How to Use Twitter in B2B Sales and Inside Sales

You are probably using LinkedIn for B2B Sales and Inside Sales prospecting, but have you tried out the power of Twitter for B2B Selling?  I recently met with a group of Inside Sales professionals and a lot of them felt that Twitter “wasn’t right for their industry” or they weren’t really sure where to start.  It’s easy to get started and just about any industry is on Twitter. It’s easy to filter out the Kardashians if you want to stay focused on business.

Studies show that B2B companies who use Twitter get twice as many sales leads. IBM reported a 400% increase in the sales of an important product after piloting a social selling program that integrated the micro-blogging site.

6 ways B2B Sales and Inside sales reps can use Twitter

  1. Research – Stay on top of current industry trends, topics and events and research companies you are targeting
  2. Prepare – Set up meetings before events. A lot of events have their own hashtag and quite often will have a list of the exhibitors and speakers. You can even follow what’s happening at events you aren’t able to attend live.
  3. Curate – Follow thought leaders and find stories you can share with prospects
  4. Organize – Keep your topics of interest organized with Twitter Lists
  5. Prospect – Meet buyers who you can connect with on LinkedIn. My “funnel” is often flows Twitter > LinkedIn > Email
  6. Discuss – Engage in #TweetChats and conversations where you can share your expertise

I have met some amazing, smart, interesting business associates from around the world on Twitter.  I now have frequent conversations with many of them.  I’ve met new business partners.  Others are prospects where I got the opportunity to know them well enough that they accepted my LinkedIn invitation where I can follow more deeply and learn more about their business.  Some of them are prolific content creators who love that I am sharing their content and equally share my content with their own followers. That’s amplification.

Quick tips on getting followers

Set up a profile that lets people know who you are and what you are interested in. Use keywords for topics you are interested in. Include a picture. No one wants to follow an egghead.

Quickly identify people to follow by seeking out lists curated by others related to your topics. Yes, you can look at other people’s followers, but I find working from lists to be more efficient. When I find someone active on Twitter talking about topics I am interested in, I check out their lists. See my example here.

#socialselling is my topic.  When I got started, I did a search on that hashtag and found some people with interesting posts. I followed them, then I looked at their lists. One I started sharing and commenting on their content, they started to do the same with mine. That’s a great way to engage and be a part of a community. Quite often those same types of communities also have a regular Tweet Chat you can be a part of, or even just “listen” in.


Twitter List Updated

On my profile page for @KathleenGlass, see the link to Lists.  You will see that I have 58 lists – ranging on my topics of interest from beer to Social Selling to IOT.  Lists are the best way to keep your Twitter organized by subject matter. Just open a list and you get all the recent posts on that topic. You can also subscribe to other people’s lists.

If you look at my list for Social Selling, you’ll see 55 Members.  That’s a fast way to find the top folks on that topic.  Right from that screen you can start clicking to follow.

Twitter List Social Selling Updated

Know your hashtags. There are numerous studies that say tweets with hashtags get better traction. For one, that’s your “sign” for topics that others are interested in. My go to is #SocialSelling and I use that as much as possible because it is a popular topic but I also try to use other high traction hashtags like #B2B #sales, etc. If you want to figure out hashtags are popular in your niche, check out RiteTag.

Avoid making every word in your post a hashtag. One to three is the ideal number.

Keep it polite for business and remember what Twitter is NOT:

  • A spam platform
  • A place for the hard sell; it’s not all about YOU
  • A place for getting into arguments

My advice for next steps?  Twitter is a great tool for B2B Sales and Inside Sales. Don’t be shy.  Try it out.  Set goals for yourself and have fun!

Resources

Read Tim Hughes’s Case Study on Setting C-Level Appointments with Twitter

Salesforce UK 7 Ways to Use Twitter for Sales Prospecting

Updated from the original post on Sellwith.Social