Updated on July 18, 2022
Today, with millions of active users on social media, especially with B2B buyers who are well informed, social selling is a skill more than necessary for B2B sales reps. Social selling is the technique of building, cultivating, and nurturing relationships online to attract leads and convert customers.
Sales leaders who like to remain ahead of the curve rather than chasing it should begin systematizing the process in their sales teams as soon as possible. Now, in this business landscape, we’re urged to supplement cold-calling methods with social selling activities rather than relying just on email or phone.
An effective social selling strategy provides consistent, revenue-generating results and requires time, effort, preparation, and execution. Therefore, we’ve prepared this simple social selling guide for B2B sales reps, from social selling benefits to its full accomplishment.
Why is social selling crucial for B2B success?
Social selling is an effective sales strategy gaining ground in today’s sales world. Social selling is outgrowing traditional sales tactics and it’s considered a leader in both B2B and B2C businesses. Sales professionals interact, engage, and connect with their prospects using social media channels during the B2B sales process, also known as social selling. This procedure helps them in improving client trust and attracting new leads.
One of the main advantages of social selling is that it allows you to engage with new potential customers on social media, where they are active and participate in discussions. Also, as many people research their buying decisions online, including social media, to find a product or service they want, it’s a great way to represent your brand in a positive light via social media and generate sales!
A study found that every dollar invested in social selling resulted in a five-dollar return. So, these are only a part of the benefits of social selling and the main reasons you should integrate social selling practices into your sales strategy.
Here is a guide to help you start implementing social selling practices.
Few ways B2B sales reps can leverage social selling
The development of social media usage has aided social selling adoption, and various studies show that B2B buyers use social media as a significant component of their research process.
They are also very active on social media, as they prefer to search and find their desired product by themselves. Furthermore, our curious B2B customers use search engines to look for:
👉 Additional information,
👉 Consult the suggestions of acknowledged experts in their industry,
👉 Read the reviews of customers who have tried the service or product in question before making a purchase.
The sales representative’s job has changed substantially over time, and now it sits on the sideline for most of the initial stage of the buyer’s journey. The sales rep must deliver information with an added higher value or content that is otherwise difficult to find online. Social selling techniques come in handy, especially for the products & services that need an increased awareness of buyers in the target market.
So, it would be difficult for B2B reps to even be successful at selling sell online without implementing social selling as part of their strategy. To help you with that, here are five helpful tips on organizing social selling for B2B sales reps.
#1. Optimize social media management
It’s important to distinguish between social selling and social media, as it’s often confused. In simple words, social media is the platform where you can use various tools to make social selling possible. Social media marketing can be an excellent strategy for social selling, but one without the other might not give you the expected results.
e.g. If your preferred social media channel is Instagram, you can think of a product marketing strategy to leverage the visual perks of this channel.
Social buying happens when consumers engage directly on social media platforms. So for successful social selling with desirable results, optimizing social media management is essential. Before making a purchase, consumers research brands and their products through social media accounts.
Therefore, B2B sales reps should work to attract traffic to the company’s social media accounts, which is the first layer of leaving an amazing first impression on buyers. This requires alignment between B2B sales and marketing teams and having a shared content calendar in order to be on the same page regarding what needs attention at the moment.
Many sales reps and B2B marketers, usually overachievers, go the extra step of building a personal brand on their private social profile to help support the business they work for and direct their followers to the business page.
Usually, the content that gets shared on LinkedIn company pages is first published on the company’s website and gets reshared on LinkedIn with the goal to get the traffic from LinkedIn to a page or blog post on the website. Optimize your website and choose the fastest WordPress hosting to avoid technical issues and share your website’s content directly to different social media accounts.
#2. Leverage Linkedin
LinkedIn is a massive database of contacts, where business professionals also interact with each other and with businesses. It would do you only good to join Linkedin, connect with new people, and search for new collaborations. The modern sales reps of today should be the greatest brand supporters and the first brand evangelists of the company they work for.
Engaging with the posts on the LinkedIn company page, resharing them on their own LinkedIn profiles, and using their network to engage new potential customers. Don’t know where to start? Here’s a simple guide to LinkedIn Prospecting: how to win sales and influence prospects.
By connecting with more valuable connections in Linkedin, any content or posts you share will be seen by a larger audience, and if your contacts share it, it will be seen by their network as well. So don’t think about sending connections to people, but consider making great content and creating appealing posts to engage new audiences and accomplish social selling strategy.
p.s. Sales.Rocks works in a similar way to give you access to all potential prospects you might want to reach out to, worldwide. See what are the similarities and differences between LinkedIn and Sales.Rocks.
#3. Choose the right platform for social selling
Use any social media platform your target audience chooses – and that your brand can consistently use. Most companies test different platforms, and after monitoring the results of all social channels, they choose the one that encourages the most engagement and is bringing better quality traffic to your landing pages. Next, identify your target audience with Sales.Rocks and define your ideal customer profile to align your content and products with a customer-centric approach based on data.
Reach every prospect with the message they care to receive.
For example, Instagram and Facebook are great platforms for sharing short and catchy content and generating discussions in the comment section. But Linkedin is for more professional coverage and creating connections.
Don’t use all the exciting platforms to make a social presence out there. Some media may be irrelevant to your industry and produce zero results. So, do experiments with different platforms and choose the one which will work the best for your business.
You can scale your business faster by using different sales/marketing automation tools.
By the way, being active on social media is also beneficial for your teamwork in managing virtual teams by using tools and keeping the working environment productive and high-quality.
#4. Engage through valuable content & useful resources
Create appealing content to engage with the audience and make a great interest in your brand and products. Besides that, sharing interesting content with your social media networks is an effective way to add value to people’s lives, which can help you gain credibility and trust and also increase the chances of getting more sales.
Sharing captivating information is one of the most effective strategies to increase social media credibility and engagement. The content can be original tips, insights, and anything else you think your audience will be interested in. Try different types of content besides the traditional ones. For example, you can engage your customers by starting a podcast and talking about exciting topics appropriate to your industry. Creating a good content marketing strategy will deliver your messages to the right people and call to buy a particular product or service.
#5. Embrace Automation
While it’s crucial to keep track of real-time conversations with customers and content development, there are numerous ways to use automation in social selling and benefit from it. Automation can make communication and relationships more accessible and faster. The more automation and integration you can do, the more time and energy your sales team will have to provide to other essential aspects of your business and selling processes.
It will bring an opportunity to use many automation tools to get databases with a feature to keep data security, integrate chatbots for real-time conversations with an audience, create automated FAQs, prepare DMARC reports using email marketing, and many more. So, after using automation, you will see its impact on social selling processes with better results.
With active usage of social media marketing, it’s crucial to be fully integrated into the social processes, especially for businesses. One of the effective methods is social selling. Its technique and purpose are quite different from social media. Using social selling for B2B sales reps is necessary to sell your products in good conditions and build your trust and relationship with customers. The above-mentioned ultimate guide will help you use social selling tools only for your benefit.
Eduard is a skilled and hardworking SEO specialist and a digital marketing expert. His experience in the field allows him to create Google-friendly content and share it on different website blogs.