There is a balance of time that is necessary for sales people when engaging on social media. If unchecked, the wonderful world of social media can draw a person into a black hole and eat away time quickly. Social media engagement is essential in today’s markets, but how does one do it efficiently? And what are the best tools to use?

The good news is that there are some very powerful solutions that I recommend people use in order to become more efficient in their sales process using commonality, personalization, and advocacy to help close more deals.

Below are tools that will help salespeople automate social selling tasks and help create efficiency through the process. I am not selling these tools, and I am not a representative of their companies, and so I have no stake in them. I am sharing them purely because they work and are the solutions I use them daily and they are a game-changer.

#1. Discover.ly

Sick of trying to figure out what social profiles your buyers are active on? This is a free tool that will take the time suck out of research and allow sales to stay focused on the one thing that matters with social. Starting conversations and getting tremendous value!

When you download the free Google Chrome plug-in you will have instant access to see which social channels your buyers are living on. You can go directly into any of their social profiles and click the Discover.ly icon (see below). You can see who your mutual connections are on Facebook, any of their latest tweets, influence scores, and multiple other social channels! Use this social data to start the engagement process.

Use the social data to help you with your messaging. This is where personalization and tying commonality will help you win conversations. The goal is to give three value touch points and earn the right to ask for their time. Use a value vs ask advocacy approach to move the 1-1 conversation offline over time.

#2 List Builder for Twitter

With this free Google Chrome Plugin tool, you can add your prospects or customers to targeted lists on Twitter with one click of the button. It is a browser that works within your Twitter profile.

If you are wanting to segment out targeted accounts and the decision makers in those accounts on twitter then this is a super powerful tool. It allows you to build out targeted lists from anywhere in twitter. You can create multiple twitter lists and then move people into the targeted lists with one click of the button.

Most salespeople struggle with twitter because of the chaos that the regular feed creates. Also, if you were to manually put twitter profiles into lists it can be a super time-consuming task. Below you will see how you can build out lists using “value touches.” As you engage, share, and amplify value for your target prospects and accounts you should be moving them in a consistent and organized process.

The number one thing that holds most salespeople back is they do the engagement and then lose focus of who they are having a conversation with over time. Setting up a consistent “value touch” process will create a system where the ask can happen after a certain number of touches. If you can nail the process using social in your sales process, it’s a powerful thing and the results will follow.

3. Sprout Social

Sprout social is a game changer for managing social conversations from multiple channels. Imagine having your own email inbox for social media! You can now publish out all your content using this tool and then periodically check in during the day to see who is engaging with your various channels to create, strengthen, or influence 1-1 sales conversations.

If you don’t share content it will be hard to create conversations on social. Sprout has many features that allow you to do all your social selling inside their platform but I am going to focus solely on the inbox functionality.

It’s important for salespeople to have all their social communication aggregated into one location so they don’t get lost in manual tasks. If you must keep logging in and out of each platform you are doing social selling wrong.

Sprout allows you to monitor who is following you back on Twitter to keep focused on engaging with individuals that fit your targeted buyer persona. If you see that an executive from one of your target accounts follows you it’s a good strategy to follow them back and then add them to a targeted twitter list right inside the platform. The platform also gives you a load of social data that you can use in your online and offline conversations.

A great way to start a conversation using Sprout Social is to start engaging with any targeted prospects that RT your content. A simple “thank you” can go a long way to get visible, valuable, and connected. Also, you can use Sprout to start focusing on “socially surrounding” your prospects and buyers. The more channels you can get connected and engaged with your buyers the better.

Monitor New Followers and Who Is Sharing Your Content

Monitor Who Is RT’ing Your Content and Start Conversation

Monitor Activity Real-Time In One Central Location For All Social Channels

4. Lead IQ

Lead IQ is a game changer for salespeople trying to build targeted email prospecting lists. This is a Google Chrome plug-in that is super easy to use when getting started.

The most effective way to use this tool is by creating a targeted list of accounts and prospects using the “list builder” inside Sales Navigator. This allows you to create a list based on the decision makers and influencers inside the account to make sure you are surrounding multiple buyers in the buying committee offline and online.

Once you have created the segment inside of Sales Navigator you can use LeadIQ to find and validate email addresses for everyone. Validation is key here to make sure that you aren’t using bad email data and wasting your time sending to people who will never see your message. It also allows you pull phone numbers in some circumstances and social account data.

If you are using Salesforce this tool will save you a ton of time by pushing the accounts and leads directly into your CRM. It eliminates the manual process of data input and gives sales unlimited access to prospecting data. This will save you a ton of time and money compared to a lot of the other data tools out there.

5. Twitter Followr

This is another great Google Chrome Plugin that is completely free for anyone to use. You must have a strategy around how you use the tool but it can be super powerful helping salespeople get noticed from targeted prospects through automation.

Followr allows you to favorite tweets based on targeted twitter handles, hashtags, and industry keywords. Of course, this tool isn’t going to get you very far by just using the tool standalone. Just like anything else you must use it as one step in the process to getting visible, valuable, and connected. This is where strategy must come into play.

One great strategy is to target hashtags from conferences that fit your target buyer. For example, if your buyer is tweeting and using the Dreamforce hashtag you can automate the tool to favorite any #DF18 tweets. By favoriting a prospect’s tweet, it will start the process of getting visible and they will get an alert inside their account showing you have engaged.

You can also favorite any industry hashtags that your buyers are using. This also allows you to see the tweets that are being sent and alert you to possible conversations you need to organically insert yourself into 1-1 conversations on twitter.

In Conclusion

If you want to start scaling your visibility, value, and connections on social media to drive more sales conversations it’s imperative that you start using tools that make you more efficient.

These tools are a range in price but I personally use them all and can say they have major ROI if you used correctly. Invest in the right tools and make a commitment to using them correctly and this will give you a competitive advantage long-term in sales.

Everything we do in sales starts and ends with a conversation. Where that conversation happens is shifting and you don’t want your competitor to have a one-up on you!

It’s time to get visible, valuable, and connected on social… Here are the tools to get you started!