3.4 billion users of social media never fail to highlight how important these platforms are in the digital age for businesses. Facebook alone has 2.77 billion active users monthly, whereas LinkedIn has more than 500 million users. Imagine how deeply social media can impact your business if deployed directionally. According to Superoffice, 94% of B2B buyers conduct some degree of research online before making a business purchase, with 55% conducting online research for at least half of their purchases. In such a scenario, how can you tap your customers better? There is an emerging trend of salespersons driving sales through social media. Heard of it yet? Don't worry if you haven't, for we plan to guide you through how you can do it too.
With salespersons getting more and more involved in the whole sales-marketing strategy or sale-marketing alignment, they are also crafting personalised approaches, identifying relevant buyer personas, and making sure they are sharing relevant content with their target audience, via social selling.
Social selling refers to the use of social media to look for, connect, establish trust, understand, and nurture relationships with prospects. As a tool now being frequently circulated among salespersons, social selling is driving great results for inbound sales.
The inbound methodology of sales takes a comprehensive charge of everything, right from the challenges and goals to the needs and preferences of the prospects and customers. Unlike the traditional ways of selling, with inbound sales, the entire focus doesn’t just lie on closing the sale, but on building a strong relationship with prospects and customers and guiding them throughout the sales funnel.
There are a number of ways in which you can increase your inbound sales with the power of social media. Let us traverse through how salespersons, who increase 16% of the company’s revenue through social selling, can make the most of it.
The key is to always listen as your prospects are highly likely to post something that can be immensely insightful to you. Twitter, after all, is a platform for creating and leveraging connections, just like LinkedIn. As it's widely used to express personal opinions, following trends, and leveraging the latest hashtags, it can come really handy. When you keep a track of these attributes of user behaviour, you gain successful opportunities for initiating conversations, answering relevant questions, and creating useful connections.
LinkedIn has a unique feature called “LinkedIn Saved Search” that lets you create a search specific to your ideal customer profile. You are notified whenever someone that matches the profile joins the network. The following steps will help you achieve this :
The second level of connections indicates the fact that you have something in common. This speeds up the process of getting introduced to your prospect. You can then decide the frequency of being notified of these prospects. In “receive notifications” of your saved search, add whether you want to receive these notifications weekly or monthly.
Driving inbound sales? Why not leverage one of the most effective platforms of social media? 40 million users on LinkedIn are in the position of decision making while 61 million members are senior-level influencers. LinkedIn’s publishing groups let you write and share insightful material to entice your audience that you aren’t yet connected with. It translates to exposing you to a sea of prospects and letting you target them with the right content. Inbound sales are all about creating the pull to lead your audience to you instead of pushing them to buy. Personalise your content in accordance with the persona you tap into and start getting responses and queries from them.
With the help of marketing automation and CRM, conduct insightful research by entering your targeted keywords and stay announced when anyone talks or shows interest in what you have to offer. For example, if you add the keyword ‘Hubspot’, whenever anyone posts anything related to it, you will get notified. This enables you to initiate conversations that can act as catalysts towards increasing engagement and therefore, conversions. Even if the prospect isn’t making an immediate buying decision, you have already captured their attention and they are likely to recall you when the need arises.
Personal information on your prospects is just a click away as almost everyone has at least one profile on social media. In addition to this, with the help of marketing automation and CRM, you can now fill in the required information to maintain records to be used in your campaigns. These tools save a great deal of time for inbound salespersons, letting them invest the share in strategy and implementation. But, as a salesperson, you need to have your research done right. Indulge in understanding your personas thoroughly, ask the marketing teams to educate you on their strategies, and always be “listening”.
Only creating connections on social media alone might not fully work to your advantage. It is imperative to engage and constantly connect with them. Cold calls and voicemails no longer serve the purpose they did decades ago. Unless you are sharing information that will interest them, your efforts may not yield full-proof results. The number of active users on social media are showing an upward trend and are bound to only increase in the coming years. To tap into these smart consumers, the inbound salesperson needs to strategically integrate the potency of social media and use content to the best of its merit to drive the best results.
Be it crafting personalised content or answering your prospects’ queries, you can drive great engagement and create long term relationships via social selling. Help your prospects through their decision-making process by providing them with information that is relevant and establishes trust. With everyone living in the wake of social media, it is even more important for salespersons to go social and increase conversions, more importantly, establish fruitful relationships.