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Marketing & Tech
What Is Social Selling and Why Should Sales People Care?
Jun 22, 2016 | Rhys Metler lock

Social selling is a buzzword that’s being thrown around in the sales industry lately. You’ve probably heard of it. But do you know what it is? Do you know why you should care?

If your answer to both is “no,” you’ve come to the right place.

What Is Social Selling?

Social selling is a process that sales people can use to help social buyers become customers. It’s a way to leverage social media networks, like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, to develop relationships as part of the sales process and to get potential customers to know you, to like you, and to trust you by creating and sharing valuable content on social media.

As you already know, the buyer process has changed in recent years—quite drastically, actually. Now, the majority of the buyer’s journey occurs before the prospect reaches out to a sales person. But this researching, comparing, and information gathering that the prospect is doing alone isn’t being done behind closed doors. It’s actually being done in full view—on social media. Prospects are talking about their needs on social networks, they’re asking questions about issues in the industry, they’re revealing valuable intelligence online as they seek advice from their own networks.

It only stands to reason that, if sales people are on these social media sites too, they can leverage the information that prospects are sharing, they can get in front of these prospects on their own turf, and they can increase their sales results because of it.


Getting Noticed as an Industry Expert
Today’s buyers do not trust sales people. And establishing trust is a critical component of the sales process. When you used social networking to your advantage, you can create and share valuable information, insights, and expertise on social media that prospects will value. No one will have a reason to talk to you—or even to trust you—if you’re a one-dimensional seller that does nothing more than just read them a brochure or take their order. But when you position yourself as an industry expert or thought leader online, you’ll start to be known as trustworthy and knowledgeable, and more credible to buyers.

Connecting with Decision Makers
Social media is also an effective channel to help connect with decision makers. You know that cold calling isn’t effective. But when you leverage shared contacts for introductions, follow your leads on multiple social networks, and comment on or share their posts, you can get buyers familiar with your name and brand. This will in turn help you make those cold calls warmer, and thus, make buyers more welcoming.

Moving Sales down the Pipeline
Once you’ve established the initial relationship, social selling can also help move sales down the pipeline. It allows you to gain clarity by getting more intelligence about the status of a buyer’s pipeline to better understand where they’re at in the process and what type of content you should be providing.

Competitive Research
Sales people can also monitor their competitors’ social media profiles and perform data mining to better understand what their competing rivals are doing right and what they’re doing wrong. This can enable you to better position yourself as the ideal solution provider for your buyers.

Increase Capacity
Social selling can also help you reach maximum productivity in order to generate more quality sales opportunities in less time. When you spend more time researching and prospecting on social media and less time cold calling, you’ll be able to close more deals.

Greater Client Lifetime Value
Social selling is, at its core, all about moving away from transactional relationships with clients and towards consultative relationships. You spend more time on activities that create real value, like education and trust building. You build stronger relationships, delight customers in all stages of the sales process, and create a foundation for sustained revenue growth, which leads to greater client lifetime value, and ultimately, higher profits.

When sales people use social selling as a primary selling technique, the returns are tenfold. All sales reps should embrace it in order to reap its rewards. 


About the author:

Rhys-MetlerRhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.

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