There’s never been a better time to be in sales. In this era of social media, social selling is the evolution of sales. Buyers are always connected and constantly on social media, learning more about your company and competitors. Social media has changed the buying process and as a result, the selling process.
In a previous article, I shared with you (and busted) 5 social selling myths that might be keeping you from closing the deals and earning the commissions, that top business owners and sales professionals are doing using social selling. In this article, I’m going to share with you 3 ways to win with social selling that will help you generate leads, stand apart from competitors and close more deals faster and easier than ever before.
Benefits of Social Selling
Let’s look at the Performance Benefits of Social Selling by comparing Users of Social Selling with All Others. These numbers are from a whitepaper published by Hootsuite sourced by Aberdeen Group.
Total team attainment of sales quota 64% versus 49%
Customer renewal rate 55% versus 48%
Sales forecast accuracy 54% versus 42%
Percent of sales reps achieving quota 46% versus 38%
This quote from Jill Rowley, Social Selling Evangelist at Oracle sums it up perfectly. “Before LinkedIn and other social networks, in the sales world, ABC stood for Always Be Closing. Now, ABC means Always Be Connecting, because your connections lead to your next lead and your next close.”
5 FAQs about Social Selling
Q. What types of products and services are most suitable for social media selling? Is it effective for B2B selling?
A. All products and services because 89% of purchases start with an online search. That includes 75% for B2B.
Q. How can we use social media to sell services to businesses that have multiple stakeholders?
A. Social media helps you identify multiple stakeholders within organizations and start building relationships quickly.
Q. What is the most effective social media platform to use in selling? How can we effectively measure the closing rates?
A. Sell where your customers are and use bitly links on your posts to track referral sources and use your CRM to measure closing rates.
Q. How do we gain a following on social media? What are the steps to successfully generate enquiries and leads?
A. Promote your social media pages on all collaterals and invite your offline contact to connect with you online. Generate leads by giving something of value with a call-to-action.
Q. How can we use social media without annoying or “spamming” our audience?
A. Don’t interrupt them with sales messages. Join them in discussions about things that matter to them.
3 Ways to Win with Social Selling
Prospecting is one of the most important aspects of social selling (and traditional selling). You need to use social media to ask qualifying questions and keep refining your prospect list to help you avoid wasting time calling on people who are unlikely to do business with you. To win with social selling, you need to find your target audience, have conversations with prospects, generate sales leads and get past gatekeepers.
In a world where buyers are inundated with choices, how can you stand out from other solution providers? It all comes down to positioning. While there’s no right or wrong answer, you need to have at least one differentiator to stand out from your competition. You need to use social media to demonstrate your expertise, differentiate from competitors and ask the right questions to assess prospects’ needs which will help position you as the ideal solution provider.
Closing the sale is easier if everything is handled properly throughout your presentation. Effective closing methods do not pressure the prospect. Rather, your closing methods need to focus on prospects’ dominant buying motives. Especially with increased competition in today’s marketplace, you need to adopt a relationship strategy that emphasises the lifetime customer. To win with social selling, you’ll need to deliver sales presentations online, convert conversations to closed deals and get spin-off business through introductions, recommendations and repeat business.
When I’m speaking with business owners and sales professionals, I remind them that 64% of sales teams using social selling attain sales quota, versus only 49% of non-users. They also get 15% more repeat business! If you’re not evolving your selling, prospects will be contacting your competitors instead. What’s the next step your organisation could take to keep up with the evolution of sales?