Archives for January 4, 2009

Marketing vs. Sales: How Social Networking now bridges the gap.

Until recently, defining the roles of marketing and sales was simple: marketing paves the way, while sales closes the deal. The job of Marketing is to spread the word to prospects, while salespeople are tasked with following up, building key relationships, and closing deals.

Today, the line between marketing and sales is now beginning to blur as more and more salespeople are becoming astute social networkers. With social media spaces becoming more popular, salespeople and entrepreneurs all over the world are using LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites to discover new markets, meet prospects directly and forge profitable new business relationships. No lead generation, branding or cold-calling required. In a sense, many salespeople are becoming their own marketers.

The sales role in social media networking — initiate and develop key relationships.

  1. Develop relationships with people who matter. There are plenty of people participating in the social media sphere who can waste a ton of your time. Once you meet someone (prospect or suspect), make sure to get up-to-date, reliable contact information to use in your ongoing email marketing.
  2. Comment on key industry blogs, post links, and keep close watch on others who comment.
  3. Continue to build your sphere of influence. As a good social networker, be sure to invite connections to join you on other social sites, and request that your connections introduce you to others that may need your product or services.

The marketing role in social media networking — help salespeople plan, execute and measure their efforts.

  1. Work with your salesforce to create a blog and share ideas about your industry. Share your recent posts within your social media spaces, and invite comments.
  2. Keep salespeople focused — because some salespeople are not detail oriented, they may tend to overlook focused on the wrong social networking strategiesomment on blogs that are hot within your marketing space. Keep your identity present in your market at all times.
  3. Search Twithority and other social sources to uncover key influencers and leaders on the most important social sites. For example, creating a relationship with a YouTube user who has several thousands views on his/her videos, or making friends with someone who has thousands of connections on LinkedIn is valuable social currency, so to speak.

Keep in mind, however, this strategy may not be relevant to your situation, as each social media strategy is unique.