DigitalThe digital shift is well and truly upon us. It’s been promised (or threatened, depending on your view point!) for the last few decades, and in 2014 we can officially declare ourselves in the ‘digital age’.

So what does that mean for sales and marketing professionals?

As daunting as the prospect of digital may seem to some, it is actually one of the best things to happen since the Internet began! A vast amount of doors have opened for sales professionals and a range of shiny new opportunities that were once just a pipe dream are now an easy to reach reality. It’s just a case of understanding the new tools at hand…

Twitter Search

The Twitter “search” function is a valuable and often overlooked feature. A vast amount of prospects can be discovered by simply searching for a keyword or phrase that identifies someone that may be in need/want of your products/services. The search will bring up any Tweets by people containing the keyword or phrase and accounts whose bio contains the keyword or phrase.

The Twitter search can be narrowed down by location; simply type ‘near:CityName’ and the search will only bring up people whose location is within that specific city or its surrounding areas.

When you perform the search, you can follow people who fit your criteria and even join their conversation if you have something to contribute. Some sales professionals find that sending a direct Tweet or message to the person introducing themselves has a positive impact.

Email Marketing Data

Depending on the email marketing client you use, there is a lot of data that can be accessed about the opens of your latest email campaign.

In the reporting section of your email client, you should be able to see an overview of the opens, bounces, link clicks, etc. And in some email clients, you can then delve further into this information, seeing the individuals who opened the email, those who clicked on specific links, right down to what email software and internet browser they use!

Exporting this data after every email campaign gives you a list of already warm leads. You can then tailor some follow up emails based on their behaviour to then take things further with the prospect and if you have a company name and/or phone number for them you could give them a call to see how you can help them further.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a one of the most powerful social sales tools of them all. When you consider that you have a company’s details, information on influential individuals within the company and a direct contact method all in one place, you can see why it’s such a popular tool among the B2B sales and marketing community.

If you know there is a particular company you want to get your foot in the door with, then the first thing you need to know is WHO you need to be speaking to. Sales is all about person to person contact, and so you need to first make contact with the person who has the influence within the department you are targeting. LinkedIn allows you to seek out that company’s page, and on that page you will be able to learn all you need to know about the company including any employees on LinkedIn. You can then search those employees for the person you are looking for, e.g. the Head of Procurement, and make a connection/introduce yourself via InMail.

Not sure what company you want to work with, then use the search function to find any companies within a certain industry/location and/or of a particular operating size. You can easily find new companies within your target range and begin researching them and their employees through their company page.

The digital shift, for all the negative opinions about it, is a very positive step for sales and marketing. It is both expanding and streamlining the processes of prospecting and relationship building, meaning sales and marketing professionals can find better quality leads and convert them at a much faster rate and more cost effectively compared with traditional prospecting methods.

If you are interested in learning more about how the digital age is impacting how we do sales and marketing, then you may be interested in ISMM courses. The Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM) offer varying levels of sales and marketing qualifications for people at all stages of their career to gain further knowledge and progress their career.

If you would like to learn more about the sales and marketing courses we offer at Oxford College of Marketing, call (0)1865 515 255 or email enquiries@oxfordpeg.com. You can also browse the courses on our website.