The Art of Social Selling
Social Selling Has Been Proven Successful - If Done Properly
In the social media world, we hear all the time that brands and companies should be engaging their audiences. Rather than sales messages, followers of brands want useful information, viral content, and an inside look at the company, to name a few things. This is all 100 percent accurate.
However, brands can use social media to drive sales, not by constantly asking their followers to buy their products/services, but by implementing strategies that empower their employees (specifically the ones in sales) to make an endless amount of connections, prospects, and leads.
The IBM Example
A couple years ago, IBM North America gave social selling a try. After a six-month pilot program, they saw seven of their sales representative's combined LinkedIn followers grow from 535 to 3,500. Their total reach went from 54,000 sets of eyes to 1.3 million.
Douglas Hannan, Business Unit Executive for Inside Sales Marketing at IBM North America, saw implementing social selling as a no-brainer after the initial test run:
"Basically, we got more pairs of eyes reading our content with a very low-cost investment - just the rep pages and some social messages. So we said, ‘This is definitely working; we're rolling this out everywhere.'"
Easier Said Than Done
While there is a massive prospect pool on social media, you can't just assume that everyone is a lead. To simplify, the main key is to listen and make the connection before any sort of a pitch.
Here are 3 things social selling is not:
- Relentless spamming.
- Making every conversation a sales pitch.
- A replacement for calling prospects and meeting them face-to-face.
Social selling can work well when you follow these steps:
- From a company standpoint:
- Establish a policy with your sales reps, train them, integrate, and analyze. A cohesive, company-wide effort will produce better results.
- From an individual standpoint:
- Clean up your profile.
- Follow influencers and potential prospects on Twitter.
- Don't just post; listen and engage - re-tweet, share, endorse, and comment.
- Make a connection before a call, email, or sales pitch.
If you're company needs a professional team of marketers to implement a social media marketing strategy, contact us here or call 800-367-2570.