The average number of tweets daily is somewhere around 55 million – are any of them coming from your salespeople? They’re coming from ours. In fact, I sat down to talk to our team about that today, and they could barely verbalize what life in sales would be like without Twitter. They could verbalize what they get out of the resource, though and what they recommend for any other sales teams searching for value in tweets.
1. FOLLOW ALL CONTACTS
“Any account that I’m assigned to, or actively prospecting, I follow on Twitter. Actually, I follow all of my contacts.” – Felipe Gonzalez-Paul (@felipegonzpaul), LevelEleven Account Executive
When your salespeople follow contacts through social media, they have the chance to further their professional and personal connections with those people. And because Twitter is such an active platform, with approximately 177 million tweets sent daily, it’s an opportune place to start.
Our team pays particular attention to things like where their contacts check in and then uses that information for future speaking points, or tweets, when appropriate. If a client checks in at a University of Michigan basketball game, for example, and their LevelEleven sales contact is a Michigan fan, you can count on a “Go Blue” appearing in their next conversation. Or, sometimes it happens the other way around and contacts notice us. It happened to Felipe, one of our account executives, at a Pistons game. When he checked in on Twitter, a client tweeted back that he was also at the game. The two met up and spent some quality face-to-face time together.
2. TWEET WHEN TWEETED TO
“I’ve set up some pretty good meetings just based on retweets.”— Brendan Hartt (@brendan_hartt), LevelEleven Account Executive
If you’ve researched business tips for Twitter before, you’ve likely come across advice to “listen to,” or observe conversations, and this is especially important for your salespeople. But then when they do “hear” someone communicating with them, they need to act. Did you know that 56 percent of customer tweets to companies are being ignored, according to AllTwitter? Getting your sales team active on Twitter provides more opportunity for you to keep your company’s customers out of that group.
Once we wrote a blog post about our flagship product, Compete, being 100% native to Salesforce. When Brendan, one of our account executives, tweeted a link to that post, he noticed a retweet. Brendan tracked down that user’s work number and gave him a quick call, basically saying: “I saw that you were interested in one of our blogs. Does it make sense for us to have a conversation?” Eventually, that lead became a client.
3. USE HASHTAGS FOR HUNTING
“I normally search #salesforce, #pipeline or #prospecting, and the people tweeting about those are usually sales exec’s. And so I do some digging there.” – Karley Hall (@karleyhall), LevelEleven Business Development Manager
It’s no secret that Twitter can also be used for finding new prospects, but that doesn’t mean the platform, with its over 500 million users, isn’t overwhelming. Our team navigates the Twittersphere by searching for hashtags that typically connect to the types of people we’re looking to contact. We sell to Salesforce users, so searching for tags like “#salesforce” is a natural way for us to find potential new clients. In fact, our team’s business development manager, Karley, found 12 leads in the past week doing just that.
4. DON’T OVERTHINK CONTENT
“I just ask myself: ‘Would this be interesting for me to read?’ If the answer’s ‘yes,’ I share it.” – Felipe Gonzalez-Paul (@felipegonzpaul), LevelEleven Account Executive
Our sales team could easily spend 4 hours a day on Twitter, but they each try to limit their time spent on the site to between 30 and 60 minutes total, typically divided into smaller increments throughout the day. Most of those minutes are spent “listening.” But when it does come to creating content, our team’s found the most success in keeping it simple.
Felipe, one of our most active Twitter users, simply decides whether to tweet content based on whether he finds it interesting – sometimes that translates to sharing articles on sales gamification and other times it leads to retweeting ESPN polls. You’ll notice that he doesn’t stress over coming up with industry buzzwords to sneak into tweets, either. Our team as a whole is conscious of adding too much content that directly pitches LevelEleven. In Brendan’s words: “You can’t connect with your audience when people start looking at you as a product pusher.”
5. BE PERSONABLE
“You don’t want to be perceived as a robot.” – Felipe Gonzalez-Paul (@felipegonzpaul), LevelEleven Account Executive
We touched on this in our “How to Use Facebook for Sales” post, but it’s important to discuss with Twitter, too: It’s okay to share some personal information with followers. When businesses first started using social media, people were scared into separating personal from professional – we all heard the stories of those fired from Facebook posts. But times, they are changing. And, quoting Brendan again: “The reality is, we all have lives outside of work, so that should come across in Twitter.” Your salespeople can establish a personal presence by adding photos of their children, comments on a favorite restaurant or anything else that will show their contacts there’s a person behind those tweets.
In closing, Diego Basch’s Blog reports that since the dawn of Twitter, there have been a total of 163 billion tweets. If you want your sales team to better their professional relationships, make sure the next time that statistic is collected they’ll have played an active role in it. In the meantime, if you have tips in addition to those suggested here, we’d love to see them below.