Ever hear the old adage that “everyone is in sales”? Well it still holds true with one exception: nowadays everyone is in social sales.

The Internet and social media are increasingly becoming the front line for all sorts of customer interaction and you need to prepare your entire company to get engaged online.

Wait a second… did I just say entire company?

That’s right the entire company!

But isn’t social media a marketing thing? It sure is. And every other department that has anything at all whatsoever to do with serving customers in any way too.

So who else can and should be using social media?

Well for starters….

Sales

Sales is all about relationships, trust, influence and talking to people. Social media is all about relationships, trust, influence and talking to people. For the life of me I don’t understand why most sales people I know don’t see this.

Customer Service

In the old days, people would pick up the phone or drop by when they needed some help, had a problem or wanted to complain. Traditional customer service interactions are happening online right now. Except… most of the time your company isn’t listening. If a customer called on the phone with a problem, you would pick up and answer the call right? You wouldn’t let it ring endlessly would you? Why then do most business not answer tweets and Facebook comments? It’s kinda the same thing isn’t it? Just a different technology.

Marketing and Public Relations

I think the rest of the web has this one covered.

Human Resources

If you want somewhat competent but unhappy workers then the best way to find them is to dangle a job in front of a lot of people, make them perform tricks and jump through hoops for you, then interrogate them relentlessly and let them know they are competing with hundreds of other candidates just to finish off whatever self esteem they have left. That’s the “hiring process” at most companies.

If you want the best of the best, they probably a) aren’t looking for a job because they already have one and b) won’t put up with this sort of crap.

Take a page from the sports world and turn your HR departments into talent scouts. Talent scouts get out in the world and watch for performers. They spot talent early, nurture it and then match it with the needs of the organization as they arise. Then they sell them on the idea of joining the team. If you need a top performer then go find one who’s doing it right now in real time and the best place to do that is with social media.

Purchasing

Yep, even purchasing. You can find the best new suppliers and keep tabs on the ones you have already with social media. If for instance a new vendor has some cutting edge technology that lowers costs and adds a ton of new value you’ll hear about it first on social media. This can giver your organization a significant competitive advantage. If employees are fleeing one of your vendors for new jobs left right and centre, wouldn’t you like to know they are going bust before they actually do?

Supply chains can’t be broken and modern procurement involves a lot of moving parts. And yet, at the core of it all are relationships, trust, influence and talking to people.

Everyone is in social sales now

Put your mind to it and you’ll find all sorts of ways to integrate social media into the various departments of your company. While many people will think of it as either pointless or extra work, let them. Especially if they are your competitors.

Every chance you have to communicate more efficiently and effectively both internally and externally becomes a competitive advantage. The most exciting part is that using social media is both good for moral and so cost effective that it’s almost free.