The business of social media: Do you still need a sales team?

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With social media, individuals and small businesses have the power to reach thousands of people in mere seconds.  Our smartphones and computers allow us to reach anyone in almost any part of the world in less time than it takes to warm a microwave burrito.  Business contacts, colleagues, associates, consumers – they’re all right there at the tips of our fingertips.

So that leaves some members of our Florida marketing agency wondering, what’s the point of your sales team if you can broker sales through effective use of social media?  The “push” sales strategy may be losing its place in a “pull” culture, where people go online to seek out only the information that they need in order to formulate an opinion as to the products or services that they find valuable.  

Through social media, people can buy items with just a few clicks, which in some cases could virtually eliminate the need for a costly sales team.

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While it may seem tempting to save thousands of dollars each year by pink-slipping your entire sales team, I’d instead argue that the role of the salesman has changed.  Individuals have been very successful in pushing their products through online sales, so perhaps for companies such as cell phone retailers, the benefit to a so-called sales team is to offer potential consumers opportunities to demo products and explain services, and to provide customer service when people have issues.

Sales teams will almost always remain important in fields where connecting online may not be the best or most practical option.  Perhaps your desired audience may not be tech savvy, or isn’t as plugged in as most of the world.  Though it seems as though everyone you know has a smartphone, as of a year ago, only ½ of the United States’ mobile phone owners had one.

Your sales team can be beneficial if you arm them with the tools to properly use social media to their advantageVideo programs are offered by executive training companies such as McKinsey, as well as online courses from top continuing education institutes on how people can properly use social media in either a B to B or B to C sales capacity.  These classes can teach about the benefits of using Facebook and Twitter to connect with people who may provide valuable resources for your company, and can teach your employees to seek out potential buyers and distributors through LinkedIn.

Returning to the original question, does your company still need a sales team?  Maybe not!  Certainly, it’s contingent upon your industry.  But, for those of you in fields reliant upon tech, it may be beneficial to hire a social media expert to help you master the art of sales through social media.  Additionally, offering opportunities and incentives for social sharing may help drive your company’s bottom line through active use of social media.

While our Florida advertising agency doesn’t suggest that you immediately get rid of your entire sales team, we do suggest that you teach them strategies to use social media in a professional capacity to help build sales and increase revenue through social media.  We imagine a future where all business sales come from the relationships established and maintained through the use of social media.

What does your sales team look like?

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