It wasn’t that long ago when the only ways to generate a new sales lead were to speak to prospects on the phone or book face-to-face meetings to discuss your products and services.
However, for today’s sales professional, that’s no longer the case.
Technology and the internet have vastly changed the way in which we do business now. Today, you can generate sales leads from a range of ways online – whether via your website, by sending emails, hosting digital events or on social media.
Sales teams that aren’t used to using social media as part of their regular routine may struggle to utilise it effectively. There are ways in which you can fill your pipelines more easily, increase your win rates and engage with your audience better using social selling.
What social selling is and its power
Social selling is all about building connections with your prospects and leads before they buy your product or service.
It’s about providing meaningful resources that let them know they can come to you for anything – whether that’s information on your products, details on industry trends or other pieces of knowledge that they will find useful.
Social sellers attract 45% more opportunities than non-social peers and outsell them 78% of the time. Why is that?
It helps to provide a more personalised experience
People spend more time than ever before on social media, making it the perfect tool to gain a clearer understanding of a target sales audience.
It provides insight into the audience and its needs, making it easier for sales teams to connect the dots and deliver a more tailored and customised experience to prospects and leads.
This customised experience is so valuable to buyers that 64% of B2B decision-makers say they would not engage with sales if the communication was not personalised.
It increases engagement with prospects and leads
Incorporating social media helps sales professionals:
- Connect with the right prospects at the right time
- Build stronger relationships with customers
- To establish a stronger professional brand with them
It’s a great way of making sure you are putting in the right amount of time and resources you’re your ideal customer base. Give them something they’ve not read about before and provide valuable insights that they can also offer to their own audience.
Information such as job changes, promotions and news mentions all create organic ways for them to connect with prospects and leads without it feeling like they are ‘selling’.
It increases lead generation and close rates
Keeping a sales pipeline full can be a challenge for any organisation, but ones that use social media do it regularly. A total of 65% of salespeople who use social media fill their pipelines more often which can lead to an increase in win rates and deal size by 5% and 35% respectively.
Activating your sales team on social media
Convinced that social selling will work for your sales team? Here are 5 ways to get them started on social media so they can crank up their selling efforts.
- Optimise their social profiles
Ensure that everyone’s profiles are updated with new pictures, their company information and anything else you think is relevant for your company.
- Find the right channels
Check out the profiles of your customers and prospects. See what social media channel they’re using (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram etc) and get coverage on those channels. You don’t need every salesperson to join all of the channels, but make sure you’ve got at least one per channel, per account.
It’s also a good idea to join industry groups, associations or sites so your team can stay updated on the challenges your buyers deal with.
- Set up social listening alerts
Use Google Alerts or other social listening tools to set up notifications about your prospects and leads.
For example, get notified when a specific prospect mentions a problem they’re having on Twitter, when a lead publishes a press release about a new deal or when a contact changes jobs. This way you’ll be able to comment on the update quickly and stay on their radar.
- Subscribe to industry and professional blogs
To find helpful content to share, you’ll need to start reading more. Find out what content your audience is talking about and then subscribe to the same blogs and sites through email or an RSS reader.
- Create your own social media content
While most sales teams will simply share any marketing or sales content their brand produces, encourage them to write their own updates and then point to the content.
Sharing the content is fine through retweets, re-pins and so on, but to deepen the relationship with their audience, they should also add their own words.
Social media is fast becoming the go-to channel for top salespeople to find new prospects and reach their sales targets. It’s become an essential part of any sales strategy, so it’s time to get your sales team on social media too.
To find out more about how it can work for your brand and to help your sales teams, download our social selling tips guide.