Uniting marketing and sales for social media success

It is no secret that the people in marketing and sales do not always see eye to eye. In truth, sometimes just getting them on the same page is difficult! And nowhere is this challenge more visible than in the shadowy world of social media communications where the hard work of B2B marketers is often misunderstood or simply overlooked by their colleagues in the sales department.

Yet in a post-Covid-19 world, where customer trust is more precious than ever, organisations need a joined-up approach to their social networking activities, so they create a consistent, authentic impression online. It’s my long-held view that social media activity should not be in the exclusive preserve of marketing specialists, but that all customer-facing staff and partners can be active contributors to shaping how the business and its brands are perceived, both online and offline.

Two different strands of B2B social media communications have evolved over time, each one predominantly directed towards a specific internal audience. First is the classic social media listening and broadcasting model used by marketers to build an online following and create interest in the brand’s news and updates. Second is the newer social selling model used primarily by sales professionals wishing to establish a strong personal identity online so they can nurture sales prospects with valuable, relationship-building content.

In most organisations these two approaches—if indeed they both exist—largely live apart with no cohesive plan in place to ensure each supports the other. Many see marketers as responsible for building of a strong, desirable brand across a wide spectrum of targets, while salespeople are tasked with converting this awareness into laser-targeted deals with individual customers. Predictably, this thinking can lead to communications inefficiencies where those involved in each approach operate independently or, worse still, in competition. Silo thinking like this is rarely optimal.

For the last few years, I have been on a mission to help marketers and salespeople understand each group’s respective responsibilities so organisations can design a unified plan that supports the totality of their social media communication efforts. With simple internal processes and a little joined-up thinking, there is no reason why all contributors to social networking conversations cannot work to one plan, all shooting in the same direction to create a coherent, trustworthy message for customers.

This calls for some paradigm shifts in our approach. The age-old concept of marketers creating leads and salespeople closing them is no longer a valid model in a world where every department can play a part in generating sales. Simply put, lead generation should not belong to a single department; it can now be an organisation-wide responsibility. And with the right structures in place, creating and converting new sales prospects can become a highly efficient tag team effort between marketing and sales experts.

At B2B Marketing we explore this challenge in my ‘B2B Social Media Marketing & Selling’ workshop where we place equal focus on the importance of effective social listening for better content distribution and on how we can deploy world-class social selling practices across the organisation. By bringing together marketing and sales professionals, we can design fresh approaches to how we use social media channels so that awareness generating activities and prospect nurturing become a shared responsibility between marketing and sales colleagues.

As you consider how your social media activities are performing, I would urge you to examine the fissures between sales and marketing and explore ways to bring these historical adversaries together. By working together, we can design a cohesive process that smoothly transitions cold leads into hot prospects while also conveying reassuring signals that will inspire them to choose our company over the alternatives.

If you would like to know more about our interactive workshop that explores this topic, please get in touch here:https://www.b2bmarketing.net/en-gb/social-media-training-course

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