How to Establish a Sales Profile with Content for Social CRM
Sales profiles can e very useful for the Social CRM salesperson. A salesperson is most often required to use the collateral her company provides. Usually, she can use product sheets, white papers, and all sorts of other material that support the sales effort. If the company has a website, it’s likely that customers can find a great deal of information there.
But what about content that the salesperson wants to create to support her own efforts? Usually, the company grants permission for staff to create their own custom sales presentations and other written material to support a specific sales effort.
In this social media environment, salespeople also find the need to create content to communicate with a wider audience. If they want to be seen as experts, the quality of the content they create is critical. This puts pressure on them to develop content that supports the specific needs of the customer.
So what’s the criteria for creating that type of content? According to Marketo in their white paper Creating Content that Sells, these six rules of effective content marketing should guide salespeople:
Be nonpromotional. This is a tricky one to pull off. Obviously, you want to talk about how your product solves a problem, but readers don’t want to spend their time reading one-sided promotional material disguised as objective information. When you create a blog post or other content, make sure to include information that potential customers actually need to make good decisions. They will respect you for educating them.
Be relevant to your reader. Help potential customers focus on the key issues. As the expert, you know which issues really count when making a buying decision. Present those as directly as you can and cut down on superfluous information.
Close a gap for your reader. Closing a gap refers to the idea that your customers have questions that need answers, and closing that gap can help them make good decisions.
Provide well-written content. Your writing should be clear, not fancy. Your readers are seeking information, and the more succinctly you present it, the more likely they will want to work with you. Don’t fret about your lack of writing skill. Simply provide potential customers with the answers that you have.
Be relevant to your company. The customer knows you’re representing your company. Don’t be coy about what you offer and how it can help. Just make sure that you’re focusing on solving the right problem.
Give proof. Proof in this context refers to testimonials and other evidence that people have used your products and are satisfied. Provide customer comments, pictures of actual customers if possible, and quotes from industry influentials. Display them prominently. Don’t assume your customer knows about your company’s awards or other notable achievements.
Once you’ve written your content, decide where to distribute it. You want to make sure you get the most eyeballs. Following are some suggested venues and tactics for distributing your content:
Communicate in forums and industry-wide communities. You don’t have to search very far to find online forums and communities related to your industry. You can use a tool like BoardReader to find them. You can also find groups on LinkedIn related to your industry and join several of them.
Capture multimedia coverage of your activities. Use videos, audio from conferences and speeches, and any other representations of your interaction with your customers. You can also publicize your multimedia activities on YouTube.
Create webinars and teleseminars. If permitted, create your own webinar or teleseminar instead of only using the ones created by your company. You’ll learn about your customers, see who shows up, and get potential leads from people who specifically respond to you and your content. Make sure that you publicize these events on sites like Google+ Hangouts and LinkedIn.
Create your own account on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other networks. Having your own account on the major social networks can provide a place for you to step into the spotlight. If your company permits, make the effort to get comfortable publicizing your activities on social platforms.
Use your Twitter account to publicize your activities on Twitter with hashtags.
Write articles for industry publications and blogs. Create articles and blog posts. Remember that the goal is to supply great information, not write like a famous novelist. Make sure to include the company’s keywords as well as your own name in the articles and blog posts. You want the search engines to find them when someone Googles your name.