Pre-sales customer research – top 5 ways to leverage social media


Social media has revolutionized how b2b sales people find prospects. Salespeople that use the new solution selling processes know that they need to be able to couch their products in terms of the client's problems. With social media, you don't just find out who to talk to. You find out what solutions they need. Here are five great ways to leverage social media to find clients and their issues.

  • Identify issues and concerns by following clients and prospects on Twitter. The questions they ask and the discussions into which they enter will give you an opportunity to gauge what they're thinking about and what problems they have.
  • Find areas of shared personal interest through Facebook. Even though the new solution selling methods are focused on solving business problems, it's still nice to be able to start a conversation with some friendly banter on something that the prospect finds genuinely interesting.
  • Measure the suitability of the solutions you use to present your products by sharing your approaches as a part of your blog or twitter feed. The solutions that engage prospects or that receive positive feedback are probably going to be the most effective ones to use on sales calls.
  • Use LinkedIn to find key contact points at organizations where you'd like to do business. Researching up and down the chain can also help you to identify who may be on a decision making team so that you're better prepared.
  • Position yourself as a solution provider by engaging people who may not even be prospects in LinkedIn Groups, Twitter discussions and by posting YouTube videos. Even if the people you directly talk to aren't potential customers, someone that is reading your posts probably is a prospect, and you'll be able to indirectly influence him while he has little sales resistance. These posts are great ways to identify prospects that might otherwise be hidden.
Research by itself can't move the sales process forward. Success in the new solution selling means turning knowledge into concrete action steps for your products. Social media gives you the knowledge, but anĀ automated b2b sales process helps you turn it into action.

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