Social selling is about utilizing your social network to find valuable prospects and establish trusted relationships to achieve sales goals. This method eliminates the need for cold calling by building rapport and confidence through connections on social media platforms.

The following are the four key steps to leveraging social selling and adopting them into your organization’s sales and marketing strategies.

1. Create a Professional Brand

B2B buyers are understandably careful with who they do business with and will only work with sellers they can trust. A strong professional brand proves you are relevant in your industry which will result to more inquiries from quality leads.

Complete your profile 100% with a professional profile picture, headline, summary, and experience. Keep the customer in mind and publishing meaningful and relevant content that identifies you as a thought leader.

According to LinkedIn, 81% of buyers are more likely to engage with a strong professional brand while 92% of B2B buyers engage with sales professionals if they are known industry thought leaders.

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Social selling is when salespeople interact directly with their prospects through social media. This process of developing relationships as part of the sales process commonly takes place on social media platforms. For B2B technology companies that usually means LinkedIn.

The sales technique of social selling eliminates the need for cold calling. And because the interaction takes place on a platform that both buyer and seller trust, building and maintaining trust can happen quicker than traditional selling methods.

According to Hubspot, “74% of B2B buyers conduct more than half of their research online before making a purchase or contacting a salesperson.”

With online research playing such an important role in B2B sales, it makes sense for salespeople would to meet their prospect customers online. But how do sellers measure the effectiveness of their social selling efforts? Is it quantifiable? How is it commonly analyzed?

Measuring Social Selling Effectiveness

The SSI Score

SSI (Social Selling Index) is a score created by LinkedIn to rank members use of LinkedIn as a social selling tool. The score is based on four criteria: creating a professional brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and building strong relationships.

Each criterion is assigned a value from 1-25. For the overall SSI score, the scores of the four criterion are totaled. According to LinkedIn, “social selling leaders create 45% more opportunities than peers with lower SSI.”

Based on research conducted by LinkedIn, “78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media.” The research further states that “social selling leaders are 51% more likely to reach quota.”

The SSI is just one of the ways to measure the effectiveness of social selling.
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With more and more companies hiring marketing agencies to complement their in-house sales and marketing teams to perform specialty skills that their existing team is not equipped to do, it is easy to pass the accountability to the agency and feel you can back off.

However, a good marketing agency doesn’t just work for you, but with you. If you’ve hired a marketing agency and they don’t make an effort to get detailed information on your products, services, customers and history, then your collaboration is bound to fail. Here are three things that your agency should be asking you about your business:


  1. Your Goals

If you’ve given your marketing agency the vague response of wanting “more customers” as your company goal and they don’t press you to be more specific, they may treat your organization with similar ambiguity. They are likely to apply the same default marketing strategy on your business as they may have with their many other clients.

A good marketing agency will be a strategic partner. They should probe you about your organization, goals, customers and perspective. They will ask you about your past marketing tactics, including SEO, email, and inbound. A marketing agency that is eager to meet your needs will gather as much information about your current strategies and future goals to come up with a marketing plan tailored to your organization.

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The number of B2B companies adopting social selling methods is growing fast. In fact, according to Hubspot, 62.9% of sales professionals report that social selling has become important for closing new deals.

While sales teams still use traditional methods such as dialing for dollars, or building relationships on the golf course, chances are that someone on your team is already using social media platforms to generate revenue. Your high-performing competitors are already establishing social selling strategies.

A 2015 MHI Sales Best Practices Study states: “World-class sales performers are accelerating the progression of social selling from secret tool to mainstream sales competency in their organizations by establishing guidelines and standards for the use of social media in their organization. As skills improve, results will increase, and salespeople will win more.”

As your sales team incorporates social into their bag of sales tricks here are four ways marketing can help them succeed.

1. Develop Strong and Professional Online Profiles

Because social selling takes place on social platforms, the space that each of your team members creates should be one that is representative of your organization. Encourage them to maintain professional profiles on LinkedIn is where the greatest rewards are found. Complete profiles with professional profile photos and descriptions enhance their personal brands.
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