5 Tips For Creating A Social Selling Strategy
The times are changing fast. Social selling has grown in popularity.
According to CSO Insights 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study, 43.1% of respondents felt their social selling training needed improvement. Additionally, 30.4% agreed social selling training required significant redesign; more than any other training process.
What is social selling?
Social selling is the process of using social media platforms to build a network of current and prospective customers. It helps find, connect with, understand, and nurture prospective customers (leads) within the social media ecosystem. The idea is to establish the business as a trusted advisor, such that whenever the leads are ready to purchase, they turn to you.
Salespeople use social media to provide value to prospects by answering open-ended questions, responding to comments and sharing content throughout the buying process – from awareness to consideration until a prospect is ready to buy.
The numbers are in favor of using social media. Accenture’s State of B2B Procurement Study finds that 94% of B2B buyers conduct some degree of research online before making a business purchase, with 55% conducting online research for at least half of their purchases.
Steps to implement your social selling strategy
A social media marketing strategy guides what you have planned to do, how it has to be done, where to do it from when to get it done, whom to do it for, why you intend to do it, and how it will come accomplishment. A social media marketing strategy guides your procedures, what is being achieved, what is not being achieved and helps you measure and monitor your performance.
1. Define your goals
Increased social selling activities should lead to an increase in:
Converting conversations to opportunity.
What is an execution without an objective behind it? A plan without clearly defined sales objectives is like investing in a business without any aim. By establishing clear goals, you are explaining what success will look like in the most straightforward terms while also giving your sales team targets to follow. This includes how the goal will be measured, attainable; this looks at the possibility of achieving the goal, realistic. It looks at whether the goal is real and whether it has been assigned to the right people and is time-bound. Finally, it looks at the deadline on which the goal will be achieved. This is one of the basics of a transparent sales plan.
2. Create your buyer persona
Knowing your target market and the audience is very crucial for your business. To know your business, you might need to have a buyer persona in place; this helps you know your target audience, what kind of things they like, where they are, and their preferences. Additionally, your buyer persona should include; demographic information about your supporters or purchasers. This information includes; age, gender, income, what they do and any other thing you would like to know about your customers. Finally, you can ask your audience what drives them and the problems your product or service can address concerning the above.
3. Choose your most relevant social media channel
There are several social media channels, with each commanding a specific kind of content and following. Therefore, it is essential to keep in mind the target demography and the look and feel of the platform.
The sites are different in one way or another. For example, Instagram and Pinterest are a lot more visual in their nature than LinkedIn or Twitter. On the other hand, Twitter is optimized for a short series of conversations and Facebook for mixed browsing between text, images, and video content.
4. Provide valuable content
People in sales are the ones who are involved in groundwork, and so they know the customer’s preferences and interests; thus, it would make sense to advertise or market something in line with what customers want to hear or see as contrary to something that would sound new into their ears. In addition, it becomes easy for the salesmen if the target customer already has prior knowledge about it, which would be easing their work.
Marketing content is what draws customers and potential buyers. It acts as the first point of contact long before a salesperson steps in. But, it is not only used by the marketing department. Salespeople utilize the marketing content as they go about their business. Therefore, marketing content should first be evaluated before it is put out, and these are some of the areas that should be given a core focus.
What content is available?
What content should be used for marketing?
Who should use this content first?
Where should this content be used?
Why is this content preferred over the other?
Will this content give us the best we expect out of it?
Finally, is there anything left untouched?
Both teams should evaluate to ensure there is no contradicting information. Some studies have found out that sales teams, at times, create their information, and honestly, this would impact your performance on the market.
Today, 60-70% of the content in B2B organizations is not being used. So this is an excellent opportunity to get sales and marketing teams aligned.
5. Listen carefully to identify leads
Sales Prospecting is the process of sourcing and identifying new leads or clients to begin working through the sales process. Sales prospecting aims to move these people, or prospects, through the sales funnel until they eventually convert into purchasers, i.e., revenue-generating customers.
When new leads enter the sales funnel (a flow of prospects through a sale), they come into contact with the product for the first time. Those who demonstrate their interest and willingness to move toward the next pipeline stages are known as prospects.
Leads and prospects are so different here. However, looking at the sales funnel brings the two together.
Research: This will help you determine the quality of the lead. You can use CRM tools to keep track of the potential of customers.
Prospect: After that analysis, share relevant information that will influence a decision.
Connect: Follow up with the prospect and see how they can move to another stage in the sales cycle.
Evaluate: Classify, and qualify the leads.
Close: See to it that the customer makes a purchase. There are incidents of zero purchase, but these need to be few. Use the closing ratio to determine the success of the process, i.e., closings-won against closings-lost.
There are social media monitoring tools for social media platforms to listen to and analyze what people are saying and generate actionable insights. And for messenger services, there is conversational artificial intelligence (AI) platforms to reach out to leads, share appropriate content with them, and have conversations about your products and services.