Best PracticesMarketing

Social Selling with Linkedin – Mastering 21st century business networking

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LinkedIn social selling has become one of the best social networks for the success of the sales organization.

It has been proven in several research reports and client success stories that social selling helps companies in making sales.

If you were to compare a typical company and a company which makes use of social selling, you will come to the conclusion that the social selling company outperforms the typical company 2-4 times in lead generation capability.

According to LinkedIn:

The above statistic is true for both large and small companies across all industries.

What is Social Selling?

Social selling is utilizing your social community to locate the correct prospects, develop trusted relationships drive new opportunities.

HubSpot offers this comprehensive guide, and via his Forbes article explains how to utilize it to win new business.

Why you should choose Linkedin for your social selling network.

LinkedIn is the best social network for Social selling

According to Alexa ranking, only two social networks are chosen as the best social network for Social Selling, this is Linkedin and Twitter.

It helps maximize your time on social sites.

To expand the trust and respect your client or connections have for you or to stay on top of industry trends and news. Linkedin has the premium Sales Navigator tool for those who want to integrate Social Selling into their core sales team activities, enabling you to stay informed and up-to-date with key insight to improve your sales workflow.

LinkedIn is the best way to reach prospect on social media

Once you visit your prospects LinkedIn profile, you will be able to research all the key account detail you need to personalize your proposed offerings. Always make sure you use TeamLink to uncover the best way to get an introduction.

What’s Your Social Selling Index?

The essential success ingredient is to regularly share insightful and well thought out content postings, establishing you as a subject matter expert in your field.

Linkedin quantifies this specific Social Selling capability, via their SSI – Social Selling Index.

For example here’s mine. You can see I score well overall, and it identifies areas for improvement. I’m very strong on brand and relationship building, but need to be more proactive in identifying and reaching out to specific contacts.

Karlyn Williams provides this blog explaining how to find your index, and Christian Stevens this one on how to improve it.

The Digital Marketing Institute also prescribes this detailed guide, and Top Dog asks how important is it.

Top 5 Pillars of Linkedin Social Selling

1. Develop an expert brand – The ever-present constant of B2B purchasers is that they will work with merchants they can trust. A solid expert brand indicates you are a knowledgeable member of your industry, to be consulted on related matters. It prompts more request from prospects. It prompts more reactions to your correspondences.

2. Concentrate on the correct prospects – Social selling empowers you to discover and interface with prospects more successfully than conventional deals. Over 76% of purchasers feel prepared to have a social media discussion with said industry experts. Linkedin can help you filter through to these contacts –  for example by job, capacity, or industry.

3. Draw in with nuggets of knowledge – Position yourself as a topic master by sharing pertinent industry content, remarking on news alerts, and building your expert image. Over 62% of B2B purchasers react to salespersons that interface with significant bits of knowledge and insights. Salespersons can upgrade their idea initiative by remaining fully informed regarding prospect news, and by distinguishing new contacts or leaders when accounts employ new key contracts.

4. Build a trusted brand – Develop trust with prospects by sharing your viewpoints and giving pertinent data relevant to topical issues. Have meaningful discussions and focus on the requirements of the prospect first, selling second.

5. Avoid the sales pitch on social media – During a discussion on social networks which relate to your sales don’t be “sales-y”. As a social seller what you need to do is to offer advice and expertise, not information about your company’s solution and service. Just focus on building trust because it will surely pay off in the end.

How To Measure Social Selling Success

The way it is important to understand what is social selling that is how it is very important to understand how to measure your social selling success.

According to Linkedin research team here are ways to measure your social selling success on Linkedin

  1. Create CRM tabs, one for accounts and one for opportunity, use these tabs to measure and monitor your social selling success.
  1. Think of Linkedin as it’s own lead source. Have a tab in the account so you will be able to track where your sales team is acquiring net new company information for the CRM systems (Linkedin must be one of the choices).
  1. Do the same in the opportunities tab, but now view LinkedIn as a business development activities that result in opportunities. Now just with a simple reporting dashboard, you will be able to understand the return of time invested in Linkedin.

The Future of Social Selling

  1. Salespeople will be hired on their social footprint.
  2. The line between sales and marketing will blur even further as say salespeople their own micromarketing.
  3. Reps who are already responsible for about 70 percent of their leads and revenue may increase that share by becoming their own marketers.

Conclusion

The old adage for success in selling is “if you’re not networking you’re not working” – It still applies equally as much today, all that’s changed is how you network.

It doesn’t negate the need for the traditional methods – There is still a place for face to face networking and even cold calling, it all depends entirely on your market, product and the experience and skills of the sales team.

Social Selling is an addition to this arsenal of pipeline building methods not an entire replacement, with of course it’s most powerful feature being the ability to reach hundreds of millions of potential contacts without the associated travel costs.

When combined with the right content marketing automation tools it enable a moderately successful lead generation team to power up to become a very high performance one.

 

Neil McEvoy
Founder of Digital Scotland. Veteran entrepreneur with 20+ years of pioneering Cloud computing innovations and best practices.

The On Demand Economy is key to the survival of Scotland’s rural communities

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