What Is Social Selling?
Using social media as part of the selling procedure from looking for possible customers to building yourself up as a specialist, interacting on social networks and helping out potential clients all the way down the sales funnel until a solution can be presented is what Social Selling is all about. Yet, social selling doesn’t take the place of the basics of sales, but rather aims to advance them. In conclusion, using social media as a sales tool enables salespeople to stay in contact with potential buyers without ever needing to make a call: no more purchasing records, cold calls, or prospects that are not properly vetted.
By utilizing social media in selling, you are able to expand the range of your reach by enabling yourself to connect with a larger network. You can contact countless prospects from across the globe and give them grounds to opt for your business.
To summarise, social selling is the process of using social media platforms and tools to:
- Create valuable relationships that generate leads
- Establish your authority and market reputation
- Gain visibility among your ideal customers
- Deliver helpful content to your target market
- Establish credibility and trustworthiness
Benefits of Social Selling
Although social selling has provided improved and productive selling tactics, which leads to increased sales, there are many more advantages to be rejoiced. Let’s explore some of the benefits of this sales method below:
- Improved customer retention: Social selling improves trust with previous customers by naturally being less intrusive than calling in and following up to promote and update them on products. All salespeople need to do now is be available for any questions they might have.
- Shortens the sales cycle: While social selling reduces the sales cycle overall, it mainly helps reduce salespeople’s time prospecting. Statistics show that about 39% of B2B professionals said social tools reduce their time researching prospective accounts.
- Uncovers opportunities: Connect with major decision-makers by answering questions and offering recommendations in online groups.
- Helps sales reps build long-term relationships: 31% of B2B professionals report that social selling tools allowed them to establish deeper relationships with clients.
- Easily manage your online reputation: Create and maintain your online digital presence and create a consistent message about your offerings and expertise
Does Social Selling work?
Yes! If you can develop a social selling approach that concentrates on constructing online connections with customers and potentials by communicating with them in a relevant manner. Some methods of social selling include interacting with what the prospective customer is posting, disseminating useful data concerning problems that are widespread, and granting important information pertaining to the industry.
Take a look at how Social Selling Users gain advantages in performance in contrast to other users. These numbers are from a whitepaper published by Hootsuite sourced by Aberdeen Group and prove how effective social selling is as a sales approach and strategy:
- Total team attainment of sales quota 64% versus 49%
- Customer renewal rate 55% versus 48%
- Sales forecast accuracy of 54% versus 42%
- Per cent of sales reps achieving quota 46% versus 38%
4 Popular Social Selling Channels
Every social media platform has its own distinct characteristics and preferred way of communicating. The majority of your customers are expected to gravitate towards the platforms that fit their personal preferences and hobbies. It is essential to determine the channels that your targeted audience prefers along with the optimal language for each. You could end up investing a lot of time and energy in starting a social media action on a certain website, just to learn that your target user isn’t participating there. When it comes to B2B sales, LinkedIn dominates the space. For selling products to consumers, Instagram and Facebook are likely to be more profitable than other platforms.
Before we delve into the 10 essential social selling strategies, let’s take a few moments to familiarise ourselves with the best social selling platforms:
LinkedIn is a website focused on professional networking and recruitment, mainly used by businesses to post job openings and share content. This platform is utilized when individuals are seeking out employment, vendors, and other corporate requirements. In general, users of LinkedIn enjoy publishing and distributing pieces, crafting and putting up status updates, and networking with business people who are beneficial to their connections.
What is the Social Selling Index?
The LinkedIn Social Selling Index is a tool used via LinkedIn Sales Navigator as a “measure of a salesperson’s social selling skills and execution.” The tool consists of four pillars:
- “Establish your professional brand”
- “Find the right people”
- “Engage with insights”
- “Build relationships”
According to LinkedIn, those that are highly proficient in the practice of social selling generate 45% more potential sales than those with a lower proficiency. If you’re wondering what your social selling index is, just sign into your sales navigator account. To access the Social Selling Index, simply click on your profile picture, scroll down and you will find the analytics with advice on how to optimally make use of LinkedIn for social selling.
Facebook stands out as one of the most advantageous places to do B2C (business-to-customer) marketing, leading 97% of B2C marketers to make use of it. Most of the users of Facebook link up with their loved ones and post interesting stories, articles, and pictures. People come together looking for social interaction and to fulfill emotional needs, while also hoping to have fun. Love Facebook? Take a look at our newest post analyzing the Occulus Quest 2: Could Virtual Reality Training Be The Solution to Enhancing the Skills Of Sales staff?
Twitter is a service which provides instantaneous news and advice in messages that can’t exceed 280 characters. In addition to tracking their connections and acquaintances, Twitter users favor keeping tabs on prominent figures, celebrities, and news organizations. They’re seeking entertainment and information. The tweet could be an expression all by itself, or it may have a link to a piece of writing or blog. It’s smart to use bit.ly when connecting to content outside of your own, as it makes it easier to monitor how well your post is doing.
Instagram is a social media platform that focuses on visuals. Individuals post personal snapshots about many topics, such as food, landscapes, and self-portraits. The crowd is youthful and prefers to interact with a personal or business narrative with mainly visuals. It’s not rare to find up to six hashtags in the description of a photo, since they are utilized to portray part of the story and allow other users to search for pictures that would be interesting to them.
Through our experience working with entrepreneurs and sales reps from across the Asia-Pacific region, we have outlined a few key tips for succeeding in social selling. If a sales team utilizes social selling, they are 64% more likely to reach their sales quotas, as well as acquire 15% more contract renewals, than sales teams who do not use the practice. By executing these 10 essential social media plans, you can gain the advantages as well. Get your social selling started by continuing to read below:
Social Media and Sales
Harnessing social media for creating a company image is only the beginning – its utility for increasing sales is immense.
Eight methods to incorporate social media into your sales plan to bring in money.
1. Identify the most-used platforms for your ideal customer.
As a professional in sales, it is important to create a detailed profile of your ideal customer. This profile should give a detailed description of the important characteristics of your target customers. This could be reworded as: For B2B firms, criteria such as the size of the firm to be serviced, the revenues generated by them, and their internal organization are contemplated.
For businesses that market to buyers, an optimal customer persona should involve details such as the age of their patrons, what they are passionate about, and what issue they are attempting to resolve with your product.
2. Share customer stories with marketing.
When it is time to buy a fresh item, potential buyers feel more certain with their choice understanding the item has been endorsed by someone else who has already acquired it. Nearly four out of five buyers admit that suggestions from their peers affect the choices they make when purchasing something.
What is the most effective way to use word-of-mouth to enhance your sales tactics? Through sharing customer stories your prospects can relate to. You are a vital part of conveying your customer’s narratives as a sales representative. Even though it’s usually the marketing team that produces content for the business’s social media accounts, client interactions also give lots of helpful material.
Be sure to keep your marketing team in the loop with accounts of satisfied customers so that your company’s social media sites can showcase the evidence that your business is reliable and can be used to further increase sales.
3. Leverage social proof in your sales materials.
In addition to marketing customer stories, make sure you are including social evidence in your products or services on offer. If someone has given a great online review of your product or written a positive social media post, use that in your sales pitches to make your customers more confident in your goods.
4. Optimize your personal social media accounts.
Your personal accounts on social media can be used to create a personal link with customers, allowing them to extend the experience of your company’s brand. As a sales representative, you can use your own social media accounts to enhance your sales performance. Through this method, purchasers can directly understand that you are a representative of your business the instant they take a look at your profile.
The optimum channels for this task are Twitter (which is a favorite place for shoppers to speak with organizations and influential people) and LinkedIn. Have a look at this post for advice on making the most of your individual accounts when it comes to sales.
5. Use social media when prospecting.
Social media has the potential to be invaluable for unlocking new connections and leads in the business-to-business sales world. If your business provides services to other businesses, it is important that LinkedIn is used as a significant part of your seeking potential customers.
LinkedIn provides the opportunity to construct connections with people that may be ideally suited to your company. The tool includes a search function in its free version, permitting users to be sorted by keyword, field, place, prior job experience, and common acquaintances. You can adjust your search to include the characteristics of the ideal customer you’re looking for in order to locate new people to contact.
Reps who want to take their LinkedIn prospecting to a higher stage can use LinkedIn Sales Navigator. It offers extensive search data, helpful lead ideas and can be joined with your CRM for maintaining an easy relationship with new contacts.
6. Track relevant metrics.
As an experienced salesperson, you are quite familiar with monitoring data such as how long the average sales cycle is, how quickly the pipeline of sales is moving and the average amount of time taken to react to potential leads to get an idea of how successful your business is doing. It is time to start tracking your performance on social media and including it within your frequent reports.
What proportion of your leads originate from social media? How many of the leads that you get from your social media accounts end up converting? What proportion of your total sales are generated from social media referrals? This data is beneficial in order to monitor to figure out how to keep integrating social networks into your sales tactic.
7. Add social listening to your operating rhythm.
Would you want to be given the power of being able to understand what your customers are thinking? Although I am unable to give you a supernatural ability, I can guarantee the strength of analyzing social media activity, which can assist you in comprehending how clients really perceive your item and corporation. After researching, you can utilize the knowledge to modify your sales plan in order to more effectively meet the requirements and worries of clients.
8. Conduct competitive analysis.
I have mentioned it before – social media is an effective method for analyzing competitors. By looking at your competitors’ activity, you can find out what they’re sharing with their followers, what new goods they’ve launched, and what’s part of their existing range. Additionally, you can observe the feedback and ratings their clients give to their items.
Monitoring how audiences respond positively or constructively to your product on a regular basis can aid you in determining the special features that your company and products have to offer, as viewed by customers who are looking for such characteristics. Taking the time to look into the data that other businesses in your field are sharing on websites and social media networks can be a great benefit to you, as it can help offer insight into the competitive atmosphere in your sector.