Sales development reps (SDRs) are often tasked with hunting prospects within target accounts or industries. Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter may be the most effective hunting grounds for these valuable contacts. According to Sales Benchmark Index, sales reps using social media can connect with 3.6x more key decision makers than reps who don’t use social sales. Many of the most successful SDRs are already using social platforms to find and connect with key decision makers.
Engage on Social – Then Move to Email and Phone
Social media platforms are not only fantastic for finding qualified prospects, they are also great launching points for engagement. Here’s how to begin using social to enhance sales prospecting:
- Use social media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn to find qualified prospects.
- Engage those leads through social media sites.
- Move the conversations over to email and the phone.
I’m personally a fan of starting with social, moving to email and then moving the conversation to the telephone. This enables prospectors to gradually engage prospects, so that by the time a call occurs they are already further down the sales funnel.
Use LinkedIn to Seek Turnover
If you’re selling B2B products, it’s not only important to find the right leads to sell to, but also finding the best time to sell to them. When a company hires a new executive, that executive is often given a budget and mandate for change. They will be more open than ever to exploring solutions that can improve their team’s productivity, offer management new insights and, most importantly, help boost revenue. By using LinkedIn you can see how long executives have worked in various positions. You also get updates when individuals in your network take new jobs.
Sales development reps should be aware of prospects that are highly engaged in relevant social conversations. That’s where the Hashtag (or #tag) comes in. Hashtags continue to enjoy rampant usage, especially on Twitter. Searching by hashtags is a great way to find potential prospects who are engaged in discussions that are valuable to your industry. For example, a sales rep selling financial services might search for #refinancing. A real estate agent might search for #househunting.
Attend Conferences Virtually
Sending sales reps to every industry conference in the world is likely a waste of time and other resources. However, inside sales reps don’t need to physically attend events to benefit from them. Events usually have associated hashtags, LinkedIn groups and/or Facebook pages. Reps can virtually attend these events via social media and still network with viable prospects.
Participate In LinkedIn Groups and Forums
Taking the time to answer questions in Quora and LinkedIn groups can transform a sales prospector into a well-respected thought leader. The right forums are a great place to find qualified prospects and build a relationship with them. This isn’t only good for your reps’ personal brands, it’s also good for your company’s bottom line. After all, prospects are more likely to buy from reps they trust.
By utilizing these social sales tips, your sales development reps can identify hot prospects, qualify leads and propel viable prospects through your company’s pipeline at full speed.
Want to learn more about how to build a successful sales prospecting team from the ground up? Check out our free eBook How to Fast-Track Revenue with a Dedicated Sales Development Team.