The most straightforward guide to social selling

The most straightforward guide to social selling

You’ve most likely heard about social selling by now. If not, then we are here to tell you everything you need to know about it. 


While it may have social in it, it does not have any connection with social media marketing or advertising. However, it does have something to do with social media and everything to do with people, specifically your target audience. 


Social selling allows sales representatives to accurately target prospects, establish rapport and with their networks, even ditch the need for traditional cold calling. 


Social selling has become the modern strategy for discovering and interacting with prospects. In recent studies, it revealed that around 90% of salespeople are using social selling. Furthermore, 64% of sales representatives apply social selling tactics to achieve their daily quotas. 


If you have not already implemented social selling into your funnel, you are most likely losing revenue to more socially strategic competitors. However, that should change with the help of this guide. If you are interested to see if this method can work for your business, continue reading as we go through everything you need to know about social selling on this guide.



What is Social Selling?

Social selling is a method of using social media to locate, connect, understand and nurture sales prospects. It’s a more modernized approach for developing meaningful relationships with potential clients, so you are the first person or brand a prospect considers when they are reading to buy. This method has utterly replaced traditional cold calling practices. 


If your business already has a Facebook business page, professional Twitter account, or a Linkedin page, then you are already using social selling to some extent. While you may have never used the term to label your online activities or thought too much about what social selling even is. 


Over the past couple of years, the way people conduct sales has changed. In recent years, it is all about developing strong and trusted relationships with your customers. Using social media for sales makes the prospect believe that you are a professional and an authoritative figure in your field. It also places you in a higher position against your competitors, who are most likely still using traditional sales techniques. 


Keep in mind that social selling is not solely about gaining access to the prospect but about developing relationships and listening for the proper moment to join the conversation so you can present yourself as a solution to their problems. The idea here is to address a pressing need to make your prospect work more manageable rather than becoming an online annoyance that needs to be blocked. 


Now that you have a decent understanding of what social selling is all about. Let’s check out why doing it well is so critical to your business success. 


The benefits of social selling

An excellent thing about social selling is that it provides you with a more effective sales process, which assists with bringing in more sales in return. For this part, let’s go over some of the benefits of this sales strategy. 


Saving time and shortening the sales cycle

Utilizing social selling will prompt you to lower or eliminate cold calling for your current sales strategy. Studies have shown that around 39% of B2B experts have stated that social tools reduced the amount of time required to spend on researching contacts and accounts. 


Buyers are more likely to engage with online communities and ask for recommendations from their fellow industry peers. Having a presence on these online platforms allows you to tap into the conversation, monitor them, and respond to these discussions. 


If you are attempting to position yourself as an industry expert by consistently sharing valuable and worthwhile content to your prospective customers, the chances that your qualified prospect is willing to do business with your increases. 


Discover new opportunities

Presenting your sales strategy on social media offers you the chance to find the decision-makers asking questions or recommendations in online groups. The chance to interact with prospects will not become available to you if you only rely on traditional methods. 


During these moments, you can share some content that answers their questions or directly assist them with their issues through direct message. Although you need to decide when it's the right time to help them with their issue or inquiry. You are the one that is offering a solution to their problem, establishing trust, and moving through a potential sale. Presenting


Sales reps can establish authentic relationships

Around 31% of B2B experts have stated that social selling tools offer them the opportunity to establish a deeper relationship with the customer. 


The point of social selling is to develop rapport and have genuine interactions between you and the prospects. That involves sharing content or information that deals with your target prospect's needs, wants, and pain points on your public social media accounts. 


Turning away from cold calling and other traditional sales prospecting methods offers you the chance to earn a prospect's trust without stress. Additionally, when your sales team optimizes their accounts and distributes content online, it multiplies your brand visibility because their networks are becoming more aware of your company. 


A higher number of leads

In a survey conducted by CSO Insights and Seismic, one in three B2B professionals stated that social selling tools have helped increase the number of leads they had to work with. Businesses need these leads, and social selling is capable of getting more leads compared to traditional prospecting methods. 


Aside from increasing the number of quality leads, this modern method of performing sales is also a superb strategy to drive sales results. Beyond everything, more customers and clients mean your revenue increases overall. With social selling, you can create a pathway to sale by offering help when your potential customer needs it the most.


Improved customer retention

The goal of social selling is to develop trust and maintain contact with your previous customers in a less intrusive and non-invasive manner.  Using these social selling methods, you are not required to call them for frequent check-ins, updates, or promoting a product that they could potentially be interested in. 


Allowing yourself to be available and present on social media is a much easier job. For example, you can post valuable content where they can see it, and you can make yourself available to them whenever they need some answers to a question they have. 


Best practices for social selling

Now that you are familiar with social selling and how it can benefit you, let’s go over some crucial practices for implementing an effective social selling strategy. 


Set a goal

To ensure your social selling strategy actually works, you need to be aware of your goals, monitor the progress you have made over time, select the metrics that align with those goals. 


For instance, you could aim for conversation starters, the number of meetings booked, and deals closed. Furthermore, it can be your goal to offer value to your customers and establish a meaningful relationship.  


Pay attention to identify leads

The customers and prospects you are trying to reach are sharing incredibly wealthy information on their social channels. Tapping into them lets you know what they want and need. The only thing you need to do is pay attention to the conversation happening in front of you. 


Social tools can be used to monitor what everyone is saying about you, your brand, your industry, and your competitors. Keep an eye out for pain points and request recommendations, both of which offer you a chance to provide a solution to the problem being presented.  


Before you get in contact with any of the leads you identify, check their following and followers list to see if they have any mutual networks. If you find any, reach out to the shared contact for an introduction. 


Make sure your message is customized based on the number of information people shared on their professional social media profiles. You could mention a shared interest, for instance, of that you enjoyed an article they shared. 


Offer value

Social selling is something you need to commit. If you are planning to do it properly, you need to do it correctly. This means you need to provide valuable information to the appropriate people at the right time. 


When interacting with a customer over social media, it’s essential not to become too annoying with your sales pitch. Instead of waxing lyrical about the value your product or service offers, your goal should be to contribute valuable knowledge that can help establish you as a professional in your industry. Make posts that share vital information, but do not be afraid to share some relevant posts from others as well.  If you share content from others, add a short comment of your own about how the information is useful in your specific field. 


It’s also alright for you to mention your product or service in some manner through your social posts, but do not make your posts a sales presentation. The idea behind social selling is to establish relationships that will eventually lead up to a sale, not to attempt a sale on the first contact.


Developing meaningful relationships

Remain in touch with your newly made social contacts over time. Keep close attention to the content they post and hop right in from time to time with a like or small comment letting them know you are reading and appreciating their posts. 


If a contact manages to gain a new position or move to another company, send a quick congratulations to them. If you see the contact asking for advice or assistance, reply to it with a meaningful answer, even if it does not promote your product. Concentrate on how you can assist your contracts or make their lives better. If you managed to set yourself up as the go-to person in your field, they are going to call you when they are ready to make a purchase. 


The best platforms for social selling

There are several social media platforms out there. It is up to you to determine which of these platforms have the target audience you are trying to reach. Here are some useful social media platforms for salespeople. 


LinkedIn

Before social media became a thing, sales reps needed to use their directory for cold calling. In recent years, they can find data on social networks like Linkedin than their traditional ways. The platform is considered to be one of the most meaningful professional networking platforms on the net. It has hundreds of millions of members and over 50 million companies. 


Linkedin is considered superior to Facebook by sales representatives in terms of where they are most active. The reason could be due to it being a social network for business professionals from all sorts of industries and executive positions. Plus, there are plenty of company decision-makers that have a profile here as well.


Twitter

Twitter has millions of active users on its social network. It has become an ideal network for promoting upcoming events, web content like blog posts, or receiving feedback and questions from your audience. Twitter is an excellent platform for social listening and monitoring public sentiments about your company, products, or services. 


Twitter also has a Lists feature that identifies potential prospects, which allows you to reach out to them when it is the appropriate time. Although Twitter is limited when it comes to its texts, you can use GIFs, polls, and other forms of media. This offers you the chance to get creative when engaging with your audience. 



Facebook

Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms on the internet. It has billions of active users daily. On the business side, there are around 80 million small and medium businesses using Facebook Pages. And an estimated six million using the advertising platform. 


Furthermore, statistics reveal that the social media giant is the most significant network for both B2B and B2C marketers because almost every type of quality content, from a classic text post to video, can lead to engagement on Facebook. 


When sales reps use Facebook, they will be able to share images or videos in various formations. It is a solid platform for sharing tons of articles and links, such as when you are promoting your latest blog post. Facebook is a far more personal network when using social selling. 


Conclusion

Social selling has become modernized and made suitable for the internet. Your business must adapt it into its strategy and use it to make the business grow. If your company is already using social media to market your brand, take advantage of this fantastic tool to optimize your sales and magnify the benefits. To bolster your social selling efforts, check out Intro.so.