There is a lot of talk these days about social selling and so many great ideas on how to use Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and the abundance of social media resources available. I’m a big user of social tools. It helps me to prepare for meetings and to have deeper customer engagement. It is a great way to relate with people too.

It’s amazing what you can learn from what people are doing, whom they are following and what they are saying in the social channels. Here is how I’ve integrated social selling into my regular cadence of prospecting, discovery, sales meetings, and customer outreach. You can apply these tips right here and right now to your sales discipline.

Tip # 1: Executive Maps

Build relationships by connecting on LinkedIn with decision makers, influencers, and stakeholders on your deals and accounts

Tip # 2: Executive Insight

Become educated about what’s important to your account decision makers, influencers and stakeholders by seeing whom they have followed recently on Twitter

Tip # 3:Competitive Intelligence

Be paranoid by seeing which of your competitors have followed your decision makers and accounts on Twitter

Tip # 4: Executive Outreach

Engage in social conversations by tweeting and retweeting relevant tweets posted by your prospects and customers, (but don’t stalk)

Tip # 5: Company & Brand Sentiment

Search Facebook or Twitter to find out what the consumer and market sentiment is for any given #account or #brand.

You can use these five tips to start a conversation with your sales team on social selling best practices. Each of you has your own social channels and associations that are important to your customers. Find out where your customer are and go be there too.

I’m looking forward to the “magic button” that will do all this for me for every upcoming sales meeting I have on my calendar. I know a few companies working on this right now. I’m very excited for the future of social selling automation to help replace research time with thinking time.

About the Author

Elay Cohen

Elay Cohen is the author of SalesHood: How Winning Sales Managers Inspire Sales Teams to Succeed and the co-founder of SalesHood, a SaaS sales enablement platform and community for sales professionals. Elay is the former Senior Vice President of Sales Productivity at Salesforce. Recognized as the company's "2011 Top Executive", and credited for creating and executing all of Salesforce's sales productivity programs that accelerated its growth from $500M to $3B+ in revenue. The sales training and sales support innovations delivered over these years by Elay and his team to thousands of sales reps resulted in unprecedented hypergrowth. He also created the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) category.

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