“Just like having a website in the 1990s, buyers are now judging the legitimacy of an organization based on their presence (or lack thereof) on social media.”
Rachel Clapp Miller over on the Force Management blog recently wrote a great piece on how to incorporate social media into your sales process. According to the research she quotes, social is proven to helps sales organizations drive pipeline by
(1) engaging with buyers earlier in the sales cycle,
(2) maintaining relationships with current customers and
(3) demonstrating valuable market insight.
Whenever you start using a new social media site, it prompts you to change your avatar, the image associated with the content you create/post. Your avatar basically represents who you are and an increasing amount of sales people are starting to use their professional ‘headshots’ across all their social business networks. This allows them to create a recognizable brand for themselves as social sellers for when they finally meet face to face with the customer. [Have you ever experienced the delight of meeting someone that you have followed and engaged with on a social network? I have many times, and it is a great feeling!]
Many companies are also starting to dictate that their employees join and engage with their customers on social networks – primarily Twitter and LinkedIn. Recently I saw a huge influx of people joining Twitter from a specific company. I found them because they were all retweeting the same corporate tweets I was tracking. However, I also noticed that many of them were eggheads. An egghead is a twitter user that doesn’t change their profile pic. As an ‘egghead’ you are surely going to be ignored–some might even think that you are a spam bot of some sort. So I asked someone that worked there about what was going on. It turns out that their CEO had announced at their annual meeting that everyone had to be on social. So the eggheads got on social, and many of them still haven’t hatched.
Remember the old mantra, people buy from people? Your buyers are not going to engage with your eggheads. However, hatching an egghead into a social seller who will provide value to their network doesn’t happen overnight. You have to put together a social media plan that will help your sellers be successful on social. This should include tools that will help them quickly share content that is not only promotional for your own company and products, but will also provide insights into subject matters that your customers care about.
With that being said, I think it is time for me to retire my very own avatar. A couple of years ago I wrote an ebook that was beautifully illustrated. It included a hand drawn cartoon of me. Since then, I have used that picture as my Twitter avatar. My network knows me as such and I am concerned that by switching I might be masking myself with … well … a real picture of myself! But that’s ok- the aim is to provide value and engagement to my old friends and my new ones as well, and a fresh look could help do the trick..So follow me to see the “new” @danielabarbosa