If you use LinkedIn regularly you’ve probably heard of the phrase ‘social selling’. Let’s look at what social selling means (or doesn’t mean) before we move on.
- Social selling doesn’t mean selling stuff on social media. It’s not referring to social media ads or any kind of post that says ‘buy now’ or ‘shop now’.
- Social selling does means using social media as a tool to engage with your sales prospects online. Basically, ‘social selling’ is how everyone should be using LinkedIn – networking (online) with contacts. ‘Online schmoozing’ as one of my training course delegates phrased it nicely the other day.
I use LinkedIn as an example because LinekedIn is the biggest B2B social network, meaning it’s the most effective and appropriate platform for social selling. However theoretically, this can be done on any social network where your sales prospects may be hanging out. Twitter, for example, would be no.2 on the list if indeed your sales prospects are active on Twitter.
Here’s a nice juicy definition of social selling from Hubspot:
“Social selling is when salespeople use social media to interact directly with their prospects. Salespeople will provide value by answering prospect questions and offering thoughtful content until the prospect is ready to buy. Thus, the use of social media in sales allows sales people to delight their prospects rather than interrupt their daily lives with cold calls and hard sells, eventually converting them into loyal customers.”
If you want more clarification between the difference of selling on social and social selling check out this great post by Alex Bourgeois, social and content wizard.
Social Selling Vs Cold Calling – why social selling works and cold calling doesn’t in today’s digital world
If you have been in sales a while then you will be used to cold calling, dreaded by 63% of sales people and something 88% of buyers will have nothing to do with. Cold calling is becoming increasingly ineffective in the digital work we now live in. Why? Becuase thanks to Google we have every bit of information we could ever want at our finger-tips! We don’t need to be ‘sold’ to anymore. We can find out the information ourselves and prefer to conduct our own research (which we trust more than a sales person) via information online and product and service reviews and case-studies.
So this is where social selling comes in. As a sales person making yourself visible online in the right way providing value in the places where your prospects choose to be (e.g. LinkedIn or Twitter) at that time is proving to be an extremely effective way to close sales and gain leads.
Social Selling Stats:
- 61% of organisations engaged in social selling report a positive impact on revenue growth. (Feedback Systems, 2015)
- 46% of social sellers hit quota compared to 38% of sales reps who don’t. (Aberdeen, 2014)
- 74% of today’s B2B buyers conduct more than half of their research online. (Forrester research 215)
Find out your team’s SSI Score
Now you know what social selling is and why it works do you want know if your team’s LinkedIn activity (or your own!) lives up to your expectations? Checking out your team’s Social Selling Index score on a regular basis will give you great insight on what they are doing well and where they can improve.
It will look something like this:
If you have any questions on social selling, SSI or how to improve your team’s SSI comment below or send me a message on LinkedIn.