There was a time when social media was only the concern of the marketing team.  That is no longer the case.  Social media now gives sales team the opportunity to research and connect with prospects directly.

And this is all the more important because traditional selling methods are no longer as effective.  Social media platforms such as LinkedIn have responded by becoming powerful sales tool for businesses. Social selling is now an essential part of the mix for any business.

What is social selling ?

Social selling is about salespeople using social media to identify and  interact directly with the prospects. It involves salespeople connecting and sharing content with prospects and customers. It allows salespeople to monitor questions that prospects are asking online and provide answers. Social selling means using social media, such as LinkedIn to nurture prospects through their decision-making.

what is social selling
What is social selling?

How does social selling work?

The salesperson’s online brand

With so much research happening online before B2B buyers talk to salespeople it is essential that they have a strong online brand. This includes everything from having the right photo on LinkedIn through to showing that they are active and knowledgeable on industry issues. This will lead to more enquiries and a better response rate to the communications.

Technology

Social selling is awash with technology solutions.   From social media listening tools, to CRM systems or LinkedIn sales navigator, salespeople need to get the right mix of technology and know how to use them.

Content for salespeople

Salespeople are not content creators. They like to close deals. But to be good at social selling you need content. A social selling programme needs content specifically for the sales team to publish and share.

The benefits of social selling

Pinpoint prospecting

Social media channels such as LinkedIn can help you potential customers using  specific criteria. These include job role, function, industry, size of company and membership of relevant industry groups.

Nurturing

Salespeople can connect and nurture prospects by sharing insights and experiences that are relevant to their industry. This will provide a more empathetic way of nurturing prospects.

Becoming an online influencer

Social media gives salespeople a platform to become online influencers in their industry or sector. This means that prospects will come to them, whether through Google search or LinkedIn.  All of which means more leads for less effort.

Read more about the business case for investing in social selling here.

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Adam excels, especially, in the strategic aspects of marketing, digital and social projects. In early days of engagement with him, I saw that he was able to naturally manage a large group of diverse stakeholders and create an impressive level of cohesion and agreement – not an easy task!

Kelvin Lee and Adam lewis
Kelvin Lee
Director of Social Media , Thomson Reuters

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