A strong wind is sweeping small-to-medium business (SMBs) in the United States; it’s not a gloomy typhoon but it’s a tornado helping SMBs safely land into a position where customers are abundant and opportunities are over-flowing.
Nowadays, engagement is important for SMBs to win and keep customers. These are not simple customers who come and go; we’re talking about loyal, overjoyed customers who, outside the spheres of commercial realities, influence people to sever ties with their favorite detergent with a snap of a finger. Or should I say, a post of a Tweet.
An Online Shopper Intelligence Study released in 2011 reports that 35% of respondents believe that Twitter is the biggest social influencer of purchases than dominant Facebook. Regardless of what the study achieved, social media is the catalyst that empowers SMBs to fight and survive challenges brought by enterprises that don’t even have to employ social strategies to generate leads and boost sales.
Facebook and Twitter are the generation’s most important channels for SMBs to advertise their establishment across local geographies. Strong targeting and swift distribution of content are the core strengths of social media that are essentially leveling the playing field against companies that have an allotted budget in advertisements through conventional and digital conduits.
The resurgence of social media has given birth to innovative ways on how people interact online. One refined example is image bookmarking, that has been almost perfected by Pinterest. Despite heavy issues of spamming and unsolicited passing of malware, Pinterest continues to attract users by the millions. SMBs in the United States are flocking to social media, aware of its limitless benefits to introduce, maintain, and strengthen products and trademarks.
The infographic above, courtesy of Radius SMB Intelligence, shows America’s cities that are capitalizing on social media’s entrepreneurial amenities. Radium employed sales intelligence in gathering the data associated with SMBs with influential footing on Yelp and Foursquare. Radius CEO Darian Shirazi provides a clear definition of sales intelligence:
“Sales intelligence helps salespeople keep up to date with clients, prospects, and leads. This data can be anything from business data, information on company management, recent news articles, insights from social media, etc.”
Similar to business intelligence, sales intelligence touches different aspects of analytics, but I won’t dissect each one of them here. Basically, sales intelligence functions to generate leads and maintain healthy customer relationships, whereas business intelligence, uses Big Data analytics to gain insight into productivity, business performance management, and benchmarking.
To put it simply business intelligence provides frontline analytics on how a particular company can improve its internal practices, while sales intelligence distills data to provide users with real-time, predictive analytics on how to retain customers and win new prospects.
As an essential component of customer relationship management (CRM), sales intelligence improves conversations, and social media is swimming in interaction led by insights and ideas. Since we’re talking about social media, sales intelligence identifies and sifts through social profiles from prospects, breaks the conversation bubble, and packages the data into readable form.
There’s Gold in Social Analytics
Social media is part of media; it’s an up-and-coming segment of free and paid advertising where data manifests itself as mentions and commendations rendered by a targeted audience or demographic. Sales intelligence pushes social analytics into corporate consciousness. It’s not just social media, sales intelligence is tapping into the different courses of business analytics to get the most out of prospecting.
Action Item: Business reviews from Yelp. Images pinned on Pinterest. FourSquare check-ins to your establishment. Analytics from here on out gets more interesting and, well, more entertaining.
Footnotes: How would you feel if sales intelligence suddenly overpowers business intelligence?