I recently watched a round table discussion of the webinar entitled “How to Combine Social & Marketing Automation to Accelerate Leads and B2B Sales”. The panel consisted of moderator Miles Austin of Fill the Funnel, Jamie Shanks of Sales for Life, and Matt Heinz of Heinze Marketing.

Here's a brief recap on the issues and advice offered by these leading social selling and marketing automation experts:

    • What Is Not Working? The discussion opened with the question of what is not working in today's business world. Jamie explained that he believes that what's not working is the connection between sales and marketing. This disconnect is leaving sales reps disgruntled, as they have no idea when marketing content has gone out. Futhermore, the content sent may have gone to hot prospects too far down the stages of the buying process to gain any real value from the marketing message. Matt agreed, but felt that the problem was even more fundamental than a disconnect between departments. Matt felt that there isn’t a well-defined strategy for what social selling is and who owns it.
    • Who Needs To Be Responsible? The conversation progressed from Matt’s mention of ownership in relation to social selling and marketing automation. Matt explained that he believes that “who owns social selling and marketing automation” isn’t as important as the need for coordination between marketing and sales. He stated that an organization needs to map the buying cycle to the way that they are going to sell, put in place the right tools to activate the buying process, and designate someone on the team to own social selling and be accountable for its metrics. Matt believes that a clear definition of role and identification of ownership is more important than debating of if marketing, sales or any other departmental employee should by default be responsible. If you want to take it upon yourself to become a better social seller get some great tips from one of our past blog posts on social selling.
      • Marketing's Support Ability The conversation developed into how to properly use social selling, at which time Jamie pointed out a common mistake all sales people should be mindful of. He warned that it's important not to mistakenly monitor only those who are talking about you, but advised that you need to think like your customers and monitor the topics that interest them and on the channels they use. If you want to enhance your marketing effectiveness across multiple social platforms, I personally recommend the use of a social media content calendar. The panel also noted that social media can be used to identify buying signals and potential prospects, nurture prospects, and watch what prospects are doing on the web.
      • Building A Lead Generation Machine While discussing the topic of how social marketing can support sales, the panel offered two tactical tips for aligning social with marketing in order to build a lead generation machine.
        1. Identify the sphere of influences around your great client success stories and reach out to prospects within those spheres. Your success stories will have more meaning when your prospects have a relation to, or knowledge of, the organizations you have already helped.
        1. Set up alerts to be notified when prospects are sharing angst amongst the social web. When you are aware of their problems you can start responding inking to fix those problems. Social media should be about listing to your prospects and customers, not about what you are going to say.

    With a strong lead generation machine in place, it will be easier to keep your sales funnel full. An important aspect in building a lead generation machine is to make sure you have selected the right social media tools to support your efforts. If you need help selecting the right social media tools for your business, be sure to read Choosing the Right Social Media Tools for Your Startup.

    From their discussion on what is not working, who needs to be responsible, marketing’s support ability, and how to build a lead generation machine the panel agreed that sales and marketing need to be in sync for an organization to achieve the best results. If you enjoyed this recap, find the recorded video on Miles’ YouTube channel. If this post has sparked a number of questions on how to align your marketing activities to your strategy, feel free to contact us at Venture Accelerator Partners.