As consumers we’re programmed to want more, more, more. We’re told that more is never a bad thing -- especially as we near the holiday season.
But in sales, the opposite is true. I believe that less becomes more in almost every facet of a sales organization, especially in regards to technology. It might seem counterintuitive with the current explosion in the tech world, but it makes sense if you give it some thought.
Consider this scenario. Would you rather own a Starbucks on a really busy corner, or five Starbucks in very low traffic areas? You’ll get more total business from the first location, even though you’d own fewer stores.
Similarly, you’ll get more business value out of the right handful of apps than out of five, ten, or one hundred less valuable ones. In addition, fewer systems means people can focus more attention on the ones that count, instead of fragmenting their focus across a gigantic spread.
But concentrating on less requires having more developed strategies. If you’re going to select just a few systems and social networks to devote time and attention to, you should formulate precise plans about how you’re going to drive results with these tools.
Here are the social networks that I think are essential for B2B sales, along with strategies to be successful with them. Nothing more, nothing less.
Salespeople shouldn’t be trying to make an impression on every social network that exists. For B2B salespeople, there are only two that warrant attention: LinkedIn and Twitter.
LinkedIn can help sales reps perform a number of activities:
- Uncover leads
- Research prospects
- Monitor hot topics in groups
- Establish expertise
- Stay in touch with customers
Choose which activities you will use LinkedIn for, and then invest time in the platform faithfully. Update your profile regularly, and make sure to keep your posts in line with the business persona you’re trying to project.
Many salespeople treat Twitter like a mass messaging tool, spraying and praying. But this isn’t a smart strategy. Instead, I recommend culling and segmenting the list of people you follow to help achieve your intended purpose on Twitter.
For instance, are you using Twitter to learn more about an industry? Create a list of thought leaders, and read their posts daily. What about if your primary motive is to find prospects? Set up alerts that notify you when someone tweets a potential sales opening, and respond quickly. Maybe you’re trying to build your reputation as a trusted advisor. Share pieces of content targeted to your ideal buyer regularly. But no matter what, don’t just become a retweet machine.
Keep in mind that social media is not an instant gratification tool. You’ll need to plant your seeds and water them often before they grow. But by keeping your focus tightly centered on the networks that matter, you’ll have a significant harvest to reap rather than a few scattered shoots here and there.
Which social networks do you focus on and why?