The benefit of using twitter for our sales process is to give us an understanding of what is going on in the world of our prospects. Social media relevancy can have a big impact on the top of the funnel.
My favorite way for salespeople to use twitter is to focus more on listening and less on sharing.
Here's what I recommend:
1. Once/month take the contacts at your top opportunities and find their Twitter account (use Fullcontact or Rapportive).
2. Create a private VIP list with just these people
3. Set up Nutshell mail or Hubspot's social inbox to monitor these people's tweets and send you a daily summary
4. Read the review once in the morning. Star, retweet, and reply directly for relevant tweets.
This helps you stay in front of your opportunity contacts between emails and phone calls. It helps you understand them to build affinity and rapport.
@Dan & @Kyle - now that I've got the big guns here, can I ask a question?
Do you gents have any sense of what percentage of prospects you're able to find on twitter? And of those findable what percentage of them tweet something 'sales actionable' in a given month?
I tried to run this myself, but had a hell of a time.
Trish, thanks for laying out the REAL numbers. Funny how the numbers tell the true story.
Seems like Twitter is the same as EVERYTHING in sales, you are selling more when you are LISTENING more.
Then, when you find that magical prospect, click through and READ. Favorite THEIR Tweet. Follow THEM.
Love 'em UP!
The Irreverent Sales Girl
My reTweets reflect my thoughts on this - READ it completely and ACT on the information.
Similar to those "prospects" in the pipeline month after month that really aren't prospects at all but unwilling to dig into the real potential.
Sales pro's should apply the old rule of two ears and one mouth and using them in that percentage to Twitter.
Great insight Trish-well done.
Thanks to all for the comments. This topic has been a burr in my side for a while. Many thanks to Twitter for releasing the analytics!
@Matt - We've seen it to be a sliding scale based on the level of technical savvy of prospective buyers.
We focus on social sellers, so the percentage is high. The best way to see this for yourself is to use Rapportive and open up 10 emails from or to prospects and see which ones show a twitter account.
Another way to find their Twitter account is to go to their LinkedIn page and see if they have connected their twitter account to their profile. Of the most recent 4,000 SalesLoft users, 2,289 have a twitter account listed on their LinkedIn page. Many others have handles but haven't connected them to their LinkedIn.
As for your question about 'sales actionable' tweets, it doesn't matter to me. What matters is connecting with them and staying on their radar. You can do this if they tweet about business needs or their fantasy football team.
Thanks for the Postwire mention in such a good post; good analysis on Matt's part, too. I can't say the results are surprising, as Twitter content is transient, and not unlike display ads that appear for a few seconds below you click somewhere else. What does set it off is the ability to "tag" tweets with hashtags that allow interested people to follow trends and content around the topic. Still not easy, though, and definitely not something a sales person should invest a ton of time in. But using this concept in an organization is exactly what Postwire was made for. We allow marketers to share their content with sales in an organized, customized fashion. Sales people can then personalize and share this content (along with any additional thought leadership) with their prospects in a very engaging way. This helps prospects cut through the clutter and learn from the content that is most relevant to them. To your point -- very personalized, engaging, and accurate.
Trish, we share a mutual friend (Morgan J) who shared your article.
I look at Twitter as a collection of tweets over the course of a day. when it somes to life expectancy, an email will live longer in someone's mail box than a tweet, which will last about 18 minutes, unless it's retweeted. So, immediately this needs to be a complementary discussion vs. a replacing one.
To show an example of the power of Twitter ... when I look at this Sunday's tweeting activity (about 12 tweets), my activity and content drove 206 clicks and 26 retweets directly to my blog at MarketingThink.com.
As a sales executive who is trying to:
1. reach an extended audience (my followers and those reached via RTs)
2. engage them (get them to read the content)
3. get them to perform some conversion-related activity (go to my site to read more and perhaps want to know more from me)
... I'd say no one would turn away 206 clicks that would lead to their web site or blog.
Thanks for commenting but we are coming at this from different perspectives.
As a sales rep with a number to hit... driving clicks does not get it done. In my view, there are alternative, and sometimes better, ways to spend precious selling time.
What happens to the forrest if you cut down all of the trees and don't plant seeds along the way?
Again, it's not either or ... it's both.
Exactly what I said in the post...
It appears we are in agreement! :) Thanks again for commenting and I am now following you on twitter so looking forward to learning more about social media and branding from you.
What would be really interesting is to see that drop-off in engagement from retweets. Supposedly, there is a k-factor virality built into Twitter but I suspect the drop-off on retweets is even worse. I also wonder what this looks like for b2c content, including content originated from a brand/media star.
I agree. I find Linked gets much higher engagement. Even Google+ is better as you have a more limited, dedicated audience. This goes beyond sales and also applies to Customer Success. Great job exposing a truth.
@David You are correct about the drop off in engagment for RTs. As a matter of fact, we have found that many people who RT have never clicked or looked at the content in the first place.
Not sure about b2c but if you run the analysis let us know!
RE: RTs & VIRALITY -
I did play with this a bit last night, but it was nearly impossible to separate the 1st order clicks from the RT clicks.
NET NET: my gut is that you are correct. An unfamiliar profile pic alone (via a RT) might drag down click rates.
RE: THE CELEBRITY SIDE -
Having never ventured into the celeb twitter space, I can report back: "Man. They love instagram and hashtags!"
That being said, the data are very cloud. But even with hundreds of RTs, I found roughly .02% engagement rates (while *excluding* additional impressions from retweets).
NET NET: Celebs get the same crappy engagement as mere mortals, just on a larger scale.
Trish, great article, data and analysis. But I wonder if there is another perspective that creates more value for sales people.
Clearly, as you point out, if our goal as sales people is to talk about ourselves, our products, our company---then Twitter isn't a vey effective venue.
But if we used Twitter to learn, listen, and observe, we might get more out of it. If we listened to what our customers are saying, we might be able to more effectively engage them--through Twitter or other means- about the things that are important to them. If we followed issues in the industry, then in our meetings with customers, we would be more conversant.
I'm with you. I don't think Twitter is that great in talking about ourselves. But it's enabled me to be much sharper in talking to potential customers and has given me access to others that I wouldn't easily get otherwise.
"Think sniper rifle as opposed to shot gunning it out there and hoping it gets seen and absorbed"
Love this analogy - great advice as our small startup aims to become a thought leader on Twitter.
Well! I'm less guilty now that you mentioned the bare ROI you exposed for sales people active on twitter. I used LinkedIn for business leads and engaged with customers on Facebook. Its very well worth it I can say and less a hurdle juggling across the numerous platforms of social media for business leads. However, I would also want to maintained a blog for those .1% of avid readers that you achieved. thanks for sharing this great analytic. Very informative and useful for planning upcoming social media activities. Cheers xx