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Sales vs. Reputation Management: Utilizing Technology at the Intersection

September 14, 2021

The Importance Of Your Online Reputation

The importance of having an online reputation management process in place is undeniable. In today’s world of mass digital media, 90% of your prospective customers make buying decisions based on reviews and online mentions of your business.

Digital reputation management is the process of monitoring, identifying, and influencing your digital reputation and credibility online. Every day, people online are reviewing businesses. From star ratings to comments to social media posts — knowing what people are saying about your business is invaluable. Reputation management provides you with a chance to counter negative feedback. It also creates an opportunity to promote the positive experiences your customers have had working with you and to tell a story about what it is like to work with your company.

At conXpros, we know this well. Our company was founded on the principle that the industry didn’t need just another lead provider — the industry needed a lead provider that offered an exceptional experience for its customers. We use reputation management on a daily basis to tell that story. 

The reputation of a business is essential to its survival. Having the trust of your clients is a major component of success. Good or bad — your clients are talking about your business. They discuss their experience with friends and family. When they have a problem, they will take to the digital airwaves to let people know about it.

Having a successful corporate image is a necessary marketing tool for your company. If you warm the hearts of your customers, then you can expect them to always remember you. You won’t need to spend time trying to convince your potential customers to use your products or services. With a strong digital image, customers will continue to champion and support your company.

When it comes to our reputation management at conXpros, we try to embody the powerful quote from Maya Angelo: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Automated Reputation Management Tools

Google your business name and scroll through your results. Did you find information that doesn’t accurately represent your business? If you did, we’re glad we were able to bring this to your attention. In a recent Moz study, research suggests that companies risk losing 22% of business when potential customers find a negative article on their first page of search results. That number increases to 59% lost business with three negative articles. At four or more negative articles, it goes up to 70%.

Managing the reputation of your company isn’t a side project, it needs to be incorporated into day-to-day business operations. While there are multiple ways to think of the reputation management process, we’ve found success focusing on 4 specific initiatives: 

  • Reinforce Strengths: Remind your customer base what you do well. And do it often.
  • Build Relationships: Directly involving customers in your reputation management makes them feel valued – and ultimately makes them evangelists for your company.
  • Monitor: Tracking your engagement over time ensures that nothing slips through the cracks. More importantly, it helps your team celebrate its successes.
  • Address Needs: Reputation management hinges on knowing your customers — make them feel heard and understood and address their issues in a way that benefits all parties. As we like to say… we have two ears and one mouth for a reason.

While you could spend time and resources manually monitoring your online presence, social media, and review aggregators — it is much more effective to use software to automate the process. There are a lot of different companies and services that specialize in this service and have built effective software designed to monitor users’ online reviews of products and services. Capterra has done the heavy lifting of compiling these softwares and outlining their strengths and weaknesses.

Web Scraping

There is an inconceivable amount of content on the web and more get added every day. It’s sheer quantity and unstructured nature presents an obstacle — even if your company is effectively using reputation management software. The next step in the evolution of technology for reputation management is web scraping.

The general idea behind web scraping is to turn the internet’s vast, unstructured web content into a structured format for easy analysis. There are a ton of solutions available, but we always suggest using Capterra to find the solution that is the best fit for your needs.

Automated data extraction smooths the tedious manual aspect of research and allows you to focus on finding actionable insights and implementing them. And this is especially critical when it comes to online reputation management.

As an example, respondents to The Social Habit study showed that when customers contact companies through social media for customer support issues, 32% expect a response within 30 minutes, and 42% expect a response within 60 minutes. Utilizing web scraping, your company could have access to continuously updating data feeds that alert you to comments, help queries, and complaints about your brand on any website – allowing you to take instant action.

Web scraping can help your company easily monitor thousands, if not millions of websites for changes and updates that will impact your bottom line. If you want complete control over your data and the type of information that you’d like to monitor, web scraping is the most comprehensive and flexible choice. 

Guide Your Sales Strategy

It goes without saying that we all want to know how to be more confident in sales. An effective online reputation management strategy can provide you with new opportunities and insight on increasing brand awareness and therefore sales opportunities. Data shows that if an organization has a good reputation, consumers will find that company more credible than its competitors. Even when competing businesses offer the same products or services.

One of the most effective ways to boost your sales efforts through reputation management is to monitor your competitors’ online presence. Keeping track of the online reputation of competitors allows your Sales team to:

  • Correctly position and price your product or service offerings
  • Reach out to customers who are posting dissatisfied reviews and comments about your competition
  • Launch more effective sales campaigns that address pain points experienced by competitors’ customers
  • Understand what your competitors are doing right so that you can innovate off of their strategies

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Competitive intelligence and having an accurate overview of your industry only serve to help you sell your products and services more effectively. A robust reputation management system — and the right tools to execute effectively — goes hand-in-hand with your sales strategy.

Integrate Your Reputation Management into Your CRM

The technological marriage of your reputation management strategy and your sales efforts wouldn’t be complete without an integration of your CRM system.

An effectively managed CRM system can benefit greatly from the information and data you receive from your reputation management tools. With this wealth of information, using your CRM to track customer interactions, incorporate storytelling into your messaging, and leverage positive customer experiences and social media in your sales collateral. 

CRM data can help your sales team identify, capture, nurture, and convert leads; track and sequence customer-salesperson interactions; monitor campaigns within the sales cycle, and more. All of this creates a smoother and more consistent customer experience.

Let Technology Work For You

At the end of the day, there are many ways for technology to add efficiencies to your business processes. Businesses should consider the areas they need the most support in, determine if investment in resources is merited, and investigate the best software solutions for their given needs. Rest assured, if there is a business process for working with customers, there is a technology solution to help.

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