B2B marketing often consists of white papers, account executives and expense accounts. Even in 2013, most Sales VPs are more focused on the virtues of CRM software than they are on understanding the true behaviors of business and product buyers. The VP of Sales may relegate the development of social media strategy for B2B lead gen to the CMO, but I’d say that’s not the best idea.
My perspective on marketing was developed from extensive experience as a successful inside sales representative. I made it a point to maintain a profile as a top sales representative week after week. Achieving this goal wasn’t easy and it took additional work. While I was an adept cold caller, I made it a point to create a public profile of my industry knowledge. At the time, 12 years ago this was my form of social media marketing. I provided lots of free, useful advice through a number of prominent industry news and information sources. This of course led to information being shared and used for practical purposes. I was a social media marketer. This of course aided my cold calling process by generating high quality, inbound sales leads.
This approach has been replicated ad nauseum and it seems like everyone now is offering advice. Frankly the quality of free advice in 2013 pales in comparison to that of even a decade ago. There’s a ton of noise in the marketing space and it takes a more concerted, more precise effort to extract value from being a prodigious poster or “hey look at me information. This is where social media strategy for sales professionals becomes vitally important.
Coming back to an earlier point, Sales VPs need to understand the role of each social media outlet for the support of their sales efforts. If you’re merely viewing social media as people checking in at their favorite restaurant on Facebook, you’re missing out on the big picture.