Are You a Social Seller?

Have you already jumped on the social selling bandwagon? If not, what are you waiting for? As the whole world is turning towards social media, so are your prospects. Is there a better way to reach and find out everything about your leads than through social media?

Social selling is about nurturing relationships with your prospects, often by using social media as a tool. The main focus of this non-disruptive sales approach is to forge a relationship with your prospects based on trust — you are there for them to provide information and help and not just to sell. Basically, social selling is about positioning yourself online as a caring, knowledgeable expert in your field with the purpose of attracting more clients and driving more revenue.

Here are some illustrative stats to tell you why it’s time to turn to social media if you want to boost your sales:

  • Sales reps who use social selling as a part of sales process are about 80% more likely to fulfill their quota. (Aberdeen Research Group)
  • About 80% of salespeople who use social media perform better than their ‘traditional selling’ colleagues. (Forbes).
  • Social selling leaders have two times more sales opportunities. (LinkedIn)
  • A lead generated through social media is 7 times more likely to close. (IBM)

Social selling is not just about attracting prospects, but also about keeping them. Most inbound marketers focus only on generating leads. However, just because a lead has agreed to receive a free e-book or a weekly email digest, it doesn’t have to mean that they will want a phone talk with your sales rep. Other than generating, you must focus on nurturing your leads. Here some powerful stats compiled by Hubspot to show you just how imperative lead nurturing is:

  • Almost 80% of marketing leads never convert into sales. The most common cause is lack of lead nurturing. (MarketingSherpa)
  • Companies that are good at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. (Forrester Research)
  • Nurtured leads make approximately 50% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (The Annuitas Group)
  • Companies with well-developed lead generation and nurturing practices have about 9% higher sales quota fulfillment rate. (CSO Insights)
  • Companies that excel at lead nurturing have 9% more sales reps meeting quota. (CSO Insights)
  • Nurtured leads generate approximately 20% increase in sales opportunities as opposed to non-nurtured leads. (DemandGen Report)

The Modern Buyer

The modern buyer is well-informed about their problem and doesn’t like pushy sales reps. They like to take their time, inform themselves and expect personalized treatment. They want to be educated and not persuaded into buying. This is why you, as a sales rep, should adopt a new motto: “I’m not here to sell, I’m here to serve.”

Social selling doesn’t mean that you should do away with your traditional sales practices, but supplement them with new, more effective tools. There is a ‘new’ place where all your leads are getting together, and it is literally at your fingertips. Buyer behavior is changing and with it so should your sales behavior.

If you are new to social selling (and nurturing), here is a good, solid strategy how to incorporate social media in your sales efforts:

1) Everything you need to know about prospects is given to you on a silver platter.

Your prospects have never been more vocal about their needs! It’s never been easier to find out what your prospects and current clients like or dislike. All you need to do is listen — or, in this case, read. Thanks to social media you have access to data about your target prospects’ online behavior – who they are, what they like, dislike, which influencers they follow, what is happening in their industry and their company and much more. This info helps you target your leads with relevant and meaningful content — and we know why that is important:

  • Relevant emails generate 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails. (Hubspot, Jupiter Research)
  • Personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14%, and conversion rates by 10%. (Hubspot, Aberdeen Group)

2) Prospecting has never been easier.

Unlike the infamously low cold calling and cold emailing reply rates, social media enables you to interact with leads more efficiently. Most importantly, you are able to gather all info on your prospects early and use it to prepare for sales conversations.

3) The most important part of social selling is building trustworthy relationships.

Establishing communication through social networks is a tool, not the final goal. Your main goal should be gaining your prospects’ trust by showing them who you are, what you know and that you are there for them. If a lead approaches you online for advice, reply with an honest intent to help instead of pitching them with your product.

4) Listen but also speak up.

Social networks are a unique place for you to showcase your skills, knowledge and establish yourself as a trustworthy expert in your field. Don’t be shy to speak up online. Show your attitudes, interact with other influencers, re-tweet their posts, and comment on their blogs.

5) Do something nice for your leads and clients.

It could be just a caring, thoughtful message or an email in which you shared with them an article you think might be helpful because it addressed a problem your client brought up last time. The problem might not be business-related at all; maybe your client mentioned once that they’d like to go to Maldives with their family, and you have a Maldivian friend who has a resort — follow-up on your client saying that you asked your friend to give them a discount. Even if your friend refused, it will mean the world to your client to see that you invested effort in helping them. Also, the law of reciprocity tells that next time, should you need help from your client, they will feel almost obliged to return the favor. However, don’t expect things. Let your helpful actions stand alone, without you expecting anything in return.

There is a whole world out there teeming with prospects and it has never been easier to find them. Moreover, it has never been easier for you to show yourself and your skills to the world. Wait no longer — reap the benefits of social selling.


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