That’s all we talk about. Social selling is THE trend in B2B strategy. But internally, questions always come up. Should we create a LinkedIn profile just to become a wiz at social selling?
If having a social media presence is essential, then it must be optimized. In terms of marketing, we put everything on content and personal branding, an inbound logic that, when it is well established, naturally attracts prospective customers. With sales, outbound logic is favored: The sales representative directly engages their prospective customers using sales intelligence solutions, thus accelerating the use of social selling.
Marketing and sales teams must work together to implement these solutions.
Social selling: the sales tool for tomorrow’s sales representative
Some sales representatives are still reluctant to get into social selling. Why? Because it’s often seen as a long and tedious task for mini-marketers… But who said it’s their job to create content? Don’t mix everything together! If the sales representative must be active on social media, they’re expected to post the content created by the marketing team. Their role, then, is to share, comment, interact, etc.
The marketer creates the content, and the sales representative uses it in the right place at the right time. However, this requires them to adopt sales intelligence solutions.
Big data is a gold mine for the B2B market… as long as you know how to use it!
Sales intelligence guides sales representatives through the prospecting process step by step: target good leads and get to know them before making contact, pick up on weak purchasing signals, identify levers of influence, anticipate the competition, release the channel decisions, etc. Social selling uses big data to tell us when and how to approach a potential customer, thus maximizing our chances of success.
Sales, marketing, and sales enablement: an effective trio!
The silo organization has become obsolete.
For a social selling strategy to work, the entire team must be brought together: sales, marketing, and sales enablement. With these “three amigos,” marketing and sales overlap to optimize their performances toward a common goal: Deliver value to your contacts at every stage of the sales cycle, from lead generation to closing.
The sales department targets prospective customers and conveys key information to the marketing department, which can then create content adapted for sales development. The idea of sales enablement is the keystone of this partnership. These days, the customer themselves plays a big role in the purchasing process, without the sales representative contacting them (information collected from websites, blogs, social media, etc.). The goal of social selling is simple: Pick up on cues given by the prospective customer to encourage them to take the last few steps toward closing.
In social selling, marketing uses value-added content to meet the expectations of prospective customers and slowly pushes them toward making a purchase. We also talk about lead nurturing, a strategy that accelerates people’s decision-making. The sales representative must also use this content cleverly and relevantly to contextualize the customer approach and show their expertise (warm calling method).
For a social selling strategy to work, the entire team must be brought together: sales, marketing, and sales enablement.
Make your employees ambassadors
To achieve this alignment between the marketing and sales teams, sales representatives must not only post content on social media networks (social media marketing) but also engage in professional branding: Every sales representative will become a brand ambassador (employee advocacy method).
Because leads and prospective customers would rather follow people than companies on social media, employing a social selling strategy on professional social networks contextualizes marketing content and makes it more visible and relevant. It’s a winning ticket for companies that become more attractive and trustworthy.
Define your editorial policy
Defining a clear editorial policy among employees is paramount to having homogeneous discourse across various social media networks. It is standard for managers themselves to develop their social media presence to set an example.
If before, the marketing team generated leads and the sales team contacted the customer, purchasing conduct in B2B now tends to blur those lines. The way to a sale is no longer linear and involves more and more people in the purchasing process. Through intelligent, targeted actions (events, advertising campaigns, reports, etc.) social selling is a key tool in the stage preceding a purchase, accelerating decision-making and closing.
In an effective B2B strategy, marketing and sales have every reason to work together by combining their skills toward a common goal: bringing value to their prospective customers. Nowadays, there are B2B sales intelligence solutions that accelerate social selling.
Check out our Ebook “How to succeed in your social selling strategy” and start generating leads through social networks.