Wednesday, 24 July 2013

How Social Media Can Boost Sales

As we all know, the sales manager is a major part of any organisation. It is their responsibility to ensure that all of the sales quotas set by executive management are met and that the business delivers its targets. The responsibility on the sales manager’s shoulders can be intense. Thankfully, sales managers are typically former sales people who have been promoted to a managerial position, so they know what hard work is needed from the bottom up. When they encounter any problems, they can use their personal knowledge, experience and know-how to can solve them.

The sales manager has to know their sales areas well and be on hand to assist the sales team when required. A crucial quality of any sales manager is the ability to motivate his/her team. To encourage hard work and dedication, sales managers often establish leader boards and hand out prizes to the best sellers. The role of sales manager is always evolving and many sales managers are turning to social media to create competition within their department. Using social media to create competition is easy, all you have to do is:

1- Create a Facebook page

2- Get your employees to unite on the page

3- Set up internal competitions, sales targets and post how employees are competing

4- Interact, upload pictures/videos of the development

By following the tips above, you could motivate your staff in a more social and interactive way and encourage them to get involved more, which could in turn lead to more sales!

The competitive sales and social environment

Traditionally, ‘sales’ is a very competitive environment. Sales personnel are known for trying every little trick in the book to get one step ahead of rival companies. The emergence of social media has improved and updated the work of a sales executive by providing sales departments with a plethora of resources and vital information.
Websites like LinkedIn allow sales managers to research and analyse companies in various different ways. They can use LinkedIn to introduce themselves to potential clients, gaining direct access in a way which would never have been possible without the internet. The sales manager now has the ability to connect with individuals without any geographical barriers. By asserting your position, you can display your credibility and establish key contacts. Physical meetings can subsequently materialise as a result of your initial social media strategy. As a result of these wider markets, an increase in sales is inevitable.

The Alternatives

There are other social network sites such as Twitter which have become extremely important to all sales managers. Twitter is a rich source of information, often showing users the trends and fads of the moment. Any self-respecting sales manager uses Twitter to keep up to date with what is going on in the market, as well as their own existing client base. Companies often display information which is useful to a sales person, such as the details of an upcoming event or a project that they have undertaken, on social media sites. By following certain companies and organisations on Twitter and Facebook, sales managers can stay informed and up-to-date, putting themselves in a very strong position to sell their services or products to potential clients.

Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook are generally used as sales aids as opposed to direct selling tools. It is the responsibility of the sales manager to attract customers to the main website by encouraging their followers with interesting facts about the company and keeping them informed of the latest events.

Various strategies can be used by sales managers to assist them in their roles. Some might opt to create videos and integrate them on the company’s Facebook page, allowing them to speak directly to the customer and humanising the company as a whole. This strategy will create interest and make the organisation stand out from the rest.

In Conclusion

Social media helps the company to engage with their customers on a human level without the hard sales tactics seen in the past. Sales will ultimately increase as a result, as followers who are passionate about the company tend to post complimentary messages on the site, messages which are then viewed by other potential customers.

Social media is proving to be much more than a flash in the pan and we will certainly see many more sales managers embracing it with enthusiasm.

What has your sales job involved and how has social media affected you?

Please leave your comments below.

Jenny Beswick