Cold calling may become a tactic of the past as social selling begins to make its mark on the industry. If you have prospects all across the world that you need to contact, utilizing social selling can make doing so easier than ever.
What is Social Selling?
Social selling is all about interacting with prospects and generating leads on social media. As opposed to cold calling, social selling does not interrupt your prospect’s daily life, it becomes a part of their social media rituals. This allows salespeople to interact with their prospects directly and offer relevant content until they make a buying decision.
Why Social Selling is Important
As technology evolves, selling techniques evolve with it, making success in the industry nearly impossible without following and adapting to trends. The salespeople that effectively utilize social media as a selling strategy create an advantage over those who do not use social selling.
Studies show that 78% of salespeople who use social media outperform those who don’t and are 51% more likely to hit their quota.
While using social media can be an effective selling tool, it is imperative for salespeople to know which platforms to target. If you do not understand where your audience is and which social networks to target, your social selling techniques will be unsuccessful.
4 Pillars of Social Selling
- Create a professional brand
Buyers look to work with brands that they trust, so having a presence online is imperative. Make sure to create engaging and relevant content on social media so that prospects see you as an active and trustworthy brand in the industry.
- Focus on the right prospects
As previously mentioned, it is important to know where your audience is so that you can effectively target prospects. Employing search criteria on social media platforms allows you to have social media conversations with prospects that already fit your established criteria so that you don’t spend time speaking with the wrong people.
- Engage with insights
Continue to build your professional brand by sharing newsworthy industry content and being active participants in conversations about relevant news. If a buyer sees content that they find interesting and consistent with their brand, they will be more likely to respond to a salesperson’s inquiry.
- Build trusted relationships
Provide prospects with information regarding common challenges so that you build meaningful connections with prospects. Buyers want to feel heard, so it is important to focus on their needs first rather than trying to make a sale.
How to Measure the Success of Social Selling: 3 Key Metrics
Social selling has proven to be an important strategy for salespeople, but how do managers know that their sales team’s efforts are having a positive impact?
While looking at likes, shares, and comments on social selling efforts can be helpful, there are more useful metrics available that measure social selling’s impact. The following 3 key metrics can be used on their own, but are most effective when used in unison.
- Content Sharing
Measure how often your salespeople are sharing content to social networking sites. It may seem simple, but this is an important metric to indicate that the sales team understands the value of sharing relevant insights with buyers.
- LinkedIn SSI Score
LinkedIn produced a social selling measurement called The Social Selling Index (SSI). This index is based on your sales team’s LinkedIn activities that relate to the 4 Pillars of Social Selling discussed above. Salespeople are scored on a scale of 0 – 100, and those with a high SSI tend to have a high sales execution.
- Social Network growth
Growing the size of your network is always a great indicator of growing influence. As network size increases, the impact of the content shared also increases. However, it is important to remember that your network should be made up of relevant buyers.
While these metrics can be helpful in determining the success of your team’s social selling efforts, sales results do matter and it is important to use CRM systems in conjunction with these metrics.
Now that you understand the importance of social selling in our social media driven world, make sure to start interacting with your prospects!
Ali Lucchesi is a former Social Media Intern at RDW with an obsession with all things digital. When she’s not scrolling through social media, you can almost always find her in the kitchen baking something sweet.