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Salespeople know that their book of business is built on personalized interactions. Social offers the ability to scale these interactions, leading to greater productivity, and ultimately, sales. This ability comes with expectations; customers are now accustomed to reps that follow their activity—and only reach out when the time is right and with the right message. Successful social salespeople don’t broadcast generic marketing messages or post overt product pitches. In fact, both those ingredients are part of a recipe for irrelevance that can annoy would-be customers and shrink followings.

In today’s over-subscribed, under-resourced world, it’s not possible to be high-touch with everyone all the time, so the smart salesperson has learned to be low-touch until the opportunity arises to be high touch. Social listening can help you identify true leads and allow you to offer your solution in a conversational context.

With that in mind, here are 3 ways to use social listening to identify sales leads:

  1. Today, some of the more advanced sales teams have set up social listening software to monitor keywords that suggest customers are actively searching for a product recommendation. They adapt their typical discovery questions to key phrases people may be searching for in their industry, and then route these leads to the right salesperson. Another best practice is to provide social insights at the lead, contact, and account level within your CRM system. Microsoft Dynamics, for example, provides all sales professionals with access to social insights on leads, contacts, and accounts at no additional cost and can be used by anyone with a professional license*.
  2. Listening to what customers are saying about your brand can open the door to offering relevant solutions, but listening to what people are saying about your competitors can showcase weak spots in their offering. Think of it as an opportunity to help, and have the appropriate salesperson send the customer something useful. Are people dissatisfied with a competitor’s product? Can your product pick up the slack? Monitoring the competition can help you deposition them and drive more leads for your team.
  3. OK, not too personal. Simply pitching your products into the social media realm is like speaking to an empty room. On social, people expect to receive personalized messages. Have your sales team engage in conversations with prospects on social networks. When they post about those new watch styles on Facebook, have information on industry trends ready for your team to respond with to subtly throw your brand into the mix. With a coordinated effort from your sales team, you can start to work towards answering every post by your top target accounts.

For more tips on social selling download our latest eBook: Social is for Closers: A Social Intelligence Guide for Sales: http://bit.ly/Social4Closers

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