Using social media to sell to your market represents a practical and scalable way to enable your sales team to consistently sell. How do we know this? The numbers simply do not lie—90% of C-Level executives resist other types of cold outreach, 84% of B2B decision makers use online research to influence buying, 60-70% of the buying process is complete before a buyer calls a salesperson and finally: 72% of social sellers outperform their peers.
Where should an enterprise start when putting together a social selling program? It is tempting to think your sales teams can simply start to use social media and reap the benefits, but it just doesn’t work out that way. In fact, the biggest hindrance is not skills but time. A key characteristic of a social seller is that they are a ‘thought leader’ online. This means they regularly post content that educates buyers on changes and innovations in the industry. Social sellers also post about what is new at their company and how new products and services could help prospects with business challenges. Please note that content is the currency of being effective online. In fact, it is the single largest determining factor for success with selling using social media.
However, if you leave it to the sales teams to find content to share and post about you run into some massive inefficiencies. First, they each must take time out of the day find this content and make sure it fits the specific criteria for being a good a post. This is a huge effort. Even with content scraping tools, the keywords can get tricky. On top of that, the articles need to be vetted to ensure they do not mention competitors or technologies that are not compatible with the things they wish to sell. If only there was a group to help them! Right, there’s Marketing. While Marketing can assist here, finding a steady and constant stream of posts that will hold the interest of buyers is a tall order because curation of third-party articles will be necessary. Marketing resources are much better used for creating original content and finding scalable means to draw attention and hopefully leads to the brand.
This is where a social selling program comes in. Social selling helps sales and marketing at the same time by creating new channels for leads and conversations that include but are not exclusive to the brand messages. By enabling sales people on social media and helping them stay relevant, the goals of both sales and marketing can be met. By including the measurement of social’s reach and engagement level on social media, Marketing departments can begin to exploit the social media channel and understand the ROI of a social media vs other channels. By examining how social performs it is easy to create campaigns that include social selling and understand what it will cost and what results it will deliver.
This pragmatic approach is the basis of our 8X ROI From Social Selling Program webinar. Check it out and let me know what other questions you may have.