MARKETING EDUCATION

Social Selling: A Sales Reps Guide to Social Media Success

WRITTEN BY JACK BARRON | OCT 15, 2020 | 9 MIN

Who’s not on social media? Most of us will check our accounts multiple times a day. So why are more people not using it to leverage more sales for their business? Around two-thirds of sales professionals are not using social media as part of their selling process. On the flip side of this those that are, sell more and reach their targets faster. If you’re not using your business’s social media accounts to help generate leads and ultimately sell more products, you’re missing out. 

As a sales management professional, you’ll no doubt be constantly looking to see how you can improve and optimise your lead gathering processes. Making sure you are correctly utilising your accounts should be at the top of your list. You may be unfamiliar with the idea of social selling. This guide should help you to get to grips with what it is, how it can help you, and how to do it successfully. 

What is Social Selling?

Social selling is the process of using your social network to find prospective clients and build genuine relationships. More than this, it is about providing value to prospects in the content you produce and share. The goal? Turning your network into leads.  

Social media is an integral part of any marketing strategy. It almost eliminates the need for traditional tactics like cold calling as you’re already connected with a network of people familiar with who you are and what you do. For social selling to be successful, your account should showcase your products and your brand. Customers should be able to find you, recognise you, and help you to build up a following of people.

What Are The Benefits Of Social Selling?

  1. An increased number of leads. There are so many opportunities hidden in your social media network. With billions of people worldwide being on social media, you have a pool of leads at your fingertips. Not only do you have an increased number of leads, you have a better lead pool of high-quality leads. This will be because of the time and effort you have spent nurturing potential customers in your network to a point at which they know who you are and trust you.
  2. A deeper relationship with clients. If you are looking for a quick win, social selling isn’t it. You need to think of this as more of an opportunity to engage with your potential customers and use your position to help solve their problems. It’s important to want to put in the time to do this, as there is never a guaranteed success.
  3. Improved lead conversion rates. Top-performing sales reps who use social media in their strategy close more deals than their peers. In fact, 78% of salespeople perform better than those who don’t use social selling.
  4. Shorter sales cycles. Marketing software company Eloqua reported decreasing their average sales cycle time by 20 days when they adopted social selling practices. This means less time spent making each sale, and the potential to make more sales than ever before.
  5. An increased number of referrals. Social selling makes it easier for sales reps to get referrals within their LinkedIn networks. With 82% of sales leaders saying referrals are the key to sales success, this is incredibly useful.

How Can Social Selling Make You More Sales?

If you’re unsure of where to start when it comes to using your social networks for selling, you’re not alone. It can feel like a new and foreign way of doing things. Simplifying things, it is really about making and building relationships.

Here are some tips to help you get started.

  1. Be Active Where Your Customers Are 

With so many different social media platforms, there is a desire to be everywhere all at the same time. Ultimately this can lead to overwhelm and an inconsistent approach. Instead, it is more useful and important to show up where your customers are. This is the place you can add the most value and is the key to social selling success.  For example, in B2B sales LinkedIn is likely to be the best place to generate leads being rated the number 1 trusted social media platform. Additionally, on Twitter, it was found that brands received a positive response more than 60% of the time when answering Tweets asking, “can anyone recommend?”

  1. Connect With Potential Customers 

LinkedIn groups offer a wealth of opportunities for finding potential customers. You can find groups by searching your area of expertise. Your aim is, as always, to participate in these groups by adding as much value as you can and catching the attention of these prospects.Sometimes, the best thing you can do in these groups is to simply listen. You can then respond in time with helpful information. One of the great things about LinkedIn is that it tells you when someone has viewed your profile. If someone moves over to check out your profile following something you’ve said in the group, why not invite them to connect with you? Use this invitation as an opportunity to start the conversation.

  1. Add Value With The Content You Share 

With so many people and businesses turning to social media to help them make decisions on products and services, the content you create (and share) is important. What content potential customers are looking for will be evident to you from the time you have spent engaging with them. What you choose to share, and how much, will be a decision for you based on what you think is proportionate and helpful. Don’t be afraid of sharing a mixture of both your content and that of other businesses in your area. It will help your connections feel you have a genuine desire to help them which is the key to social selling.  

Social Selling: Conclusion

Social selling is the future of sales. If you’re not utilising it in your marketing and sales strategies, you run the risk of being left behind in the race against your competitors. While it might be unfamiliar, it consists of simply doing what you do best: talking to customers and showing them why they should buy from you. It is a great opportunity to engage with potential customers in a way that has no pressure and to feel like you are genuinely helping them with a need that they have.  

After all, isn’t that what sales is all about? 

JB
Jack Barron, Director

Jack is passionate about marketing and helping small to medium-sized businesses thrive. As Director of Invoke Media, he is responsible for overseeing the planning and implementation of every campaign, getting stuck into the execution of successful at every opportunity.

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