How Social Media Influences Your Sales Cycle
You can influence the sales cycle through social media interaction and engagement by:
- Getting referrals through personal networks
- Becoming a trusted adviser through Q&A forums and industry blogs
- Participating in discussions of interest groups on LinkedIn
- Publishing blog posts with valuable content to reinforce your branding
Marketers are embracing social media platforms to engage thematic groups and communities as the traditional "push" strategy of marketing evolves into "pull." From a study commissioned by Constant Contact, Kevin Casey notes in Facebook facts for SMBs that fans beget more fans. He reveals 56% are more likely to recommend a business of which they are a Facebook fan. Also, popularity produces sales—a whopping 51% are more likely to buy after becoming a fan. Therefore, it is important to know your target audience, understand the specific social media platforms and publish content that resonates with them to establish yours as a brand of trust and authority.
According to The Future of Selling by Ogilvy and Mather, 65% of the most successful salespeople believe social media is an integral part of their sales success. "Social selling" is growing as a method of building credibility and trust in a "relationship selling" matrix. Internet-savvy customers today create their own buying journeys that include many steps with no seller involvement. Customers may not necessarily start at step one. Plus, large part of the action takes place after the sales when the customer experiences the brand and shares his opinions with family and friends.