Because Social Selling is the new sales model, embrace it and watch your sales grow or ignore it and get left behind.
If you are still unsure about using social selling in your business, you will likely lose business to those socially savvy competitors. But once you realize the importance of social selling for your business, you will know the trick to boom. Let’s get to it.
Let’s start with a straightforward fact: social media is the new hot platform to showcase our presence. Either you run a small shop, or a big MNC, social media has become an integral part of the marketing strategy these days.
Social platforms help you connect with your target audience and increase awareness about your brand, thereby boosting your leads and sales.
More than three billion people are using their social media platforms every month worldwide, registering their major platforms’ engagement.
You don’t need to know every intimidating buzzword or have the magic number of followers. You can get started immediately—and even enjoy yourself in the process. Social media provides immense potential for businesses because consumers habitually log on to it daily and are exposed to companies. However, it also presents huge challenges for businesses because it’s an ever-changing space that is extremely noisy and crowded.
What is Social Selling?
It is an art of using social media to nurture sales prospects. It is a new-age way to connect with potential customers to develop meaningful relationships. It has actually replaced the dreaded practice of cold calling.
Also, do not mistake social selling with bombarding everyone with unsolicited Tweets and private messages. There’s a name for that: spam. And you shouldn’t do it. It is also not only about gaining access to contacts. It is also about developing relationships and waiting for the correct time to join the conversation where you can present yourself as a troubleshooter.
The aim is to address a query to make your potential customer’s life easier rather than becoming another online person to ignore.
Now let’s look at why the art of social selling is essential for your business. Although the definition of social selling is pretty simple to understand but to make sure that we are on the same page, we define social selling as:
To use your social networks to reach the potential customers and build trusted relationships. It gives you a platform to answer your potential buyers’ questions through thoughtful content and social interactions.
It is the process of using social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to:
- Define your brand
- Gain visibility among your target audience
- Create and build relationships
- Deliver value to your target audience
- Establish credibility
How Social Selling Can Grow Your Business?
As per research, for every $1 invested in social selling, the ROI is $5. That’s right! Every dollar invested in social selling gives a five-dollar return. Furthermore, the study has found that when sales reps used social media, all key performance indicators like quota attainment, renewal rate, and forecast accuracy are better, and they see 45% more opportunities. It helps best-in-class brands achieve a 16% gain in year-over-year revenue, which is four times better than those that don’t use social selling! Isn’t it pretty clear that Sales reps sell more when they use social networks?
Further advantages of social selling include increased leads, improved conversion rate, and shorter sales cycles. Sadly, only 1 out of 4 sales reps know how to use social media strategy for sales.
So, how can your business earn an advantage of this new age tool called social selling strategy? Worry not! We have got you covered with these actionable social selling tips!
- Pick the most appropriate social network
- Follow the most relevant Twitter users
- Generate a wish list of brands and follow them
- Get instant notifications when prospects join LinkedIn
- Join and participate and discuss in LinkedIn groups
- Connect with potential clients on LinkedIn
- Contribute to existing conversations about your brand
- Give value by sharing relevant content
The Benefits of Social Selling
As of now, there are many instances enough to show that the benefits of social selling are certainly helping a business grow as a whole. Primarily the main impact will be for sales and sales teams. But social selling has a lot for your company and employees.
Below, read the benefits of social selling for your business.
How it benefits the company:
Boosts Brand Visibility
By sharing content and optimizing social profiles, employees of the company increase the visibility of the company among their networks. The people who are not familiar with the brand also get engaged by clicking on their content posted. Sometimes they do not even realize the value they are missing.
Attracts more leads and higher quality
An increase in the visibility of the brand increases the quality of those leads. Your competent team of social sellers who are armed with engaging content keeps educating their social connections. People recommend their friends, colleagues, and family over different forms of social media marketing handles and ads. For Instance: People on LinkedIn are more interested in this kind of information.
Increases web traffic
When more people know about your brand due to its increased visibility on the internet through social media platforms, nonemployees keep sharing company content and news about the company. More clicks or searches drive more traffic or the company website.
Boosts sales results
Apart from increasing quality leads, social selling is also a new way to increase the deal’s size and fetch good win rates. It simply means to drive more clients and customers and more revenue for the company.
How it benefits employees
Companies are undeniably gaining a lot from having most or all employees active in social selling. The good part of the story is that even their employees from across the departments are also reaping the benefits by becoming active social sellers.
Builds their personal brand
Even if employees are busy building a company’s brand value by sharing content through social networks, they are on the other side creating their own personal brand unknowingly by optimizing their profiles.
Peers see them as thought leaders.
In the process of promoting content on social media, employees can become the go-to source for information for potential customers. They play as the trusted resource to prospects, buyers, and customers.
Future career opportunities.
By actively being social sellers by optimizing their social profiles, employees notice more people like employers, recruiting firms, talent acquisition leaders, etc. It gives a good chance for new future job opportunities also. Well, of course, your company would not want to lose its employees. It is just that an employee’s growth opportunities are increased.
Contribute to company success.
Not only are the employees bringing their talent to their specific job duties but also they are contributing to the financial growth and overall success of their company additionally. This fuels them to talk about the company they work for even more by sharing more engaging content on their social media platforms.
Top Three reasons to use social selling in your business
You would be amazed to know that more than 78% of salespeople involved in social selling are outselling their competitors who are not. So if your sales team is still thinking of embracing social selling, your salespeople are simply not what they could be. Here are three big reasons why.
Social selling helps build relationships.
Let us accept that cold calling is the most unwelcomed thing. Also, it is not effective anyway as top decision-makers essentially say they never respond to cold calls. Social listening is to listen to the conversations relevant to your industry through social tools. It allows your sales team to recognize new leads who are talking about your business, your competitors, or your industry already. It helps you in reaching out to them gradually with helpful information when the time is right.
According to B2B professionals, social selling tools increased the number of leads they had to work with. It is a broader known fact that social tools reduced the amount of time they spent researching accounts and contacts. Social media channels allowed them to build deeper relationships with clients. It will enable you to seek new sales avenues through existing mutual connections. It creates an immediate sense of trust and rapport, which is an incredibly important resource for both clients and salespeople.
LinkedIn data reveals that sales professionals with a strong social selling index show how well they have built their personal brand, focus on the right prospects, engage with relevant content, and build trusted relationships. 51% are more likely to hit their sales quotas. Employees have found 45% more sales opportunities than others.
2. Your prospects are engaged in social buying.
When you flip the concept of social selling on its head, the answer is social buying. As sales professionals use social listening and other social media strategies to find potential clients, they also use social listening and social media to find potential vendors. They keep researching for them online. They also simultaneously make an opinion about which vendor is the best fit for their need after having an eye on all the sales professionals.
As per research, 84% of the customers use contacts and information from social networks as part of their purchase process. Do know that you are not showing up in social purchase research if you are not actively using social selling. It means you missed out on a lot of potential sales. Interestingly, 76% of buyers are ready to have a social media conversation with potential providers. More than 62% of B2B buyers answer to sellers who connect with them to share information relevant to their business. The trend shows that 92% of B2B buyers are ready to get connected with sales professionals. It is a good platform to build a reputation you can establish by consistently posting thoughtful, relevant content, thereby mastering the skill of how to sell on social media.
One should keep in mind that 53% of customer loyalty is earned by a salesperson’s ability to deliver unique insight. Salespeople can initially demonstrate this skill by sharing their content through social media. They confirm it through their ongoing social connections with their past clients later.
3. Your top competitors are using social selling tools.
A whopping 90% of top salespeople and more than 70% of all millennial sales professionals are already using social selling tools. They admit that those tools are critical or highly critical to their sales performance. So it is wise to allow your sales team to engage social tools and equip them to do so. Otherwise, it will be more challenging for you to recruit top sales performers, especially from the millennial demographic. From Microsoft to Corporate Traveller (U.K. travel firm) or the Vancouver Canucks, leading brands in just about every industry embrace social selling tools.
Social Selling Best Practices
By now, you must be familiar with social selling and why you should care about it. Now, have a look at some best practices for implementing an efficient social selling strategy.
Robots are not very social. You could save time with automated liking or commenting tools, but this way, you will not be able to develop rapport with your customers. On the other hand, this can do serious damage to your personal and professional brand. You can incorporate social bots into customer service and marketing. But when it is about selling, nothing beats an actual, live human.
So, show up. Try to engage with your potential clients. Be yourself present to answer them. Remember, the rule is to build relationships through social selling. The motto is to make yourself approachable, seem more human, and not less.
Also, make sure your profile is actually showing up when customers are looking for expertise in your industry. This is how they will start recognizing you as a leader, a valuable contact in your field. Your social media profiles across all networks should be optimized to maximize the impact of your social selling strategy.
Check your profile from a customer’s point of view. If it presents you as a credible professional who has valuable insights relevant to your market, it is good. If not, do some tweaking. Maintain a consistent tone and message across all networks to ensure your profiles present you in the best possible light.
2. Listen strategically to identify leads
To know what exactly your customers and prospects want and need, look to what incredibly valuable information they are sharing on their social channels. Just keep paying attention to what people are saying about you and your company. You should be aware of what they perceive about your industry and your competitors as well.
Pain points and recommendations provide natural opportunities for you to provide the solution to a problem. Check out for any mutual connections when you reach out to any of the leads you identify. If you find one, you may ask for an introduction. Customize your messaging based on information people share on their professional social media profiles.
3. Provide value
If you are going to do social selling, you have to do it right. It typically means providing valuable information to the right customer at the right time. Do get too “pitchy” while interacting with prospects and customers through social networks. Apart from branding your company, your aim should be to contribute valuable insight to the prospects that can help develop you as an expert in your field.
Keep sharing posts about important knowledge. You may share relevant posts from others as well by adding a small comment about how the information can be applied in your specific field.
There is no harm in mentioning about your product or service in some of your social posts. Just do not make your posts, sales pitches, or presentations there. Your aim in social selling is to establish relationships that will finally lead to a sale, not to make a sale on the first contact.
4. Build meaningful relationships
Do keep in touch with your new social contacts timely. See what they are sharing, comment sometime to let them know you’ve read and appreciated what they have to say. Do not hesitate to send a quick note of congratulations if a contact moves to a new position or company. If someone is looking for help, jump in with a meaningful answer, even if it is not directly promoting your product. See a way to help your contacts or make their lives easier. If you become their go-to person in your industry, won’t they ping you when they’re ready to make a purchase?
How to sell on social media platform
With the best practices in mind, here are some specific tips for getting started with social selling on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
The most prominent social network for engaging in social selling as a professional social network is concerned. Particularly in the B2B space, about 50% of buyers use LinkedIn as a resource to make their purchasing decisions. Make sure you are active on LinkedIn to position yourself as a player in those decisions. These are the three key ways to start using LinkedIn for social selling.
Build your credibility
Do not hesitate to ask for recommendations and endorsements from connections with whom you have a good relationship. This will help give you instant credibility with new contacts. Ensure that your profile highlights expertise relevant to a potential customer rather than an employer. You should not miss highlighting how you have helped previous customers achieve their goals.
2. Extend your network
LinkedIn advanced search allows you to uncover potential new connections by leveraging existing relationships within the network. An advisor from Guardian Life, a financial services firm, picked up 35 referrals from just one client using LinkedIn. The business is getting almost doubled when you start prospecting on social networks.
3. Get social in Groups
Establish and expand your network by joining LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your industry to start networking with peers and prospects. You may find new groups from LinkedIn’s suggestions of Groups also. The network’s professional social selling tool, LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator, is worth trying out.
Twitter offers you the ability to create Twitter Lists to monitor content from specific groups of people, thereby making it a great network for social listening. With these three Twitter lists, you can use to get started with social selling on the network:-
This list will help you keep close tabs on your existing clients. You may watch for opportunities to reply to or like their Tweets so you can keep yourself on their radar. But overdoing will give you the wrong impression. Make sure that your engagements with clients are meaningful. Comment only when you have something insightful to say. And like a tweet only when you actually like it.
You may make this list public also so that prospects can get a sense of what kind of businesses you’re already serving.
You may not want to share the list of your potential prospects with competitors. So once you identify them, add them to a private list. Also, it is good to make it private until the time is right to reach out to the users. Be active to respond to the help or statements of pain points where you can reply with a helpful comment.
Keep this list private. It will let you keep tabs on competitors without actually following them. Twitter chats are also an important part of your social selling strategy. You may join in on an existing chat that you find relevant to your industry, or else you may start your own as they allow you to establish yourself as an industry expert. This competitive intelligence can help stimulate ideas for your own social selling efforts.
Social Selling Tips for Success
Your social selling strategies become highly impactful when your employees leverage their own social presence to share news, stories, and other valuable insights about their company with their networks. These critical social selling tips are essential for long-term success:
- Be clear about what you’re selling and why
- Be present and personalize, show up
- Help and motivate employees to build their personal brand
- Acknowledge the people behind the business
- Create an appropriate way for where a potential customer should go
- Always provide value
- Please keep it simple and positive
- Create rich content that people feel like sharing
- Listen carefully
- Provide guidance
- Stay gracious
Both established brands and startups have many advantages of social selling tools. Keep updating your strategy to increase traffic, improve brand loyalty, better customer satisfaction, and much more.
Remember, your competition is increasing on social media day by day. And you can not afford to let your competitors take your probable customers. So it’s pretty clear that the earlier you start, the faster you see your business’s growth.
Does social selling really work?
Yes, social selling works. You have to implement a strategy for that. Develop online relationships with your clients. Engage with their content by providing significant insights. Avoid being pitchy. People are already on social media, so be present where they interact the most.
How Can B2B Sales Benefit from Social Selling?
It can be challenging to keep up with evolving trends on social media, so B2B reviews and learns social media’s value that it is the most engaging platform to share content. Businesses should start investing in social media resources.
Salespeople use social media platforms to research, prospect, and network by sharing meaningful content and answering questions. They develop relationships and influence clients to buy.
What is the golden rule of selling?
Social selling is a new-age tool for selling. It is not a one-time activity. Businesses have to practice this alongside existing sales prospecting techniques. If you have a LinkedIn profile, Twitter account, or Facebook Business Page, you’re already engaged in the basics of social selling. But even if you have never used them, you are surely losing sales prospects. Start it now without any further delay.
Why is Social Media Marketing important for small businesses?
Social media is suddenly becoming one of the most significant aspects of digital marketing. It renders incredible advantages that help reach millions of customers globally. And if you are not using this newest source, you miss out on an excellent marketing opportunity. Make the spread of word about your product easier through social media marketing. Social media is one of the coziest and profitable digital marketing platforms that can be used to increase your business visibility.