There is no doubt that advertising via social networks has changed the sales game. However, should companies entirely ditch traditional sales techniques in favour of social media marketing tools? Today we investigate the impact of social media marketing and removing the CRM from the field. Social media advertising might not be enough.
What is social media advertising?
Social media advertising is an online marketing strategy. Social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn, for example, incorporate various marketing tools into their platforms. When used correctly, these tools can generate leads, sales, and build one’s social network. Facebook is generally used by B2C businesses whereas LinkedIn is popular amongst B2B businesses.
The cost of advertising online
It is widely believed that online marketing is cheaper that traditional methods. This is however untrue (although advertising on television can be very expensive). Although it is relatively easy to setup an online profile, positioning one’s brand and building an audience in this space can be tricky.
Want to generate hundreds of leads for your business? Get ready to pay someone who is skilled in this field to set it up correctly. If you don’t, you will waste hundreds (if not thousands) in ad spend. On top of that, if you choose to build a business that ranks for specific keywords, then you also need to consider the cost of SEO experts and content marketing professionals. However, let’s say you get this right and see a good ROI from your online strategy, have you considered the cost of eliminating personal contact with your customers?
The cost of removing the CRM from the field
We agree that traditional marketing methods are outdone when it comes to the power of social media done right. Yet, we also believe that throwing out the salesperson will cost many businesses dearly long term.
You will lose your customer’s trust
Your customer relationship manager is the person that understands your client. He or she has spent time training, supporting and building their trust. What do you think will happen if you remove this person from the field?
Your competitor will step in
If you have a relationship with a client and replace that relationship with a call centre or other form of digital assistance, your competitor will take that client. Remember, your loyal client will not want to inform you that he or she is moving to a competitor. However, if you are not in the picture your client will not feel bad about trying something new. After all, cancelling an online service is as easy as a few clicks. Additionally, if you are not in the field, you lose the opportunity to convince a potential client that your product is better suited to their business. An online advertisement cannot compare to a salesperson who takes the time to learn your challenges before offering you services.
Your network will suffer
Most businesses do not operate in isolation. You need relationships with customers, suppliers, partners and other role-players for long-term success. If you opt to deliver your entire marketing and sales strategy online, you are sacrificing building real relationships that will serve you well for future business.
Salespeople today need to broaden their understanding of sales and client retention methods in an online world. However, they should not succumb to the idea that the salesperson or CRM will become irrelevant. If the world is made of people, then people will make the world. In other words, people are social beings who will ultimately decide how they want to interact with other people. They also decide how they consume products and services. We see this trend on social media. If a follower does not like a post, they simply unfollow or unfriend. Too many ads or unknowns? We have seen people completely remove themselves from social networks because they do not know how secure their information is or how social networks are using it. And then there is the idea that people no longer want to be social. The recent global lockdowns due to the novel coronavirus outbreak are proof that this is incorrect. As much as people were intrigued by the thought of staying at home and operating completely online, the more we realised that people want to interact with other people in a real and personal way.
Salespeople also need to consider that sales automation is a powerful tool in certain industries. So, honing one’s sales and people skills may ensure that the traditional sales game keeps its rank as an effective marketing tool.
What should my business do?
When choosing which marketing strategy to invest in, consider the features of your product or service. Some businesses will do well focusing their efforts entirely online, whereas others will not see a ROI in the short or long term. (Or, will realise that people in the field are crucial to the success of their particular service.)
Our advice for businesses contemplating marketing and sales strategies is to complement one with the other. For the reasons we have discussed (and quite a few more), social media advertising is powerful, yet not a ‘fix-all’ strategy. If your business cannot afford to remove itself from personal client contact, whether this is at the sales or retention stages, then social media is not enough to keep you ahead of the game. If it was, companies worldwide would not be developing or investing in CRM programs. Even the biggest software role-players continue to invest in CRM programs for salespeople in the field. And what they know we also know: that social media is not social enough to take over the sales game. Our integration with Drip eCRM combine automated processes with good attraction and retention strategies. We follow up on automation with strong relationship based methodologies to make sure we convert and retain all sales opportunities. Connect with us to find out how you can have both worlds in one.