Social Media and Professional Selling
“Social media has changed the way customers buy, and redrawn relationships between buyers and sellers. In response, sales operations departments are refocusing support investments, and aligning social media strategy with their sales organizations.”
Purpose: To investigate and present aspects of a sales manager or salesperson’s insights about social media.
The project consists of a report following an interview to a sales manager or salesperson involved or interested on social media as a marketing tool. Qualified respondents must be in a sales management, sales operations, or sales effectiveness role in a firm with 5 or more quota-bearing sellers.
Research focus for this project may be directed towards:
- Social media’s adoption rates by sales organizations.
- Social media challenges.
- Social media returns.
- Sales organizations’ future social media investment expectations.
Below are 10 sample questions to reference prior to interviewing your respondent. Please note these are only suggested questions. You can develop your own questions. The sample questions you may ask include but are not limited to:
- What do you consider the most valuable contribution of a social media campaign?
- Describe how you decided to use social media tools. How did you spot the opportunity? What challenges did you encounter?
- What things do you find have been the rewards, risks and trade-offs?
- What were your initial goals? Have your goals changed over time?
- What outside help did you get to successfully implement the social media campaign?
- What is the value of social media on relationship building?
- What the return has been since the campaign implementation?
- How do you measure or estimate your social media return on investment?
- What advice would you give a sales manager wishing to make use of social media? Could you suggest the three most important lessons you have learned?
- Do social media work for professional selling?
- After introduction of your interviewee, describe the method and findings. (Follow the sequence of the Research Findings Outline below).
- Please use Times New Roman font, 12 pt.
- Be precise, concise and to the point.
- The minimum number is 5 pages. The maximum number of pages is 6.
- REPORT OUTLINE
Briefly introduce your interviewee, company name or description, current position and years in the company. State your specific objective(s) of the interview.
Criteria: An “A” introduction section should start with appropriate (relevant) background and clearly state the objectives.
The objective of this section is to document all materials (e.g. questionnaire, interview guide) and/or general procedures, so that another individual may use some or all of the methods in another study or judge the merit of your work. To make this section as concise as possible, you may summarize all your steps; there is no need to describe in detail each one of them.
First, indicate the data collection method (in this case, an interview). This section should include:
Second, list the questionnaire or interview guide. Please note all explanatory information and background should be reserved for the following sections.
Criteria: An “A” method section may allow the replication of the investigation. Therefore, description of procedures should be sufficient to allow this.
Make this section a completely objective report of the findings, and save all interpretation for the discussion.
Summarize your findings in narrative format (e.g. use of bullets) and illustrate them, if appropriate, with figures and/or tables. (Please note that the narrative should complement any figures or tables, not repeat the same information).
Important: Indicate which observations or findings are most relevant.
Criteria: An “A” results section should use the correct analysis, be precise (e.g. use correct units of measurement), and be well organized (e.g. use of subheads).
This section is the interpretation of your findings. Provide a reasonable explanation for the findings.
Please note this is the “contribution” section. Conclusions should be derived from the findings, not from your opinions.
Criteria: An “A” discussion section should contain a meaningful interpretation of the results; this is a concise explanation of results.