written by Aleksandar Debeljak
Since we spend a great deal of our time online, it is obvious that we create new contacts on the social platforms in which we are active on. Before we make a purchase, we usually look for information that helps us to choose the right product or service. This is where social selling comes into the picture. By sharing useful and interesting information your potential customers will see you as a source of information and credibility.
Social selling has become more important as it is a great way to connect to prospects, but also build long-term relationships and receive returning business. If your sales team doesn’t have any mention about using social selling in your account based marketing (ABM) strategy, it’s not too late to start.
What is social selling?
Social selling is when your business use social media to find and engage with potential customers. Sales people will provide value to prospects by answering questions, responding to comments and sharing helpful content throughout the buying process until a prospect is ready to buy.
While the old sales model used to be about cold calling, sales demos and qualifying leads – the new way of B2B selling means using social media networks to reach prospects, educate them on how your company can solve their problem, and nurture them through the sales funnel. All these new principles follow the inbound marketing approach. However, when your business incorporates account based marketing (ABM) into your inbound approach, your marketing team is looking for your sales team to contribute at the top of the funnel by leveraging their social presence to drive brand awareness and education as well as offer more sophisticated solution and relationship selling.
How does social selling work?
In order for you to succeed in creating new business contacts and gaining more followers, it’s first and foremost important that you are active on your social media accounts. The content you choose to share depends on which industry you work in. Also, keep in mind that what you share is consistent with your brand and your targeted audience. The value of sharing useful and relevant content will provide long-term benefits, as you build your personal brand, get more qualified leads, and increase your credibility while you show that you are an expert in your field of work.
Therefore, be sure to write, find or share content that you consider worthy of your prospects to take part of. Think about how to communicate with your prospects, avoid spamming too much about your own business, and focus on investing in your business network and adding value. By helping your prospects they will in return help you with a new sale.
The benefits of social selling
As a sales person, it’s important that your business has a good presence on social media but the same goes for your personal brand as well. By creating a sound ABM strategy to add value to new prospects through social media, your personal brand will grow and your potential customers will look to you and your company as the experts to solve their problem.
The biggest concerns that companies have not adapted to social selling believe:
- It costs too much money.
- They lack a structure and strategy about the content they share.
- The cooperation between the marketing department and the sales team is inadequate and they work poorly together.
To show why these companies should adapt to using social selling it’s important to show how customers behave online today and how to best reach out to them. This also means that when you have included social selling in your ABM strategy, your employees will cooperate better since you have aligned your marketing and sales team and have the needed sales enablement tools to produce and measure quality content.
Before a prospect buys a product, they use search engines, read blogs, listen to podcasts, or watch webinars. This means that the customer is more than halfway through the buying process before even contacting a company. That’s precisely why it’s important to be able to reach your targeted audience through social selling. Statistics show that 78% of those who use social selling outsell peers who don’t use social media.78% of sales people who use social selling outsell peers who don’t use social media.Click To Tweet
Additional statistics showing the benefits of using social selling include:
- 98% of B2B companies believe that social selling gives value both short and long term.
- 62% of the sellers received more customers through social sales.
- Expand the reach to new customers and audiences.
- Keep in touch with the buyer throughout the purchase process.
- Increased profits and increase in sales productivity.
- More than half of customers who buy something do their research on social media.
If you look at B2B on LinkedIn and how social selling works there, we can see that 76% of buyers are ready to contact a supplier. 62% choose to keep in touch with a seller who contacted them in order to understand what kind of content they share while getting useful information that is relevant to their business. It is also interesting that 90% of LinkedIn’s top sellers use social selling because it generates ROI. We can also see that more than 60% of sellers who don’t use social tools fail to meet their goals.
Building your personal brand and credibility takes time but is worth the investment required to make you succeed and reach your sales goals. It is important to be consistent and to have a sound ABM strategy for using social selling to your advantage. Considering that the customer is conducting research before deciding to buy a product or service, it is important to be seen early on in the customer’s buying process.
Keep in mind that you must share relevant content that is both interesting and helpful to your audience and stay away from trying to promote your business. By showing that you are a thought leader and a credible source to your potential customers, this will help grow your personal brand and your company’s credibility while bringing more returning business. It’s not late to start using social selling, start engaging and building new and long-term business today!
How does your company and sales people work with social selling? Leave a comment below.