Sales, Marketing and Communication

What is social selling, and how do we do it?

You are probably familiar with the word, but maybe you’re unsure what it means. Is it just another buzzword for marketing or advertising on social media?

Social selling is when we use social media to locate, understand and nurture sales potential. Social selling is when our sellers and employees use social media to strengthen our brand, create engagement, relationships and warm leads.

(See our tool about warm digital leads here)

Social selling is a way to find more potential customers, get better recommendations and ensure bigger profit. And there are plenty of reasons to invest our time in this. It’s not just a buzzword.

Consider that people are already “buying socially”. We research the web and platforms for information every day. It is an important part of both the buy and sales process, so social selling is getting harder and harder to ignore. But how do we do it?

 

How to optimize your social selling

If you or your company are already on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or something else, then in a way, you are already doing social selling. Maybe you just don’t realize it. Maybe you are not taking enough advantage of it.

The most obvious platform for social selling is LinkedIn which is already as much a marketing channel for companies as it is a recruitment platform. The medium is constantly active and we are able to network, create dialogue and interest for our brand. And with social selling our entire organization can actually be ambassadors and generate leads on social media.

(See our tips for your company’s LinkedIn culture here)

LinkedIn has something called the Social Selling Index score (SSI), which is a measuring unit for how well you are establishing your professional brand, finding the right people, engaging and creating relationships. It’s an efficient measuring tool for evaluating your social selling effort. An effort you can construct upon three basic guidelines:

 

1. Create a professional brand that helps 

According to the CEO of the consultancy company Digital Works, Nicolai Hæggelin, your brand is basically about how to enrich the people you try to connect with. Your contact with them should not be long sales pitches or advertising. Remember, every time you contact someone you demand their time. Make sure that it’s well spent! Helping creates trust, trust creates relationships and relationships are necessary to sales.

2. Locate the right connections

Effective sales aims at specific people instead of everyone you meet. It’s about warm leads. LinkedIn’s “Advanced People Search” is a goldmine of information that allows you to locate relevant potential customers through lots of categories that design the pool of results to your exact needs.

A strong network is the key to sales, so make sure you engage with the right groups. Exploit mutual interests and mutual connections that are available to you.

And always think quality instead of quantity. This also goes for the amount of connections on your LinkedIn profile. Do have a lot or do you have the right ones? Find and establish strong connections.

3. Enrichment generates opportunities for social selling

It’s easy to start a dialogue on LinkedIn. With both current and potential customers. Potential contacts are everywhere. You can see and track people who have viewed your profile, liked or shared your content, sent you messages, etc.

Therefore, you must always make sure that your various profiles and company pages on social media are up-to-date and that they receive enough attention – not just from other people but especially from you. Try to look at your profiles through the eyes of your potential customers.

Show personality, be authentic, engaged and interested in your relationships. Give people value by getting to know them – their challenges and needs – and use this to create a long-term, targeted opening for sales.

You should always try to sell through a personal contact instead of status updates. This way, you give your warm lead the impression that your inquiry and service is carefully targeted at him or her. You understand their position and their needs. Social selling teaches you that only by creating value for your leads are you able to generate sales for your company.

 

 

The value of social selling in numbers:             

Social selling requires systematic and strategic effort. It only works if you do it wholeheartedly, but in return you will be rewarded for your efforts. Hubspot have presented figures that show social selling’s potential for creating value for your company:

  • Decision makers are 4 times more likely to buy based on referrals from friends and network.
  • 84 % of B2B decision makers begin their buying process with a referrals.
  • 65 % of new business comes directly from referrals.
  • Referred customers spend an average of 13 % more than regular customers.
  • 90 % of an employee’s social audience are new to the brand.
  • 40 % of salespeople have closed between 2 and 5 deals per year as a result of social selling.
  • 73 % of salespeople using social selling as a part of their sales process outperformed their sales peers and exceeded quota 23 % more often.
  • A 12 % increase in brand advocacy generates 2 times the increase in revenue growth.
  • 93 % of salespeople receive no training or guidance on social selling.
  • 53 % wants help with their social selling efforts.
  • Engaged employees are 2 times as productive and are responsible for up to 80 % of customer satisfaction.
  • Companies who are engaged on social media have a 58 % higher chance of attracting top-qualified talent. er 4 gange så tilbøjelige til at foretage et køb på baggrund af henvisninger fra venner og netværk.

 

Watch our videos with Ole Bach Andersen from Newsperience explain LinkedIn as an efficient tool for social selling, indirect and direct sales.

Sales with LinkedIn (1/3) – Field sales with LinkedIn