“Within 5 years, doing social selling will be as normal as sending an email,” says the founder of Sales4life, Jamie Shanks, a specialist in social selling in the United States. Suffice to say, it’s time you started! Why? Simply because it’s possible since decision-makers are now (almost) all on social networks. Social selling lets you generate qualified leads, thereby reinforcing your business! It’s time to take a look at what social selling is and the opportunities it can create.
Here’s an overview of social selling:
Social selling defined
Social selling is a basic trend, especially in B2B. Companies have gradually made this technique a part of their organizations, and it has become part of their selling habits. Jobs have even been created in some companies in order to exclusively promote social selling!
What social selling is not!
Social selling doesn’t mean slashing prices over social networks. It’s not selling over these networks, but rather exploiting their power. It entails interacting, dialoguing, and sharing content with high added value. This does not mean just writing advertisements: in the previous sentence, the keyword is “high added value”!
By the way, here’s a reminder:
social selling is the complete and full cooperation between the marketing team and sales reps!
Three types of sales can be done with social selling:
- Sales through recommendation. Use the network, and like a ricochet effect, the network of your network to generate additional sales
- Sales by revelation. The quality of content is so adapted to the lead that a need is created. This is also called “insight selling.”
- Sales by triggering. Sales reps will gain a strong business signal that will allow them to contact a lead and have a favorable context to engage in the conversation.
Social selling means gaining information to sell better
Social selling in itself is not new; the internet has just facilitated its use. With social networks, you can very easily share content, engage users, identify brands or partners, and so on. This all used to be done with newspapers, with mixed success! The difference here is that social networks have helped to increase the size of the target while reducing the scope. Tools have even been created to gather a maximum number of signals.
So, how do you gather information and reuse it in social selling? There are three imperatives to follow:
- First of all, be active: regular posts encourage engagement
- Then, stand out: you’ll need to be able to offer personalized and contextualized approaches
- Finally, be authentic: social networks are human beings. People are talking, not companies.
The objective of social selling is simple: humanize and personalize customer relations in order to be as far removed as possible from corporate communication.
The 3 keys for successful social selling
Which is the right method for a successful social selling strategy? The answer is the “3 Ps”: Profile, Process, and Patience.
Sales reps need to market their profile and create personal branding. The idea here is to put up a quality image on social networks: a clear and well-written description, an attractive profile photo, references, etc. Detailed profiles make all the difference in social selling. They help leads to clearly identify the expertise and the value proposition of their contact person. Unconsciously or not, leads will get more of an impression that they are speaking with an adviser rather than a sales rep.
Being present and active on social networks is a long-term job. Each of you needs to create your routine. In a busy working day, social selling actions should be among your methods and processes that are meticulously followed: engaging with new contacts, creating interest, sharing content, commenting on new events, etc.
A credible and effective presence on social networks is not created immediately. You need to constantly adjust your strategy, develop a relationship of confidence with your contact, and provide them with adapted, high-quality content (nurturing). In terms of numbers, 74% of purchase trust the first sales rep who have given them value!
“You need to start social selling now, or else you’ll fall behind,” warns Jamie Shanks. It is a very effective sales technique, as long as you accept that you’ll need to spend time on it beforehand and properly understand its challenges. You’ll need to constantly search for new contacts without forgetting to provide them with content with high added value. The perfect combination is social selling along with warm-calling. The result is that you’ll no longer have to wait for leads to come to the sales reps following a 100% inbound logic, but you’ll be finding them and engaging with them about quality content and in a contextualized approach in order to generate additional sales!
Check out our Ebook “How to succeed in your social selling strategy” and start generating leads through social networks.