The Benefits Of Social Selling:
What Every Company Needs To Know
Organizations that leverage social selling within their overall sales strategy generate better leads, increase pipeline, boost win rates, and grow deal sizes. In short: social selling is crucial for modern companies.
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Social Selling Definition
Ready for a deep dive into the benefits of social selling? Let’s jump in.
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
How do we (EveryoneSocial) define social selling?
For us, social selling is about leveraging your social networks to attract the right prospects and to build trust-based relationships. Ultimately, social selling is a strategy used to help you achieve your sales goals by answering questions for prospects and potential buyers through meaningful content and thoughtful social interactions.
Social selling is also:
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 on 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 instrumental for effective social selling. That’s why we think more employees outside of sales should master social selling on LinkedIn.
What is social selling NOT about?
Honestly? Probably everything you’ve always associated with sales, like locking down deals, cold-calling, and quota-building “magic” strategies.
How do I get started? First, make sure every single person on your team has social media accounts on LinkedIn and Twitter.
However, your social accounts shouldn’t read like a resume or contain nothing but canned information. Instead, provide unique value to your potential buyers with your social profiles to become a trusted advisor in your industry.
- Use a clean profile photo
- Upload a personalized background image
- Create a memorable headline (not just your job title)
- Write a powerful bio that shows the value of your product or service
- Pursue human interactions and show genuine interest in others
Learn by observation
Once you have your social accounts created and curated, you’ll need to begin your research. What are your prospects or buyers sharing? Where do they hang out the most? Learn as much about them as you can.
Find your clients
Next, you’ll need to figure out where your buyers are. Generally speaking, you need to be on LinkedIn, Twitter, and possibly Facebook or Youtube for B2B sales.
What tools should I use?
First, you’ll need social media accounts. Preferably LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook (and XING if you’re in Europe).
For help with prospecting, try using a platform 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.
Genesys recognized the value of social selling years ago and implemented EveryoneSocial for their internal social selling program. Read about their amazing results in this case study.
Benefits Of Social Selling
While social selling primarily impacts – as the name suggests – sales teams, the benefits sown on the sales team will be reaped by the business as a whole.
Let’s go through some of the outcomes you can reasonably expect to see after implementing a strong social selling strategy!
Increased brand visibility
When more employees are sharing content and optimizing their social profiles, their networks are clicking and engaging. Often times, these are people who are not familiar with the company and didn’t even realize what they were missing.
More, higher-quality leads
Just as brand visibility increases, so do lead volume and quality. Your team of social sellers — armed with content — can educate their social connections, especially on LinkedIn. Plus, people trust recommendations from friends, colleagues, and family far more than any form of marketing.
Boosted web traffic
With heightened brand visibility and more employees sharing company content and news, you’ll see an uptick in people clicking to or searching for the company website.
Improved sales results
Besides the increase in quality leads that can help sales, social selling is also a great way to increase the average deal size and drive better win rates. Social selling can help you reach more potential buyers within an organization, driving up the size of he overall deal. More potential means more customers, and that means more revenue for your company.
Naturally, the company will gain the most from activating employees in a social selling program, but those employees have the opportunity to leverage it for their own professional growth.
Build a personal brand
Not every employee will care about creating their own personal brand, but regular sharing on social networks and optimized profiles can quickly – sometimes unintentionally – do it for them.
Become a thought leader
Similarly to having a personal brand, not all employees will care about being thought leaders. However, they can still become the go-to source for company information for prospects, buyers, and customers.
Foster career opportunities
Doing even a little bit of the above will get noticed by employers, recruiting firms, or talent acquisition leaders, potentially leading to new job opportunities, article interviews, or freelance writing gigs. Your company doesn’t want to lose employees, of course, but you can’t stifle their growth either.
Contribute to company success
Besides bringing their talent to their job-specific duties, employees can contribute to the company growth by participating in a social selling program. Not to be corny, but it does feel good to contribute toward something and accomplish your goals, so it’s worth mentioning.
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.
Getting Started With Social Selling
So, now that you know what social selling is, how do you get started? After all, you want to set yourself up for success from the beginning, right?
Use the most relevant platforms
You want to be active where your target prospects are. It’s that simple. There are many social networks with more popping up all the time, but focus your efforts where it counts. Research your targets, get to know their interests, and monitor social media trends.
Optimize your profiles
Before you dive into social selling, it’s important to optimize your social media profiles to showcase the value you’ll bring. Your LinkedIn profile shouldn’t read like a resume; instead, offer a glimpse into how you help people and organizations succeed. An outdated or incomplete social profile leaves your social selling efforts looking weak and disconnected.
Create social listening alerts
Setting up alerts about customers, prospects, and target companies you want as customers is key to helping you stay on top of the latest news, insights, and what prospects are talking about. You can set up alerts via social channels, dedicated social listening tools, or social selling platforms like EveryoneSocial.
Connect with customers and prospects
Start building your social networks with customers and prospects you want to engage with by following or connecting with them on the platform where they’re most active.
When asking to connect with others on LinkedIn, don’t use the default message. Add some personalization to it! Also…avoid going straight into sales pitch right away, even after the person has accepted your invite, because that’s a great way to start off on the wrong foot or just get ignored.
Share interesting content or insights
While you might not be an employee content creator, you can still be a curator who shares insights about prospects, industry news, or relevant case studies with your audience. Mix it up between your own organizations content and third-party content to keep things fresh.
Monitor your engagement
Sharing and creating social content is certainly important, but don’t neglect commenting, liking, or re-sharing what your prospects are sharing. It’s a great way to show appreciation, create value, and start a genuine conversation. Monitor your own posts can tell you what content resonates best, and you should be replying to or liking the comments on your content anyway.
Leverage the appropriate tools to secure wins
The tools companies and teams use vary by organization, so you’ll need to choose yours carefully. Obviously, you’ll be using social media platforms – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook – in tandem with social selling platforms like EveryoneSocial and prospecting software like LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Believe it or not, even that simple combination can give you amazing leverage. That said, the sales tech stack is continually evolving, so keep an eye on your options.
Stay consistent with your social efforts, because this takes time
While social selling results can sometimes happen relatively quickly, everyone experiences this process differently. It’s important to not expect massive shifts overnight. Instead, be consistent with your efforts and blend this strategy with your other sales tactics. Over time, you’ll see a significant impact on your prospecting, deals, win rates, and relationships with customers or prospects.
Social Selling Tips For Success
Your social selling strategies are most effective when your employees also leverage their own social presence to share positive news, stories, and insights about the company with their networks.
For long-term success, here are some important social selling tips you’ll want to know:
- Understand what you’re selling, and why
- Be human and personalize, personalize, personalize
- Help other employees build their personal brand
- Highlight the people behind the business
- Create an appropriate funnel for where prospects should go
- Provide value, always
- Keep things positive
- Create interesting content that people actually want to share
- Provide guidance
- Listen first and be gracious
You can read more in-depth about these social selling tips and strategies here.
Social Selling Data
We’ve written about this in more detail elsewhere, but below are some stats you’ll benefit from knowing and nothing talks quite like hard data:
You can read more about social selling statistics for sales teams here.
Additional Social Selling Resources
Congratulations on making it this far into such an in-depth guide! Hopefully, you’ve got a solid grasp of the social selling essentials now. If you’re 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.
Here are some additional resources that will be useful in expanding your social selling knowledge.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does social selling mean?
Social selling is about leveraging your social networks to attract the right prospects and to build trust-based relationships. Ultimately, social selling is a strategy used to help you achieve your sales goals by answering questions for prospects and potential buyers through meaningful content and thoughtful social interactions.
Why is social selling important?
Social media is where your buyers are researching solutions to their problems – it allows you to position your product or service as that solution. Social selling:
- Increases brand visibility
- Drives higher quality leads
- Boosts web traffic
- Improves win rates & deal size
- Builds personal brands
How do I start social selling?
To get started, you should know these important tips first: understand what you’re selling, be human and personalize, help other employees build their personal brand, highlight the people behind your business, always provide value, keep things positive, create interesting content, provide guidance, listen first, and be gracious.
What are some social selling tools?
You’ll clearly need to use social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter, but there are some dedicated social selling tools that will help your efforts including LinkedIn Sales Navigator, EveryoneSocial, Nimble, and Buffer.
Does social selling really work?
Yes, social selling does work IF you implement a strategy and take the time to build relationships with your prospects or customers by engaging with their content, providing meaningful insights, and sharing content relevant to their specific pain points. The people you want to engage with are already on social networks consuming information, so just be present.
What is a social seller?
Social sellers develop relationships through social media to boost the overall selling process and results. They begin building trust with prospects – anyone your product or services could benefit – directly, without having to cold call or use bland email outreach.
What is social prospecting?
Social prospecting is part of the social selling process; it means using social media and online networks to add potential buyers to your current pipeline. Social prospecting efforts can include things like company research, learning about prospects’ needs before contacting them, or reaching out to your network for introductions to one of their connections.