Why Salespeople Make the Best Marketers
Inbound Marketing has been a hot topic with B2B marketers as buyers turn to the Internet for purchasing information and the effectiveness of paid advertising continues to decline. Marketers have turned to posting content in order to increase brand awareness, promote thought-leadership and, most importantly, generate leads.
It’s now common practice for marketers to share content via corporate-owned entities like the company website, blog, LinkedIn company page, and Twitter account. With the emergence of social networks, leading marketers are also looking to leverage their employees’ social networks to reach a larger audience. “Employee Advocacy” is the term used to describe the practice. There is even a new breed of software applications like Everyone Social, GaggleAmp, Hearsay Social, SocialChorus, and others that support the process.
- A LinkedIn company page with 5,000 Followers
- A Twitter account with 5,000 Followers
- A Blog with 5,000 Subscribers
Assume a 50% overlap in audience since everyone is following the same entity, just in different formats. The result is a corporate social audience of 7,500 unique people.
Now, imagine all 2,000 employees have a LinkedIn Profile and they average 400 Connections each. Since the collective network is the Connections of 2,000 different people, the overlap would be much smaller than for followers of the company. Assume there is 20% overlap. The result is an employee social audience of 640,00 people – 85 times the size of the corporate followers!
With this kind of amplification factor, it’s no wonder why companies are jumping on the Employee Advocacy bandwagon. While I have no doubt that the majority of companies will eventually learn to leverage the employees’ social networks, I advise clients to phase it in and start with salespeople. Here’s why:
- The Biggest Headcount: The Sales department usually has the largest headcount in a B2B company. That means more points of distribution.
- The Biggest Social Networks: Salespeople are social in nature and typically have the largest business-oriented social networks (i.e. LinkedIn).
- The Most Experience Engaging Customers: Salespeople talk to customers everyday. They have the best personal relationships and customer communication skills in the company.
- The Most Skin in the Game: Salespeople have the most financial incentive for promoting their company. After all, it directly impacts their income.
The social content sharing concept is simple but wide-spread adoption by employees is not easy. Even with the reward of generating more leads, it requires a sound strategy, training, management, and a system to deliver optimum results.
Guest Post – Kurt Shaver, The Sales Foundry: Kurt speaks and trains corporate sales teams on advanced Social Selling skills. He has appeared at conferences like Sales 2.0, AA-ISP Social Selling, and LinkedIn’s Sales Connect. Clients include leading companies in the technology, telecom, and business services industries. Learn more at The Sales Foundry.