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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Social Media and Sales: Can They Get Along? BY ADRIAN MILLER MAY 2, 2012 •

Today’s digital world offers companies both large and small myriad ways to communicate with their prospects and customers. Never before has connecting with people been so easy, taken so little time or been so cost-effective. Social media has become the solution du jour. But it is in that very accessibility that the problem lies.

Today, we see small companies, many without professional or experienced sales staffs, seizing the social media moment like nobody’s business. After all, there’s no real barrier to entry. You can start today. Jump in and swim with the big boys. The water’s just fine.

But is it? If ample attention is not paid to the company’s sales operations (sales processes, procedures, sales competencies, follow-up as well as old-fashioned customer service) all the visibility—and potential business—prompted by all those social media initiatives might be for naught.

I’ve seen leads that have not been followed up on. I’ve observed sales reps who were not trained (or retrained) on fundamental sales competencies and some who were not even aware that social media was being deployed to bring prospects to their door. And I’ve sadly seen situations in which social media did not do a darn thing for the bottom line, despite promises of scads of interested buyers and viable leads being generated as a result of efforts made.

Believe me: I get it. One simply cannot ignore social media. It is a fabulous lead-generation tool. But you must pay equal attention to those more old-fashioned (and infinitely less sexy) components of good business development because only then can you realize real ROI from your social media efforts.

Adrian Miller is the founder of Adrian Miller Sales Training. To find out more or to visit her blog go to http://adrianmiller.wordpress.com.

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