The impact of Social Selling was brilliantly assessed in Hootsuite’s A Definitive Guide on Social Selling. Haven’t heard about it? Stop what you’re doing and go download this Hootsuite article right now.
In this two-part review, I discuss why the guide is brilliant and illustrates some of the very findings that we in the Social Selling world have been seeing ourselves. But it delves into some new things that warrant every Sales Leader’s attention.
Here are some of the shareable gems and nuggets I found particularly fascinating and eye-opening:
Make the Phone & E-mail Work Again
“Social selling isn’t a clean break from traditional selling; it’s an evolutionary step forward. Phone and e-mail don’t have to be abandoned, instead Social Selling adds productivity to the phone and e-mail.”
This means you don’t need to fear giving up the beloved telephone. But, imagine calling people with greater context. Imagine calling customers and prospects with tangible information based on actions they’ve taken. That’s a paradigm shift from, “Did you see my quote? What did you think of my quote?” and “Give us a chance, I’ll get you a great price!”
The positive correlation between value and deal wins is obvious. Social Selling delivers on this (How? More on this in a later blog post).
Resistance is Futile
“…social selling remains an ambition, not reality at most B2B sales organizations today; however, the evidence is clear that change is underway. At this point, sales managers don’t have to make a decision to adopt social media, because their customers have already made it for them.”
Sorry to make it sound ominous. But these are the facts. I speak with sales professionals on a weekly basis and they confirm this very fact. The majority of Sales Leaders and Management are not seeing the reality. Their weekly KPIs show what every sales professional goes through:
- More dials but lesser connect rates.
- The Returned calls to-Dials ratio is dismal.
- E-mail frequency has increased yet replies are barely there.
They Can’t Hear You
“Social media sources of information are used by more than 70% of B2B decision makers.”
Let that soak in for a minute. If you don’t have an online Social Selling strategy, you’re literally missing the ability to interact and impact 70% of all decision makers.
“Information asymmetry gives modern B2B buyers an enormous advantage over their counterparts in sales. In late 2010, international agency OgilvyOne Worldwide interviewed 1,000 salespeople in the U.S., U.K., China and Brazil. More than two-thirds of Ogilvy’s respondents in all four countries believed the buying process is changing faster than sales organizations are responding.”
The guide delves deeply into how the buyer has changed and what they do today that makes the buying process so different than before. But the mind shift that’s required to stay relevant is being slowly adopted by B2B players. This is why the conversation about value is almost a misnomer and buyers have all the advantage.
The amount of research and analysis they’re able to conduct online without a sales professional’s involvement is frankly…scary. This is why buyers will eat your sales professional for lunch by making every interaction about fulfillment and price. Because guess what; the value was never there and the customer was able to get all the information online. And likely from a bleeding-edge competitor who’s got Social Selling figured out. To check out part 2 of this article series click here.
The Bottom Line
Social Selling is different; not difficult. As a Sales Professional or Leader/Executive, it’s time you started to explore this world because your buyers are already here. Without change, as the years go by, you’ll start seeing that more and more conversations become about price and fulfillment, and less about value. You can start your social selling journey by checking out 10 Step to Building a Social selling Machine and 42 LinkedIn Sales Tips. To see some live tactics in action, feel free to book a call with me by clicking the below click to schedule.