Posted to Volacci's blog on April 5th, 2012

Is Email Dead? Increase Lead Conversion Rates with Social Media

Todd McCormick is VP of SMB Sales at PGi. You can find an original version of this post and more posts by PGi video meetings experts over on the PGi Blog.

Does your sales strategy include social media? Include the right tools and strategies to communicate more effectively and personally with your potential customers --and close deals faster.

With email open rates in fast decline (down to 17% on average in 2010), it’s time to get creative and incorporate other social platforms into your communication with customers. LinkedIn InMails, for instance, boast a 30% open rates. (Source: MarketingProfsLinkedIn Sales Ops manager)

Not convinced? Here’s how one of my reps closed a deal in less than a day using only social media.

My team uses TweetDeck to keep an eye on Twitter conversations about web and video conferencing. Recently, one rep saw a company express its frustrations with their current web conferencing solution. He reached out via Twitter, and was on the phone with the company’s CEO within minutes.

Within the day, the rep had a signed contract in hand. That seemingly random Twitter conversation led to a current customer.

The Continuing Shift in Business Communication

Social media channels are opening up new ways for business users to research and communicate. For instance, consumers currently read blogs and use social media three times more than they do email. Additionally, 93% of B2B marketers are using social media to get their messages out.

One staggering example is Atos. With their employees receiving 200 emails a day, (only 10% useful and 18% spam), they adopted a zero-email policy for all company communications. All 74,000 employees will use instant messaging and social media to escape the email avalanche instead. (Source: WSJ)

Put Your Social Intelligence to Work—Here’s How

Everyone knows that social media communication has been on the rise for years. It’s those who can implement a plan to make the most of their gathered social intelligence who will truly benefit:

  1. Define your social media strategy. Get your sales and marketing teams aligned with a comprehensive strategy for social communication. Get together and schedule regular meetings, create a system for monitoring social media and brainstorm new ideas for reaching potential customers. Ask questions like Who are our target customers? What’s the most effective channel for reaching them? 
  2. Identify the tools you need to be successful. Tools like TweetDeck and Hootsuite make social media monitoring both easy and virtually free. Once you establish a relationship, there are a ton of ways to get together from traditional sales calls to face-to-face video meetings.
  3. Measure, evaluate and redefine. Give your strategy a chance to breathe, but don’t necessarily cling to your original ideas if they’re not working. Evaluate and change your plan of attack on the fly and don’t be afraid to try new strategies.

How will your team use social media to close business?


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