Why B2B Sales Leaders Need Social Selling In 2019
Even if you've never used the term, you’re probably engaging with social selling every day. Using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or any other social media to increase your business efforts and engage with customers is very much the basic underpinning of social selling.
But what is social selling?
Hubspot defines the concept as when salespeople use social media to interact with prospects and provide value through answering questions and offering thoughtful content. By doing this, your company is at the forefront of prospects minds for when they begin progressing through the buyers journey. The concept also marks a shift from intrusive, cold marketing methods to a customer-centric approach for b2b sales.
The way we do business may have changed dramatically in recent years but one thing has always stayed the same: relationships are the foundations on which we build. Once a buzzword; social selling has become a core element of everyone’s marketing strategy - or at least it should be.
This customer-focused approach is often mixed up with content marketing. Although the two are very different, content marketing does aid social as you should aim to share and produce informative and engaging content for prospects to interact with and share. Doing this helps develop brand awareness and reach while increasing your chances of being top-of-mind later on.
Show me some numbers.
According to LinkedIn, 76% of buyers are ready to have a social media conversation with potential providers, and more than 62% of B2B buyers respond to salespeople who connect with them to share relevant insights and opportunities.
And if those stats we not impressive enough, 92% of B2B buyers are willing to engage with a salesperson who is known for industry thought leadership. You can establish a reputation list this by deploying social selling and inbound marketing strategies, which include consistently posting thoughtful, relevant content on social.
Today’s buyers are savvy and selective, building a strong professional brand will ensure you’re on their list of trusted businesses. Be an active participant in your industry, answer questions, ask questions. This leads to more interaction with prospects and maybe, more leads.
So do I start relationships with?
Don’t just engage with anyone; use social media’s native search tools to narrow down your network and identify prospects that meet your customer criteria. Using LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator, for example, you can filter results by everything from common interests to how long the user has been in their role.
By sharing great content, targeting customers and building both personal and professional accounts, your sales strategy offers a greater value proposition to customers which will see increased return on investment (even if that investment is merely time…) and capture more leads.
But quite simply, it is all about building and maintaining meaningful relationships with the long-term goal of converting your network into loyal customers, instead of relying on traditional methods like cold outreach or business cards.
The fact you already have official accounts across different social networks without even ramping up efforts reinforces the need for a strategy. You’re already there, so are your competitors and so are your customers and prospects.
After establishing a strong network, it’s time to focus on growth. Connect with your connection’s connections and widen your outreach. Engage with them. Share some more content. And, repeat.