Todd Martin

Todd Martin

Sales Strategy

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5 Ways to Judge the Value of Your Social Selling Efforts

March 21, 2013

Social discovery and engagement will always be critical selling tasks. But you must keep a close eye on how you’re benefitting.

I’ve talked a lot here about how creating and maintaining relationships with customers and prospects online can lead to increased sales. You can build Todd Martin 031913 image 1tremendous goodwill by simply helping the people who visit your blog and website and social media pages solve problems, without expecting anything in return.

But you’re probably spending a lot of time taking pictures and making videos, composing content and answering questions, time that you can’t bill anyone for.

Social media is growing up. The gee-whiz factor is being joined by an increasingly loud chorus of business people saying, “What exactly is this doing for me?”

5 Ways to Judge

While it can be difficult to quantify ROI for your social CRM labors (it’s not always possible to discern for a fact why someone eventually made a purchase), you should be constantly evaluating your online hours and efforts in terms of the benefits you’re getting.

You may already have your own list here as an element of your social selling strategizing and goals. Here, though, are five that I look at when I’m trying to balance time spent with payback:

  • Minimized expenses. What have your online activities replaced? Is your phone bill lower? Have you given up direct mail marketing in favor of email blasts? Are you traveling less because of the ease and economy of web-based communications?
  • Expanded feedback. You generally know when a print ad or flyer has accelerated sales. Todd Martin 031913 image 2But what about all of those people who didn’t buy? You don’t know why unless you follow up. Social media feedback – in the form of reviews and posted messages — gives you valuable information about where your products may be lacking, as well as what you should emphasize.
  • Free promotion. Not just free, but more credible. You have to pay for ads, and you can’t count on the press writing about your company’s offerings. Your customers are your unpaid ambassadors online. Shares and likes and positive user reviews can’t be bought, and these endorsements mean so much more than anything your company generates.
  • Better-qualified leads. Lead qualification can be time-consuming and expensive. And as you know, the results are not always reliable. The quality of leads coming from your social CRM efforts, however, tend to be more promising. They’re individuals and businesses that have already vetted you, so they’re more well-informed and prepared to buy than the offline population.
  • Improved revenues. Again, this can be difficult to quantify in some cases, but you can build tracking into your online sales and marketing (coupons, special codes, etc.).

Todd Martin 031913 image 3The value that you receive from the hard work you do on the web doesn’t always have a place on a financial report. Be assured, though, that even the unquantifiable is taking you in the right direction.

Stock images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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  1. 5 Ways to Judge the Value of Your Social Selling Efforts | Reading - Web and Social Media | Scoop.it reblogged this and added:

    […] Social discovery and engagement will always be critical selling tasks. But you must keep a close eye on how you’re benefitting. I’ve talked a lot here about how creating and maintaining relationshi…  […]