Early today, I gave a presentation about using social media throughout the sales process. Our sales process, in Education, is a long one; over the course of 8-10 months, our sales people visit prospects face to face and introduce our brand to them. As this process moves forward, I was considering that there are very few brand touch points. Going over the course of the 8-10 months, I’ve found only 10-15 times where the prospect interacts with either our brand or our sales people.
As we move forward, we’re aiming to use social media to close those gaps in communication and hopefully increase those touch points to a point where prospects engage with us twice as often. The key here is using the sales person who visited that prospect to develop a personal connection immediately. While this seems obvious, maintaining that connection through the process is very important, as our competitors are trying to establish the same thing – a connection.
While this connection becomes personal, it also becomes more efficient. Throughout the process, the prospects have many questions, and they struggle along the way to find the answers to their questions. They end up sending an email with many questions or large questions that take our staff hours to answer, this can all be avoided by increasing the amount of touch points and predictive info pushing over our social channels – answer their questions before they have them.
Of course, all of these things are the basics and seem obvious, but the execution is where the plan goes from idea to success. It’s our job as a resource team in marketing to fuel and follow up on the execution, and to incentivize the sales peoples’s behaviour. It’s our job to make sure we get results.
As you head into your next planning session, plan to execute and more importantly, execute the plan.