I try to watch and emulate others and you probably do the same. There is a lot of confusion, particularly with B2B, regarding how to implement social selling. Our hope is that these folks will inspire those of you are still on the fence and our goal is to share with you some of the best proven selling practices that you might wish to emulate!
Today we are joined by Michaela Prouzova of Nimble. Michaela takes the mystery out of social selling by consistently demonstrating key elements including …
- A desire to share, educate, and to promote others
Could you please tell our readers a little about you?
I’d love to. I work for a Santa Monica-based tech startup called Nimble where I wear many hats. I am responsible for all our social media activities, blog content, and influencer outreach. I spend the rest of my days on conference calls helping our customers and industry influencers better use our product while learning about their workflows and how to best accommodate their needs. Originally from Prague, Czech Republic (if you haven’t been, go, you won’t regret it), I love traveling and trying new cuisines, hiking, sipping on Sauvignon Blanc and watching movies and series.
How about telling them a little bit about your business?
Nimble combines your address book and social media contacts into a sales and marketing CRM solution. All contacts are linked with conversations you have had with prospects and customers, and their records are automatically filled with social information under one record. When you open a contact, Nimble will surface information about who they are, where they are from, where they work, what they are influential in, and what their businesses are about. Nimble also has targeted marketing features such as group messaging for one-on-one authentic outreach and offers insights into who has opened or clicked in your message. We also offer a browser extension that allows you to work with Nimble alongside your webmail, on social media, or in any website.
How did you get started in selling and when did you begin adding social selling to your business?
Today’s world involves many digital meetings as opposed to “in-person” meetings of the past, so it’s important to have a solid presence on social media and to understand tools that can help me meet and network with customers, influencers, and other members of my industry. Nimble doesn’t have a traditional sales team, as we believe that service is the new sales, so I started out on the Customer Care team, guiding potential buyers and customers through their journey with our product. As part of my process, I used social selling tactics to gain a better understanding of the people I helped on a daily basis. When I transitioned to my Community Engagement Manager role at Nimble, I applied these tactics to my daily work on social media to help me listen and react to what people say about our brand on various social channels.
What are your social selling goals, objectives, and strategies?
When representing our brand on social channels, my main goal is to be available to inform and help when somebody has a question about our products or services. I listen to what people say about us by monitoring brand mentions and relevant keywords and hashtags. I’m always on the lookout for potential buyers who might be asking their audiences about products that could solve their business problems. Social media is also an amazing learning tool for me, I follow many industry thought leaders who give away their experience and expertise in the forms of blog posts, podcasts, videos. By listening to what people share and what they are passionate about and interacting, I try to grow my network and develop relationships with people in the areas relevant to our product.
Do you have regular routines?
Yes. I’m thankful for technology to help me out with this. The first thing I do in the morning is check Hootsuite for any questions and brand mentions that came in overnight. Then I go through my other tabs with hashtags and keywords. Once I finish checking our brand on social channels, it’s time for me to log into Nimble and see my personal to-dos. Nimble helps me to cut through the noise and see who just followed me by organizing these people by their reach and relevance to me and our company. It shows me who I need to follow up with and who I have not been in touch with for some time. I share content on daily basis as well and Buffer helps me to schedule posts in advance and spread them evenly across the whole day.
How do you integrate social selling with traditional selling methodologies?
Most of my business relationships start on social or email but to take the relationship to another level, it is necessary to hop on an actual call. I love using Skype calls to really get to know people. Using video and seeing each other helps to connect on a more personal level.
How do you manage to stand out from the noise?
I try to be as helpful as possible. When a customer has a question that they send me on Facebook on Saturday morning, I do my best to answer and help them out. When a friend of ours publishes a new book, I help to spread the word, if they need an intro to somebody in the industry, I try to make it happen. I always try to find things I have in common with people I interact with to connect on a personal level.
Could you please share with us a few of your favorite social selling tools?
Nimble – I love using the browser extension for hovering over people I come across on social. It builds live profiles for them and their companies giving me the insights into who they are and what they and their companies do. I can easily tag them and add them to my database to engage them later. All this straight from social and email – where I’m currently working.
Hootsuite – I can’t emphasize the importance of social listening enough. Knowing who is talking about you and your brand and what they are saying and being able to react in a timely manner is crucial these days. It is expected from brands to respond to customers much faster now than it was before. If you are not responding, you can be sure that your competitor is.
Twitter – It is so easy to start a conversation with people on this platform. Twitter chats are an amazing way to connect with prospective buyers and industry thought leaders. Twitter lists help me stay focused and organized. I don’t use my home feed as it tends to get pretty messy with all the retweets etc. Instead, I head straight to Twitter lists. I keep separate lists for staying top of mind with world news, politics, news in the tech industry, and with what sales, marketing, social media professionals share and have to say.
LinkedIn – I usually start interacting with people on Twitter or email. The next step is to connect on LinkedIn where I try to engage with what they share, keep an eye on their job changes and follow the content they publish on LinkedIn publisher.
Facebook – Facebook is the most intimate social networks of all. It is where I interact with the business people that I have previously met in person or have already developed closer relationships with. These are usually people I would invite home for dinner 😉
How do you track your results?
My responsibility is to get people to sign up for our product and use it successfully. We use a product called Intercom that allows me to see if and how much people use Nimble. I keep a list of “my” people and periodically keep an eye on their usage of the platform. If I see most of them using the product on daily basis, I know we are doing something right.
What do you feel are the biggest challenges facing salespeople as it pertains to social selling?
Social selling is nothing new and complicated. You have to know how relationships are made in general. They cannot be rushed, it takes time to gain somebody’s trust. The worst thing I have seen is “social creeping” – I have had sales people digging through my social profiles and picking inappropriate details from my personal life to pitch me.
What about their biggest mistake that salespeople make when trying to implement social selling?
Rushing to pitch, being invasive and too pushy.
What is your “social selling superpower”?
I’d say empathy, politeness and helpfulness.
How can our readers get in touch with you to learn more?
Please nominate somebody to answer these same questions!
I’d like to hear how Mitch Jackson works it! Mitch is smart, always polite, always providing great value and leads by example. He understands that with becoming a public figure and gaining the power to influence other people’s decisions comes responsibility. I love how involved he is in #StopDD movement.