The Benefits of Social Selling: A Complete Breakdown for Success

Social selling generates better quality leads, increases pipeline, and boosts win rates and deal sizes. Typically, thought of as a process for sales teams only, social selling has expanded well beyond that and is also a crucial component for organizations today.

Let’s Get Started! Are you new social selling? Maybe you’re in need of a refresher…

…with some more in-depth knowledge. Either way, this full guide will cover all the essentials you need to understand about social selling and why social media is important to sales teams and beyond.

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Introduction: Social Selling Definition

Ready for the deep dive into the benefits of social selling? Let’s jump into the journey below.

While the definition of social selling is quite simple to figure out, we like to have our own defined version. That way we are all on the same page. So, what is our social selling definition?

Social selling is about leveraging your social networks to attract the right prospects and to build trusted relationships. Ultimately, social selling is a strategy used to help you achieve your sales goals by answering prospects and potential buyers questions through thoughtful content and social interactions.

In a nutshell, social selling is the process of using tools like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to:

  • Create relationships
  • Define your reputation
  • Gain visibility among your target market
  • Deliver value to your target market
  • Establish credibility

Being part of the conversation:

Through commenting, liking, or sharing content with prospects, salespeople become part of the conversation and boost their own credibility by showing an active interest in what their buyers are posting and talking about.

A team effort:

To be effective at social selling at an organization level, everyone needs to be engaged. Like many successful business initiatives, social selling is a team effort.

Sales may lead the charge, but marketing, communications, human resources, and other departments can all be an influence to social selling effectiveness. Here’s why more employees outside of sales should master social selling on LinkedIn.

What isn’t social selling?

Probably everything you’ve always associated with sales like locking down deals, cold-calling, and quota-building “magic” strategies.

How do I get started? Before diving in, make sure you and your team have social media accounts set up, mainly LinkedIn and Twitter.

For sales teams, your social accounts should not just read like a resume or contain lacklustre information. Instead, provide value to your potential buyers in your social profiles and become a trusted advisor in your industry.

  • Clean profile image
  • Background image
  • Memorable headline (not job title)
  • Powerful bio summary that shows your product or service value
  • Human interactions and genuine interest in others

Learning:

Once you have your social accounts set up to perfection (Profile banner, profile pic, etc.), you need to begin your research. What are your prospects or buyers sharing? Where do they hangout the most? Learn as much about them as you can.

Finding your clients:

After your profiles and research have been done, you’ll need to figure out where your buyers are-generally speaking for B2B sales you need to be on LinkedIn, Twitter, and possibly other outlets like Facebook and Youtube.

Related: always ensure you have a social media policy in place. It should be simple, to the point, and accessible for all employees. Download our social policy guide for examples, insight, and worksheets.

What tools should I use?

First, you’ll need social media accounts. Preferably LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook (XING if you’re in Europe).

Prospecting:

For help with prospecting, you might want something like LinkedIn Sales Navigator or SalesLoft.

Curating, sharing and measuring:

To help your sales team curate content, share that content via social, and measure their metrics via reporting, you might want a social selling platform like EveryoneSocial.

Training:

To train your team on social selling, you might want to hire a trainer like SalesforLife or Vengreso.

 

Genesys recognized the value of social selling a few years ago and how it can greatly improve their pipeline, win-rates, and deal size. They adopted EveryoneSocial as their internal social selling program. Learn about their amazing results and strategy in our case study here.

II: Benefits of Social Selling

The benefits of social selling will certainly affect a business as a whole. Of course, the main impact will be for sales and sales teams. But this does not mean social selling is only for your salespeople.

Below are the benefits of social selling for your company and employees

How it benefits the company:

  • Increases brand visibility. When more employees are sharing content and optimizing their social profiles, their networks are clicking and engaging. Many times, these are people who are not familiar with the company or do not even realize the value they are missing.
  • Drives more leads and higher quality as well. Just as brand visibility increase, so do leads and the quality of those leads. When you have a team of social sellers armed with content, they are educating their social connections. People on LinkedIn for example are especially more interested in this kind of information. Plus, people trust recommendations from friends, colleagues, and family over any other forms of marketing (ads, corporate handles).
  • Boosts web traffic. As your brand visibility increases and more employees sharing company content and news, more people will click or search for the company website.
  • Helps boost sales results: Besides the increase in quality leads that can help sales, social selling is also a great way to increase deal size and drive better win rates. Meaning more clients and customers and more revenue for your company.

How it benefits employees:

Naturally, companies gain the most from having most or all employees active in social selling. But, employees of various departments also reap the benefits by becoming active social sellers too.

  • Builds their personal brand. Not every employee will care about creating their own personal brand, but sharing on social networks and optimizing their profiles can quickly and unintentionally do so.
  • Peers see them as thought leaders. Similarly to personal brand, not all employees will care to be thought leaders. However, employees can become the go-to source for information and are the trusted resource to prospects, buyers, and customers.
  • Future career opportunities. By optimizing their social profiles and actively being a social seller, more people will notice. This includes employers, recruiting firms, and talent acquisition leaders. It doesn’t just mean new future job opportunities but could lead to article interviews, writing gigs, etc. Of course, your company doesn’t want to lose employees, but you can’t stifle their growth either.
  • Contribute to company success. Besides bringing their talent already to their specific job duties, employees are contributing to the growth and financial success of their company even further. This can help add more pride into their work and company. That, of course, can fuel them sharing more content and talking about the company they work for even more.

The 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.

III: Social Selling Tips for Success

Your social selling strategies are most effective when your employees leverage their own social presence to share positive news, stories, and insights about their company with their networks.

But for long-term success, there are some important social selling tips to make note of:

  • Understand what you’re selling, and why
  • Be human and personalize, personalize, personalize
  • Help employees build their personal brand
  • Highlight the people behind the business
  • Create an appropriate funnel for where prospect should go
  • Provide value, always
  • Keep it positive
  • Create good content that people [actually] want to share
  • Provide guidance
  • Listen first and stay gracious

You can read more in-depth about these social selling tips and strategies here.

IV: Social Selling Data

One of the best ways to also back up the importance of social selling is to share data. There is quite a lot out there, but it’s important to just share some of the stand out statistics.

We’ve written about this more in-depth previously, but below we’ve pulled out some of the interesting stats we think you’ll benefit from knowing.

  • Companies with consistent social selling processes are 40% more likely to hit revenue goals than non-social sellers. (SalesForLife)
  • Half of revenue is influenced by social selling in 14 common industries, including computer software, healthcare, and marketing and advertising. (LinkedIn)
  • 80% believe their sales force would be more effective and efficient if they could leverage social media. (Sales Management Association)
  • 90% of decision-makers never answer a cold call, but 75% of B2B buyers use social media to make purchasing decisions. (LinkedIn)
  • Content shared by employees receives 8x more engagement than content shared by brand channels. (Social Media Today)
  • According to IBM, when a lead is generated through social selling or employee advocacy that lead is 7X more likely to close compared to other lead gen tactics. (Find and Convert)
  • On average decision-makers consume 5 pieces of content before being ready to speak to a sales rep. (CMO Council)
  • A social selling program can drive 16% better win rates, 2x pipeline, and deliver 48% larger deals. (EveryoneSocial)
  • 25% of executives say they prioritize social selling, however, only 18% of sales pros agree. (HubSpot)
  • 54% of salespeople who use social media can track their social media usage back to at least one closed deal. (A Sales Guy Consulting)


 

You can read more in-depth about social selling statistics for sales teams here.

V. Additional Social Selling Resources

Congratulations for making it this far in this in-depth content on social selling! Hopefully, you have learned a lot of the essentials, benefits, and how valuable a program can be for your company.

If you are interested in starting a program at your company and getting a platform in place, our team is ready to show you more. Schedule your demo here.

Lastly, before we complete this content, we thought it was worth sharing with you some additional resources and content that will be useful to expanding your employee advocacy knowledge.