Only 31 percent of organizations currently employ social selling tactics. This despite the fact according to Invesp, 78 percent of people report that a company’s social media efforts impact their purchases. There is a clear link between trusted, educational content delivered via social media, and sales success. So why aren’t more organizations taking advantage of the benefits of social selling?
Social sales is still a relatively new concept, and many established sales reps may be living under the old adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” A sales rep who is successful in his existing routine may not see the value in incorporating social selling into their approach. But, statistics suggest that these reps are missing out.
SalesforLife highlights several important indicators that sales reps who skip social media are losing out on numerous new business opportunities:
- According to Forrester Research 74 percent of today’s B2B buyers do more than half of their research online before making a decision.
- IDC reports that buyers who use social media have 84 percent more budget than non-social buyers.
- The MHI Sales Best Practice Study states that 72 percent of world-class companies believe that social media is a highly effective tool to identify new business opportunities.
Whether LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – sales reps can find business opportunities there. The question remains, how do sales reps identify, educate, inspire and analyze the right prospects and contacts on social media?
- Identify – The first step in social sales is to make connections. All the social media platforms enable easy contact searches for reps to find people in their networks. But reps who excel at social selling will also establish authentic relationships with contacts and prospects outside of their offline network. Reps can do this by joining groups (especially on LinkedIn), using relevant and strategic hashtags for search and promotion and participating in discussions in a non-sales manner.
- Educate – According to the 2014 B2B Buyer’s Landscape Report, 65 percent of buyers felt that the vendor’s content impacted their purchase decision. Sharing the right information in the right manner on social media can make the difference in sales and prospecting. Sales reps should put a premium on easily digestible, friendly and smart content. Infographics, slide shares and short videos work best for educating customers and prospects on social.
- Inspire – Shares, likes and comments are the currency of social media. People on social media platforms consume a huge amount of information. Today people consume more than ten hours of media a day, on social and other platforms, according to Nielsen. Therefore sales reps need to make sure the information they promote stands out from the clutter. Content that works is generally short, clever, and provides a new way of solving a problem, or evaluating a situation.
- Analyze – It is just as important to track and prioritize prospect engagement on social as it is on any other channel. Reps sharing content on social should use content delivery solutions that enable tracking, including how the prospect uses the information – if they share it, how many times they view it, etc. This level of analysis can help reps prioritize their efforts, target contacts on social with the most relevant information, and understand which types of content work best for his or her network.
According to Informate Mobile Intelligence people check their social media accounts at least 17 times per day. As customers and prospects spend more and more time on social, so must the sales rep.