Social Business Enablement: A Great Way to Connect Your Brand to Your Customers
Editor’s Note: Today’s blog post is a guest entry written by Steven Webster, Director of Digital Sales Enablement, Retirement Marketing, at Prudential Financial.
In many ways, social networking for business can seem like a regular popularity contest. However, it’s important not to lose perspective on the true power of social business by placing too much emphasis on how many “likes” you have, followers you can garner, or connections you can make. Your focus should be on the strength of your own network – harnessing the power of your sales force – that’s where the real measurement is.
It continues to amaze me the amount of “calories” that financial services companies spend on having a fully staffed and monetarily resourced social media team, when there are legitimate and low-hanging business opportunities right under their network’s nose.
With a well-articulated strategy and tight partnership with your regulatory teams…Voila! You have a successful case study waiting to be told. In a recent Forbes article, How Social Tools Lead to Business Opportunities, David Pennington hits the point home. To achieve business success you need to focus on one or more of the following:
- Increasing Revenue
- Driving Customer Loyalty
- Identify New Business Opportunities
Is your social business program achieving success in these areas? Can you really tie that back to your bottom line or even your top line? My guess is that your measurements sound a lot more like – increase in number of “likes” and look who’s following us.
Sooner or later, the C-suite will be looking for you to prove out your lofty budgets and soft dollars. So why not take a
look at what your associates can do for your business?
Your clients and partners are using social networks, so why not use a tool like LinkedIn to drive tighter relationships with your clients? Given most corporation client to associate ratios, even your biggest clients aren’t feeling as connected to you as they could be. Empower your people to connect with their clients, share updates, news, and articles that they may find interesting and engaging. Conducting
a dialogue with your clients through a social network may not seem as valuable as a phone call, and for some it may not be, but you at least you’re top of mind even if you don’t have the time to make the call.
How can you actually sell using social media? Well, it’s a good question. Try spinning the question a bit… how can you use social to sell better? Wouldn’t it be great if your sales organization was empowered to use social technology for simple tasks like pre-meeting planning, referrals, warm leads, and even introductions? Using a LinkedIn profile is a simple but sleek way of introducing yourself or a colleague to a prospect or client as a follow-up from a business meeting. It adds a personal touch after the interaction that may last longer as they will most likely connect with you and build on that relationship.
Establish a roadmap that brings together these key factors and you have yourself a blueprint for a killer social business program – an empowered and engaged sales team; compliance guardrails and a bit of healthy competition among your associates. After all, competition is part of a salesperson’s DNA and can be extremely valuable in
helping you get measurable traction in your social business endeavors. Pennington says that “the true power of social technologies is realized when it’s an integral part of the business applications you use every day – supporting truly strategic initiatives like driving a custom-centric organization.”
Can a social business program help you operationalize the use of social technology in your sales team’s daily activities? The answer is yes.
Prudential Retirement, Hartford, CT, a Prudential Financial business.
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