Insights & Publications

Social Selling – What Is It and How Can You Use It to Drive B2B Sales?

01 August 2017

In a commercial sense, social media platforms have opened a myriad of doors for B2B sales.

A survey conducted by LinkedIn revealed salespeople who utilise social selling platforms are 51% more likely to hit their quota. The success of what’s now known as “social selling” comes from enabling sales people to establish trusted relationships with prospects and the conversion rate is proving incredible.

On that note, what is social selling?

Social selling differs to social marketing. Primarily social selling develops one-on-one relationships rather than broadcasting one-to-many messages from a particular brand. It’s also far more sophisticated than simply making sales over the internet. Rather, it involves leveraging your existing social network as well as utilising that of others to identify prospects, build trusted relationships and ultimately convert these to achieve sales goals.

By establishing trust with people in your network, relationships can then be leveraged to provide efficient introduction to a host of new connections. And so, it goes. With “78 percent of salespeople engaged in social selling outselling their peers who are not using social selling”, the breadth and depth of social selling opportunities are endless.

Methods and strategies

Some of the most successful platforms used as tools for social selling include LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Blogging and Google.

 

Popular social selling techniques include the following:

  • Sharing relevant content
  • Interacting directly with potential buyers and consumers
  • Personal branding
  • Social listening

 

“Corporate Visions found that 74% of buyers choose the sales rep who first adds value during the buying process”. If this is the case – why not let it be you! One such method of adding value to your customers is to contribute to existing conversations about your brand.

Listen and respond to the type of information your prospects are talking about by setting up automatic searches for keywords in Twitter or LinkedIn. Receive notifications each time particular keywords are used in conversations, then jump online to influence these prospects.

Why invest?

Gone are the 90’s where salespeople spent endless hours cold-calling or trotting door-to-door. In fact, profits of cold-calling are minimal as one survey of executives recently concluded.“90% of C-level executives said they never respond to cold calls or email blasts”.

The technique of B2B selling has advanced in such a way that we’re almost ready to farewell the awkward sales pitch conversations to strangers. After-all, most of these people never expressed interest in the first place which resulted in low conversion rates and even lower ROI. In a study of 45,000 sales professionals employed by 200 companies, a 2014 study concluded that “For every $1 invested in social selling, the ROI is $5”.If that’s not an incredible return, I don’t know what is!

As you can see, social selling is driving sales in such a lucrative way that it’s finally receiving the recognition it deserves. One survey revealed “74% of B2B buyers conduct more than half of their research online before making a purchase or contacting a salesperson”. Therefore, as a salesperson utilising the variety of social platforms available, you now have capability to be in exactly the right place at the right time to influence buyers, right at the point where they finalise their purchase decision.

By engaging in transparent conversations that provide a solution and an enticing call to action, you’ll soon be on the best possible road to achieving your own set of significant statistics when it comes to boosting B2B sales using social media platforms.