How Twitter Can Help Your Sales Team Crush Their Quotas

A 2012 study by the Aberdeen Group found that 79% of sales reps that incorporated social media into their sales process achieved their quota over the last year compared to 43% of the industry average. How could this be? It’s because the traditional sales process is a few touch points with long periods of darkness. Social media, and particularly Twitter, help transform the sales process into something more engaging and interactive.

I like to think of social media as the salt and pepper on an otherwise bland experience by allowing salespeople to interact more consistently with their prospects in new ways to build trust, rapport, and to stay relevant when other vendors are not.

Start With Your Own Twitter Profile
Take advantage of the personal link you can add to your Twitter profile. A great place to drive people is to your LinkedIn page or your organization’s demo request or corporate page. Adding appropriate hashtags to your profile can help your results in twitter searches as well.

Aspire to Become a Thought Leader and Trusted Advisor
Are you trying to be relevant to executives, sales and marketing professionals or accountants? Be sure that you create and share content that will speak to them. Wondering where to find daily info? Try using content curation tools, follow hashtags, Twitter lists and create RSS feeds that bring relevant content to you daily. Here's my list of sales thought leaders that influence me and provide me with daily and relevant content for my audience.

Take Advantage of # Hashtags
What are your prospects talking about or interested in? Are they using specific hashtags? Find out what these hashtags are and use a real-time listening tool and retweet 3rd party articles that your prospects are interested in, or articles that help contribute to your company’s vision and direction. When engaging, simply offer a helpful voice while avoiding the urge to sell. This is long-term behavior that helps you become a trusted advisor instead of an annoying vendor who only calls them to sell something.

Build These 5 Twitter Lists to Listen Effectively
1. Prospects - Find people talking about your industry or work for companies in your target market and add them to your prospects list. Be sure to make this list private to avoid alerting your audience you consider them a “prospect”. Monitor them on a daily basis and look for those trigger events that tell you it’s a good time to reach out
2. Competitors - Monitor and see who your competitors are talking to and determine if it's right for you to also jump in the conversation authentically or even at all. 70% of businesses ignore complaints on Twitter. Sometimes its best to be there to clean up the mess and convert them with better service.
3. Companies in your industry - What are companies in your industry talking about and who are they talking to? The companies in your space often have customer cross-over. This is a great way to find new prospects. 
4. Customers - Engage with your customers! One of the best ways to find your prospects is by looking in the same space as your customers. Let potential prospects see your interaction and continued post-sale touches with your best customers.
5. Partners - Do you have any partners that work with the same target audience often share similar needs and questions? Stay relevent by following your partners and interacting with them on a daily basis. The more these partners see and interact with you, the more likely they’ll remember you or recommend you when the time comes.