What is Social-Selling?
Social-selling is precisely as it sounds. It is a process of making the most out of your social network to reach out to the right prospects, nurture long-term relationships, and achieve sales goals.
In simple terms, social-selling is a process wherein your sales team uses social media by finding and engaging new prospects, answering their questions, responding to comments, and guiding them in their customer journey.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that social-selling is the new sales model that businesses needed. Rightly so because around half of the world’s population is active on social media, making social networks the go-to place to reach out to your target audiences.
The importance Of Social-Selling
Traditional sales and marketing techniques comprising cold calling and sales demos have slowly become less effective. The new era means utilizing social media networks to connect to potential leads, educate them on how your products can solve their problems, and gradually help them transition through our sales funnel.
Social-selling makes sense and is entirely in line with customer behavior. According to the State of B2B Procurement Study conducted by Accenture, 94% of B2B buyers research online before making a business purchase. Additionally, almost 55% conduct online research for making at least half of their purchases.
This brings us to the next section – what platforms do B2B customers use to conduct their research? One guess – social media. As reiterated by a study from IDC:
- 91% of B2B are active on social media
- 75% of B2B buyers are greatly influenced by social media
- 84% of senior executives use social media to support their buying decisions
These stats could make you conclude that the B2B industry has changed its approach. True, it has, and this is due to the change in the decision-makers. According to a study, 46% of decision-makers are between 18 and 34 years old, explaining the shift towards social media use.
On the flip side of the coin, sales reps also consider social-selling to be highly advantageous.
Top performing sales representatives who close 51% more deals than their peers revealed that social networking platforms are critical to their success.
Similar results are reported by sales teams that implement social-selling in their sales strategy. They admitted having 18% greater pipeline volume and 21% enhanced pipeline velocity than those who don’t.
The bottom line is clear – social-selling is essential, and LinkedIn is the right platform for connecting with professionals and helping them in their buying process. Eloqua, a marketing software company, decreased their average sales cycle time by 20 days by adopting social-selling practices along the same lines. This also boosted their rate of leads converting to opportunities by about 25%.
Are you convinced that social-selling is essential but unsure of how to get started? Read on the next section to find out.
Social-Selling On LinkedIn: How To Get Started
It is easier to get started with social-selling on LinkedIn. All you need to do is walk in the right direction. Here are some insights to help you out:
Optimize Your Social Media Profile
Your social media profile is essential, more so when you are social-selling. Naturally, target buyers will check out your profile before closing a deal. Make sure your profile is worth their time. Outdated and incomplete profiles are a big no.
Activate Social Listening Alerts
The best way to reach out to your target audiences is by listening to them. Activate Google alerts. You could also use social listening tools like Social Inbox by HubSpot to receive notifications every time your target customers trigger an event.
For instance, you can activate alerts every time someone experiences a problem that you can address. This way, you won’t miss any meaningful conversation and will be able to connect with your prospects on the go.
Join LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn groups are a great way to spread the word to like-minded people. All you need to do is check out your target customers’ profiles and identify the groups they are a member of. Follow suit. This will help you in two ways – you will be able to keep yourself updated with the latest buzz in the industry, and you will also be able to connect with prospects.
However, it is essential to add value to the group to get recognition. Do not sound too pushy and salesy as you would end up annoying group members this way.
Share Relevant Content
One of the best ways to catch eyes on social media is by sharing relevant content. This will help you build credibility and engagement. While we agree that creating content might not be an easy feat for you (it needs efforts and a comprehensive strategy), sharing content from other industry experts will do the job.
Share any interesting articles related to your industry or a recent study that could be a good conversation starter. Encourage users to comment, and share their views.
Keep An Eye On The Comments Section
Hunt for posts in your news feed with a high engagement rate. Reading the comments on such threads will provide you with an insider view of the industry. This will give you a better understanding of your prospects’ point of view.
You will also be able to understand what type of content gets the most traction. Further, it is also essential to respond to the comments on your posts. Address your prospects’ queries and don’t leave any opportunity to explain your product in detail.
Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile
Yes, we talked about this in the section above. This is why we are here with a dedicated team to help you optimize your LinkedIn profile because it matters. Here is a quick checklist to help you out.
- Does your profile have a profile picture?
If not, it is time to get one. According to LinkedIn, profiles with pictures enjoy a 40% InMail response rate.
- Does your profile have a headline?
Make sure your headline flaunts your mini value proposition. You can frame it based on these two questions: Who are your prospects, and how do you help them?
- Does your profile have a summary?
A simple summary of three paragraphs works the best. The first paragraph should explain your value proposition. The second should provide social proof on how you have been helpful to your customers. And the third paragraph should have a concise call to action.
- Does your experience section provide enough details?
Your experience section should be comprehensive. It should clearly explain how you have helped customers to improve their businesses.
Measuring Social-Selling Success
It is necessary to have a social-selling strategy; it is equally important to measure its success to determine if you are on the right track. You can make use of tools like Buzzsumo insights and Social-Selling Index by LinkedIn.
Social-Selling Index by LinkedIn scores your social-selling strategy on a scale of 0 to 100 based on your LinkedIn activities.
As you can see, social-selling is a trend in the industry that is here to stay. Please make the most out of it by connecting your target customers on LinkedIn. Be where they are, and you will be able to close more deals than your competitors do.
However, before going full steam ahead, make sure you have done your homework, have an optimized LinkedIn profile, and establish yourself as an industry leader. Implement social-selling in your sales strategy and enjoy up to a five-dollar return on every dollar invested. Want to learn more read our other articles How to use LinkedIn for sales leads and How to create a LinkedIn profile that stands out.
What are your views on this? What have you tried? Did it work? Let us know in the comments below.
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