Sales leaders know there is much more to being successful with social media selling, or social selling, than merely using social media in the sales process.
As you conduct more research about social media selling, you’ll quickly discover a complex, encompassing sales methodology with many tactics and intricacies. Whether you’re just beginning your social media selling journey or you want a quick refresher on the basics, this guide will walk you through.
What Is Social Selling?
To the uninitiated, “social selling” usually equates to “selling on social media.” More often than not, people believe this means using the same sales tactics they’ve always employed but using them on social media.
Social media is best viewed as the tool or platform from which you conduct your social selling activities. It’s just one of several platforms you need. Sales leaders know adopting social media selling doesn’t mean they can abandon the telephone or email altogether. Nor does it mean cold selling is “dead,” as too many sales and marketing pundits eagerly proclaim.
Social media selling requires a change in mindset. The modern buyer has a much longer buying cycle, and business purchase decisions require an average of five people. Most business decision-makers only reach out to a sales representative after conducting extensive research. In fact, they’re often around 60 percent of the way through their decision-making process when they engage.
Social selling adapts sales teams to these new realities. It focuses on building and maintaining ongoing relationships with prospects and current clients. Another key is providing value.
Using Content and Sparking Conversations
Many of the activities used by social sellers look like more traditional marketing activities. Successful social sellers, for example, engage prospects with valuable content. They’re also engaged in the creation of that content to ensure they have the right cases studies and insights for buyers at different stages of the sales process.
Nearly 75 percent of executives don’t believe their sales people have the right case studies to present to prospects when they need them. Aside from boosting your sales reps’ ability to close, the right content can provide opportunities to spark meaningful conversations or reignite conversations and re-engage leads.
Conversation is another key feature of social media selling. Again, keep in mind social media is a platform for interacting and engaging with prospects. So long as sales professionals are engaging potential buyers and current clients in meaningful, valuable conversations focused on the buyer’s needs, they’re engaging in social selling.
Another key part of any good social media selling strategy is social listening. This plays into the conversational and relationship-building aspects of your social selling methodology. Social listening involves checking on mentions and keywords to see both what your clients and leads are discussing and what they’re saying about your organization.
Social listening is important because it provides insights into how you’re perceived by potential customers and current clients. It also illustrates conversations where you could provide valuable insights and share your expertise. Moreover, it shows potential buyers and clients you’re listening to them and considering what they’re saying. You’re responding to their needs, not focusing solely on an opportunity to sell a product or service.
The Social Media Aspect
Social media selling is a subset of the larger social selling methodology. Social selling can be conducted just as easily through email or on the phone as it can on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Social selling on social media can help you boost your organization’s brand profile and visibility. It also gives you another avenue to connect with prospects and leads. This additional avenue provides you with another way to drive social selling success.
The advantages of social selling include higher revenue growth, better lead conversion, and much more. Maximizing the number of platforms you effectively use to engage with your clients will help drive these results in your organization.