Posted by: Jaime Davis Thomas, Research Director, EcSELL Institute
In a previous post, I discussed what is social media and how EcSELL Institute members are using it. You learned some interesting facts about your peers social media adoption from Forrester Research, and you learned that IBM has studied the usefulness of social media for its sales team, and has offically given its 'blessing'.
As promised, I offer my thoughts and research on what sales teams are doing with social media.
How Sales Managers Can Use Social Media
- Share Expertise Among Team
- Access Expertise Outside of Team
- Collaborate on Projects
- Engage with Clients & Prospects
- Meet (new!)
Share Expertise Among the Sales Team with Social Media
Gone are the days when you would collect information, work materials, training materials, and other stuff in three-ring binders and store them on a bookshelf in your cubicle (actually, cubicles are going away too!). Social media makes it possible to store, share, and update information quite easily.
Imagine if your sales team had access to a digital repository of best practices, training materials, prospecting emails, business letters, demonstration videos, marketing collateral, and other job tools they could access at any time, from anywhere. Also imagine that they knew this information was reliable and up-to-date. Perhaps they could also comment on how they've found the materials most useful. Pretty amazing, huh?
Now answer this question: How many file folders on your computer have you dedicated to the items I mentioned above? How many members of your sales team would benefit from also having access to those items?
If you answered "lots" or even "just one", and "most of them"... you need to be using a Social Media tool to share your sales team's expertise.
Tools that can help you accomplish this:
- Corporate Wikis
- Content Management Systems
Access Others' Expertise with Social Media
Want up-to-date information from other parts of your organization, but don't have meeting time? Using the same tools that allow you to share knowledge among your team (i.e. wikis), you can invite other members/team of your organization (or even those from the outside) to join in the discussion, share resources, and update information. The possibilities are endless, but here are a few...
- Marketing, to manage your collateral library, presentations, and other branding-related stuff
- Accounting & Shared Services, to speed up expense and travel reports, access HR and benefits information, view customers' contracts, and request vacation time (yeah!!)
- Executive Suite, to get the latest on your corporate strategy, and look up the 1994 Annual Report
- Customer Service, to share files, and collaborate on renewals
Collaborate on Projects with Social Media
Engage Your Clients & Prospects with Social Media
Get Togethers using Social Media
Next time from EcSELL Institute Research & Publications...
The Must Have List of Social Media Tools for Sales Teams
In this post, I'll detail which tools I've discovered can help you meet your social media objectives.