According to Hootsuite, social selling is the art of using social networks in finding, connecting, understanding and nurturing sales prospects online . It is a way to develop meaningful relationships with potential customers with your brand, so that you will be the first point of contact. It is, in simple terms, using online social tools to build relationships with customers. You are already engaged in basic social selling if you have a Fabebook business page, LinkedIn profile or a Twitter account.
To explain it further, we could identify acts that it is not about. It is not about bombarding strangers with unsolicited Tweets and private messages. This type of action is called spamming. And it is certainly not recommended. It is also not just gaining access to contacts. It is, however, about building and connecting for the right moment to join in the conversation and present your life easier.
Reasons why your business should care about social selling.
78% of salespeople who use social selling are outselling their peers who do not use it. This is just one of the reasons why your company should care about social selling.
It is a known fact that cold calling does not work. 90% percent of decision makers say that they do not respond to cold calls. Listening to conversations relevant to your industry, or through social listening, your company's sales team to find new leads that are talking about your business or interested in it. By social listening, you can reach out to these leads with useful information at the right time.
Based on a survey by CSO Insights and Seismic, one out of three B2B professionals said that social selling tools have increased the number of business leads. and contacts. 31% or B2B professionals say that social selling tools help them in building deeper relationships with clients. 87% or B2B buyers say that they have an impression on someone introuduced through their professional network.
Data from LinkedIn shows that sales professionals with a strong social selling index have 45% more selling opportunities and are 51% likely to hit their targets. Social selling index means a measure based on how well salespeople build their brand, engage with relevant content, focus on the right prospects, and build trusted relationships.
CEB found that customers are already 57% of the purchase process before they engage with a sales professional. IDC found that 75% of buyers and 84% of executives use information as part of the purchase process. Therefore, if you are not engaged in social selling your missing out on a lot of potential sales.
Research shows that 71% of all sales professionals, and 90% of top sales professionals, are already using social selling tools. 73% or millennial sales professionals use these tools and 63% say they are critical to their performance.
The point of social selling is to build relationships with clients.That is why it is best to seem more human, approachable and not less. Engage your customers, answeer their queries, build relationships and try to avoid automated liking and commenting tools. Nothing would beat a real live human when engaging with your customers.
Optimize your social media profiles on all networks. This will help in maximizing the impact of your social selling strategy.Tweak your profile to present your brand in the best possible light. Also, have a consistent tone and message on all networks.
Pay attention to what your customers are telling you on what they want and need.Watch out for pain points and requests for recommendations.
Provide valuable insight to the right prospects at the right time. Create content that share important knowledge, and how it can be applied. Mention your product in certain posts but do not make this a sales pitch.The main goal of social selling is establishing a relationship with the customer that will eventually lead to a sale.
Keep in touch with your new social contact. Help them out with issues that they are having if it does not promote your product. Try to make their lives easier. Being able to set yourself up as a go-to person in the industry.
50% or B2B buyers use LinkedIn in making purchasing decisions. To position yourself as a player in your decisions, you have to be active in the network.
Request for endorsements and recommendations from contacts. These can help in giving you instant credibility with new contacts. Focus on how you have helped other customers achieve their goals.
Use LinkedIn advanced search. This tool will help you uncover possible new connections using existing relationships on the network.
Join LinkedIn Groups. Join groups that are relevant to your industry and network with peers and prospects. Use the search feature on the LinkedIn homepage to find new Groups. You might also like LinkedIn's suggestions of Groups you may like.
This is the best way to reply to or like their tweets. However, it is suggested that you should only 'like' Tweets which you actually like and comment if you have something important to say. In order for your customers to know what businesses you are serving, make this list public.
Once you have identified prospects, keep them on a private list. Be present to help with questions for help or pain points which you should reply to with useful or helpful comments.
Keep this list private. Having intelligent information about competitors can help in generating ideas for your own social selling. Twitter chats could help you to establish yourself as an expert in your industry. It can also help in finding prospective clients.
If you want to start social selling on Facebook, you should consider creating a Facebook Business Page.
Reach out through likes, comments and shares of your online content. Useful comments and valuable content can be reciprocated and help your audience and professional network grow.
Be sure to respond to followers' posts. Ask questions to start conversations. This would also allow you to join the conversation and interact with followers. Include your product or service can help.
Hootsuite's social selling tool, Amplify for Selling helps in generating leads and building relationships that makes revenue using social media.