Social selling is a way for B2B sales to use social networks to make personal connections with buyers while they are in their research phase of searching for a solution. Numerous studies show that buyers spend as much as 57% of the buying process online researching BEFORE they ever talk with a vendor. In the past two years, buyers are not just researching via the internet but increasingly are using social networks for their research. An IDG Study shows that 86% of IT buyers use social media in their purchase decision process.
Social selling allows sales to use professional social networks like LinkedIn to
- Help buyers find you (not just your company) when are looking for a solution
- Find out what buyers thinking about, who they are talking to, what they are reading
- Leverage content to build trust and demonstrate expertise (we’ll talk more about using content in a later post)
- Build targeted lists of prospects who you already have strong connections with
How does Social Selling work with my current sales methodology?
Social selling will complement each stage of the buyer’s process, amplifying what you are already doing today to drive leads down your funnel. You still need to use appropriate consultative selling methods with clearly developed sales processes and stages. Social selling will backfire with old-school feature pushers and that’s why we reinforce good sales strategy. Social selling arms you with more tools to find, listen and engage while the prospect is in their research mode, saving you time and increasing the likelihood of that quality conversation.
Do you really mean no more cold calling on the phone?
We don’t want you to stop using the phone! What social selling will do is help you build a relationship that gets your prospect to agree to have that live conversation with you. We are turning cold calling into warm calls with buyers who already agreed to talk with you.
But I am already on LinkedIn. Isn’t that enough?
Today, using LinkedIn, your resume becomes your reputation plus your brand. A well crafted profile will attract buyers to you.