Social selling is a term that is being used more frequently, but what does it actually mean?
Social media has been around for quite a while now and will be well in to the future. Which platforms survive or evolve long term is always open to debate and will be ever changing as new social media platforms emerge.

Social selling has emerged due to the increased use of social media. Many people have realised the benefits of using social media in their marketing efforts, but very few have maximised the use of social media in their sales processes.

Elements of the sales process have always been social, or at least if selling ethically should have been (getting to know your customer, identifying their needs etc.). Social media means that your sales team can now connect with and provide your prospective clients with information about you and your company. They can also find out who the key individuals are within an organisation, what their problems are and how they connect with their own customers. long before they pick up the phone and talk to them. This means they can tailor their first conversation much more effectively.

A report by OgilvyOne a couple of years ago forecast that that being a sales person would radically change within 5 years. How right they were!

When used correctly social media can be a very effective sales tool, but it has to be used properly. Your sales team can’t just find prospective clients and start spamming them with sales messages.

Here are a few tips to help you start using social media effectively in your sales activities, especially if you’re selling business to business.

1. Identify the right audience
To be able to target your activities effectively, you need to know who your target audience is. What sector do they work in? What level of the business do they work in? Do you have restrictions on geographical area?

2. Identify where they are
If business to business it’s highly likely that LinkedIn or Google+ will be their social media of choice, but some are active on other platforms. Different sectors of your target audience may use different social media, so you may need to segment your efforts.

3. Identify content to publish
The aim of social selling is to provide your audience with relevant information that is useful to them. Find out what interests them or what problems they need to solve. It may even be that you need to know the problems of their customers. Once you’ve got that, work out a content plan that will give them what they want.

4. Check Out your Competitors
You won’t be the only sales team using social selling techniques. Look at what your competitors are doing and use it to your advantage. By keeping an eye on their social media you can pick up hints and tips about what’s going on in their world.

5. Build your reputation
Use you social media to build the reputation of your company and your staff by getting your happy customers to share their experiences publicly.

WSI eMarketing regularly run workshops and training programmes on social selling. If you want help training your sales team in the skills of social selling, contact us.

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2 Comments

  • Avatar
    robthomasuk

    I believe social selling, at least for the B2B world, is fast becoming not just a buzz word, but the most effective way of achieving “ethical” results for sales people.

    On the one hand, it’s more of an attraction strategy (in-bound marketing) on the other the most effective way of banishing “cold calling” to history! As for those sales people who are too impatient to wait for the in-bound enquiry, at least when they do pick up the phone, the recipient should know who you are, what you do and that you have a good reputation and so be ready to talk. That is, provided you’ve followed the 5 tips above 🙂

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