Sales is a mature profession with age-old strategies that have withstood the test of time, many still effective in today’s sales landscape. While the need for companies to sell products will never fade away, industry trends and consumer behavior are constantly evolving. And so must your approach to sales.
Take a moment and reflect on your own company’s approach to social selling. Are you generating new leads, prospects, and clients from your social efforts and relationships?
Recent studies have shown that 78.6% of salespeople who use social media in their sales processes will outperform their colleagues. This information tells us that social selling works and it can also work for you.
Many companies are struggling to adopt practices that allow them to effectively implement social selling tactics. Organizations around the world are looking at social media 101 sessions, whitepapers, and eBooks to improve their team’s comfort levels.
Over the last few months, we’ve worked with many businesses trying to figure it out and make social selling real for their business. Some get it and some don’t. Yet, from looking closely at the ones who do get it and are finding early stage success, these four signs tend to be consistent across the board:
1. Arming The Team With The Right Research
Enable your sales team to achieve higher performance by giving them the knowledge and tools they needs to sell your product or service to the best of their ability.
Distributing information through your software, one on ones and regular team meetings in an effort to keep employees at the top of their game is key to success. It also gives you a chance to ensure that they’re armed with the information they need to sell your product and know which prospects are worth their time.
Companies that are effective with social selling take research a step further than meetings and discussions. In addition to traditional product knowledge and industry research, they incorporate social media, social selling best practices, relationship management, and consumer trends into the mix.
Sales teams that are armed with modern consumer data and a strong understanding of social behavior are better able to engage with prospects in social spaces, have high-quality content to distribute using social tools, and understand the effectiveness of a soft sales approach.
2. Adopting New Technologies
Companies that understand the best way to connect with prospects are inherently in a better position to succeed with social selling.
Adopting new technology is a critical factor in social selling. New technology can range from integrating a CRM tool with current software, using new social media platforms to engage with prospects, or arming your sales teams with smartphones, tablets and technology that enables them to improve their performance.
3. Collaborating On New Leads
Integrating a CRM system with existing sales software is an effective way to reduce silos within your sales team and give you better insights into your prospects and a comprehensive picture of your leads.
Instead of simply having a new lead come into the mix, it’s important to collaborate with your team and see what this lead is all about. Sure, you might have been the one who met this person at a conference, but you might not be the one who was invited to their bosses wedding four years ago. As such, it’s important to communicate with your team, or at least create a culture that encourages a sense of collaboration and communication.
Technology like ours allows businesses to unlock the power of their employee’s relationships. It allows teams to see who has stronger connections at different organizations and, ultimately, ensure that the best resource is on the job when it relates to turning a prospect into a client or customer.
4. Actively Using Social Media
Using social media in a meaningful way is a critical factor in connecting with prospects online. Social media is changing every day and users are adopting new tools at a rapid pace. Sales professionals with a solid understanding of their target market’s use of social tools and who adopt those tools to build connections and engage with prospects are closing more deals than their counterparts who don’t.
Social integration works. This infographic from Velocify demonstrates that 77% of B2C companies have acquired customers through Facebook. Facebook is a great space for business to consumer sales as it offers companies a unique targeted approach to advertising and consumer profiling.
LinkedIn is an effective platform form for business-to-business, and Twitter can be used for ongoing relationship building and consumer insights such as need identification.
We also see companies employing blogs, live chats, and public forums to generate leads. The key here is to first identify what your target market wants, build it, and spread the story so they can know how to get involved.
The sales landscape will continue to evolve as consumer behavior and expectations change, as technology advances, and as the sales industry grows. The most successful sales teams will be those who adapt and evolve with it.
We’d love to hear about some examples of companies that you know that are doing social selling right. Share your thoughts with us!