Social selling is going to be an important part of the sales process in 2016. Learn why your sales reps need to embrace it. Keep reading.
Social selling isn’t one specific activity. It’s the process of using social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, to research, connect, and interact with your prospects and customers. Through the sharing of relevant content, liking and sharing others’ posts, and thoughtful commenting, sales people can build and maintain relationships with buyers and boost their credibility and trustworthiness. It can change your business.
Social selling isn’t really about selling, it’s about being social. It’s not a hard closing tactic, but more like lead nurturing. It must be done right to be effective. It’s not about quick wins; it’s a long-term strategy that requires time and effort to engage buyers on an ongoing basis.
Why should sales reps embrace it? Here are a few reasons.
Many people believe that social selling is more hype than reality, but the fact is it works. And there’s data to prove it. Reps who use social selling as part of their process beat their quota 23% more often, and 72.6% of sales reps who use it outperform their colleagues. Companies who use it also see better sales forecast accuracy, a shorter sales cycle, more referrals, as well as a better customer renewal rate.
You want to be a sales leader in the industry—not fall behind your competitors. By using social selling to your advantage, you can stay ahead of the curve and have an edge over your competition.
Building brand awareness is critical to getting more sales, especially for small businesses. Social media is an ideal place to do content marketing and find influencers, super fans, and third-party advocates to partner with. You can share your message with millions of potential customers through social media, get people familiar with your brand, and start to get noticed, efficiently and cost effectively.
Outbound lead generation isn’t effective. Trying to find prospects to cold call is usually a waste of time and resources and doesn’t increase sales efficiently. It results in a lot of ignored emails and hang-up calls. Cold calling has been replaced by warm calling, where you identify target audiences and reach out using social media sites. Being active on social media is a great way to generate more traffic.
If you don’t qualify your leads, you’ll likely waste a lot of time selling to people who won’t buy. Qualification is critical to a successful sales process. And social media sites are filled with personal information that you can use to qualify leads. You can see who people are, what their interests are, what they’re doing, and what they’re saying. You can match their online profiles to your buyer personas to see if they’ll buy from you.
The information you can find about your prospects on social media can also help you sell to them more effectively. You’ll have the intelligence you need to hit the right points that resonate with them and identity ways to better connect with them.
Once customers buy from you, you can’t just forget about them or you’ll lose out on upselling opportunities. You must continue engaging with your customers after the sale in order to draw them closer to your brand to ensure upsells and renewals. Social media is a great place to continue to interact with customers after the fact, by sharing content with them, commenting on their reviews, or liking things they’ve shared.
Getting referrals is a highly effective way to get new leads. Referrals work better than any other type of lead generation activity. But they’ll only occur if you create top-of-mind awareness with existing customers and make them feel very close to you and your company and make them feel positively about their relationship and experience with you. This can be done through social media engagement.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.