E-commerce Link: Social Dollars & Cents
Is Twitter just a new way to get customers' attention, funnel discounts to them and douse customer service fires? Or is it a better way to generate leads? Successful B-to-B social sellers like enterprise communications company Avaya and commercial real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle have the answer: They're generating contracts and sales using social media marketing.
There is a non-technical way to make social media produce leads and sales. In fact, it's so practical, any business can benefit from the approach. It's the key to selling more with social tools like Facebook, Twitter, podcasts, YouTube, LinkedIn and blogs. Together, let's learn how you can align your social media marketing with traditional sales and lead generating processes.
Avaya: Turning Tweets into Contracts
For Avaya, tweets can sometimes net $250,000 contracts. Before leaving to join social analytics firm Networked Insights, Paul Dunay (formerly of Avaya) shared his remarkable Twitter experience with me.
In a nutshell, Avaya's social media marketing team uses advanced Twitter search functionality, monitoring www.search.twitter.com for "demand phrases" across the babbling Twittersphere.
For instance, Dunay's team discovered a 57-character tweet that began a relationship with a potential customer: "[...] or avaya? Time for a new phone system very soon," the tweet read.
Moments after the tweet was posted, an Avaya social team member spotted it and notified Dunay, who responded: "@[customer]—let me know if we can help you—we have some Strategic Consultants that can help you assess your needs."
The potential customer did make contact, and 13 days later Avaya closed a $250,000 contract after Dunay's team presented the qualified lead to the sales team.
Avaya finds social sales success by using Twitter to discover customers' evolving needs, nurturing "hidden" demand and capturing sales. And you can, too, simply by:
- Discovering conversations that are worth having.
- Conversing in ways that generate questions that your products/services answer.
- Aligning conversations with traditional lead management processes.
Create Sales, Not 'Branding'
For Avaya, Twitter is a tool to discover demand in various stages. Sometimes prospects display immediate need, like when someone tweets about looking to change providers as soon as possible. Other times need is early-stage, like when a competitor's customer expresses frustration with service quality. That's where digital "content marketing" may come into play—as a means to nurture the lead.