Hearsay Social puts focus on ‘social selling’ with new software for sales reps

Hearsay Social, maker of social media management software, is announcing a new Social Sales Solution to give individual salespeople better tools for monitoring their social networks and publishing relevant content.

The platform will identify top stories from a user’s network across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and send alerts about key people to reach out to in order to build and maintain relationships with prospects and customers.

Hearsay Social co-founder and CTO Steve Garrity says many salespeople, such as real estate agents, insurance brokers and consultants, use their personal social media profiles for business, building networks of friends and professional contacts. Through machine learning and natural language processing, Hearsay Social can pick out important posts and updates from those networks, such as someone getting married, moving or starting a new job. The salesperson could then comment on the item or send the person a direct message, though Garrity says many salespeople use these alerts as a prompt to pick up the phone and call the customer or lead directly.

Certain verticals have always been about relationship-based sales. Social media hasn’t changed that, but it has given salespeople a new means for maintaining these relationships. Offline relationships can be reflected on the web, and companies like Hearsay Social can develop software to make people more efficient and able to handle a larger volume of relationships.

But so far, most social media management software has focused on marketing. Hearsay itself  built tools through the marketing lens in the past, but it found a niche in giving corporate brands ways to empower their local branches and individual sales agents. With clients in real estate, finance and direct selling, Hearsay discovered that salespeople use social channels differently and need a different toolset than marketers. A Forrester report the company commissioned further validated that idea. While sales professionals valued social media for their own sales strategy, they were generally dismissive of corporate social marketing.

Garrity says the Sales Solution gives these people the features that they need, and the new Brand Solution gives corporations a way to manage their global presence. Other aspects of Hearsay’s platform are meant for local branches of a large company. For example, 24 Hour Fitness uses Hearsay Social for its more than 400 clubs around the U.S.

One feature that is consistent across all of these is the content library, which includes suggested articles to share or corporate-approved posts that can be easily localized or personalized for sharing with a marketer or salesperson’s audience.