Social Selling – what is it and is it worth including in your company’s sales strategy?
Social selling is a recent trendy phrase among salespeople and social media experts. It has been gaining popularity for several years, but reached its peak during the pandemic months when many traditional sales methods could not be used. Is this a temporary trend or the direction in which modern sales is heading? Time will show. However, it is definitely worth your attention especially if you are selling B2B in a competitive industry.
According to the definition, social selling is the process of building relationships with potential customers as part of the sales process. Nowadays this is often done via social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, but it can be done online or offline. Examples of social selling techniques include sharing relevant content that is important to the potential customer, interacting directly with potential buyers, building the seller’s personal brand, and observing the target audience on social media.
However, in social selling – the most important thing is to build trust and credibility. People buy, not companies. Therefore, by creating relationships with potential customers, sellers firstly facilitate future sales conversations, and secondly build a potential team of brand ambassadors.
It is worth remembering what social selling is NOT:
- Using automated messages, sending random invitations in social media to effortlessly connect with potential customers,
- Sharing company blog posts on your profiles (without context or your own opinion as a comment),
- Spamming – publishing only sales posts, promoting a product/service without simultaneously educating potential customers and building relationships with them.
So how do you work to build your authority and success??
- Build a personal brand – enhance your reputation and credibility as a specialist in your field. It can be done through social media profiles and external publications. Showcase there expertise and insights from the industry you operate in. A personal brand is also information about you (e.g. education, interests, nonprofits), allow you to find common ground with potential buyers and business partners.
- Focus on your target group – direct your message to the group that is important to you from a business point of view, choose the content in a way that may interest your audience.
- Earn trust – share your perspective, and if possible brag about your previous successes and well-executed projects. If something failed, it can also be a good lesson for your audience, don’t be afraid to talk about failures – it will make you more credible.
- Engage in conversations, be helpful – address the problems your potential customers are facing and offer solutions. Get involved in discussions, join forums, ask for feedback – the information gained in this way will allow you to better understand the customers’ needs and adapt your offer to them.
- Observe the environment – monitor the market, use tools that will allow you to reach the people talking about you or your brand, interact with them.
- Act regularly – social selling is a marathon, not a sprint, so it’s a good idea to develop a plan of action, set aside time in your schedule for expert branding activities and choose platforms you’re comfortable with.
How to incorporate social selling into your sales strategy?
As with other methods of acquiring leads and generating sales, social selling cannot be the only way to implement a sales strategy. Must be part of a broader, unified plan.
The most important elements to remember:
- Define the goal you want to achieve
- Define your ideal customer
- Identify platforms where your potential customers are most active
- List the strengths of your product/service
- Adapt your marketing strategy to the activities related to social selling
- Create the right content
- Gather feedback
- Measure results
- Expand your knowledge
Social selling works well for B2B sales because it is based on the basic principles of selling: building relationships and trust. However, this is a relatively complex process that takes time. In the face of fierce competition, it is a method worth including in a company’s sales strategy as a way of acquiring valuable leads.
But most importantly, remember that the best strategy is to be authentic and helpful. You work best with people you can like.
Author: Aleksandra Połetek-Pszonak, Senior New Business Manager at DevaGroup. Master of marketing. She is responsible for sales and contact with customers. At work he appreciates clear communication, customer satisfaction and the opportunity to participate in interesting projects and drink a lot of coffee without remorse. Lover of good commercials, travel and Latin American culture.