16 Feb 2019

Social Selling best practices & it’s importance

What is Social Selling?

The fundamentals of sales remain the same, though the technique of doing so has changed with social channels.

Social selling is when salespeople use social media to interact directly with their prospects. It’s about leveraging your social network to find the right prospects, build trusted relationships and achieve your sales goals. Social Selling helps you to remain relevant by creating and maintaining relationships. However, it certainly does not mean bombarding prospects with unsolicited tweets or private messages. That’s called ‘Spam’ and you shouldn’t do it!

It’s important to strategically listen, reach out to the prospects at the right moment to join the conversation and address their problems by providing a solution. Social Selling technique enables better sales, lead generation and eliminates the need for cold calling. Thus, the use of social media in sales allows salespeople to delight their prospects rather than interrupt their daily lives with cold calls and hard sells, eventually converting them into loyal customers.

Social Selling means ‘officially’ increasing salesforce effectiveness by modernizing social media habits, empowering people with tools to succeed in today’s environment. Really though, creating conversations producing sales – Gary Goldhammer

In the socially connected world,78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media. Isn’t that a reason enough to understand the importance of Social Selling?

And needless to say, it thrives on relationship building and trust.

Relationships are rational AND emotional. While technology has changed a lot, we still make decisions on an emotional level. – Gary Goldhammer

Often people confuse Social Selling with Social Media Marketing but the key difference between the two can be explained in two words i.e. ‘revenue generation’. This difference can be compared to that of sales Vs marketing. While sales drives revenue, marketing drives awareness.

Social Selling is a personal, one-on-one approach of building long-term value, relationship and buyer retention to achieve sales goals. Whereas social media marketing is about paid targeting, driving traction and awareness.

To determine the ROI of Social Selling, salesforce feedback and Social performance are important indicators. But Increased sales, buyer retention and employee satisfaction are the best long-term indicators. – Gary Goldhammer

Social Selling Best Practices

Be Human. Not a Robot: You might get tempted to automate responses to address comments, queries, concerns on social media but that doesn’t help build a rapport. Of course, depending on the volume of conversations it’s a good idea to have a chatbot for marketing and customer service initiatives. Though, nothing beats a real human conversation. So while you use technology to your advantage, don’t forget to add the human touch!

#1 best practice is to be a real person first, a “salesperson” second. Authenticity gets thrown around a lot, but it’s real and essential – Gary Goldhammer

Strategic listening to identify leads: Social listening tools like Sysomos, Meltwater, Crimson Hexagon come in handy to identify what your customers and prospects want. Once you have identified the people and conversations, it’s a good idea to reach out to them with a personalized note.

I’d like to highlight a personal example of Social Selling where the ‘Customer Success Officer‘ at GetSocial.io added his two cents on a blog I’d written on ‘Dark Social’ and subtly informed about the GetSocial.io services. Needless to say, I connected with his team to understand their tool and while I didn’t have an immediate requirement at that time, I still remember the brand despite our conversation being two years old!The chances of converting this into a lead are much higher compared to other brands.

Provide value: According to Hubspot, 74% of B2B buyers conduct more than half of their research online before making a purchase decision or contacting a salesperson.Therefore, brands have a great opportunity to create new content based on what people are already searching for. Provide valuable and unique insights to the right prospects at the right time and don’t share any information unless you have something worthwhile to say. Remember, the goal of Social Selling is to build a relationship first, not sale first!

Build meaningful & trusted relationships: Stay in touch with your old and new contacts. Keep a track of their posts/updates and initiate a conversation from time to time. Focus on how you can help make their life easier by providing value and being human. This isn’t a one-time activity and you need to keep at it to build meaningful and trusted relationships.

Embrace Social Selling and watch your sales grow or ignore it and get left behind. It’s that simple!

Are you ready to invest in Social Selling?



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