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How Twitter Helped Avaya Close the Sale

May 5, 2011 By Jeff Molander
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The following is an excerpt from the just released, in-depth report "Social Media Success: Best practices for creating, implementing and managing social media marketing strategies, plus 7 multidisciplinary case studies" from DirectMarketingIQ. Click here to find out more.

Enterprise communications provider Avaya is the manufacturer of the popular Audix voicemail system. This multibillion dollar company needs a constant stream of inbound business leads for its hardware, software and service products. Twitter fills the bill. In fact, Avaya is closing six-figure contracts using the microblogging service.

This is one Goliath company that hasn’t lost track of its goal. Avaya is wisely using Twitter’s search function to monitor demand. Across the vast, babbling Twittersphere, the company’s social media marketing team is listening in for the right signals. Upon hearing them, they spring into action.

Avaya listens for cues from prospects expressing purchase intent. According to Paul Dunay, Avaya’s global managing director of services and social marketing, his team monitors for key phrases used by tweeters, then acts accordingly. For instance, a staffer may identify a prospect expressing a specific need or perhaps intent to switch service providers. This allows Avaya to step in and assist the prospect.

In June 2009, Avaya’s team discovered a 57-character tweet that started a relationship with a prospect: “ ... or avaya? Time for a new phone system very soon.”

Moments after the tweet was posted, an Avaya team member spotted it and responded via tweet: “let me know if we can help you — we have some Strategic Consultants that can help you assess your needs.”

The prospect did just that. Thirteen days later, Avaya closed a $250,000 contract.

For Avaya, Twitter isn’t another channel to grab attention by broadcasting discount promotion codes to anyone who will listen. Sure, it uses Twitter to garner the attention of prospects using outbound messages, but it doesn’t stop there. Avaya uses social tools to discover demand in various stages — and then chases that demand. In the example above, purchase intent was immediate. In other cases, it needs to be nurtured over a longer period of time.

Please note that Avaya’s use of social media isn’t revolutionary. Locating, qualifying and capturing demand isn’t a radical new idea. In this light, the company’s use of Twitter is an exciting phase of a natural evolution — not a revolution. Avaya’s strategy hasn’t been uprooted. The process of discovering and capturing demand is being enhanced.

Jeff Molander has been helping entrepreneurs, investors, ad agencies, multichannel retailers, educators and government agencies make better investments in digital advertising and e-commerce since 1997. He’s an accomplished entrepreneur having co-founded what is today the Google Affiliate Network and search marketing division of Publicis Groupe. He's also adjunct professor of digital marketing at Loyola University Business school, a public speaker and author of “Off the Hook Marketing: How to make social media sell.” Molander blogs at MakeSocialSell.com and JeffMolander.com. Reach Jeff at jeff@jeffmolander.com.


 

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