Why Social Selling Starts With Earning Participation Points
Back before social selling and content marketing — when landlines still roamed the earth — sales reps would call prospects on the phone and ask about their business needs, looking for ways to develop customer relationships and personalize sales offers. Now, social media and robust analytics are changing the “discovery” part of the sales cycle.
Instead of asking prospects what they care about, sales enablement software makes it possible for you to draw conclusions based on what media prospects look at and what they choose to ignore. Many sales leaders also see potential in social media for discovery and social selling.
Following prospects on Twitter, LinkedIn and other social platforms may help you gain a better understanding of their interests, and retweeting and commenting on their posts might help you develop relationships with these potential customers. With this approach, you’ll get the broad strokes, but probably won’t get a real sense of the business problems these people are trying to tackle — the information that could mean the difference between socializing and social selling.
Instead of trying to learn the specifics of an individual prospect’s business needs, a better goal with social media might be to become an expert on the problems your organizations is working to solve. Participating in LinkedIn groups related to your products and your target customers is a great way to build your authority and visibility, laying the foundation for social selling.
Other sales uses for social media include researching new industries, niches and markets; LinkedIn makes this kind of exploration easy and effective. And if you’re looking for ways to get more mileage out of your sales assets, social media is the key to a variable sharing strategy, in which you post different types of content on a variety of channels as a way to keep your message fresh raise your profile.
The Tellwise Nutshell (TTN): Even if you think that social selling is a “here today, gone tomorrow” kind of concept, participating in (relevant) social media conversations has plenty of long-term value for sales reps. It’s a great way to build your own case for why people would want to buy from your organization, while staying up-do-date on the latest developments in your industry and related fields.