What is Social Selling?
Social selling is the practice of using a brand’s social media channels to connect with prospects, develop a connection with them, and engage with potential leads. Utilizing social selling can help professionals such as sales representatives successfully reach their sales targets. According to LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network on the internet, the four elements of social selling are:
- Establish your professional brand: Complete your social media profiles with the customer in mind. Become a thought-leader by publishing meaningful posts.
- Find the right people: Identify better prospects in less time using efficient search and research tools.
- Engage with insights: Discover and share conversation-worthy updates to create and grow relationships.
- Build relationships: Strengthen your network by connecting and establishing trust with decision makers.
Goodbye Outdated Sales Techniques, Hello Social Selling
The sales industry now relies on social selling as a key part of its sales practices. This shift began decades ago and has soon replaced outdated sales techniques, proven to be more successful.
Cold Calling Statistics
According to the HubSpot blog post Is Cold Calling Dead? 17 New Prospecting Strategies Salespeople Should Use, author Richard Stephens states that, typically, when someone mentions the sales industry, people instantly think about cold calling. However, The Harvard Business Review reported cold calling is ineffective 90% of the time, and more recent research shows that less than 2% of cold calls actually result in a meeting. Assuming a 0.3% appointment-booking rate and a 20% win rate, it would take 6,264 cold calls to make just four sales.
Social Selling Statistics
According to HubSpot, data shows that those who play the long game reap the rewards. For example, top-performing sales reps, who close deals 51% more than their peers, consider social networking platforms “very important” to their success. Additionally, social selling leaders create 45% more sales opportunities.
What does this actually look like, you might ask? For example, after marketing software company Eloqua adopted successful social selling practices, the company decreased its average sales cycle time by 20 days and boosted the rate of leads converting to opportunities by 25%.
So, say goodbye to cold calling and say hello to social selling! But now you may ask, where does one start?
Keep reading to check out Statusbrew’s top 10 best practices that you can follow to successfully utilize social selling.
Social Selling Checklist: Top 10 Best Practices
- Find Your Target Audience
- Follow & Connect With Your Prospects
- Join Relevant Groups & Communities
- Listen To Online Discussions
- Engage In Conversations
- Highlight Your Competitive Advantages
- Provide Relevant Content
- Post Regularly
- Be Present
- Use Social Media Analytics
How Can Social Selling Benefit a Sales Rep?
Social selling can be related to and seen as modern relationship-building. With social selling, sales reps can actively connect with potential customers using social media.
Social media can be a very useful tool in today’s world. It allows us to communicate on a different, and sometimes deeper level. Utilizing social networks gives sales representatives key context and information about a potential prospect that can be leveraged before the initial contact and selling. This can help the sales rep be the very first brand and professional that a prospect considers when they’re ready to make a purchase. Social selling allows sales reps to do this in a way that makes interactions meaningful, presenting themselves and their brand as professional, trustworthy, and willing to help.
Sales reps can then engage with their potential customers in a way that provides meaning and value, utilizing the key parts of social media:
- Answering open-ended questions,
- Responding to comments
- Sharing content throughout the buying process
Because there are so many social selling tools available today, listed below are The Pipeline’s Top 10 Social Selling Tools they recommend for your use.
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator: LinkedIn Sales Navigator taps into the power of LinkedIn’s 690M+ member network to help Sales professionals find and build relationships with prospects and customers through modern selling.
- Hootsuite: Hootsuite is an effective tool for keeping track of prospects’ online conversations about your industry and brand, helping one locate sales targets, and then engage with them through social media.
- ZoomInfo ReachOut: ReachOut, ZoomInfo’s Chrome extension, allows one to simplify their social prospecting process. Just install this plugin and get access to a prospect’s direct phone numbers and email addresses from ZoomInfo’s B2B database right when you view their LinkedIn profile.
- LinkedIn Social Selling Index: LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index works alongside the Sales Navigator tool and is essential to understand how effective one’s social selling strategy is and how to make improvements in lacking areas.
- Nimble: Nimble organizes your buyers and leads while also allowing you to keep track of your social media interactions with them.
- Reachable: Reachable allows you to leverage ones personal networks in order to learn more about prospects before reaching out to them. Just import your contacts into the app and Reachable will analyze them and look for potential connections. Sales representatives can also utilize the rest of their sales team’s personal contacts.
- Rfactr (Social Port): Rfactr Social Port’s platform allows sales reps to easily share content on social media and will boost both marketing and sales productivity, all while helping identify prospects.
- Awario: Awario allows one to engage with potential prospects while also featuring complex monitoring searches that are far more thorough that most other platforms.
- IFTTT: IFTTT allows sales reps to streamline their content from one platform to another quickly and easily.
- Bambu: Bambu Is a streamlined employee advocacy system where employees can see and share the latest content with ease.
Now, you can get started with Social Selling successfully!