Social media tools to generate sales leads

Posted in Social media and marketing.

The online world has given the marketing world a wider field to play in and there are many tools one can use to acquire and manage sales leads, build customer relationships, get to know one’s ideal customer and their behaviour, as well as keep updated on the latest industry trends. Here is the first part of a series on online tools that you can use to improve your sales (view part two here).

Needtagger (http://www.needtagger.com)

Needtagger is a social tool that focuses most of its energy on expanding your sales opportunities and creating new leads. It can be explained as a search engine for Twitter that finds conversations that are worth participating in. For example, it searches for questions on competitors’ products that will provide a chance for you to offer your product as an alternative without the problems.

Some of the features you will find when using Needtagger includes it finding opportunities on your behalf so that you can sell your products, make use of pretested streams of content based on what your target industry is and deciding what action is to be taken that would be most relevant (like retweeting, following, emailing the tweet to you or tagging relevant content for later reading).

To use Needtagger, you first have to create an account. After setting up an account, you will be asked to connect your Twitter account so that Needtagger can monitor your stream activity. From there you define filters which includes giving it an identifiable name, selecting the industry to target (pretested streams based on common searches will be added), indicating the conversations you want to track (such as conversations around “buying” or “selling”) and entering keywords (there are also pretested keyword groups you can use).

Two great features of Needtagger are the Outreach button and the Insights page. The Outreach button allows you to choose an action that you think would be most appropriate like retweeting or following. The Insights page, similar to the one found on Facebook, shows you what actions you have taken, what opportunities you have created, how many people click and share messages, and so forth. One can also save any messages that you have sent previously to use when conducting sales. This will save you time and effort that can be spent on furthering other, more secure opportunities.

This tool is far more sophisticated than the Twitter Advanced Search but there is room for adding more pretested streams. There is also more support needed to connect with other social networks and integration with other third-party tools. But despite these, it creates opportunities that you may have missed in the large stream of information coming through and aids you in tracking what sales opportunities you have encountered while using Twitter for future planning.

Hubspot (http://www.hubspot.com)

Hubspot is a company that offers a set of marketing software tools with a variety of different use. The focus of these software tools vary from calls-to-action and lead management to landing pages and forms. There is a free trial available to help you make a choice as to whether it is worth the effort or not.

One of their newest products is Social Inbox. Instead of focusing on keywords, it shifts to people or potential customers and their social activity. You get to view behaviours based on industry, segment or lead. There is full integration with other social media tools making data easier to analyze as a whole. The interaction history of visitors who come from social media platforms can be viewed in full and not only the clickthrough when on your site. It will help to tell you whether they are already a customer, where their outside interests lie and what their connections are.

A sales rep can use these tools to make a list of their specific leads to monitor only them. Then these leads can be contacted via Twitter accounts (personal or professional) or email. Content you use to sell your products will also be able to be personalized to each customer or lead’s needs. Hubspot’s Calls-to-Action software is great for customization since buttons will differ depending on the customer viewing the site or a specific product based on previous information gathered. Calls-to-action will differ depending on things like if the person is a first-time customer or an industry expert.