We’re ready to call it. 2020 is the year that social selling remotely rose to the top of the sales toolkit.
While social selling has been a growing strategy for most businesses over the past few years, COVID-19 and social restrictions absolutely accelerated its importance.
But even before the pandemic, virtual selling was on the rise. 60% of sales reps have increased their time meeting with customers and prospects virtually since 2015. (Salesforce)
And this trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The Gartner Future of Sales 2025 report predicts that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels.
Businesses that have the right tools and skills in place to succeed at social selling remotely have a strong advantage today and in the future.
Here we will focus on how remote sales teams can stay active and grow leads, gain traction in the pipeline, and close more deals – no matter where they are working.
What is Social Selling?
Social selling is defined as leveraging your social networks to build trusted relationships with buyers and decision makers and attract the right prospects.
It’s not just about direct sales and pitches – social selling remotely means building digital relationships so that when a buyer is ready to make a decision you are top of mind, even when you aren’t meeting face-to-face.
Sales teams can use social selling as a strategy to help achieve sales goals by connecting with potential buyers through thoughtful content and social interactions.
If you aren’t as familiar with social selling as a concept, we have a thorough and in-depth guide that will catch you up and cover all the basics.
Social Selling Remotely to Focus on Building Relationships
For many sales teams, building relationships often meant investing in face-time.
Going to conferences, taking clients and prospects to events and dinners, and plenty of in-person meetings and presentations were common ways to build rapport and trust with potential buyers and maintain healthy relationships with key accounts.
When COVID-19 restrictions were put in place and business travel was no longer a possibility, sales teams had to adapt and get creative about how to replace those kinds of interactions.
Zoom calls and virtual meeting rooms quickly became the norm for product demos and pitch presentations.
And social media stepped in as a viable alternative to making close relationships with people across the globe that could turn into leads or grow enterprise accounts.
Those that have adopted this strategy have seen success. For sales reps that do invest in social media, 64% of them hit their team quota – compared to only 49% of reps hitting their team quota that don’t use social media.
Building Business Relationships On Social
Building and maintaining relationships on social media requires time, effort, and authentic interaction.
It’s not just about selling the many benefits of your products, it’s about engaging in real conversations and providing value.
Listening to others about their pain points, offering recommendations and help to those asking questions, and connecting with others on a personal level — these are the best ways to really build relationships on social media.
Whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, having a professional presence on social networks where your buyers are engaging will help your brand awareness and visibility.
Sharing personal anecdotes and providing valuable insights or industry knowledge is a great combination for potential buyers to know more about you, your personal brand, and your company’s values and goals.
Since trust is such an important factor in buying, social selling remotely offers a great opportunity to build relationships from anywhere at any time.
Gain Deep Insights About Your Buyers Through Remote Social Selling
Chances are your potential customers were also heavily impacted by disruption and change this year.
This may lead to longer sales cycles and adapting your sales approach.
Even your buyer personas and sales intelligence are likely in need of an update.
Social media provides a real-time look into the interests and problems for your potential buyers and customers.
You can see what leaders and employees of your target companies are discussing and what new initiatives they are rolling out.
Industries may have pivoted or are in need of more digital support, so by tapping in to social networks for information you can update your content and sales collateral to better fulfill their current needs.
Research is a key component for social selling so following topics and thought leaders in your target markets will help your sales team stay ahead of the curve.
Your company’s value proposition may have changed for buyers that were previously in your pipeline so it’s important to stay updated and informed.
Leverage Social Listening
While you’re getting to know your buyers better, you’ll also want to know how they feel about your brand and how you compare to competitors.
That’s where social listening can really help.
Social listening is the process of analyzing conversations and trends about your brand and industry on social networks.
It goes beyond tracking mentions to get to the heart of buyer sentiment, perceptions, and where they are heading.
Another way to implement social listening is to track your competitors’ content with a platform like EveryoneSocial.
This helps with sales content creation by monitoring competitor feeds so that sales teams can always be up to-date on competitive messaging in the industry.
Have the Right Tools for Social Selling
Due to COVID-19 and social distancing, people were looking for new and different ways to connect this year.
Many people turned to social media as a method for maintaining relationships, staying entertained, and fostering social connection while staying distanced.
July 2020 saw a rise of 10.5% in social media usage, compared with July 2019, according to a GlobalWebIndex survey. It’s hard to imagine that after the pandemic is over that this trend will completely go away.
Your sales teams will benefit from using tools that make it easier to communicate on social and take advantage of the benefits of virtual selling.
Having a platform like EveryoneSocial makes your sales team’s social selling efforts streamlined and efficient in a few key ways.
Use EveryoneSocial for Remote Selling
The EveryoneSocial platform makes it easy to share content to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn with the click of a button.
Sales and marketing teams can post the most updated sales collateral on the platform so that sales teams can stay organized and have quick access to share materials to their networks.
Part of social selling is providing value to prospects and buyers in the form of industry information and thought leadership, not just about your product.
Share industry news and articles on the platform so that each member of the sales team can create their own unique content and be seen as a thought leader.
EveryoneSocial makes it easy for every user to collaborate on posts and have discussions on how to improve messaging.
Leaving comments and feedback on posts directly in the platform before they are shared externally ensures that your organization always has the best content possible.
And after content is shared, sales teams can use the analytics and reporting tools in EveryoneSocial to evaluate performance.
Sales can see which posts got the most engagement, clicks, or shares and tailor future content to optimize for success.
EveryoneSocial also helps sales teams stay engaged internally by making it easy to share learnings, big wins, and notes from the field.
Remember that trust and relationship building takes time.
If your sales team is new to social selling remotely or just ramping up efforts this year, it’s important to stay engaged and consistent to really see results.
Make sure you have the right tools and strategies in place to help your sales teams create connections no matter where they are working.
Flexible and adaptable sales teams that lead with personal and authentic interactions have the most to gain from social selling in a remote world.