Ten Ways Twitter has Completely Changed the Sales Process

10 Ways Twitter has Completely Changed the Sales Process

By Pat Kitano (@pkitano) on May 21st, 2009:

“[…]

Pre-Twitter [or lets say Pre-Sales 2.0] Post-Twitter [or lets say with Sales 2.0]
Sales opportunities run through channels and pipelines Sales opportunities also arise out of cloud, provider and client find each other via “shared business interest”
Sales happen closer to where the sales force is physically based Sales can happen virtually anywhere with priority based upon size of opportunity
Relationships and networks facilitate execution Sure, relationships matter, but older networks usually don’t facilitate new opportunities. Twitter builds new networks quickly via search, target and network
Referral-based networking systems conducive to building business connections Sure, referrals work, but credible online reputation will now serve as a “self-reference”
Scheduling conference call three weeks in advance (frankly, I always thought this was arrogant) Instantaneous, and serendipitous conversations happen
Hard to get noticed by decision makers Retweet decision maker, compliment, and comment. Easy to start a conversation.
Dealing with the “gatekeeper” Twitter facilitates direct communication between relevant parties
Sales calls limited from 9 to 5 On Twitter, business conversations can happen any time (if one so chooses), because Twitterers are generally on 24-by-7
Closing requires face-to-face Twitter, social media and the recession facilitates closing by most economical means possible
Tedious sales support based on phone tree systems and locating the right resources Twitter begins to replace the phone system with new support and CRM tools (note Salesforce is integrating Twitter)

Sales trainers embrace the 2.0 era!

Yesterday (May 9, 2009), I spoke to someone who said he doesn’t care about this new thing called ‘Twitter’ and he doesn’t want to take the time to find out what it is. I’m going to let Karl Goldfield speak. I found his rant from July 19, 2008 via Seamus Whittington Crawford’s post from Sunday, May 10, 2009:

Karl goes on a rant about technology and sales training. Here is my favorite part of his (unedited) challenge to sales trainers:

If you are not tweeting your blog posts and sending newsletters to keep your mind trust strong in the frontal lobe of your prospects and customers; if you are not joining groups and connecting on Linked In or E-cademy, Facebook or Plaxo; if you are not using Jigsaw or Salesconx to find your the top level prospects; if you do not set up google alerts and research news aggregators for trigger events; if you do not use Genius or Leadlander, then Landslide or another Process driven tool to manage your lead cultivation, what on earth are you doing?

[…] if you are not using VOIP and SAAS, or this whole paragraph is in a new language, get off the soap box and go back to the classroom. It is time to learn a new game, then teach others. Go, now, get moving!

I love it! Karl is absolutely right. Sales trainers who procrastinate, waiting for their clients to drag them into the Sales 2.0 era are going to lose any competitive edge they might currently have. Sales trainers need to understand, embrace, and integrate sales-enablement and learning technologies into their IP (intellectual property) and the delivery of their IP.

The new relationship between technology and sales effectiveness:

I speak with sales trainers every day. Too many tell me that they don’t get involved with technology for any number of reasons. Most of them aren’t explanations, they’re excuses.
Sales trainers: Do you want to be considered a leader by your clients and the sales training industry? Join the companies that are already there. Prove, with auditable performance metrics, that your approach, process, tools, content, etc., either integrating with, or leveraging, relevant Sales 2.0/Web 2.0 technology, enables your clients to achieve their sales performance goals and objectives, whether that be more sales, higher contract values, shorter selling cycles, or all three. […]”

Twitter the lead generation tool

Adam Green (@140dev) commented the following on this Techcrunch post on April 24th, 2009:

“There may be millions of people on Twitter, but if you know how to do the right Google search, you can pick out exactly the people you want to reach. It is an amazing lead generation tool. All you have to do is look for the right patterns in user bios. for example to find all the lawyers, you can search for:

(intext:”bio * legal” OR intext:”bio * lawyer”) site:twitter.com

I’ve written up this complete procedure for creating Google Alerts based on these searches on my blog:

The great thing about doing this with Google Alerts is that you will be notified as soon as a new bio is created or edited with your keywords. This lets you follow people when they have a new account, which is when they are most likely to follow back.

So in time Twitter bios will be a directory for millions of professionals. It is so light weight that it may replace Facebook for people’s “home page” online. Best of all, it doesn’t insist on your current sexual preference and marital status. I’m sure a lot of professionals are not that interested in publicly announcing their preferences in hooking up.

The advertising implications of knowing the bios of millions of people and being able to deliver selective “follow lists” will be huge. Right now Twitter auto-follows celebrities when you create an account. I’d rather auto-follow potential customers.”

Adam Green’s (@140dev) blog post:

“Twitter search tools are everywhere now, and most of them are much faster than Google Alerts, but they focus on the text of a tweet. If you are looking for marketing contacts to follow, chasing every use of a keyword in tweets is casting a very wide net, and can waste a lot of time. For example, just because someone uses the word lawyer in a tweet doesn’t mean that they work in the legal profession. If you want to develop a quality list of contacts through Twitter, you are better off trying to find people who use your keywords in their username or bio.

That’s where Google Alerts comes in. If you build the right query, you’ll be notified every time a new Twitter account is created by someone who wants to tell the world they are closely associated with your keywords. The nice part of this approach is that you will discover new users as they create their accounts, which is when they are most likely to follow you back. We’ll work this procedure out step by step using legal contacts as an example. The information we are looking for is on a user’s Twitter profile page. If you look at the profile page for the user @legaltwitt you’ll see that the user name is in the title.

Example Twitter Bio

We can create a Google Alert for exactly the pattern of a profile page. This will keep us from getting alerts where the keyword just happens to be in a tweet:

intitle:”legal * on twitter” site:twitter.com

This query can be expanded to match other keywords in usernames, such as lawyer:

(intitle:”legal * on twitter” OR intitle:”lawyer * on twitter”) site:twitter.com

The next area of the page we want to match is the bio. There are two possibilities. The keywords can come right after the word bio. This is matched by:

(intext:”bio legal” OR intext:”bio lawyer”) site:twitter.com

The other case is when there are words between bio and the target keyword, which can be found with this pattern:

(intext:”bio * legal” OR intext:”bio * lawyer”) site:twitter.com

We can put all of these matches together in a single search:

(intitle:”legal * on twitter” OR intitle:”lawyer * on twitter” OR intext:”bio legal” OR intext:”bio lawyer” OR intext:”bio * legal” OR intext:”bio * lawyer”) site:twitter.com

[…]”

I just tried
(intext:”bio * sales enablement” OR intext:”bio * sales 2.0″) site:twitter.com works great!