Sales Enablement,

Social Media and Objection Management

This morning I was reading a great whitepaper found through Aprimo’s site, on integrating social media.

Marketers don’t have to start from scratch to build social media’s game-changing capabilities into the existing communications mix. By treating social media as an extension of new media and Web 1.0, marketers are exploiting its new capabilities within their available bandwidth and resources.

The whitepaper speaks to the roles of sales and marketing being somewhat reversed. Marketers – who typically never had contact with the public – are now required to communicate and manage the brand publicly. They’re having to accomplish this with no training whatsoever in objection management. I discussed this as well in my presentation at Webtrends Engage.

At the same time, our salespeople are expected to assume positions in Social Media, implementing one-to-many marketing and communication techniques that they’ve never perfected.

The whitepaper makes four recommendations:

  • Establish a focal point by putting someone from the marketing staff in charge of social media. This individual should be responsible for crafting marketing’s social-media strategy, including the creation of a process that will set boundaries on which vehicles will be used, how they will be managed, and which people should be assigned to them in accordance with corporate policy.
  • Collaborate with other functions that participate in the larger buying cycle, including customer service and product management. By 2010, more than 60% of Fortune 1000 companies with a website will have some form of online community that can be used for customer relationship purposes. However, it’s important that marketing discern social media’s role in presales activities from those that are postsales customer service oriented to ensure ownership is properly allocated across the various functions that participate in the execution of the firm’s larger CRM strategy.
  • Get people from the marketing staff into sales training, especially those that engage in social forums that enable one-to-one communications. Marketers with no training or experience in “objection management” are particularly vulnerable in a world of social media, because customers freely criticize a provider and its products in public forums.
  • Act as a go-between with sales leaders and salespeople wishing to participate in social media, particularly places where they communicate one-to-many, and be trained with the same editorial direction given to marketing and communications professionals to ensure the brand protection and consistent messaging.

I’ve provided some direction for salespeople to begin adopting Social Media – but the whitepaper details much more from an overall corporate strategy. I’ve also been attending sales training over the last year and would highly recommend it to all marketers! I’m interviewing Bill Godfrey, CEO of Aprimo today, and will be discussing this phenomena – look for a video to come!

Aprimo’s integrated, on demand marketing software enables B2C and B2B marketers to successfully navigate the changing role of marketing by taking control of budgets and spend, eliminating internal silos with streamlined workflows and executing innovative multi-channel campaigns to drive measureable ROI. from the Aprimo website.

One comment

  1. 1

    Social media is certainly expediting the rethinking of “departments” as all the lines get blurred. Good for business.
    Bill

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