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Leveraging social media and online communities to drive revenue works. You may remember the post Should Sales people be Blogging where we explained how IBM is leveraging social selling. In the Social Selling University we have had great speakers like Jill Konrath, Anneke Seley, Joanne Black and others that have given Enterprise Social SellingĀ  tips and strategies to members of the community. Umberto Millet our CEO has written a number of articles around the revolution of social selling in B2B.

Enterprise social selling is growing up. With the growing desire for Social CRM within companies, collecting social conversations for analysis was only scratching the service. What the social enterprise does with those conversations is where the rubber meets the road. Social media is more than a tool for marketing people and it’s being well established that every department across the enterprise can leverage social media for everything from prospecting, opportunity management and customer retention. [tweetmeme source= “insideview” only_single=false]

What these data suggest is that being a successful salesperson today is about much more than being a persuasive presenter: it’s about the hard work that happens before and after that presentation, from researching customers to pulling together internal stakeholders to planning how to grow the account over time.

When a sales team is empowered they are able to be more effective. When a good sales team is empowered, they almost seem unstoppable. The study by the Harvard Business Review explains that sales people are currently spending 15% more time doing administrative tasks like preparing for meetings with potential customers now than they were a few years ago. Leveraging sales intelligence and social selling any sales team can be more effective and produce more revenue than sales people that do not based on the study by CSO Insights. The discussion around the death of cold calling becomes even more obvious when an Enterprise Account Manager has social media tools in his arsenal.

Marketing departments are spending money and energy to develop campaigns that drive qualified leads to sales people. What if sales people implemented some of the same strategies to drive leads of their own? The answer is that the sales people that figure out how to do this first are going to reap the benefits from this for years to come, building your corporate brand, extending your reach and make you more transparent to your prospects and customers.

There is a clear difference between Sales 2.0 and Social Selling. Primarily it’s by adding in a higher level of engagement by the salesperson within the social networks of their prospects and customers. Studies also suggest that this level of engagement is appreciated and in some ways expected by customer 2.0.

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