Category: Marketing Tips

Late

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.

2. Focus On The Right Prospects

Social selling allows you to search and connect with prospects more effectively than traditional methods. Through LinkedIn, over 76% of buyers feel ready to have a social media conversation and classifying prospects through established criteria such as role, function, and industry.

Sales reps who exceed quota on LinkedIn with their prospects 39% more than other sales professionals. And LinkedIn revealed that sales reps who viewed the profiles of at least ten people at each of their accounts were 69% more likely to exceed quota.

Salespeople should distinguish who the decision makers are who have purchasing power.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool to search and target the right prospects. Even at the 2nd degree, cold outreaches can be transformed into warm introductions by finding commonalities. 73% of B2B buyers prefer sales professionals who have been referred by someone they know.

3. Engage with Insights

Positioning yourself as an industry expert by sharing relevant industry content and commenting on prospect’s published content allows you to optimize your professional brand. Share meaningful and relevant resources so that you can become a trusted source.

Stay up-to-date on the latest news on your industry. Leave constructive comments on content published by your prospects so that you can engage in insightful discussions. Over 62% of B2B buyers respond to salespersons that connect with relevant insights and opportunities.

Nearly 64% of B2B buyers report that they appreciate hearing from a salesperson who provides knowledge or insight about their business. And you are 70% more likely to get an appointment or an unexpected sale if you are a member in LinkedIn Groups.

4. Build Trusted Relationships

Establish trust with prospects by sharing your perspectives and providing meaningful information that focuses on the problems the prospect faces within their business. Cover the needs of the prospect first without overselling.

Focus your attention on genuine interactions. Building relationships can take time and developing them is similar to how people connected with one another before social media. It was about engaging at appropriate times and providing relevant information and solutions to the prospect’s business pain points.

Do you plan to start leveraging social selling in your organization and feel you need more information on how to start? I’m Pam Swingley, founder of Savvy. Our marketing services help B2B technology companies succeed. We connect product marketers to customers for market validation. Fill sales pipelines with qualified leads. And, supercharge anemic social media accounts. Results are backed by decades of tech marketing success with Fortune 1000 companies (ADP and Oracle), startups, and mid-sized software firms. Say hello to savvy marketing.

www.savvyinternetmarketing.com.

SS2

 

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.

Klout Score

Klout Score analyzes the social graph response to content that is posted by an individual to quantify their social influence. The score is also based on a 1-100 ranking but differs from SSI as it looks across social networks for its measurement and impact rather than activity. It analyzes social gestures such as the individual’s following, retweets, likes, favorites, etc.

However, the Klout Score is often met with criticism for being more of a metric for influence rather than sales.

Revenue Attribution

Revenue Attribution is also a measurement of social selling effectiveness and is employed by some sales organizations such as ADP, CBIZ, and Prudential. The revenue attribution method is much more complex and links social selling to specific deals won. Tracking it requires manual data capture and customization of CRM systems to analyze sales data and interactions.

Which of the measurements of the effectiveness of social selling do you feel is most accurate?

We’d love to hear your thoughts. I’m Pam Swingley, founder of Savvy. Our marketing services help B2B technology companies succeed. We connect product marketers to customers for market validation. Fill sales pipelines with qualified leads. And, supercharge anemic social media accounts. Results are backed by decades of tech marketing success with Fortune 1000 companies (ADP and Oracle), startups, and mid-sized software firms. Say hello to savvy marketing.

www.savvyinternetmarketing.com

bREAKFAST

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.

 

  1. Your Brand and Buyers

If your marketing agency does not ask distinct questions about your brand and your buyers, then how can they differentiate your product from others in the same market? Here are some of the things a good agency or marketing consultant will ask about:

* Your buyers problems and how you address them.
* Your buyer persona, demographics, preferences, purchasing behavior.
* What makes your software unique from your competitors.
* How many customers you have, and how they feel about you.
* How you sell, the buying cycle, and who influences and decides.
* Product development status and roadmap.

 

  1. Your Marketing History

Mistakes of the past need not be repeated. Perhaps you may not want to be forthcoming with your agency regarding strategies that ended in failure, for whatever reason. However, without telling your marketing agency what campaigns did not work, you risk putting your marketing agency in a position of doubt.

Perhaps your company made an error in judgment in the past by posting plagiarized content, buying social media followers instead of building your follower base organically, or spamming your email list. Communicate this with your agency who will appreciate your honesty and can now make an informed decision on how to move forward in rebuilding your reputation, if that is the case.

A quality marketing agency will ask your about your metrics. Google Analytics, email campaign performance, and your sales to lead conversion rates will help them understand your business and provide you with greater value.

If your marketing agency does not ask you about these essential points when strategizing their marketing plan for you, consider it a red flag that they will give your brand minimal effort and will ultimately, fail you.

Transparency is key when working with a marketing agency and it is in your best interest to be open about your past marketing history which includes your ROI and monthly sales estimates. Knowing both your past failures and successes will be critical to the positive progress of your partnership with your marketing agency.


I’m Pam Swingley, founder of Savvy. I would love to hear your thoughts. Our marketing services help B2B technology companies succeed. We connect product marketers to customers for market validation. Fill sales pipelines with qualified leads. And, supercharge anemic social media accounts. Results are backed by decades of tech marketing success with Fortune 1000 companies (ADP and Oracle), startups, and mid-sized software firms. Say hello to savvy marketing.

www.savvyinternetmarketing.com.

SSelling

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.

2. Optimize Time Spent on Social Media

A little targeted social engagement goes a long way. The secret is to make sure the time spent on social media is quality time. Click bait articles can quickly suck up an entire morning. Facebook is designed to be addicting.

We all fall into the social media trap and our productivity suffers. Your professional sales team knows this. After all, for them, more than any of your other employees time really is money.

Your sales team doesn’t need to be disciplined in the use of social media, they need strategies on how to use it effectively. For example, tactics and tools that block ads, and limit time spent on certain social sites. It’s about discipline, which is really hard to do for the intellectually curious that have to read the latest industry news.

To free sales people to interact directly with prospects, there is a trend to outsource the management of executive’s social media accounts. Content and connection building can be done by savvy social marketers, freeing sales executives and management to focus on one-to-one meetings.

3. Engage in Meaningful One-to-One Interactions with Prospects

Interacting includes participating in social groups where your target market is. Start a conversation where you have the opportunity to express your expert opinions by providing high-value information. However, be mindful about sounding like you are marketing yourself or your brand as some social groups forbid this. It’s not about shouting out how great your technology is, but showing prospects how technology can solve challenges.

4. Develop Guidelines for Maintaining Meaningful Relationships

It’s easy to get caught up in all the social activity and lose track of your efforts. Guidelines help to keep your team on course.

● On LinkedIn, encourage your team to build lead lists with LinkedIn’s Advanced Search so that they stay focused on those that they can build the strongest connections. Because B2B sales include, on average, 5 people throughout the decision cycle, the sales team needs to build connections across the organization.
● Warm introductions should be followed up with personalized InMail.
● Insightful engagement that shows a deep understanding of a customer’s unique challenges builds global connections.
● Share relevant content that speaks to the pain points of your prospect’s organization.
● Monitor your prospects LinkedIn profiles to be up-to-date on their current job titles. Remain proactive and engage with them when you notice any changes or events like work anniversaries. Participate in the discussions they initiate and pay attention to when they make new connections.

Are you confident about adopting social selling into your organization? Do you need help in adopting social selling? We’d love to hear from you.


I’m Pam Swingley, founder of Savvy. Our marketing services help B2B technology companies succeed. We connect product marketers to customers for market validation. Fill sales pipelines with qualified leads. And, supercharge anemic social media accounts. Results are backed by decades of tech marketing success with Fortune 1000 companies (ADP and Oracle), startups, and mid-sized software firms. Say hello to savvy marketing.

www.savvyinternetmarketing.com.

top

 

As a B2B marketer, what are the key trends that you should be acting on in 2017? What techniques should you be focusing on to align your organization with the B2B sector and what are the latest technologies that you should be leveraging?

Here are the top strategies that B2B marketers should be focusing on based on past trends and industry research:

Influencer Marketing

Influence marketing has been around for a while, and it’s importance will grow in 2017 for B2B marketers.

According to a Linquia survey of 170 marketers revealed in the The State of Influencer Marketing 2017, “In 2016, 94% of marketers found influencer marketing to be effective. As a result, influencer marketing budgets are set to double in 2017.”

Influencer marketing has always been important for selling software. Once you have those first few happy clients, you have a story to tell. Genuine stories from “people like me” that cover the problem, evaluation, selection and ROI in a business environment are golden. Even better if your customer will speak with prospects on the phone, and offer a site visit. With marketing fluff saturating the Web, these influencer clients are more valuable than ever. In many ways, they are the future of your business. Take good care of them.

Continue Reading..

IMG_2600

As a marketer you know social media is important to your marketing mix, but doing social media well consistently is a challenge.

Often social media management is a task assigned to an in-house team with other responsibilities and it doesn’t get done well. Building a strong social media presence is incredibly time-consuming.

Social media marketing is now considered a specialty skill and not something that your current team may be equipped to do. It requires skills in audience development, search engine optimization, analytics and pattern recognition, content curation and other digital marketing tasks.

Your social media management is a task that can be easily handed-off to a specialist. Not only will it be cheaper, but you’ll experience much better results.

Here are seven social media marketing tasks it makes sense to outsource.

1. High-quality content

Growing your social media presence by curating and creating quality content takes time. While software companies are filled with employees that have product and market knowledge getting the information out of their heads and into the form of an article is challenging, especially week after week. And, keeping up with the latest news relevant to your customers can suck up an entire morning. In a fast-paced software company, the best social media intentions get pushed aside by the crisis of the day.

Continue Reading..

Skull

 

A product built through biased research will die a painful death from poor adoption.

Cognitive biases are among the imperfections that make us human, but they are bad news for product marketers. A bias, simply put, is an idea or prejudice that the respondent or the researcher brings to the research process and that can distort research findings.

Biases can affect all phases of customer development, from survey design to data collection and analysis. Unless the product marketer is aware of these biases and takes steps to reduce their impact, the results of customer discovery may become misleading.

Continue Reading..

linkedin

You’ve put in a lot of effort ensuring your LinkedIn profile is complete. You’ve got a professional looking profile photo, and you carefully constructed your summary to speak directly to your target industry. How do you now measure your LinkedIn success?

How many views does your profile receive daily? Weekly? These numbers matter. Your profile views are your way of gauging if your profile is making its rounds through your connections ensuring the exposure of your personal brand.

If you’d like to see an increase in the number of visits your profile receives, here are 5 easy tips to get your profile noticed:

1. Engage

Perhaps one of the biggest ways to get noticed is to start engaging. Take the time to appreciate the content that other people in your industry put out there by liking it or sharing it. Make an effort to write a comment that shows your read the article and have an informed opinion on the subject. Not only will you get noticed, but they will also identify you as someone who speaks their language. This is almost a guaranteed way to get a profile view.

2. Viewing othersContinue Reading..

pam

On a scale of 1 to 100, how do you think your social selling efforts measure up? How do you think you stack up against your industry peers and your network on LinkedIn?

Knowing your Social Selling Index (SSI) will allow you to see if you have been effectively using LinkedIn for your social selling efforts. Your SSI tells you how well you’ve been leveraging your social network to make the right connections, build trusted relationships, and ultimately reach your sales goals. Your SSI is calculated based on the following 4 variables:
• Establish your professional brand
• Find the right people
• Engage with insights
• Build relationships

If you want to give your SSI a much needed boost, then you will need to go deeper into the 4 determining components. The following 12 hacks will dramatically increase your SSI Score.

Establish your professional brandContinue Reading..

link2

Have you ever opened your LinkedIn and found a dozen connection requests that all said the exact same thing:

“I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

Admit it, as thrilled as you were that 12 new connections could potentially be qualified leads; you were also a bit underwhelmed by their lack of effort and creativity. If you don’t like receiving default messages, then you shouldn’t be sending them either.

If you think that it would take too long to customize each message you send on LinkedIn, you’re right. And that’s why we utilize templates. Templates allow you to add more character to your interactions while also saving you time. You can customize them as you go along but for most of these, very little personalization is needed.

Here are 4 templates you should be using when attempting to connect with prospects that show a little more personality and effort that will ensure you a connection:

1. The “let’s connect” template

Surely there is a better way to say, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”
You’ll be using this template a lot, and apart from your profile photo and headline, it’s really your best chance to make a great first impression.

Template:
NAME, Your name came up as someone I should connect to. Being from the same industry, I feel it would be worthwhile for us to make a connection and see how we can benefit each other in the future. Let’s explore the possibilities and connect.

2. The “thanks for accepting” templateContinue Reading..


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