Before I post on the steps Industry Laggards can take to improve their sales performance, productivity and knowledge-sharing with Social Media I thought I’d share some Fast Facts from the Aberdeen Group Report on Social Media for Knowledge Management and Sales Collaboration.
If you’re a B2B company, small business or even consumer company, Aberdeen’s research reports on Social Media is excellent (and no, I don’t get commission for talking about them, I simply enjoy sharing their insights) – they are one of the few research groups who address social media issues and challenges from a strategic perspective.
Fast Facts – Social Media In the Lead Generation Process
90% of Best In Class companies improved average size of their opportunity deal, compared to 48% of the Industry Average and only 10% of Laggards.
Nearly 65% of Best-In-Class companies decreased the time it takes to move leads through the pipeline, compared to 13% of the Industry Average and only 2% of Laggards.
62% of Best-In-Class companies cite the overall quality of solution as the top factor when evaluating a technology provider. They rated domain expertise and demonstrated success in similar projects highly (48% and 45% respectively).
Improved communication between sales representatives is considered one of the top benefits of a CRM system, along with contact management (76%) and increased internal visibility (52%).
A key finding of the research is that social media tools for sales representatives tended to be:
1. Internally, rather than externally focused
2. Focused on easy collaboration and knowledge-sharing to improve productivity
3. Connectors – connecting sales representatives to subject matter experts who themselves did the facilitating of online conversations with customers and uncovered customer business challenges
4. Mapping oriented – mapping products and services to meet uncovered customer challenges
5. Preparers – with the focus on sales productivity social media tools in Best-In-Class companies tend to be used to help sales people work smarter – giving them as much as they can to ensure sales representatives have knowledge and answers at their fingertips. Internal Wikis and collaboration forums ranked highly as the tools of choice.
While smaller business focus their social media efforts outwards, according to Aberdeen’s research larger companies are first of all focusing inwards, on the (internal) collaborative power of social media. What’s constant is that it is driven by the business challenges.
Thus, obtaining more leads doesn’t necessarily translate to having 10,000 “followers” on Twitter, or 5,00 “Friends” on Facebook (if at all they are on Facebook), rather, it may in fact begin with understanding the customer’s unique challenges then meeting them, then connecting with more customers through collaboration tools with a shared outcome.
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