The average day in the life of a sales professional is a far cry from what it was just a few years ago. This is due in no small part to the acceleration of sales exchanges – both B2B and B2C – on social media. Though building and maintaining professional relationships on social networks is no easy task, many sales professionals seem to do it rather well. So what’s their secret? Truth is, there is no secret. Just a few essential things that all sales teams should incorporate into their weekly routine…
1 – Consulting the Marketing Team
Consumers are now able to connect with sales professionals on social networks but, before they do so, they want to know that those people will teach them something – and not just the price of a product. Savvy social sellers must pull in prospects by sharing both company and third-party content. By collaborating with marketing teams on content creation and curation, they can be sure that their company is producing content that is tailored to the conversations they have with both prospects and clients.
2 – Researching…and Researching Some More
Faced with a large number of potential vendors, prospects are drawn to those who don’t just know their product inside out, but who can also provide knowledge and expertise about the industry in question, other products on the market, potential use cases, success stories, and so on. Social selling is therefore about researching as well as sharing; successful social sellers use social networks to stay up to date on industry developments, explore relevant topics, and follow competitors’ activity.
3 – Being Reactive
The sales funnel is made up of numerous touch points. So regardless of the quality of content, if it’s not used at the right moment, it risks falling on deaf ears. Whether it’s educating and inspiring new prospects, providing in-depth content for those who have shown interest, or using case studies and testimonials to seal the deal, social sellers must be able to react to every stage of the sales funnel.
4 – Communicating about Personal Interests
Key to successful social selling is finding ways to stand out amongst a sea of professionals looking to get their voice heard. But social media users (even the big, scary B2B executives) want to connect with people to whom they can relate. With this in mind, social sellers shouldn’t be afraid to let their personality come to the fore. This means communicating about their work, but not exclusively; a profile that reflects both professional expertise and personal interests gives audiences an insight into the person behind the posts.
See also: Branding Just Got Personal
5 – Using Tools to Evaluate Performance
The question now is: how do you know if you’re on your way to social selling stardom? This is where tools come in very handy. Last year, for example, LinkedIn made its Social Selling Index (SSI) available to all users. By giving users a score out of 100, the SSI shows sales professionals how they are performing in four key areas: establishing a professional brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights and building relationships.
Another popular tool is Klout Score, a number between 1 and 100 that represents users’ social media influence. Klout Scores update daily and are determined by a combination of attributes, most notably the ratio between the amount of content users share and the number of reactions they generate.
Then, of course, there are employee advocacy platforms, which help social sellers in many ways. One such platform is Sociabble, which allows companies to aggregate a mixture of brand, third-party and user-generated content, and to organize it onto channels that are themed according to product line, location, specific user groups or any other criteria. The platform also provides a user dashboard, allowing sales professionals to track the impact their sharing activity has among end user audiences, and thus to optimize their social selling activity. To find out more about how Sociabble can help your sales teams, contact us.