Discover 4 ways selling has evolved in the digital era, and how SMBs can stay ahead of the game with these social selling tips.
“You have to play the game to change the game.”
So how do you play the social selling game? Odds are you have heard this phrase more than once. You might even have used it yourself. But is sales really a game? If so, what are the rules?
In the pre-digital era, you could say that sales was an in-person game, like a boxing match. Your salesperson on one side, the prospect on the other. But with buyers increasingly self-educating online, that mindset is obsolete. Social selling is more a collaborative effort between your sales team, your content marketing team and your prospects. When it’s done right, everyone wins.
Look, I don’t make the rules, I just enforce them! Here are 4 social selling tips SMBs can use to be successful in the new sales game:
Rule 1: Social Selling is a Team Sport
Today, Sales and Marketing are more closely aligned than ever before. Both have access to extensive professional social networks and platforms for communication. This makes marketing (and sales) everyone’s job.
As a team, marketing can provide killer content to your sales team; in order to create brand awareness, brand engagement, to expand networks, for lead generation and to deliver targeted content during the buyer’s journey – sharing critical information that can help close the deal. As you rely on the team, be a team player yourself: always be on the lookout for ways you can help your employees succeed. Setting the pace and the example as a socially savvy leader, helps your team move forward faster together.
Winner’s Tip: Create a Content Repository or Weekly Social Media Calendar that each team member can access. Make sure this is updated on a weekly basis and discussed on a weekly call – with a reminder sent out to the team – asking them to share your hottest stories, press releases, events, webinars, etc. with their professional social networks.
Rule 2: Turn Employees into Brand Ambassadors
Employees in every department must become brand ambassadors for your company. Smart companies are creating a new authentic marketing channel fueled by social employees. Focusing on the people, process, and technology to make it work—companies are changing the game by building their brand on social media.
As empowered brand ambassadors, social employees hold the power to transform how companies communicate both internally and externally to reach customers. This is a win/win for both company and employee—boosting brand value for the company through authentic communication and increasing exposure for employees. Social employees build their own personal brands and establish themselves as leaders in their field.
Winner’s Tip: Transform culture and drive business results by coaching your employees to optimize their social profiles, and then use micro-targeting prospecting tools such as Linkedin Advanced Search, inMails and industry groups; also consider using Facebook custom and look-a-like audiences for micro-targeting.
Rule 3: (Socially) Listen to Your Buyers
The old Rules of high-pressure sales put your salespeople at odds with your buyer. With the new Rules, as a social seller, you are investing in a long-term relationship with your buyer. You want them to have the best possible outcome, and you have done the research to know that your solution is the best fit. Rather than interrupting and piling on pressure, you bring value to every interaction until the sale is the next logical step in the buyer’s journey.
Winner’s Tip: Follow leads and accounts on social media, including FB, Linked In and Twitter (just to name a few and depending on your audience). On a daily basis, have your team members listen to what their prospects are saying, posting, and sharing…get involved in the conversation; court them and engage with the content – this helps show interest and thought leadership.
Rule 4: Measure the Results of Social Selling
- Have a measurement plan that goes beyond the “vanity metrics”. This will require a team member or members that are familiar with social and web analytics. Go ahead and groan, but without them you will fight an uphill battle bringing in social selling training.
- Have a plan to nurture social selling over the long run. The more the program can be integrated into sales reviews, coaching and even CRM dashboards, the better the chance social selling training will get off the ground. Without the measurement, social selling becomes a tactical topic to which no one outside the selling community can assign a business value.
Winner’s Tip: Use Google Analytics, Apps or WordPress plugins to measure your KPIs. This should also include your best performing content. Larger companies can use LinkedIn Social Selling Index to measure social selling performance.
Learn how Shauna Ruyle can help you write a playbook for the new sales game, Contact me anytime! firstname.lastname@example.org