Social media has dramatically changed the sales cycle, but it has done so for the better. The buzz phrase "Social CRM" shouldn't make you hit the panic button - it should make you think more proactively about how social channels present unique opportunities to have more meaningful interactions, and close more deals.
Because buyers complete most of their product and service purchase research online, they're hitting up their peers as "trusted advisors" to exchange knowledge and ideas. They can do this without "dealing" with a sales rep. As a result, from buyers' perspectives, the cold call has become even more frustrating to "deal" with, because these conversations are typically not on their terms, and aren't fueled by relevance, as socially-driven conversations are.
Sales professionals are tasked with managing interactions in this environment. Enter social selling: The practice of leveraging social networks and the associated tools in the overall sales function from lead generation, to closed deal to account management.
But rather than looking at this as a challenge, see it as a golden opportunity. While we're pounding the pavement looking for tips, tricks, and technologies to help us leverage Big Data, there's a wealth of information on social media channels, under our noses, so to speak.
Social media has fostered an environment where our target buyers, prospects, and customers are actually publicly providing information about themselves in real time – their roles, their preferences, what they're buying, even what they're reading. What's more, social media provides sales people the ability to engage with future customers directly, while avoiding the dreaded cold call.
Check out our Social CRM By Number infographic below, which draw from our Grande Guide to Social Selling, to highlight the estimated industry value of social selling, average ROI, and other telling data on how your organization can cultivate role in social selling today!