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Social selling is all about using social media to connect with prospects and provide them with value in an effort to ultimately sell your product or service.
It’s only logical to engage with your audience where they spend a lot of time. And for better results, you should reach them where they consume content on a daily basis: online.
Successful social selling is similar to lead nurturing in the way that you have to engage buyers on an ongoing basis. Fortunately, this effort pays off. According to a study, 78% of social sellers outsell their competitors who don’t recognize the power of using social media.
It’s easy to see why every business needs social selling strategies to achieve great results. And when you consider the fact that 90% of decision-makers claim they never respond to cold outreach, it’s clear that social selling really is the future.
If you don’t want your team to fail at social selling, keep reading. Below you will find essential tips for training your team to become experts at social selling.
Lead by Example
If you want social selling to work for your business, you must clearly define it to your team. They need to know social selling trends and how they will affect business.
You should give your team members some tips to help them get started. Share examples and results of your own social posts with the people you want to encourage. This can be done with the assistance of reflection models that offer a bridge between your past experience and future progress. For instance, you should show them a good example of your social post that got a lot of exposure, likes, shares, and comments.
Finally, make sure to give your team members opportunities to reiterate the power of social selling to each other. Celebrate small wins and give credit where credit is due.
Dedicate Clear Roles
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Every team works better when everyone onboard knows and understands their individual roles.
It is important for every member to know how exactly they contribute to the greater cause. From frontline sellers to team managers and high-level sales leaders, each member has to know what and how they are contributing if you want them to function as smoothly as a Swiss watch.
Bear in mind that frontline sellers play the most critical role in any sales organization since they have the most influence over what sales representatives sell, where they sell, who they sell to, and even how they sell.
Be sure to establish the roles within your sales teams with clearly-defined objectives so they can work effectively.
Give the Right Tools
Even though digital and social selling is not only about technology, you have to provide the right tools to your team members if you expect them to be effective.
Enable your team members with the right tools so they can connect with prospects at all stages of the buying journey.
LinkedIn is the most popular B2B social selling tool, but most consumer sales happen on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, which is the place customers most commonly engage with brands. Consider third-party tools like HootSuite and TweetDeck, which can help you and your teams manage and optimize social media use across all channels.
It’s important that all sellers have their social marketing and social selling strategies aligned to tell a consistent story about your products and brand, which allows for a greater degree of penetration using social channels.
Optimize Social Profiles
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When optimizing social profiles, start with your company’s accounts. Make sure you provide consistent information across LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other networks.
Include a link to your website, a short description of your company, your office address, and other relevant contact information, in addition to compelling photos and profile pictures that match your brand.
Once you are done optimizing your company profile, put together a framework for your salespeople to use when updating their own profiles.
Here are some key aspects to focus on:
- Profile picture. Professional photos are best, but any clear photo will do. Friendly faces make better connections, but be sure to avoid blurry pictures, group images, or inanimate objects.
- Headline. Some networks allow customizing your headline description of yourself. So, use some keywords that highlight your role and passion for the products, brand, or associated lifestyle.
- Bio. When writing your biography, try focusing on your audience and not on your accomplishments. In other words, you need to present yourself as a solver of their problems.
- Company. For instance, LinkedIn allows you to link to your company page. This is a great way to highlight your company’s presence further.
- Website. If you can, include a link to your personal online shop.
Finally, you should be aware of the fact that each social platform is different. So, keep in mind that you should optimize each profile according to the individual platform— each has its own algorithm for presenting content, image sizing structure, and post character limit.
Focus on Customer Journey
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You increase deal win rates when you align the customer’s journey with the sales approach. Win rates can be improved by 15% when sellers align their process with the customer journey.
Social selling allows sellers to engage with customers at all points of the customer journey, from the early stages of research all the way to the purchasing point.
To better understand the customer journey, consider using social listening tools like BuzzSumo or HootSuite to discover where people are in the lifecycle – from looking for recommendations on social media to stating an intention to buy a particular product.
Your team members should always keep the customer in mind when selling. The customers’ wants and needs need to be carefully considered if you want great results. Always remember that your job is to solve problems for customers, and your selling tactics should reflect that goal.
Insist on Collaboration
Studies have shown that the key challenges for aligning sales and marketing are:
- broken/flawed processes
- inconsistent use of metrics
- lack of accurate data on target customers
- reporting challenges
It is essential to break down the walls between salespeople and the marketing support they receive, encouraging collaboration from team to team and person to person.
At first, aligning sales and marketing can be challenging, but the benefits of telling a consistent story across all your channels are critical. If you manage, your teams will win more deals and keep customers returning for more.
To bridge the gap between the two teams, try to involve your sellers in the content creation process.
Share Relevant, Quality Content
If you want to connect with new people, you have to share relevant and quality content or risk actually losing followers— it’s also the best way to stay in front of your audience and position your salespeople and your company as the authorities of your industry.
Try to push educational content about your industry and other areas that might be relevant to your prospects.
Use the content your marketing department is creating to support your sales team. If your content isn’t aligned with your sales team’s needs, get together with your marketing department to align your goals and see if they can help support your content needs.
Remember not to be overly promotional. Find other people’s content that is useful and share it with your followers. Yes, sharing your company content is good, but don’t make your efforts should start with education rather than selling. Be sure to mix in content from other sources to build your credibility.
Finally, take advantage of visual content. Use high-quality images, record videos, and even create infographics to grab your audience’s attention.
Connect and Reach Out
Make sure to encourage your team members to find and connect to new contacts through social media.
Twitter and similar networks make this less awkward since most of the accounts are public. You can also search for relevant accounts to connect with through hashtags or keywords.
On LinkedIn, this process can be a bit more difficult. Especially if you don’t really know the person, you are trying to connect with. To make connecting easier, try joining relevant groups and commenting on posts.
Also, blog using the LinkedIn platform. This way, you will have a wider reach and become an industry authority if you manage to provide content that adds value.
Finally, connect with people who have engaged with your content or forum posts, or even those who just looked at your profile.
Make It a Long-term Commitment
It is fair to say that the success of all selling strategies ebb and flow. Don’t get discouraged and constantly try to reinvent the wheel; focus on a defined set of activities if you want long-term success.
A consistent strategy doesn’t mean your tactics can’t evolve based on new products, time of year, or things you learn along the way. Be sure to share new social selling tactics in regular team communications. This way, you will educate your team members about new trends, tricks, and tactics so that they can up their game.
Curate a list of content assets your team can share, whether blogs, ebooks, or even simple post templates. Ask your marketing department to update this list with new assets when they become available, and be sure to let your teams know when new content is ready.
Finally, use your messaging platforms and corporate social channels to announce new blog posts and exciting content that should be shared.
Now it’s time to get your sales team fully acclimated to social selling.
Be sure to share the strategies you develop with all the key stakeholders in your organizations so they can all be successful.
By empowering your salespeople at every level, you are increasing your chances of establishing a deep and long-lasting impact on your sales figures with their loyalty and that of their customers.