With our recent partnership with Salesforce, we have been thinking a lot about how businesses can optimize sales.  One article I came across recently on the Selling Power blog discusses how social and mobile technologies are revolutionizing the way businesses reach sales success.  The post mentions three “big shifts” in sales strategy that are occurring due to the proliferation of social media:

Big Shift #1: We’re moving from customer relationship management (CRM) to customer engagement management, a.k.a. Social CRM. When we consider that nearly 200 million people log on to Facebook every 24 hours, LinkedIn gets a new user every second, and 2 billion YouTube videos are watched each day, as this article cites, it’s obvious that social networks have huge potential for sales conversations and relationship building.  Strategies must therefore earn the attention of prospective clients, since they are already being flooded with information through these networks.

Big Shift #2: Prospects care more about what their peers think than what companies think. Social media allow salespeople to engage with consumers in a more personable way than ever before. Salespeople can meet clients where they are (online) and address their feedback in real-time.  Instead of telling potential buyers what they should want, salespeople should focus on hearing the needs of a community and being a leader in those conversations.

Big Shift #3: The emphasis is moving from quantity connections to quality connections. You won’t necessarily close more sales because of the number of Facebook friends or Twitter followers you have, but increasing the quality of your connections on social networks can benefit your sales approach.  Seek out thought leaders in your organization and industry community, and learn best practices from them.

There are many other interesting articles out there on how social media is changing the sales landscape.  For example, this infographic explains the difference between inbound and outbound marketing, and also highlights how social media can have a positive impact on your marketing ROI. How is your organization leveraging social media for sales success?  What strategies and tools have been more effective for you?

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