  If you look at it as an opportunist it can be the start of a loyal customer for life. There is ample room for engagement with this tweet for example there is no mention of what type of car this person is looking for or their budget. There is some obvious tension here and a great opportunity to lend a hand and help them make the right purchasing decision.

The good news is that this person is speaking the language that a car salesperson faces on a daily basis.  It is as simple as taking what this person does on a daily basis and translating it into 140 characters. For example, start with a friendly tweet with a link hosted on your website around “The top 5 things to consider when purchasing a car”, followed by a simple “good luck!”  This can go a long way as the purchaser will now see this dealership and salesperson as a resource. It opens the door for the opportunity to make an impression both personally and on behalf of the dealership not to mention it will land this consumer on the website to read the comforting content giving them a warm fuzzy feeling.  Hopefully this will result in a “thank you” reply but if not feel free to follow up in a few days and invite them down to the dealership on the weekend if they have any additional questions.  Long story short, this is a chance to stand out in a sea of Tweets that has great opportunity for the brand who cares to engage.

Twitter has the most open engageable audience for brands  in comparison to all the other social channels. The classification of a brand’s Twitter audience is a great representation of the overall social audience. Twitter users are likely to participate in multiple social media channels and have a higher aptitude than your average Facebook user. Understanding the profile of brands Twitter community, including likes and interests, will help an organization scale to a more successful engagement strategy.

Not everyone is ready to take the necessary steps to successfully engage their audience, mainly because it is difficult.  The industry standard continues to be focused on the masses and easy to manage through scheduled posts and replying only to @mentions. In the future a brands social presence will be measured on the ability to engage beyond the masses.  Broadcasting your content on Twitter is very one directional.  It is what faceless brands do and the consumers are continuing to move away form this approach by opting out of mailing lists, using DVR and skipping commercials because there is nothing that makes them feel emotionally engaged.

Understanding your changing community is the likely place to start looking for greater insight from those who matter most – current and prospective customers.  As technologies evolve brands will be able to get closer to the voice of the customer.  Those who take the time to understand this approach will have an edge on the market moving forward. Be more than a faceless corporation, be an engaged corporation and that social ROI you have been longing for might be closer than you think.

(Photo from  gordonflood.com)

A New Wave of Social Selling: Defining The Social Lead

Social media continues to change the way we do business. It’s changing how we interact with our customers, partners, suppliers and even our colleagues. It’s changed the way we do business and has changed the way we tell our brands story.

For years, we’ve looked at the concept of a business lead through the lens of a transaction. We’ve looked at a lead as a potential sales opportunity. Yet, in the past, we didn’t live in a world that was as connected as it is today. Right now. As you read this text, there are potentially hundreds of conversations about your industry, brand and offering. Some of these conversations will be highly relevant to your business while others will be nothing more than noise. Those conversations that are both relevant and engageable are what we define as a Social Lead. It’s actionable. It’s relevant. And it’s timely.

Social leads are what our platform delivers to our clients on a daily basis. We sift through the noise and find the signals that are true business opportunities for them to engage with. We’ve put together this slideshow to show you the power of social selling while redefining the social lead:

 

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