#SalesTO highlights making authentic connections with customers on social media

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As more companies strive to build their brands and presence on social media, the first SalesTO panel of 2017 was definitely a valuable one.

“We have to start thinking of ourselves as mini marketers now.”

The panel, moderated by Kenny Goldman of Helpful.com, offered salespeople advice on improving their social game. Chad McCaffrey, VP of global sales at PostBeyond; Ivan Pehar of Twitter; and Amar Sheth, VP of customer success at Sales for Life provided insights on leveraging social media to carry out effective sales strategies.

A key takeaway from the panel was that first impressions matter. According to Sheth, if social profiles are a customer’s first impression of a given company, sales professionals (and their teams) have to use social media proactively and strive to build their personal brands online.

“Salespeople, we have to start thinking of ourselves as mini marketers now,” said Sheth. “As the world becomes more digital, you have to understand that the way you communicate offline and online is different. The purpose of social is to generate pipeline and revenue…you should be using it.”

The panelists also said that it’s important to dedicate time to engaging with your networks personally, especially a company’s target customers. While there are automation tools that can make content sharing easier, authentic conversations are key to successful social selling.

“We have an opportunity as sales professionals to engage that user,” said Sheth. “Be genuine, be authentic, be yourself, gather information.”

Moving the discussion forward, Pehar of Twitter explained how Twitter’s platform can be valuable tool to “listen to” prospective clients and connect with them on a human level. “As you think about all these things that happen on Twitter, they’re just data points. Your customers are on there, your competitors are on there,” he said, adding that salespeople have to actively listen to what their prospects are saying and doing on Twitter.

To drive home the value of social selling, the panelists said that in order to measure and repeat success, salespeople need to regularly track their social selling activities. McCaffrey of PostBeyond said the secret to social selling is outreach, and that companies need to allocate specific time for social selling and track their interactions with customers.

The common philosophy between Sheth, Pehar, and McCaffrey was that social selling can leave a mark on a company’s prospective clients, and make a company stand out from those that use traditional selling processes.

Watch the full panel below:

The next SalesTO takes place on March 21. Get your tickets here. While you’re waiting, don’t forget to check out the Best of TechTO on February 13!

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi is a staff writer at BetaKit. As a fourth-year journalism student who has written primarily about entrepreneurship, Amira has developed a growing interest in Canadian startup, business, and tech news. In her free time, Amira enjoys reading, baking and watching legal shows.