How to Utilize the Power of B2B Social Selling
Social Selling has become a hot topic that continues to buzz around blogs, discussion forums, social networks, and most likely you've heard a co-worker talking about it right in your office. But, how eaxctly are sellers using the power of social media to gain traction with sales opportunities and generate new sales leads?
Salespeople are discovering new ways to reach prospects. They are doing this through their own social networks by creating and sharing valuable content provided by the brand, which ultimately helps grow their personal brand and book of business as a seller. Growing your personal brand is not only beneficial to your company but it allows you to extend your offerings even further.
Today, in 140 characters or less you can sell a product, make connections, and build meaningful relationships. Seems simple right? But wait we’re not just talking about Twitter, brands are building their business through Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, etc... You must maintain your relationships by staying unique, discussing ideas, and becoming active in your industry. This is similar to Content Marketing, except you must become the social chorus of your brand and promote your content throughout the digital landscape.
Outlined below are a few steps to help get you started with Social Selling:
Step 1. Who are you trying to reach?
Just like marketing, salespeople should have a targeted audience that they are trying to reach. This is when you must start researching your target's online presence and how they interact online as social buyers. A study by ITSMA showcases The Rise of the B2B Social Buyer and supporting methodology. From these results, you can most likely see which category of business fits your target.
Step 2. Join a network
Once you've identified your target audience, it’s time to find out what social network would work best to connect with this audience. For example if you’re a B2B seller, Linkedin or Twitter might be a great place start. Linkedin offers you the ability to connect with like-minded professionals and is a more formal social networking website (without the cat videos). Make LinkedIn work for you by creating a great profile, presence, and connecting with others.
Twitter has become the online ‘word-of-mouth’. 140 characters allows you post quick snippets about events, offerings, topics, questions, and whatever else you might be eager to share. It’s also a great way to test your ‘elevator pitch’ by really getting the point across quickly and effectively. Another tip is to post frequently so your social reach can grow as you contribute to topics, interests, and essentially grow your follower base. Remember, you are ‘social selling’ so make sure that what you're offering is beneficial to both parties by leaving the hard sell till after you've established your credibility and authority.
Step 3. Interact
Hashtags are a great way to interact and discuss topics you might be interested in or your potential customer is. These hashtags can be used as keywords to help grow your presence; but do make sure you are actually contributing to the discussion rather than just adding noise. Here are some fabulous Twitter conversations you should be aware of: 10 Great Examples of B2B Twitter Chats
Step 4. Share
Content is the key to success on social media. If your company has a regularly updated blog or promotional material it is important that you become a part of the social chorus of your company. Therefore promoting the brand and yourself. By sharing this content you can again contribute to conversations, grow your presence, and benefit by interacting with the people you are targeting. Content marketing is meant to capture information about a prospect's interests or challenges by enticing them to download a free guide or tip sheet. This enables the consumer to seek out and find the information they are looking for, which results in them coming to us instead of the other way around. Who doesn't love a warm lead?
We hope you have enjoyed this post about Social Selling, follow us on Twitter for topics!
About Steve Bookbinder
Steve Bookbinder is the CEO and sales expert at DMTraining. He has delivered more than 5,000 workshops and speeches to clients all over the world and has trained, coached, and managed more than 50,000 salespeople and managers. Steve continuously refreshes his training content to reflect his latest first-hand observations of salespeople across industries and regions. Through him, participants in his workshops and coaching sessions learn the best practices of today’s most successful sellers and managers across industries. Steve understands that sales is a competitive game. To outperform competitors and our own personal best results, we need to out-prospect, out-qualify, out-present and out-negotiate everyone else, not merely know how to sell. Through his specialty programs in Pipeline Management, Personal Marketing, Great First Meetings, 2nd-level Questioning, Sales Negotiating, and Sales Coaching, Steve trains sales teams to master the skills they need to overcome the challenges they face in today’s world… and keep improving results year over year.