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.