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Incorporating Social Selling isn’t an option – it’s a must

Talking about social selling is like talking about the new kid in town, only difference is, this cool kid is here to stay

There are hundreds of articles, blogs, and statistics surfacing around the spectacular results of implementing SM into your sales tactics, however, the real question is: Why aren’t the majority of sales teams adopting social media? Simple, THEY DON’T KNOW HOW!

Stats are a fun way of putting things into perspective, we can show you a quick picture of how businesses are using Social Media as a critical part of their business strategy and planning.

 

 

Social selling in a nutshell:

Social Selling delivers the tactics salespeople are using to stay relevant in their industries, connect with more prospects, and expand their leadership. Each organization has its own personality and the methods used to find new opportunities and establishing a stronger profile will vary, but you can prepare and plan on which tools you will provide your sales team to create that perfect mix of relevancy, authority and approachability that generates these opportunities.

To create a strong “Social mindset” amongst your organization, you must first follow a very simple plan that includes the participation of your three key players. You need to recognize who they are and what role they play in the success of your business:

DIRECT SALES LEADERS 

These are the ones that look at learning social behavior and translate it into sales outcomes through one-on-one meetings and continuous coaching to make sure that all professionals are implementing Social Selling into their daily scene.

MARKETING LEADERS 

They are the engines behind the social media machine. They are involved in helping create, organize, deliver and measure engagement of all digital assets. You have to align your marketing leader’s objectives with the sales quota since they are a huge part of the revenue generation tool.

SALES ENABLEMENT

This is the glue that holds together the sales and marketing teams. They find the people, processes, and technology to successfully integrate Social into their current sales process. Without enablement and a proper long-term behavioral strategy, then this cultural shift and mindset will not be successful. We need to upgrade the skills of sales professionals  s towards a mindset of social awareness.

Once you accurately identify these three profiles, you need to provide your team of professionals the right tools that will help them reach their individual goals. Peter Ostrow, VP and Research Group Director of the Aberdeen Group, outlined three approaches to social selling:

  • Collaboration — Leveraging, storing and using an organization’s collective knowledge to identify the tactics that work well with prospective buyers
  • Listening — Paying attention to social media conversations taking place among the people that matter the most to their business
  • Participation — Becoming a thought leader within an industry, and sparking conversations about relevant topics, instead of trying to sell a product or solution.

Today, it is easy to find a wide range of tools and platforms that help your sales professionals stay informed of leads, and reach their target audience. For example, a recent study of roughly 3,000 salespeople shows that 80% of top sellers use LinkedIn to create highly targeted prospect lists, and 86% always use LinkedIn to conduct in-depth research on prospects before making contact.

The art of unifying these three approaches is what will ultimately create a synergy of creative collaboration. Social selling gives marketing and sales people an opportunity to listen to the conversations that their target audience, and other industry thought leaders, are having. This is the way they are obtaining the information they need about prospective buyers.

Staying top-of-mind is crucial in sales, and the best way to do that is to start the conversations that are circling around social media by actively participating in them and being aware of what is being posted and shared. A true social seller recognizes that good relationships are formed by building trust and sharing meaningful and relevant insights.

The importance of having compelling content in all conversations, is the key to having credibility. Content marketing is a trending talking point within the B2b community, the content that is used in a social selling strategy must have a certain criteria for buyers who are doing their own research. Buyers are learning more and more how to use Social Media as a research and “get-to-know-it-all” tool, they are more informed than ever before and they are up to speed on services, solutions, pricing and current trends. The social selling process has to be about engaging these prospects in a two-way interaction.

Another important mention to a Social Selling strategy is the use of automation tools that will make the process easier, faster, and more accurate. There has never been a greater demand for pipeline visibility and building strong links between automation and CRM platforms to boost the efficiency of the lead generation process and automate lead assignment. Progressive companies are taking advantage of implementing marketing automation along with sales automation system to effectively increase their revenue.

Collaboration among the extended sales team — which includes sales teams, and marketing teams  — is one of the critical attributes of a world-class sales organization, according to the latest research from Miller Heiman.

Many sales people tap into social networks to interact with potential and current clients, they are extending their personal brand, and B2B marketers are starting to navigate this new selling approach while determining the best strategy for their own business purposes. “What social selling is doing is creating an army of mini marketers where everyone in the company is sharing and creating content” said Jill Rowley. Rowley recently started her own social selling consultancy, #SocialSelling, after heading up Oracle’s social selling initiative.

We must learn to look at Social Selling as a great opportunity for MARKETING to empower and enable the SALES FORCE to leverage content as their currency-speak money and you will receive money. The way to do it isn’t simple, you need to enable your team of professionals to adapt into this NEW mindset and to understand that there is a new era of selling, and if you don’t get on board, you will be left behind. Social Selling is for sure a MUST if you want your business to expand, succeed and evolve.

 

Sources:

(1) http://blog.hubspot.com/sales/only-1-in-4-salespeople-know-how-to-use-social-media-to-sell-new-research

(2)http://www.salesforlife.com/blog/social-selling-in-2016-the-year-of-massive-adoption

(3)http://www.salesforlife.com/blog/social-selling-in-2016-the-year-of-massive-adoption

(4)http://www.salesforlife.com/blog/social-selling-in-2016-the-year-of-massive-adoption

(5)http://www.demandgenreport.com/industry-topics/revenue-strategies/2894-social-selling-tools-playing-a-bigger-role-in-the-b2b-sales-process.html

(6)http://www.demandgenreport.com/industry-topics/revenue-strategies/2894-social-selling-tools-playing-a-bigger-role-in-the-b2b-sales-process.html

http://www.demandgenreport.com/industry-topics/revenue-strategies/2894-social-selling-tools-playing-a-bigger-role-in-the-b2b-sales-process.html

http://www.salesforlife.com/blog/social-selling-in-2016-the-year-of-massive-adoption

http://www.demandgenreport.com/industry-topics/revenue-strategies/2894-social-selling-tools-playing-a-bigger-role-in-the-b2b-sales-process.html