Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Twitter Usage for Inside Sales Teams

I am a huge fan of elevating the game when it comes to an inside sales team. In this article I'm going to propose some ways in which your inside sales team can utilize Twitter. Before implementing any of these methods it is crucial that your company first establishes a public web participation policy. Here we go....

When it comes to the usage of Twitter for business, there are essentially 4 main buckets: Direct, Indirect, Internal and Inbound Signaling. I will focus on Indirect usage by inside sales teams. Indirect is basically empowering the inside sales team to tweet as individuals so as to improve their personal brand. Look at it as a channel of establishing credibility as individuals.

One of the jobs of inside sales teams is also to establish relationships and trust, which leads to credibility. Once the employee establishes credibility, by default so will your company. Here is an example: Say one of your inside sales reps tweets about a best-practice in your industry or tweets a video of an industry expert. Someone sees the tweet and applies it to their business. Or maybe they just thought it was great content. This prospect now views your inside rep as a valuable resource. The prospect then decides to click on the inside rep's profile to see where they work. The prospect does a little more digging into the company and realizes that your company provides a product or service that they could use at their own company. Who knows...they may even re-tweet your best-practice to their entire network of followers.

The usage in this case should be focused on providing peer-to-peer value, not the direct promotion of your company's products/services. This is called "Direct" tweeting and these kinds of tweets come from the company, not the individual. So that's it. Get out there inside sales teams and start tweeting as individuals.... and for the love of the Queen.... make certain your following the company's public web participation policies!

Here are a few more carrots:
1. Great way for them to keep tabs on the competition
2. Great way to share trends in the industry
3. Great way for them to learn more about your space in general and what is being said on the social-media wires

p.s. Here is a link to the Gartner report highlighting the buckets

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